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Why entrepreneurship might be more attractive, and suitable

It's an intriguing, sweeping generalization and, no doubt, controversial question. But it's raised in this Inc. piece, which notes that sexuality "remains a sensitive subject in big corporate environments," and points to a Wall Street Journal report of no openly gay CEO on the Fortune 1000 list.

Given the level of secrecy in corporate quarters, the piece suggests, "it's no wonder promising gay business leaders are finding entrepreneurship a more attractive option."

Inc. also points to some research that suggests openly gay people might even be better entrepreneurs.

One University of Southern California researcher, for instance, did a five-year study that found employees who worked for openly gay managers reported 25-per-cent higher engagement.

"Everyone who's out of the closet has gone through a process of navigating unexpected territory and avoiding land mines. It's a developed skill that absolutely lends itself to entrepreneurial acumen," Inc. quotes Kirk Snyder, the professor who carried out the study.

He adds that many gay entrepreneurs have chosen that direction to be their own "gay-friendly bosses." Worried about a gay glass ceiling in the corporate world, entrepreneurship gives them the opportunity to keep climbing a ladder.

There are niches that gay entrepreneurs are finding. For instance, as this June press release recounted, U.S. entrepreneur Dan McLellan was in search of a card for his spouse, a Canadian, but could find nothing suitably romantic. So he did what all good entrepreneurs do, and set up his own business, Homoquotables, offering gay wedding cards, whose motto is "artistic greeting cards for gay couples in love."

At this site, Shermans Travel Media CEO Jim Sherman weighs in on some challenges and advantages of being a gay entrepreneur.

The Inc. piece and this New York Times piece make note of StartOut, a support and networking group for LGBT entrepreneurs.

Food fight

Battle lines are being drawn between food-truck operators and bricks-and-mortar restaurants, reports The Wall Street Journal – which may not be surprising, given the growing numbers of gourmet food trucks serving curbside, a phenomenon made more popular by TV programs such as Eat St.

The Journal reports that several U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, St. Louis and Seattle, are bringing in laws that limit where and for how long trucks can park and serve, even including a new rule in Chicago requiring trucks to have GPS devices so the city can track where they are. It's in the name of protecting restaurants who say the trucks are encroaching on their territory and hurting their bottom lines.

Food truck operators, naturally, think all that isn't fair for their innovative take on vending food.

A Report on Small Business look at the food truck phenomenon last October found that there are hurdles for Canadian operators, too, the biggest barriers including laws preventing trucks from operating on public property, especially where the food truck culture hasn't caught on, not to mention weathering the winter.


Grow conference

"Rethinking business: staying relevant in a new era" is the motto of the Grow conference taking place in Vancouver. The conference is part of Grow Week running Aug. 17 to Aug. 24, whose activities range from a Vancouver startup weekend to a one-day boot camp for entrepreneurs. The actual conference on Aug. 23 aims to explore "how the consumer revolution is changing the future of business." For more information, click here.

Small Business Summit

Vancouver is also the venue for the next Small Business Summit, to take place on Oct. 4. Presented by The Globe and Mail's Report on Small Business, the one-day event will include keynotes, panel discussions, mentor programs and other offerings. Save more than 40 per cent with the "kick-off rate" by registering before Aug. 31. For more information, click here.


Video the next wave of content marketing

First came infographics, and now more brands are moving into video, a way to take advantage of the power of visual story-telling, Mia Pearson writes in her latest column.


Ten ways to build Pride at small businesses

Just last month, our Top Tens offered 10 building blocks that can help small businesses build an inclusive culture.

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