December 10, 2019

How Can Female Entrepreneurs Attract Financing?

It’s generally acknowledged, however, that women get a fraction of venture capital globally, and that those who are black, Hispanic or Asian get significantly less.

“Money is the biggest stumbling block for female-led start-ups,” said Suzanne Norris, a partner at Victress Capital, a Boston-based firm that invests in companies with female founders and gender-diverse teams.

“People invest in people who look like them,” said Nathalie Molina Niño, author of Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs” and chief executive of .

Still, leadership and financing experts say there are ways women can attract money to their start-ups.

Show your value. Half the challenge is seeing things through the lens of potential funders. Step into their shoes when you’re asked, “What’s your background? What have you done that shows your credibility to succeed in this business?” said Sanyin Siang, executive director of the Fuqua/Coach K Leadership and Ethics Center at Duke University and author of “The Launch Book: Motivational Stories to Launch Your Idea, Business or Next Career.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/19/business/women-entrepreneurs.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

Starting Your Own Business Is Hard. Here’s Some Advice.

GiftsDirect.com/TheIrishStore.com

As a young girl, Ms. O’Sullivan spent Saturday mornings watching her grandmother deftly chat up customers at the counter of her sweet shop on Merrion Row in Dublin. “Granny was quite a character,” said Ms. O’Sullivan, founder of GiftsDirect.com, the largest online retailer in Ireland, and TheIrishStore.com, which sells Irish products globally. “She loved running her own business. Customers would walk blocks past other similar stores just to spend a few minutes with her.”

In 1987, Ms. O’Sullivan embarked on her own journey as an entrepreneur, selling teddy bears and driving a moped to deliver them. She took off with start-up capital of 2,000 pounds funded by her friends and family — and the soul of her grandmother driving her forward.

Seek out women-friendly initiatives and supporters.Going for Growth is an initiative to support female entrepreneurs in the Republic of Ireland. Look for funders who support women-owned businesses. Enterprise Ireland, for example, has a special fund for female entrepreneurs.”

Keep learning. “In 2009, the opportunity to attend an intensive yearlong program sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Leadership 4 Growth, held at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, boosted my leadership, strategic capability, and confidence. It was like an M.B.A. with no exams, thank you. This was a game changer in the business. It allowed me to step back and say ‘hang on a second what is it we really need to do to get to the next stage?’”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/19/business/women-entrepreneurs-advice.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

The SoftBank Effect: How $100 Billion Left Workers in a Hole

Compass, which is valued at $6.4 billion, now has 13,000 agents, all contractors, in 238 offices across the United States. It has grown by promising some agents bonuses and 90 percent of the commissions on future deals, in an industry where 70 percent to 80 percent is standard.

The breakneck growth has led to cracks. Several top executives have recently left, as have recently arrived brokers.

One was Tricia Ponicki, 44, who started at a Compass office in Chicago in February. She said she had been drawn by the generous compensation; the company also promised more resources to aid home sales.

But there was so much turnover in Compass’s marketing offices that it took three months to produce a brochure for a house. When she requested a For Sale sign, she was told they were back ordered. Her husband made the sign instead.

“Right from the beginning, I was constantly being misled and misled,” she said.

Over six months with Compass, Ms. Ponicki sold one property, earning $4,300. A year earlier, she had netted around $100,000 selling homes at a local agency.

In August, the mother of four applied for food stamps. She also returned to her old agency, At Properties, where her sales have picked up, she said.

Compass employees and agents have generated less revenue per person than other online brokerage firms and, sometimes, even traditional ones, according to research by Mike DelPrete, an independent real estate strategist and visiting scholar at the University of Colorado.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/technology/softbank-startups.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

How to Sell a House in Southern Calfornia: Make a Movie

The film, of course, is as much about the appeal of the model as the home. But by using sex, helicopters and shots of a gleaming red Corvette to sell the property, Neo made it quite clear: In this sort of marketing, peddling a fantasy can help close a deal.

Ben Bacal began adding actors to his listing videos in 2014. The Los Angeles-based agent, a former film student who also dabbles in internet companies and has more than $2 billion in sales to his name, is a fixture on the high-priced home circuit in Hollywood. He offers his clients a professionally produced video for every home he agrees to represent, and he estimates that in 40 percent of those cases, he includes actors and a story line.

Some are sweet: A home in Bel Air, which he listed in March 2016 for $48.5 million, shows a brother and sister channeling their best Ferris Bueller impressions, faking sickness in their custom bedrooms before dashing out to their backyard infinity pool with skyline views after their parents head off to work. (The home sold for $39 million in December 2016.)

Others are more slapstick, like the film for a home on Rising Glen Road in Los Angeles (the house where the actress Brittany Murphy died), in which an adorable corgi named Sherlock Bones inherits the mansion listed for $18.5 million and heads there to live his best canine life. (That home sold in 2017 for $14.5 million.)

In all of Mr. Bacal’s videos, plots are thin but visuals, and humor, are laid on thick. That’s intentional, he says.

“Instead of telling a long dramatic story, I like to pull characters through the house and do something that makes it voyeuristic, where you can see the property. Focusing too much on story takes away from the home,” he said in a phone call from Mykonos, Greece, where he was on vacation. “I’m not Quentin Tarantino.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/realestate/how-to-sell-a-house-in-southern-calfornia-make-a-movie.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

How to Sell a House in Southern California: Make a Movie

The film, of course, is as much about the appeal of the model as the home. But by using sex, helicopters and shots of a gleaming red Corvette to sell the property, Neo made it quite clear: In this sort of marketing, peddling a fantasy can help close a deal.

Ben Bacal began adding actors to his listing videos in 2014. The Los Angeles-based agent, a former film student who also dabbles in internet companies and has more than $2 billion in sales to his name, is a fixture on the high-priced home circuit in Hollywood. He offers his clients a professionally produced video for every home he agrees to represent, and he estimates that in 40 percent of those cases, he includes actors and a story line.

Some are sweet: A home in Bel Air, which he listed in March 2016 for $48.5 million, shows a brother and sister channeling their best Ferris Bueller impressions, faking sickness in their custom bedrooms before dashing out to their backyard infinity pool with skyline views after their parents head off to work. (The home sold for $39 million in December 2016.)

Others are more slapstick, like the film for a home on Rising Glen Road in Los Angeles (the house where the actress Brittany Murphy died), in which an adorable corgi named Sherlock Bones inherits the mansion listed for $18.5 million and heads there to live his best canine life. (That home sold in 2017 for $14.5 million.)

In all of Mr. Bacal’s videos, plots are thin but visuals, and humor, are laid on thick. That’s intentional, he says.

“Instead of telling a long dramatic story, I like to pull characters through the house and do something that makes it voyeuristic, where you can see the property. Focusing too much on story takes away from the home,” he said in a phone call from Mykonos, Greece, where he was on vacation. “I’m not Quentin Tarantino.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/realestate/how-to-sell-a-house-in-southern-calfornia-make-a-movie.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

Is Cold Brew Better Than Iced Coffee?

“I’ve seen this statistic a lot,” she said in reference to a oft-quoted claim that cold brew is 70 percent less acidic than regular iced coffee. “But I don’t see any scientific data to support this claim,” directing me to a study that shows “comparable” pH values from cold- and hot-brew samples, “ranging from 4.85 to 5.13.” For comparison’s sake, the stomach’s pH hovers somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5.

Wading through the world of cold brew coffee can be a brutal game of trial and error. Thanks to the wide range of brewing methods, the difference in caffeine content among cold brews is considerably harder to predict than the amount of acid. After brewing for 20 hours, 16 ounces of cold brew at Starbucks contains 200 milligrams of caffeine (12 milligrams per ounce). While that’s about 20 percent higher than their iced coffee, which clocks in at 165 milligrams (10 milligrams per ounce), it’s considerably lower than the same amount of hot coffee, which has 310 milligrams (20 milligrams per ounce). Coffee from Dunkin’ reports similar numbers, with 10.8 milligrams in every ounce of cold brew.

But when you wade into more specialty waters, especially among prepackaged brands, the caffeine content is far from predictable. Canned cold brew brands Rise and High Brew have nearly identical packaging, but grabbing the wrong one could cost you. Rise’s original flavor contains 180 milligrams in its 7-ounce can (25 milligrams per ounce), which is anywhere from 30-50 milligrams more caffeine than what’s found in High Brew’s 8-ounce can. Stumptown, a roaster based in Portland, Ore., sells cold brew in 10.5-ounce bottles that contain a whopping 29.4 milligrams of caffeine per ounce. To a caffeine addict like myself, that number sounds lovely. But to the uninitiated looking to give cold brew a shot, it’s a recipe for disaster.

“A lot of people will not tolerate that amount of caffeine,” Dr. De Latour said. “Some people’s GERD is worsened by coffee because of the caffeine content and its impact on the sphincter muscles,” adding that high amounts found in some cold brews can make people feel quite sick, with symptoms like jitters, peristalsis of the bowels, diarrhea or even increased anxiety and stress. She then reminded me that it is, after all, a stimulant.

So that leaves us with cold brew prepared at home, a great option for those looking for more control when it comes to caffeine and acidity. The New York Times’s own recipe calls for just 12 hours of brewing. Similar recipes can be found across the internet, and all are easy to adjust in order to find the balance that works for your own stomach and pocketbook. A happy medium can be found in store-bought cold brew concentrates. These brews are meant to be diluted, so if you find it too strong, just add water or milk. Not strong enough? You get the idea.

In January, I approached the counter of Starbucks at an airport after waiting alongside an amorphous line of fellow uncaffeinated travelers for half an hour and, relieved to have made it there without collapsing, ordered a large cold brew iced coffee. I even used “venti” — the Italian word for 20, as in the number of ounces it contains — when requesting the large size, even though Italians use the metric system. But my commitment to the chain’s conceptually unsound ordering language did not bear fruit, as I was told by the barista that they had just run out of cold brew. All they had left was standard iced coffee, meaning hot brew served over ice. Out of other options and surrounded by more long lines, I grudgingly accepted. It wasn’t cold brew, but it was coffee. And that’s usually enough.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/style/self-care/cold-brew-iced-coffee-difference.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

Instagram Therapists Are the New Instagram Poets

Instagram therapists are the new Instagram poets, in a way — only instead of posting free verse in typewriter font, they deal in pithy pronouncements about embracing imperfection, self-care, “growth mindset,” mothering oneself, impostor syndrome and trauma. The digital words of accounts like @thefatsextherapist, @nedratawwab and @the.holistic.psychologist are meant to encapsulate the “aha” moment of a therapy session. The best part? There’s no bill afterward.

Ms. Olivera, 33, started her account, @lisaoliveratherapy, in November 2017 while transitioning to private-practice work from community mental health. She thought Instagram could be a good way for new clients to find her. In the last two years, she has gained 161,000 followers — more than double that of Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate.

Ms. Olivera was something of a pioneer. “I started it on a whim, not sure what it would look like or where it would go. There weren’t many therapists on Instagram at that time,” she said. “It was inspiring to see how many people were wanting to learn more about emotional health and look internally and do the work inside themselves, even if they weren’t able to access therapy.”

Allyson Dinneen, 54, is a marriage and family therapist in Great Barrington, Mass. Online, she is @notesfromyourtherapist, posting handwritten advice on scraps of paper for 130,000 followers. Like Ms. Olivera, Ms. Dinneen opened her account in late 2017 while starting her private practice. She wanted a way to have an impact on more than one person at a time.

“The internet is filled with directives: ‘Do this, do that, stop doing this, do that.’ That’s hard for people to take in,” she said. “I’m coming from my own experience, and people feel more open to taking in what they need.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/26/style/instagram-therapists.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

Get More From Your Letters With Custom Stationery for Print or Pixels

Sure, emails and texts are easy ways to send written messages. But there are many times when an old-fashioned letter works best — for legal matters, for instance, or for official notices or personal recommendations.

To get the most out of those letters, it’s handy to have your own personalized stationery. It can add an important touch of professionalism. And with free tools and templates available, you can whip up a custom letterhead design in just a few minutes. Here’s how to get started.

Most major word-processing programs include a set of predesigned templates for many types of documents, including a business letterhead. Look for the “template gallery” in Apple Pages, Google Docs, Microsoft Word or another word-processing app. Some programs may even offer additional templates online to download if you don’t like the default collection. Online service like Adobe Spark, Canva and PS Print are other venues for the template approach to letterhead design.

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Google Docs, for Android and other platforms, offers a few basic letterhead templates to get you started.

With a template, you don’t need to get bogged down in layout details. The type styles and basic graphic design are already there, created with generic place-holder information. (You can usually tweak the fonts and colors, though.) So just replace the default text with your own name, address and other information and you have your letterhead.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/12/technology/personaltech/design-and-mail-your-own-letterhead-stationery.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

An Economist’s Argument for Preserving Communities

These threads dissolve in the hundreds of pages of vaguely sketched economic history that follow. While ably describing how both a growing market and a growing state have eroded the community’s relevance and vitality over time, Rajan gradually redefines the third pillar from “communities whose members live in proximity” to merely democracy or the “voting public.” An intrinsically valuable and varied local institution congeals into a homogeneous tool for ensuring that the market and state behave.

When genuine community does make a return in the book’s section on prescriptions, Rajan sacrifices it willingly. Having shown how the state has weakened community by seizing the role of safety net, he nevertheless wants to go further in that direction. America’s variety of antipoverty programs, “strung together with the help of the state government, the local government, private efforts and charitable funds” (in other words, “community”), are “inadequate,” he says, calling instead for “a basic level of unconditional federal economic support” along with universal health care. On one page, Rajan recommends that “powers should stay at the most decentralized level consistent with their effective use,” but on the next he declares that “when inclusiveness goes up against localism, inclusiveness should always triumph.”

Rajan’s real aim seems to be movement “toward one borderless world,” with stronger communities a perhaps helpful means to that end. “A central concern in this book,” he writes, “is about the passions that are unleashed when an imagined community like the nation fulfills the need for belonging that the neighborhood can no longer meet.” He recalls wistfully the days when “technocrats … did not have to spell out these arguments to the wider public.” Sure, “the elite did not engage” in any debate “as they abandoned the integrated community,” but he finds it “hard to fault their choice.” After all, “the meritocratic markets now demanded it.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/27/books/review/raghuram-rajan-third-pillar.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

This Legislation Could Force Stores to Take Your Cash

Ms. Pou, who represents the Paterson area, said that she had many constituents who lack bank accounts, including low-income families deterred by fees and minimum balance requirements. (A report by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 2017 estimated that 6.5 percent of American households were “unbanked.”) Older adults also may not have electronic payments set up, or be comfortable using them, she noted.

The penalties in the proposed bills range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. In the New Jersey bill, they could go up to $5,000 for a second offense. A spokesman said the governor was considering whether to sign the legislation.

Ms. Pou said that business groups and Amazon had expressed opposition to the bill, and she worked with businesses to include exceptions, including for airports, parking facilities, car rental companies and any “internet-based transaction.”

She added that she had asked Amazon, which is operating five pop-up stores and one bookstore in New Jersey, to come up with ideas for how they could serve those without a bank account, but that she did not hear back. Amazon declined to comment.

Massachusetts already has a little-known law requiring retail stores to accept both cash and credit. There have been calls for the legislature to clarify whether the law, approved in 1978, applies to restaurants.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/business/cashless-payments.html?partner=rss&emc=rss