Thursday, June 4, 2009

GO SUCCESS : The State of Social Science Research on Gender and IT Entrepreneurship

Women now own 41 percent of the privately held firms in the United States and 28 percent of the firms providing professional, scientific, and technical services.

Women now own 41 percent of the privately held firms in the United States and 28 percent of the firms providing professional, scientific, and technical services. Yet, women own less than 5 percent of information technology firms. Perhaps because of their small number, little scholarly attention has been paid to women entrepreneurs in IT, even as the overall number of women entrepreneurs and the social science literature about them has increased over the past quarter century. This brief paper describes the state of scholarship related to women’s IT entrepreneurship1 and points to the need for additional research about both the underlying causes for women’s underrepresentation and the conditions that promote women’s success as IT entrepreneurs.
There are some notable trends in the 100 scholarly papers with direct relevance to women entrepreneurs in IT. The earliest literature looked for psychological differences in male and female entrepreneurs. Over time, this line of research broadened to consider issues such as differences in the psychological profiles of corporate managers and entrepreneurs, motivations for entrepreneurship, adolescent predisposition to entrepreneurship, the impact of stereotypes, overconfidence, and optimism. Another genre of early literature (in the 1960s and 1970s) focused on alleged gender discrimination in access to capital for entrepreneurs. Eventually, the discrimination investigations became more nuanced through inclusion of factors such as type of funding sought, differences in the business sectors in which men and women seek funding, gender differences in technical education among entrepreneurs seeking funding, and the relative absence of women in decision-making positions among investors. One early theme was performance comparisons between companies run by men and women, which portrayed men as more successful entrepreneurs because their firms grew more rapidly. As with the other literature, this research has also developed nuances over the years, looking more closely at the empirical data about growth and persistence of firms, and also considering achievement of founder intentions as an alternative measure of success. Finally, recent investigations target social capital and social networks as explanations for both the presence and success of women entrepreneurs.
We summarized the literature in four papers, one each on psychological issues, financial capital, social capital, and growth and persistence of firms. Another major theme – education and human capital – was not covered, primarily because the relevant literature about this theme and women or gender and IT entrepreneurs is so scant. The literature related to the major themes is also thin and it has another potential problem: the relevance of findings for the IT industry is questionable when studies were conducted in other industries. Research results from other industries may not apply because the IT environment has an unusual set of characteristics. For example, IT relies to a high degree on venture capital, eligibility for that capital rests on a narrow range of entrepreneur qualities especially including technical training and experience, and company failure rates are high. Furthermore, the boom (1999-2002) and bust (2002-2006) cycles experienced by venture-funded IT start-up companies had a heavy impact. IT also has rather intense time pressures, with short deadlines for moving products to market, rapid obsolescence, and a culture of working round-the-clock. These exceptional conditions may interact with gender stereotypes and gender differences to heighten or distort effects on women’s entrepreneurship. We therefore encourage researchers to give special and separate treatment to the IT industry
Our literature reviews lead us to make other recommendations about the direction of future research. There are many unanswered questions related to each of the major themes, and themes that remain largely unexplored. For example, the research on psychological issues has yet to determine whether gender differences in personality characteristics are related to the gender imbalance among IT entrepreneurs. Developing this idea further, it would be useful to know what contextual factors affect business risk-taking by men and women. Other psychological questions worth investigating are whether interventions designed to reduce the negative effects of stereotypes on performance also affect women’s intentions to start IT businesses. How do men and women assess the work-life balance implications of
entrepreneurship in different industries? Are there patterns in management and leadership styles across industries, and do they correlate with the level of women’s entrepreneurship?
Financial capital research no longer looks to discrimination as an explanation for women obtaining smaller loans, paying higher interest rates, having to post higher collateral, experiencing a higher incidence of unmet credit needs, and expressing lower satisfaction with the bank loan process. Nevertheless, it would be useful to document whether gender discrimination colors the investment decisions of venture capitalists. Research also should examine how men and women differ in their access to venture capital after controlling for competing explanatory factors, such as technical education, experience, industry type, and venture capital firms sought. Several other questions arise from the literature on financial capital. There is a general understanding that venture capital funding was reserved for companies with high-risk, high-growth strategies, but there is almost no literature on how gender of either the entrepreneur or the venture capitalist fits into the system. In addition, women in the IT field have received a proportionally greater percentage of their funding from angel investors than have male IT entrepreneurs, but the research on angel investment is just beginning. Research should examine how women’s relative lack of venture capital sources might subsequently affect their entrepreneurial endeavors (e.g., firm size, firm growth). Finally, a worthy avenue of investigation would be the role that technical education and experience plays in access to financial capital in IT. This aspect of human capital might also elucidate whether certain gender differences in education and experience contribute to the gender gap in IT entrepreneurship. Thus far, the literature on social capital and entrepreneurship reaches no consensus about findings of gendered network effects. It may be that even past findings of gender differences no longer hold true, or hold true only in certain industries. Future research on networking and access to social capital should determine whether gender differences in social networking exist in IT and demonstrate any links with different outcomes for male and female entrepreneurs. In addition, researchers should consider ways that social networks might affect access to venture capital.
Evidence now tends to contradict earlier findings of differences in size, growth, and persistence of firms founded by men and women. In addition, more recent literature questions the early assumptions about the meaning of entrepreneurial success, instead arguing that success should be measured according to founder intention. With this new definition, women’s entrepreneurship may be as successful as men’s, although the reasons for gender differences in founder intentions are not yet clear. Future research should examine a wide range of success measures, including for example, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and contributions to the community in which the firms operate. Furthermore, given inconsistent findings across studies, research could inform the literature on firm success by identifying differences or similarities in the characteristics, market sector, and target audience of high-growth, women-founded companies as compared to men-founded companies.
So far, this briefing paper has only considered entrepreneurship in the traditional sense of starting a company. There is, however, a broader way of looking at this issue – by including the creation of intellectual capital, whether embodied in research papers and patents, or transferred into products and services that are sold. Investigations in this area are only beginning; even differences in the numbers and percentages of IT research papers are not yet known and only one recent report describes patenting in the IT field by women and men (the NCWIT report, Who Invents IT? An Analysis of Women’s Participation in Information Technology Patenting). The underlying influences remain unexplored. For example, are women less likely than men to move back and forth between academia and industry during their careers, a practice that appears to effectively transfer ideas into marketable technologies? Are academic women less likely than their male colleagues to have social networks that give them access to the contacts and know-how to start a business? Are academic women busier than academic men with their service duties at work and their family responsibilities, leaving insufficient time for starting a business? Are they likely to feel greater responsibility than academic men to their teaching and service commitments so that women have less time for research and entrepreneurship? Are women likely to have different attitudes than men about personal ownership and public-domain ideas in situations where their research was funded by the government?
Our review of the literature for explanations of the severe gender imbalance in IT entrepreneurship makes it clear that scholarship specific to this issue is rare. Even the strongest findings related to the broader topic of gender and entrepreneurial behavior have yet to be tested in the IT industry. This oversight might be of little concern except for the enormous influence IT exerts over the economy and almost every aspect of how we live our lives. Research must focus on this topic if we are to understand the conditions affecting women’s engagement in shaping the future. We recommend that the highest priority be given to investigations of the following issues:
1. Founder goals: How achievable are different founder goals in the IT industry? Are there gender differences in founder goals related to IT innovation? Are there consequences from founder goals that can be seen in employee turnover, or social or environmental impact of IT products? What factors or conditions affect gender differences in founder goals?
2. Social capital: How do gender differences in social capital affect achievement of founder-defined success in IT companies? How do the social networks of men and women in academia influence their chances of IT entrepreneurship?
3. Human and financial capital: How do gender differences in technical education and experience affect access to financial capital for, and outcomes from, IT entrepreneurship?
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CPNS : PNS 2010 Salary Increases

The government has memprogramkan again to gradually increase salaries and equally the Pegawai Negeri Sipil (PNS) and members of the TNI / police in 2010, as an effort to improve their welfare.

"The government will increase the salary of civil servants and military / police in 2010 in stages, and that can be mereta or all at once," said State Minister of National Development Planning / Head of Bappenas, Paskah Suzetta, in Bandarlampung, Monday.

When the opening of Meetings Koordinsi (Rakor) the governor of the se-Sumatera Selatan (Sumasgel) joined in the forum area, Bengkulu, Lampung, Jambi, South Sumatra, Bangka and Belitung (Belajasumba), Paskah Suzetta, said the salary increase of government officials and state programs that include delayed and will be realized in 2010.

Mengemukaman ministers also, of course with a program that is asked, why was the only civil servant salaries, and members of TNI / police, not the overall welfare of society secera.

It was, he said, because the apparatus is a civil servant engaged in public services that need to get a better handling of first, while the welfare of the community also hold diupyakakan peningkatanya in many ways and programs.

Because tu, he said further economic harapanpertumbuhan with the increasing in the middle of a global crisis, the government in the future anyone Presidennya have a good short-term program, memengah, and long to be disukseskan together.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

GO SUCCESS : Entrepreneurship: A Unique Opportunity for Higher Education A Focus on Entrepreneurship

Higher education generally contributes to local and regional economies through workforce development and its function in transferring technology, as well as through the income colleges generate. A study in Georgia found that for every $1 the University brings into the community, it generates $.56 in additional economic activity.

Dr. David A. Sampson, assistant secretary of
Commerce for Economic Development, sug-
gests that universities “must acknowledge that
economic development is part of their core
Higher education generally contributes to local and regional economies through workforce development and its function in transferring technology, as well as through the income colleges generate. A study in Georgia found that for every $1 the University brings into the community, it generates $.56 in additional economic activity.

While these functions continue to make valuable contributions to local and regional
economic development efforts, there is a compelling case for colleges and universities to play a more signifcant role in the emergence of entrepreneurship support. Over the past four decades industrial attraction and competition on the basis of cost have been the dominant guiding theories directing community eco-
nomic development. Globalization has now rendered these strategies almost obsolete.

Entrepreneurship cultivation and support, enterprise development and quality of life
issues are now at the forefront of community based economic development. For example:
• Only 1% of new job creation now comes
from business relocations.
• The other 99% come from the expansion
of existing businesses (55%) and new star
ups (44%).
• An international study indicated that the
direct correlation between the level of
entrepreneurial activity and economic
growth is greater than 70%.4. In Minnesota small businesses dominate the state’s economic landscape. In raw numbers, 195,000 Minnesota businesses have fewer than 20 employees; 75,000 of these have from 1 to 4 employees.5
This means that more and more college graduates are creating their own jobs
rather than climbing career ladders within large organizations. Higher education can contribute to these efforts by:
• Supporting local efforts to generate and
support entrepreneurship at the commu-
nity level.
• Incubating new entrepreneurs through
training, educational programs, civic
engagement and internships.
• Fostering innovation and entrepreneurial
approaches to today’s complex society.

Expanding Opportunities in Entrepreneurship Education

“To a great extent you can’t really teach entrepreneurship. You have to model it.”
—David Birch

Entrepreneurship is like swimming. Many of us may want to do it and are capable of doing it. To become profcient at it, however, requires experiential learning. The best, most clearly written “how to swim” book in the world is a poor substitute for getting in the water and moving around. According to McCall,7
“[O]ur colleges must respond to the need to develop entrepreneur-ship in our communities to foster economic development.” A growing number of campuses
offer entrepreneurship certifcates and emphases within business degrees. As of 2003 there were 406 endowed positions in entrepreneurship at U.S. colleges and universities.8

Small Business Development Centers housed on campuses provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs. Likewise, other centers have emerged with the study of entrepreneurship and enterprise development at the core of their mission. These centers exist at two-year, four-year, public and private schools, offering
opportunities for students to get their feet wet by participating in hands-on entrepreneurial activities. Gibb9 provides suggestions for creating a climate for teaching entrepreneurship:
• Create and reinforce a strong sense of indi-
vidual ownership.
• Reinforce the personal ability to make
things happen and see things through.
• Maximize the opportunity for individuals
to take responsibility for a wide and inte-
grated range of tasks.
• Tolerate ambiguity and allow mistakes as a
basis for learning.
• Encourage strategic thinking before formal
• Emphasize the importance of personal
trust and “know who” as a basis for man-
agement rather than formal relationships.
• Encourage informal overlap between departments and groups as a basis for
developing a common culture.

Entrepreneurship Across the

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are thus
needed in society as much as in the economy.”
—Peter Drucker.10

Today’s world needs colleges and universities to embrace entrepreneurship in all of its manifestations. Pedagogy that encourages entrepreneurial thinking helps students create insights, connect different kinds of knowledge, and discover innovative ways to apply knowledge. Who will come up with the innovative solutions to the diverse array of challenges facing us, and what new types of social enterprise will fund their implementation? If we remove our ideas about entrepreneurship from the narrow and limiting association with business start-ups and create a fundamental
place for entrepreneurship across the curriculum, we will increasingly fnd ourselves
educating students who are persistent solution fnders.

Emerging Models

Several schools are beginning to expand the pro-
fle of entrepreneurship across their campuses.
• Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin
incorporates entrepreneurial studies in its
natural sciences curriculum.
• In 2003, the Kauffman Foundation
awarded eight higher education institu-
tions up to $5 million each to enable any
students access to entrepreneurial training.11
• The Kauffman Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars Program brings faculty together
from multiple disciplines to integrate entrepreneurship into their courses. Why do they support these programs? According to Carl Schramm, “We want all students not just those enrolled in business or engineering schools to have the skills that lead to greater opportunities for them, that result in more jobs for our community,
That inspire innovation and that ultimately fuel prosperity
for America.”12

Entrepreneurship Education
Requires Civic Engagement

“[T]he mission of universities is not only about
the scholarship of discovery (research)...It is also
about the scholarship of relevance and the schol-
arship of integration.”

—Allan Gibb14
Simply building a business skill set (communication, marketing, accounting) doesn’t necessarily give a student skills that are transferable to entrepreneurship. We need to get enterprising students out into the community and into practical situations.
Educators strive to turn information into knowledge and ultimately turn knowledge into wisdom. By supporting a culture of entrepreneurship, higher education can help to facilitate the next and most important step, wisdom to action. Fostering this change in institutional culture will result in a more engaged faculty, a more relevant and useful link between research and practice, and more integrated community/institutional partnership. Entrepreneurship across the curriculum benefts not only the academy, but also provides vitally important innovations for competing in the new economcreating new ways of addressing social welfare,and addressing sustainable development.


1. Anderson, L. (Ed.), (2004). Economic Developmen
America. U.S. Department of Commerce
Economic Development Administration.
2. Humphreys, J. (2005). The Economic Impact
of University System of Georgia Institutions on
Their Regional Economies in FY 2004. Atlanta,
GA: Georgia’s Intellectual Capital Partnership
Program. Information available at http://www.
3. Maki, W., (2005). Economic development Theory
and Practice in Minnesota—1950s to the Present
Information available at http://www.agobserva-
4. Reynolds, P., Hay, M., Bygrave, W., Camp, S.,
and Autio, E. (2000) Global Entrepreneurship
Monitor. Babson College, Kauffman Center
for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Erving
Marion Kauffman Foundation, London Business
School. Information available at http://www.
5. Minnesota Department of Employment and
Economic Development (DEED), (2003).
Compare Minnesota: Profles of Minnesota’s
Economy and Population 2002-2003, 24.
6. Aronsson, M. (2004). “Education Matters—But
Does Entrepreneurship Education?” An interview
with David Birch. Academy of Management
Learning and Education, Vol. 3, No. 3, 289-292.
7. McCall, M. (2005). “Advocacy and an Agenda for
Economic Development.” Community College
Journal, 75(6), 6.
8. Katz, J. (2004). 2004 Survey of Endowed Positions
in Entrepreneurship and Related Fields in
the United States. Ewing Marion Kauffman
Foundation. Information available at http://www.
9. Gibb, A. (1998). “Educating Tomorrow’s
Entrepreneurs.” Economic Reform Today, Number
4, 1998.
10. Drucker, P. (1985). Innovation and
Entrepreneurship. New York: Harper & Row, 254.
11. Kauffman Campuses. Web site, http://www.kauff-
12. Kauffman Foundation. (2004). “Entrepreneurship
Education: Not Just for Business Majors
Anymore.” January 12, 2004 Press Release.
Information available at http://www.kauffman.
13. Arion, D. Hedberg Distinguished Professor of
Entrepreneurial Studies and Professor of Physics,
Carthage College, (personal communication) July
14, 2006.
14. Gibb, A. (2000). “Entrepreneurship at universities
should reach all faculties.” Science Oct. 20, 2000.
Information available at http://sciencecareers.
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GO SUCCESS : Supporting Economic Growth and Entrepreneurship

Innovative Strategies for Community Foundations...

Five Grantmaking Strategies to Support Economic Growth

1. Entrepreneurial Education
2. Workforce Training
3. Business Technical Assistance
4. Community Economic Development
5. Research and Feasibility StudiesAspen Institute Community

Entrepreneurial Education Feeding the pipeline with new businesses

1. Most common place to begin
2. Focused on teaching entrepreneurial skills
3. Many curricula available – (see
4. Common partners – Extension & colleges
5. Scholarships vs. program support
6. 501(c)(3) Purpose = Educational
– No limits on whom you serve
– No limits on what you teachAspen Institute Community
Entrepreneurial Education Programs
- NxLevel
– Pre-start-up basics
– Business planning and
feasibility analysis
Support: program
Outcome: Go/No Go
- Small Business
Management Program
– Post-start-up
management basics
– Three-year self-directed
Support: Scholarships
Outcome: improved odds of
survivalAspen Institute Community

Workforce Training Grants Building Productivity to Boost Economic Outcomes

1. Powerful way to build business profitability
2. Improves stability of jobs
3. Increases worker pay
4. Best when business driven
5. 501(c)(3) purposes – educational and charitable
6. Made through an intermediary or via expenditure authorityAspen Institute Community
Workforce Training Grants
- Workforce 2020
– Industry specific incumbent worker training
– Technology or productivity systems (e.g. lean
Support: Grant through intermediary with required
employer match
Outcomes: Improved wages ($4:$1 invested), better
profits, job stability, global competitiveness.Aspen Institute Community

Business Technical Assistance Removing roadblocks to success

1. One-on-one consultation with an expert
2. Common topics:
– Finance -- Marketing -- Management – Sales --Technology – Loan Packaging
3. 501(c)(3) purpose = educational – just at a
more personal and in-depth levelAspen Institute Community

Business Technical Assistance
- Small Business Development Center – Business Consulting Services
– Financial analysis, marketing, business planning
– Loan packaging
Support: Program support to expand capacity &
match federal funds
Outcomes: Improved access to capital, improved
profitability, increased sales, better Go/No Go
decisions.Aspen Institute Community

Community Economic Development Anything from infrastructure to direct subsidies

- Grantees = Units of Government
- “Normal Purposes” rule:
– Grants for any activity commonly undertaken by a unit of
government qualify as being for 501(c)(3) purposes – even
if it isn’t otherwise charitable, educational, scientific or
religious – so long as it is legal for the specific jurisdiction.
- Must be focused on a “class” of businesses not an
individual endeavor or considered a pass-through
- Examples: blight reduction, site preparation, main-
street marketing, tax abatement, free utilities…Aspen Institute Community
Strategies Group, March 2006 14
Community Economic Development
- Storefront Renovation
– Grants to city for “blight
– Regranted to mainstreet
businesses to spruce up
Support: Grant to City
Outcomes: Capture of
tourist dollars and more
local shopping
- Demolition/Site
– Grants to tear down
dilapidated structure and
prepare site for
– $1.00 sale to business
Support: Grant to City EDA
Outcome: Business start-up
or expansion.Aspen Institute Community

Research and Feasibility Studies
Useful but with limiting rules
- Research, especially feasibility studies are a common request.
- Falls under “Scientific” 501(c)(3) purposes
- Special rules on dissemination require equal access to the results/findings
- Not useful to provide a competitive advantage
- Most useful for site-specific issuesAspen Institute Community
Research and Feasibility Studies
- Minnesota Wheat and
Barley Growers Study
– Feasibility study: value-
added manufacturing
– Frozen bread dough
Support: Grant - repayment
provision if built
Outcome: Idea “stolen.”
Project built in Georgia.
Repayment forgiven.
- Kaddatz Hotel
– Feasibility study of
converting decrepit
historic hotel for artist
lofts and commercial
Support: Grant to arts
Outcome: Successful
redevelopment – lofts
completely full,
commercial space still
vacant but project cash-
flows.Aspen Institute Community

Loan Programs
Yes, they are legal!
(if done right)Aspen Institute Community

Community Foundation Lending Basics
…or how to stay legal
- Loans must have a charitable purpose:
– Creating jobs in economically distressed areas
– Creating/retaining/improving jobs for low-
moderate income workers
– Diversifying the local economy to promote
economic stability
– Critical community services (e.g. healthcare,
groceries)Aspen Institute Community
Strategies Group, March 2006 19
Community Foundation Lending Basics…more on staying legal
- Rates and terms must reflect charitable intent
– Below market rates for the risk incurred
– Must fill a “financing gap”
- Reasonable expectation of repayment
– Due diligence
– Collateral (not up to bank standards)
- Appropriate servicing and collection
– Firm but appropriate to your charitable purposeAspen Institute Community

Three types of loans
Different tools for different situations
1. Revolving Loan Funds
2. Micro Loans
3. Forgivable LoansAspen Institute Community

Revolving Loan Funds
A sustainable and effective tool for economic growth
- Usually $5,000 and up
- “Gap” loans (e.g. 60/30/10)
- Subordinate collateral
- Interest and fees can cover admin costs and loan losses
- May be capitalized by government grants
- Banks and utilities like to give to support these fundsAspen Institute Community
Revolving Loan Fund Loan
- BTD Manufacturing
– Two equipment loans 1987 & 1991: $40k & $50k
– Approximately 30% of each project
– Allowed company to expand much more quickly
than if they had saved up the full downpayment.
Outcome: Opened new markets and facilitated rapid
growth of company from 20 workers in 1987 to
350 today. Company is now a significant donor to
WCI and has set up an endowed corporate
foundation in WCI’s structure.Aspen Institute Community


A great tool for new business formation
1. Small loans – usually up to $5,000
2. May not have a participating bank
3. Often riskier than larger loans - but with less to lose
4. More costly to administer than larger loans
5. Technical assistance is a must!
6. Some grant programs exist to help capitalize
micro-loan programsAspen Institute Community
Strategies Group, March 2006 24
Micro Loan
- Embroidery shop
– Small loan to buy
embroidery machine
– Bank unwilling to
participate without 100%
iron-clad collateral
Outcome: Initially employed
three people, now more
than 20 plus very nice
income for entrepreneur,
- Welding Service
– Small loan to buy mobile
welding rig to mount on
pickup truck.
– Pickup truck as collateral
Outcome: Good income for
entrepreneur and a
service needed by area
farmers.Aspen Institute Community

Forgivable loans

When charitable and business purposes collide
1. Loans structured to convince a business to undertake a charitable purpose
2. The use of the loan funds directly enables the charitable benefit
3. The value of the charitable benefit is
estimated and is forgiven over time as long
as the business continues to meet the
charitable purposeAspen Institute Community
Strategies Group, March 2006 26
Forgivable Loan
- Childcare Forgivable Loan Program
– Loans up to $2,000 forgiven over 24 months for
families starting childcare businesses that
pledged to accept TANF subsidized families
– Monthly loan coupon certifying service to TANF
families or accompanying loan payment
Charitable purpose: supporting workforce
participation of low-income families
Outcome: Created 500 childcare openings - 20%
filled by TANF recipientsAspen Institute Community

Equity Investments

Big benefits –
but not for the faint-hearted!Aspen Institute Community

What are Equity Investments?

1. Purchase of an ownership (stock or partnership) interest in a company.
2. You ret repaid if the company prospers.
3. Exit strategy and timetable.
4. No guarantees!Aspen Institute Community
Strategies Group, March 2006 29
What are the benefits and drawbacks?
5. Benefits – Company gets “patient capital”.
– Equity investment
leverages more loan
– If successful, your
returns can be much
greater than with a loan.
– Especially useful for
high-tech start-ups.
6. Drawbacks
– Exit strategy may not
– Far more “due diligence”
than with loans & more
complex paperwork.
– Small deal flow –
therefore hard to
diversify portfolio.
– Must keep on top of
deals on an ongoing
basis.Aspen Institute Community
Strategies Group, March 2006 30
Two models for equity investment
- Angel investor networks
– You buy into a network
of experienced equity
– Pool of funds from many
sources reduces risk for
– Allows more diversified
– Volume allows you to
support more expertise
at lower cost.
- Direct investment
– You select the deals
yourself and do your own
due diligence.
– May hire outside experts
to help.
– Higher risk but more
– Diversification and “deal
flow” are hard to attain in
rural areas.

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Merit Badge Requirements

1) In your own words, define entrepreneurship. Explain to your merit badge counselor the role of the entrepreneur in the economy o
the United States.

2) Identify and interview an individual who has started his or her own business. Find out how the entrepreneur got the idea for the
business and how the entrepreneur recognized it as a market opportunity. Find out how the entrepreneur raised the capital (money) to
start the business. How well is the business doing? Report what you learn.

3) Do the following:
A) Write down as many ideas as you can think of for a business. Get ideas from your family and friends. From your list,
select three ideas that you believe are the best opportunities for you.
B) Explain to your counselor why you chose these three ideas rather than the others on your list.
C) For each of the three ideas that you chose, prepare a list of questions that you would ask potential customers.
D) For each of your three ideas, informally interview potential customers, using the lists of questions from requirement 3c.
Report what you learn.
E) Using the information you have gathered, choose the one idea that you feel is your best business opportunity.

4) Conduct a feasibility study of your business idea by doing all of the following (briefly writing or explaining each item to your
A) Good or Service
1) Identify your business goals.
2) Tell how you will make the good or perform the service. Determine whether it is technically feasible (practical o
3) Determine how you can make enough of the good or provide enough of the service to meet your business goals.
Explain how you will accomplish this.
4) Identify and describe the potential liability risks of your good or service.
5) Determine what type of license you might need in order to sell or to make your good or service.

B) Market
1) Determine who your customers are. Identify the type of person who would buy your good or service.
2) Describe the unique benefits of your good or service.
3) Tell how you will promote and sell your good or service to potential customers.
C) Finances
1) If you are selling a good, determine how much it will cost to make one prototype.
2) Calculate the selling price of your good or service. Explain how you determined the price.
3) Tell how you will sell your good or service and make a profit.
4) Determine how much money you will need to start your business. Explain how you will get the money.
D) Personnel
1) Determine what parts of the business you will handle yourself. Describe your qualifications for the work.
Determine how your business responsibilities will fit into your schedule.
2) Determine whether you will need additional help to operate your business. If you will need help, describe the
qualifications your helpers should have and what duties they will perform.

5) Do TWO of the following:
A) Sketch a prototype of your good or write a description of your service.
B) Create the prototype. List all of the materials you used to make your prototype. Calculate the cost of all the materials and
labor to compute the total cost of making your prototype.
C) Design a promotional poster or flyer for your good or service.
D) Project (estimate) your sales through the first three months of operation. Calculate the profit you expect to make.

6) When you believe that your business idea is feasible, start your own business. Show evidence that you started your business (sales
receipts, for example, or photos of the good). Report to your counselor the results of your venture.
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The steps shown in Search Engine Rankings Revealed are exactly what I have used to get these visitors. For $49.00, you can do the same thing.
The very first part of a search engine promotion campaign is understanding how the search engines work. They use a number of factors to decide which sites will show up where when a search is done. Google claim that there is over 100 things that they look at but chances are it's actually closer to 30. When a search is done at a search engine, they look at all of these factors on your page and then decide if your page is relevant.
It is extremely important to note that how much traffic your site gets is not one of these factors. Therefore, a site with very low traffic can compete with the "big boys" on the search engines.
So, the search engine looks at all the different parts of your page and gives you a rating for each. It then adds them all together and creates the search engine rankings page. Where you show up depends on how successfully you have followed each step that the search engines believe to be important.
Rankings Revealed shows you these steps.
The next thing that you need to know is that very few sites that show up in the top 10 of the search engine rankings have optimized their sites. This actually makes your job easier when it comes to competing with them. You may have heard that Link Popularity and PageRank are “all important” for getting top rankings - the big corporate sites get lots of links so you can't compete with them.
I explain exactly what PageRank and Link Popularity are and show you the "tricks" that you can use to improve your's with very little work. I also show you how to optimize every other part of your site so that, even though the corporate sites may have a better PR than you, you can out do them on all the other factors that are important and actually out perform them on the search engines.
Search engine optimization is easy. Getting top search engine rankings is easy. With knowledge of each of the steps, you can do as well if not better than I do.
So, the answer to the question “Do You Need To Pay Thousands Of Dollars To Get Good Search Engine Rankings?” is no. You only need to pay $49.00.

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As I write this, Google is "dancing". Therefore, I thought I'd explain what this process actually is. Many of you will already know, but if you don't, here it is.
Google does a deep crawl once a month. By deep crawl, I mean that it heads out into the internet and gets information from every single page that it can find. It does this by checking out pages that are already in it's index and by following links to new ones. Generally, the deep crawl takes five days. It will often start near the second of each month but was late in February - possibly because Google were setting up a new data center. Therefore, the crawl will be late this month also.
After they have finished their crawl, they spend around three weeks doing some calculations. Mostly, this focuses on working out a PageRank for each page. They also do some checking of their database and maybe change their algorithm slightly or add new spam checking "abilities".
After this period, they update their database. This is referred to as the Google Dance. It will usually take place at the end of a month but the February update was late due to the deep crawl being late. Therefore, the current dance involves information that they picked up in February.
It is generally referred to as a "dance" because rankings can move around a lot whilst they are updating their database.
The database update will usually take around five days.
Whilst the dance is happening, you will usually see no change in results if you just visit However, you can see what is happening by visiting or The information contained on these servers is usually the new data that is "dancing". This can change a lot during the dance and is not really stable until the dance is completed.
Another way to check on what is happening is to go to and do a search selecting all 8 data centers. This shows that their information is unstable. It's also a good way to see when the dance has finished. If all of the servers have exactly the same results then the dance is over. If any of them are different, Google is "dancing".
Now, one of the most important parts of the dance for webmasters is seeing what has happened to their PageRank. BTW, download the Google Toolbar if you don't already have it - Usually, the PR of pages in their database is not updated until the end of the dance. Many people expect to see this change at the start but it often doesn't. It actually fluctuates quite a lot whilst Google is dancing. I saw three different PRs for one of my pages on the same day this week.
So, once the dance is over, everything at Google becomes relatively stable. It is then that you should check your rankings, try to optimize your PR and so on. You only have a few days after the dance is finished to make changes to your site before Google starts crawling again. Now, Google does freshen it's database during the month so any on page factors can be adjusted without worrying about the deep crawl but things like PR are not recalculated during the month so it can be very important to make sure that this is right before the deep crawl.
I hope this has helped you to understand the way that Google works on a month to month basis.

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