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Gift box on office tablekarandaev/Getty Images/iStockphoto

This week in the startup world Silicon Valley lost some of its charm, we found out the true cost of employee absenteeism, MasterCard looks to prop up youth entrepreneurship in Canada and much more:

A new study by CareerBuilder found that 46 per cent of employers are providing a holiday bonus to their employees this year, while 63 per cent and planning a holiday shindig to show their appreciation. To celebrate the good folks at CareerBuilder threw in a little gift for the rest of us: a list of the top 10 most unusual items received in an office holiday gift exchange. The list, however, reads more like a rundown of the top things you can quickly find around the office when you arrive in the morning only to realize you've forgotten there was a gift exchange that day. The items include a box of Hot Pockets, a solitary chess piece, a fire extinguisher, a Ziploc bag with enough coffee beans for a single pot and a bag of chips.

INcubes, a, just became the latest organization designated under the Canadian Association of Business incubation, or CABI, which will allow the Toronto-based accelerator program to accept startups from all around the world under the Start-up visa program.

MasterCard has just announced the launch of Youth Entrepreneurial Success, or YES, and will be partnering with The Next 36, Ryerson University, Ladies Learning Code and the University of Waterloo to help promote entrepreneurship to young Canadians. The program will also include a quarterly meet-up that will bring together a panel of experts to provide resources and support to aspiring entrepreneurs.

A study released on Monday by Kronos and the Society for Human Resource Management found that American employers spend approximately 20.9 and 22.1 per cent of their payroll on absent employees. The survey of more than 1,200 employees around the world took into account the effects that employee absences, both paid and unpaid, have on the organization, including their effects on co-worker and supervisor productivity, the cost over replacement workers and overtime to cover absences, and both direct and indirect costs of paid time off.

Is the world's perception of Silicon Valley changing from the home of innovation to the home of moral corruption? At least one writer believes so. In a scathing article titled These Entitled Tech Bullies are Ruining Silicon Valley, Lucy Marcus argues that certain tech companies are giving the community a bad name, dragging the entire Valley's reputation down with it.

The holiday season is a time for giving, and there is certainly no shortage of entrepreneurs in need. Toronto's MaRS Discovery District has just released a list of startups worthy of your crowdfunding dollars this winter, ranging from a therapy against drug-resistant strains of HIV to a monthly craft beer delivery service.

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