2023 Business Openings Set New All-Time High According to Yelp

In 2023, the U.S. economy surpassed expectations, avoiding a predicted recession, with a notable increase in new business openings. Yelp reported that diverse entrepreneurs, particularly women, LGBTQ-owned, Latinx-owned, and Black-owned businesses, played a significant role in this growth, with home services experiencing the highest increase, signaling a post-COVID era of recovery. To read more details, please see this report released by Yelp.

Understanding FemTech

FemTech is a rapidly growing sector encompassing technology-enabled solutions for women’s health which usually includes maternal health, menstrual health, pelvic and sexual health, fertility, menopause, and contraception, as well as a number of general health conditions that affect women disproportionately or differently (such as osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease). The article posted by McKinsey explores FemTech’s recent growth, market opportunities, and potential to address unmet needs. With over 70% of FemTech companies having female founders, the field is seen as a disruptive force in healthcare, offering innovative solutions to improve care delivery, enable self-care, enhance diagnoses, and address stigmatized areas, with the potential to catalyze positive social changes.

Saving For Retirement As A Small Business Owner

This article posted on Business Insider outlines retirement plan options for small business owners, including SEP IRA, Solo 401(k), SIMPLE IRA, Traditional IRA, and Roth IRA. Each plan caters to different business sizes and preferences, offering varying contribution limits, tax benefits, and accessibility features. Check out the article for more information about what individual financial and business goals should be considered before making a decision.

Female Founders See Change In Entrepreneurial Landscape

According to this post on CNBC, the landscape for female entrepreneurs is evolving positively, with women accounting for nearly half of new business owners in recent years. Despite progress, a funding gap still exists, with only 2.1% of venture capital investments in the U.S. going to businesses founded solely by women in 2022. While the funding rate for women-owned businesses rose to 41% in 2022, challenges persist, including stereotypes and misconceptions. Founders emphasize the importance of confidence, saying no to opportunities that may have long-term costs, and valuing long-term goals over short-term gains. See the link to read more!

REPOST: Spreadsheet with funding and resource links for 2024

Each month, we send an email blast to students enrolled in the program with a list of funding opportunities and business resources. In between the monthly email blasts, we keep this spreadsheet updated daily with new opportunities that we find (the last column indicates the date when the item was added to the spreadsheet): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zU5SUCYBopz64FM4q_nqp2wvILmcdItq_PRWQRXFUB4/edit?usp=sharing

Small Business Trends for 2024

According to this piece posted by the US Chamber of Commerce, small businesses are expected to undergo significant changes in 2024. The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is anticipated to grow rapidly, with applications in marketing, HR, customer service, and logistics, providing efficiency and productivity gains.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are predicted to be leveraged by businesses, especially in retail, real estate, and hospitality, to create immersive customer experiences.

Remote operations are expected to become the norm for many small businesses, allowing access to a global talent pool and reducing overhead costs.

Finally, customers are expected to take greater control of their journeys, requiring businesses to provide more personalized and educational experiences. Check out the link above to read more!

5 Regulations That May Impact Small Business in 2024

Get ready, small business owners! In 2024, there will be some new rules to follow:

The Corporate Transparency Act means small businesses will need to register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to tackle money laundering.

Good news for now: the IRS delayed a requirement that payments of over $600 via third-party providers like payment apps such as Venmo and Zelle have to be reported.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants more transparency in small business lending, asking banks to spill details on applicants. This will hopefully highlight potential signs of banks discriminating against borrowers.

The National Labor Relations Board’s joint-employer rule got pushed to Feb 26, 2024, expanding liability for unfair labor practices.

Also, minimum wage hikes in over 20 states and a Department of Labor proposal might extend overtime pay eligibility.

To read more about these changes, see this article in Inc.

Free Legal 101 Resource for Entrepreneurs

Faculty at Cornell University and attorneys at law firm Wilmer Hale collaborated to publish this free resource for entrepreneurs (PDF is also loaded below). The purpose of this booklet is to help startup founders to think early about key items that will set them off on the right legal track.

The booklet covers basics like entity formation, founders agreements, equity incentive plans, tax issues, bank setup, accounting and financial statement basics, HR issues, intellectual property concerns and insurance. The booklet was launched in November 2023 and will be updated over time.

Black Women Have Increased Their Presence in Microbusinesses

According to this post in Black Enterprise, Black women entrepreneurs have significantly grown their presence in the microbusiness sector, owning 68% of the 15% of U.S. microbusinesses owned by Black entrepreneurs in 2023. Challenges such as marketing and access to capital persist, but initiatives, including grants and business acquisitions, are helping address the funding gap and overcome racial biases for Black women in entrepreneurship.

Applying for a Small Business Loan

This post from CNN Underscored is a helpful piece that discusses the steps small business owners can take to secure funding through loans. It highlights the importance of determining the type of loan that best suits the business’s needs, considering factors such as the required amount, purpose of funds, and the business’s size. The article suggests comparing lenders, including traditional banks, online lenders, and microlenders, based on factors like interest rates, fees, loan terms, and funding speed. It also emphasizes the importance of gathering necessary documents, submitting a comprehensive loan application, and reviewing the loan agreement before finalizing the funding process. It is a grate reference piece if you are looking to use loans as a source of capital to grow your business.