Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The Pawn sign is seen outside of Richie's Pawn on August 9, 2011 in Tamarac, Florida. As the economy continues to struggle and banks are not as willing to provide loans many people have turned to pawn shops to help them when they need a loan.

Joe Raedle

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

Small businesses struggling to make ends meet are increasingly turning to online pawn shops for business loans.

In the U.S., an site like will evaluate your item and e-mail you an offer about how much they are willing to loan you. There is no credit check, as the loan is secured by the collateral. If you are able to repay the loan, you will get your item back. If not, the pawn shop will keep it. According to its website, Pawngo has loaned about US$1.35 million in about 46 states.

Story continues below advertisement

The pros? It's quick and easy, and doesn't require a credit check. It won't ruin your credit score if you don't make the payment and you can generally negotiate the amount you'd like get.

The cons? Appraisals a usually low - around 30 to 50 per cent of what a broker may expect to receive, and interest rates can be ridiculously high depending on the state. Short-term or 'payday' loans typically carry interest rates of 10 to 20 per cent for a two-week term, according to this feature by Time, which translates into an annual percentage rate exceeding 300 per cent. But industry experts argue the APR is just theoretical since these types of loans are meant to last only until the borrower's next paycheck. Another downside is that

If markets continue their erratic, stomach-churning journey, it may not be surprising to see this trend catching on in Canada.

Can you learn to be a 'disruptive' innovator?

That's the question put forth by Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen in his new book The Innovator's DNA , a research-driven 'self help' book that moves beyond analyzing process of disrupting an industry, examining the origins of creativity.

A long held belief is that truly creative people - like Amazon's Jeff Bezos,'s Marc Benioff or Apple's Steve Jobs - are blessed with an innate gift. "We have a sense that there are some people who are just born with an instinct to do the things that we describe. And a few are never going to get there. And there are a few who are going to get there by learning what they can do," says Mr. Christensen in this Q&A on

But by researching common traits in some of the world's famous innovators, the author seems to imply that "plain ordinary people" can emulate these traits. "What we've tried to do in this book is codify it and make what was intuition explicit, so that the rest of us can copy what they do."

Story continues below advertisement

So you got into a prestigious incubator. Now what?

Getting into a 'ivy-league' incubator like Y Combinator and DreamIt Ventures is no easy task, but making the most of your time there may be the most challenging part of the experience. In this article on, the writers com offer a glimpse of what it's like to be accepted into an one of these incubators and proposes four tips on how eager start-ups can make the most of their time there.


How are you coping?

Given the recent turmoil in global financial markets the Toronto Board of Trade is asking its members how this latest development will impact your business decisions. You should be able to complete the survey in 5 minutes or less.

Start-ups on TV

Story continues below advertisement

Next month, Bloomberg will broadcast TechStars, a documentary television series featuring the successes and struggles of 10 start-ups trying to hit it big in New York City. But according to its producers, the six-part series won't conform to the clichés of cheesy reality TV.

"Bloomberg's audience is global and affluent," says David Cohen, the founder and CEO of TechStars, the funding and mentoring start-up accelerator based in Boulder, Colorado. "You won't be watching a bunch of geeks just sit there and code. It really gets into the stories of these companies. People will be able to identify with the entrepreneurs but also the investors and the mentors."

To apply for a spot in TechStars, click here.


7 people, 1 question: What's your latest game-changer?

Innovation is key to staying ahead in business, but how innovative are Canadians...really?

Story continues below advertisement


The brands that 'elevated' over time

Our regular contributor Mark Evans looks at how companies like Volvo, Lee Valley Tools, Dickies and TSC Stores have achieved greater stature and value over time.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at

Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues:

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies