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Runners get ready to start at the 2008 Philadelphia Marathon, November 23, 2008. (HO)
Runners get ready to start at the 2008 Philadelphia Marathon, November 23, 2008. (HO)

Small Business Briefing

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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

Kauffman presents its opening Act

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has presented a proposal that it's calling the Startup Act to help boost the U.S. economy and job creation by accelerating the growth of small businesses.

"Our goal is to make sure that startups have access to financing to scale and grow their firms to make sure capital markets are in reach for startups," said U.S. Senator Jon Tester, who is chairing a hearing Wednesday about access to capital for high-growth startups. "I want to thank the Kauffman Foundation for bringing so much energy and momentum to this discussion and look forward to continuing our work to get startups the resources they need to maximize the potential for innovation and job creation."

The release of the Startup Act comes on the heels of findings from Kauffman data released last week that more firms have been created in the United States every year since the last recession began, but the numbers of new firms with employees continues to drop, a trend that pre-dates the economic downturn.

The 'Act' calls for changes to government policy that include:

  • Welcoming immigrants to the United States that are capable of building high-growth companies.
  • Providing new firms with better access to early-stage financing.
  • Accelerating the formation and commercialization of new ideas.
  • Removing barriers to the formation and growth of businesses.

Canadian tortilla producers make shortlist

A Canadian business is one of the three finalists in the YBI Entrepreneur of the Year competition, an international event designed to celebrate the world's best young owners. The finalists are:

  • Axel Arvizu and Juan Roman, founder of Canada's first tortilla production business, La Tortilleria.
  • Amir Asor from Israel, whose business is training tomorrow's engineers using Lego.
  • Haja Funyamin, founder of fast-growing Indian snacks business Hafa Foods.

The entrepreneurs and their mentors will be invited to attend the awards dinner Nov. 10, 2011 in London, where the winner will be chosen by panel of business experts and receive $5,000 (U.S.) plus a matched prize of $5,000 (U.S.) for the YBI supporting member.

Minister hits the road to talk pensions

Minister of State for Finance, Ted Menzies, met with members of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce this week to discuss the federal government's plan to create a pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) option in the next few months. The low-cost, defined contribution plan is designed to assist Canadian citizens without a company pension by providing a more accessible option, and one the Conservatives hope will be transferable between provinces. Mr. Menzies is travelling across the country to meet with officials at the provincial level and to talk to business leaders, and he told the New Brunswick Business Journal it will be especially helpful for small businesses and the self-employed.


Mom entrepreneurs need apply

Nominations are now open for the SavvyMom Mom Entrepreneur of the Year Award, celebrating great ideas and innovative solutions. How do you win? It's a three step process: Go to the website and nominate yourself by sharing your story, promote that story to get votes until Sept. 12, 2011, then hope you get enough votes to crack the top 10, which is the pool the judges will draw from. The winner gets cash and services valued at $15,000.


How the winners will spend the money

By the end of 2015, Angela and Justin Quinton aim to make Sandberg Labs the biggest and most accessible agricultural testing facility in Western Canada. Their goal is to almost double annual revenue to $1-million by boosting capacity, modernizing the lab and expanding services. To get there, the winners of the Challenge Contest, sponsored by The Globe and Mail and Telus Corp., will use their $100,000 prize to upgrade processes and equipment.


Reminds us of a Van Halen song

Our first segment of The Challenge, a weekly feature designed to help owners and operators confront key issues with expert advice, the chief executive officer of Toronto-based Armada Data Corp. couldn't figure out why investors were failing to rally around his TSX Venture Exchange-listed business - and sending those shares upwards.

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

Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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Follow on Twitter: @seanstanleigh


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