May 11 2015

Small Business Week Puts the Spotlight on Entrepreneurs

As part of the Small Business Administration’s weeklong event, businesses across the country offered tips and praise for small business leaders.

Government officials, business experts and entrepreneurs gathered last week to celebrate the more than 28 million small businesses that work and thrive in the U.S.

Hosted by the Small Business Administration (SBA), National Small Business Week was proclaimed by President Obama as part of a longstanding American tradition. But how far back does the event go? Joining the #DreamSmallBiz conversation, Chase Small Business tweeted this little quiz:

Whether or not you guessed correctly, you should know that Small Business Week’s origin is far less important than its message: that businesses of all sizes have a big impact on the U.S. economy.

StreetShares designed an infographic to highlight several key contributions small businesses have made in recent years.

The graphic shows that small businesses account for 46 percent of private U.S. GDP and have created 67 percent of the net new jobs added since the last recession.

According to a Forbes roundup published Tuesday, U.S. small businesses with more than 100 employees are ahead of their peers when it comes to adopting cloud technology. Market research firm IDC found that 81 percent of those companies use cloud-based applications, while only 37 percent of all U.S. small businesses have migrated to the cloud. Intuit predicts that by 2020, 78 percent of small businesses will have jumped on the bandwagon.

Tweeting an April blog post, SAP explained the most compelling reasons why companies should invest in the cloud:

Flexibility, predictable costs and easy scalability top SAP’s list of cloud benefits.

Looking past technology, the six finalists for National Small Business Person of the Year offer advice to new entrepreneurs in an interview with Entrepreneur:

More than one finalist said small business owners should write detailed goal and task lists and delegate responsibilities whenever possible.

“Always be building the people around you,” added Missouri Star Quilt founder Alan Doan. “Empower your employees.”

The SBA later named Doan and his sister, Sarah Galbraith, the 2015 National Small Business Persons of the Year.

Following a live-pitch finale on Friday, the SBA also announced winners of the InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge, which evaluated products and services that support the lives of women and families.

Bethany Edwards, Lisa Crites and Sophia Berman — the entrepreneurs who pitched the winning businesses — are just a small sampling of the women making it big in small business.

In an infographic tweeted Thursday, Sage, a small business software company, reported that women are more likely to found startups than men.

According to Sage, the most successful startup founders took on a partner, created a formal business plan, recruited professional advisors, embraced new marketing techniques and sought work-life balance.

Entrepreneurs looking for more advice on starting or growing a small business can check out the #DreamSmallBiz hashtag on Twitter and a series of free webinars from the SBA.


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