Posts Tagged "Funding"

Worried that your graying hair is a sign that you’ve missed your chance? Don’t fret — you’re not over the entrepreneurial hill yet.


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

 

The media is filled with stories of young entrepreneurs who have made it big. Mark Zuckerberg was only 19 years old when he founded Facebook. Evan Spiegel’s Snapchat app already had 1 million users when he was 22. And, of course, both of these founders became billionaires. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll see clearly that these founders are laudable exceptions to an entirely different rule.

That rule has to do with worrying that you’re too old to be an entrepreneur” — something that may be on your mind this time of year with the approaching new year.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and IRS, researchers from MIT and Northwestern University found that 2.7 million entrepreneurs started businesses between 2007 and 2014. And their average age? 42. If that’s not surprising enough, the researchers also learned that the entrepreneurs with the highest-growth businesses were even older: 45 on average.

Not only is it not too late for you to found the startup you’ve been dreaming of for years, but you have a better shot at success than someone 20 years your junior. If you’re worried that your graying hair is a sign that you’ve missed your chance, don’t fret — you’re not over the entrepreneurial hill yet.

Related: The One Thing You Can Control as Founder and CEO: You

There are many possible reasons why older entrepreneurs tend to perform better. Better access to capital, a more developed network of professional contacts and a wealth of experience compared to that of their younger counterparts are all potential contributing factors. As an older founder, it’s up to you to capitalize on these advantages. Here’s how:

1. Make smart financial choices when funding your venture.

When starting a business, more mature founders have a lot going for them. Tasks like obtaining licenses or a tax ID and applying for loans are easier for older entrepreneurs to take on, according to the Kauffman Foundation’s 2018 State of Entrepreneurship Address.

For instance, the organization’s survey showed that only 14 percent of startup owners 45 years of age or older felt that applying for loans was difficult, while 21 percent of respondents younger than 45 said they struggled with that task. In addition, a 50-year-old founder is 1.8 times more likely to build one of the highest-growth firms than is a 30-year-old founder. This data can help you sell yourself and your idea to investors, who otherwise tend to favor young founders.

Of course there are some down sides here: First, because of your age, don’t be too quick to throw in your 401(k) dollars to help fund your venture. You won’t have as long as a twentysomething to earn back what you take out, especially if your new business struggles to make a profit in its first few years.

Likewise, make sure you’re continuing to contribute to your retirement rather than devoting all of your extra income and savings to your business. As U.S. News and World Report pointed out, you need to protect your assets as you establish your business so that you don’t lose everything if your business struggles. The best method of accomplishing this varies from state to state, but choosing the right business entity type and purchasing business insurance are good steps to take no matter where you’re located.

Related: How Older Entrepreneurs Can Turn Age to Their Advantage

2. Connect with younger mentors and mentees.

Mentors don’t have to be graying old folks who start every story with “Back when I was your age …”

There are plenty of young people, too, who have a lot to offer, including valuable social connections with up-and-coming members of the workforce. After all, networking has likely contributed to your career success thus far. So, keep networking with members of the new generations entering the workforce, and they’ll be a huge help when it comes time to hire top talent. In addition, having a younger mentor or mentee could inspire you to keep an innovative mindset.

If the word “networking” makes you cringe, relax. You don’t have to attend stuffy functions and scatter business cards to strengthen your network. Instead, help out the people around you as best you can. If you have experience hiring, and a fellow entrepreneur is looking for his or her first employee, offer to take that entrepreneur to lunch and explain the hiring mistakes you’ve made in the past. When you offer help without expecting anything in return, people feel drawn to return the favor.

Related: 4 Reasons You Need a Mentor Who Is Younger Than You

3. Be proud of what you know; be humble about what you don’t.

Those 19-year-olds who strike it rich have every reason to feel empowered, but youth and immaturity may lead them to become obstinate and egotistical. Almost everyone familiar with the social network has heard the story of Mark Zuckerberg’s original Facebook business card, which reflected the adolescent attitude of a founder who didn’t understand how much responsibility his position entailed.

Having a few extra decades of work experience obviously doesn’t mean you know everything, but it’s still invaluable. David Disiere, founder and CEO of QEO Insurance Group, advises older aspiring entrepreneurs to “Take confidence from your past experiences — both personally and professionally. You no longer carry the naïveté of youth.”

That said, remember that most industries are continually evolving and it will take a great deal of work to make your vision a reality. Whatever your previous triumphs, it’s your ongoing personal growth that will determine your long-term business success.

So, adopt the mindset of a lifelong learner: Read a lot, and register for seminars or college courses that teach skills you’re seeking to bolster. And don’t be afraid to ask your young mentors/mentees for their insights on everything to from tech adoption to marketing to Gen Z. They may not have all the answers you seek, but they can help you ask the right questions.

Certainly, there are many reasons to keep your day job: A lower tolerance for risk, a lack of sufficient funding or a good idea with no viable market are all smart reasons to forgo your founding ambitions. Age, however, is one factor that shouldn’t deter your entrepreneurial spirit.

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The Farm Bill compromise allows nationwide hemp production for any use — including CBD. The bill may pass before Christmas.


4 min read


Brought to you by Marijuana Business Daily

A long-awaited end to five decades of hemp prohibition has been approved by a House-Senate panel, opening the door to hemp production in all 50 states for any use — including CBD.

The measure is included in the 2018 Farm Bill, which still must pass both houses of Congress before work is concluded ahead of Christmas and all pending legislation dies.

“It’s long overdue. It’s very welcome,” said Jon Brandon, co-CEO of Foria, a Colorado and California company that manufactures THC- and CBD-infused sexual health topicals such as lubricants.

“You see CBD everywhere now, and that’s with all the challenges we’d have getting payment processing, financial services, advertising, all of it,” he said. “You have to just imagine where CBD is going to go when those constraints go away.”

Related: How to Start and Market Your CBD Company

What the Bill Says

In addition to lifting restrictions on advertising, marketing, banking and other financial services, the passage of the measure would:

  • Allow hemp production in all 50 states for any use, including flower production and CBD or other cannabinoid extraction. States will have the option to submit their own plans to regulate hemp.
  • Allow interstate commerce for hemp and hemp-derived CBD.
  • Give the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) the job of overseeing hemp production, with direction to come up with rules “as expeditiously as practicable.”
  • Legalize hemp production in U.S. territories and on Indian tribal land – which was not included under the 2014 Farm Bill
  • Give the industry access to federally backed farm support programs, including crop insurance, federal water access and low-interest loans for new farmers.
  • Allow hemp producers to “bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill “temporary agricultural jobs.
  • Remove barriers to getting intellectual property protections under federal law, such as patents and trademarks.
  • Set a 10-year ban under which state or federal drug felons cannot participate in the hemp program, except for people already growing hemp under a state pilot project (as established by the 2014 Farm Bill).
  • Require the USDA to consult with the U.S. attorney general on the hemp rules.

The bill also states that licensed hemp producers who grow cannabis plants that exceed the THC limitation of 0.3 percent will not be guilty of a drug crime but instead must submit a plan to correct the “hot” hemp.

Related: The U.S. Senate Voted to Legalize Hemp. And Hemp Won.

A Christmas Miracle?

Hemp entrepreneurs have been intensely anticipating the changes, based in large part on support from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican.

The Farm Bill must still make its way through both houses of Congress and to President Donald Trump’s desk before the current session concludes Dec. 21.

It’s a tight timeline, especially considering that Congress must address a larger spending measure to avoid a government shutdown, a measure that is far more controversial because it could include money to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Still, hemp entrepreneurs are cheering the compromise Farm Bill release as a watershed moment for the entire cannabis industry.

“As a small business this is incredibly exciting,” said Robert Leaker of Vitality CBD Natural Health Products, a Montana hemp producer and manufacturer that is thought to be the nation’s single largest hemp producer, with 20,000 acres grown this year.

Leaker’s company recently announced a plan to go public in Canada via a reverse takeover, a common route for U.S. cannabis producers to trade on a public stock exchange.

The Farm Bill passage would end the need for U.S. hemp companies to list in Canada, instead allowing them to directly access U.S. exchanges such as the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange.

“We see access to capital, as well as access to large potential buyers of CBD, to be all opening up because of this,” Leaker said.

“Until it’s federally recognized that CBD is not a Schedule 1 drug, it’s very difficult for banks and investment capital to come into this space.”

Related: Hemp Clears Legislative Hurdle and Is Poised to Be Legalized


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Kate Stillwell, founder and CEO of Jumpstart, a natural disaster insurance startup, built her company back up after a devastating blow.


8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


In the Women Entrepreneur series My Worst Moment, female founders provide a firsthand account of the most difficult, gut-wrenching, almost-made-them-give-up experience they had while building their business — and how they recovered.

Jumpstart, which launched on Oct. 2, 2018, is a new type of natural disaster insurance that helps families and individuals bounce back from earthquakes through an immediate payout initiated via text message. Jumpstart connects the insured person to the insurer.

Founder and CEO Kate Stillwell said she believes her company is, at its core, about resilience — ensuring more money comes into the system after natural disasters and creating an upward spiral of recovery. But when natural disasters occur, everyone experiences losses at the same time, so insurers themselves need insurance (“reinsurance”). She tells us about her worst moment, when Jumpstart unexpectedly lost a partnership and up to $100 million was at stake.

What follows is a firsthand account of this person’s experience. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

My worst moment was eight days before Jumpstart’s initial planned launch, about a year ago. We had built up a team of eight people. For 16 months we had worked shoulder-to-shoulder with our reinsurance partner, in preparation to sign the agreement that would authorize us to start selling policies on their behalf (and fund us with six months of runway).

But someone got cold feet, and up to $100 million — the entire pot of money we had in capital reserves to pay out our customers — was at stake.

I was in our office in a coworking space in Oakland, meeting with my team as part of our weekly “sprint.” My phone rang, and since I recognized the number calling was our partner’s account manager, I excused myself and walked into the common space. 

The account manager had been my primary point of contact for the past 16 months, and I could hear that he was close to tears. I remember him saying that he wished he wasn’t the one who had to give me the news but that it had been decided that our two companies were no longer going to be working together. They had called off the partnership.

There was silence for about 10 seconds.

I asked if he could tell me why, and I remember hearing that it was a combination of the high risks and the fact that we were a startup. Eventually, we hung up.

Since Jumpstart pays out in earthquakes, where everyone needs money at once, we need access to a large pool of capital. But a startup doesn’t have millions of dollars in reserve, so we partner with one or more established companies who have deep pockets to make the payouts. There’s a David and a Goliath dynamic; we’re mutually dependent. The product can only be sold if we cooperate. The difference is, for “David” (us), this is the only product: cooperation is life or death. For the “Goliath” (the partner), this is one of many products — they have other income streams.

In my previous startup, we had a great partnership with this particular Goliath, so against the number-one piece of advice from almost everyone in the industry, I had agreed to be exclusive. That was my first mistake — let’s call it an error of optimism. Another of my mistakes? I took at face value a claim that the partner would make us an investment worth several months of runway. I should have raised funds sooner from other sources.

I felt blindsided, but that’s only because I was wearing rose-colored blinders. I should have seen the signs — months of delays, creating new hurdles each time we cleared the last one, the right hand not talking to the left hand, reasons that didn’t quite add up.

I returned to the team and pretended like nothing had happened because they were still in the middle of the meeting. That day it was my turn to drive the carpool of kids home from school, so I picked them up and then texted my mother about what had happened. I was very withdrawn. I remember that my mother gave me what I wanted to hear — “You don’t deserve that!” — while my husband had a different mindset: “Well, you knew this could happen.”

Without the authority to sell, we couldn’t launch — and we were at negative runway. The day after I got the call, I had to break the news to eight different people on the team individually.  

One of my teammates was leaving the next day to settle her late mother’s estate. I asked if I could drive her to the airport in the morning. She knew something was up. On the way, I remember telling her how sorry I was but that we’d have to let her go. We’d both known going into it that working for a startup is risky, but it was hard because we’d just hired her about six weeks before, and it was her first job after a career change.  

I went back to the office and met with our main developer, who was a contractor, and told him the bad news. I remember saying, “We have no more money. The launch is now many months, if not years, away. We don’t know what the future of the company is, and I’m going to be laying off everybody else.” He spent the next two to four hours buttoning things up and left. After that, I told another co-worker what happened — and that I didn’t have to lay him off that day, but we were at risk, and I didn’t know exactly what would happen over the next two weeks. I told him it would be a good idea to start looking for other jobs. And that night, I had dinner with another teammate and told her the same thing.

That’s how the team went from eight to six in one day. There we were: no launch, team gone, out of money, no basis of raising money. I was angry, humiliated and just plain sad. But I was still optimistic: We had fallen off the proverbial cliff, but we didn’t die.

The core value proposition of our product — what we’re fundamentally selling — is personal resilience. It’s resources to tap into the inner strength that’s already there and adapt to the new normal after a shock. So, as a company, I thought, we’d better be able to walk that talk.

Five weeks after that initial call, me and two of my remaining teammates — people who knew their jobs would likely be gone soon — took a huge risk. We decided to spend the company’s remaining funds on a flashy publicity stunt at an insurance conference in Las Vegas. We brought a “shake trailer” — which simulates an earthquake — and 400 conference attendees took a ride in it. One of them called it “brilliant marketing” and the “most fun thing” at the conference. About eight months later, his company would end up being our next partner. 

But that was months away. On the afternoon of the conference’s second day, I had to sit down with both team members who had accompanied me. I remember telling them, “I can’t pay you after today. I have to lay you both off.” One of them burst into tears.

It took us over a year to make a comeback, but we survived by the grace of a few industry insiders who provided enough funding to tide us over. I remember them saying, “We know what happened to you, and it sucks. No one should have to go through that. We want to make sure you come out alive.”

From this experience, I learned that there’s no other choice than to be optimistic. Entrepreneurs are creating the future — not just for ourselves but for our communities and our collective children. That’s a huge responsibility and a huge opportunity. Having the courage to be optimistic — in the face of setbacks, in spite of shock — is the test of being a true entrepreneur.

To others going through something similar, my advice is to stay optimistic and make decisions assuming the best. I relied solely on optimism and didn’t have enough of a safety net or plan B, so along with optimism, make a freaking backup plan!


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Give your potential clients and customers something easy to agree on first, then work from there.


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


One of my friends has a business that is all about healthy living and whole food nutrition. She has a number of different products — all based on science and plant-based foods — that people can easily take and get on the road to better health.

In an effort to simplify the process, someone recommended that she should “lead” with their high-end program. Not because it was the highest-dollar amount (the integrity of the people who work for this company is awesome, so it’s not a money issue at all), but because it was actually the biggest bang for people’s buck.

In other words, for folks who were really serious about moving forward with their health goals, this high-end program was the fastest way to get there.

But, it was a little on the expensive side, and some people simply didn’t have the money. As a result, my friend found herself getting a lot of prospects telling her, “This is great, but I can’t afford it.”

“No problem,” she thought. “If they say that, I’ll just provide some less-expensive options — let people know they can start with some of my more basic packages.”

I asked her how much money her products were selling for.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric

“Well, the high end package is around $225 per month for four months,” she said, “and the basic package is $40, again in four monthly installments,” she responded.

“Wow!” I said. “That’s a big difference.”

The high-end package includes shakes, nutritional bars, four kinds of capsules … the works. It was made for someone who is really serious about their health goals.

The frustrating part is that the company has three products, and if someone can’t afford the high end package, there are options that can totally work. But, after customers initially say “no,” it’s almost impossible getting them back on the phone.

My friend spent a lot of time trying to get people off of “no” and into “yes,” as opposed to just giving them an option where they can say “yes” right away.

Related: Steal These 4 Proven Customer-Retention Strategies

She led with her high-end product, and while I totally understand that it’s a good deal, from a financial standpoint, it just might not work for some peoples’ budgets. So when they say ‘no’, you try to move to a different, less-expensive package in an effort to get a “yes.” And that’s fine.

But, in customer’s mind, they’ve already said no” to the entire idea, rather than just a version of that idea. Getting them to say “yes” right after that has obviously been very difficult.

By adding a medium option and presenting all three at the same time, she could give people an option to say “yes” at the level they’re most comfortable with, rather than just what she thought would provide the fastest results.

And by getting people into “yes” right away, she can always talk with them a month or two later to see how things are going and if they’d like to upgrade their order. That way, she doesn’t spend a bunch of energy trying to get people to undo their initial decision.

Related: 25 Tips for Earning Customer Loyalty

I see this in other businesses all the time. We go into the sales process with one offer … what we think will work for someone else’s situation. Even if we’re right, it doesn’t mean the prospective client recognizes it.

In those situations, you’re working uphill getting to yes. Instead, try providing some options where they can say yes — even if it’s not ideal from your perspective. You can then work with them as a client in the months ahead to help them see the value of what you were initially saying.

Or to put it another way: Get people to “yes” first, provide excellent service and move up from there.

Not only is it easier and more appealing, but you’re giving more people more opportunities to work with you and your business … and what could be more rewarding than that?


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The market fell again on Friday.


3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The wall of worry the stock market is trying to climb is getting higher by the day.

The major stock indexes sold off today after fighting back from steep losses yesterday. The Dow and S&P 500 indexes were down more than two percent and the Nasdaq composite fell 3.05 percent. The Entrepreneur Index™ closed down 3.03 percent, with only one of 60 stocks on the index (Bed Bath & Beyond), posting a gain on the day.

Two major factors are causing the anxiety. The prospects for a trade deal with China appear in jeopardy after the arrest of the CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities. If the temporary truce in new tariffs ends, global economic growth is expected to suffer.

The second issue is the Fed and its tightening monetary policy. Lower than expected November job growth numbers reported today were potentially good news for investors, in that they may forestall central bankers from hiking interest rates aggressively. It didn’t placate investors, however. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates this month, though it may slow or eliminate rate hikes next year.

The volatility once again hit high-growth technology stocks hardest today. The FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon.com, Netflix and Google — now Alphabet Inc.) were down sharply after helping stage a comeback in the market yesterday. Netflix (-6.27 percent) had the biggest decline of the four.

The rest of the tech sector fell heavily as well. Chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. was down 6.75 percent–the biggest drop on the Entrepreneur Index™ today. Adobe Systems Inc. (-5.04 percent) and salesforce.com (-4.3 percent) also declined. Twitter, which has 16 analyst buy ratings compared to three sells according to TradingView, had the smallest loss in the tech sector, falling 0.39 percent.

Other high growth stocks were also hammered. Medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp. up 43 percent this year, was down 3.51 precent today and biotech firm Alexion Pharmaceuticals fell 4.49 percent.

Fedex Corp. continued to fall on fears of a slowing economy. It was down 6.36 percent and is now off more than 20 percent since mid-September. Other cyclical stocks like food makers J.M. Smucker Company (-2.64 percent) and Tyson Foods (-2.92 percent) and business Services company Cintas Corp. (-3.62 percent) also declined. Clothing makers Ralph Lauren (-3.61 percent), L Brands (-4.73 percent) and Under Armour Inc.(-2.58 percent) were down sharply.

Casino-operator Wynn Resorts, levered to the enthusiasm of wealthy gamblers in China and the U.S., continued to magnify market volatility, falling 6.6 percent today.

The big retailers also suffered. Compared to Costco Wholesale Group (-3.58 percent) and discounter Dollar Tree Inc. (3.32 percent), Walmart was down a more modest 1.67 percent. Hospital operator Universal Health Services declined 4.12 percent.

The only stock on the Entrepreneur Index™ that gained on the day was specialty retailer Bed Bath and Beyond. It was up 0.57 percent but is down 43 percent this year.

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.


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An authoritative new study finds that regardless of product category, brands with legitimate sustainability claims do better.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


When we built the Barefoot Wine brand, we lived and died on the latest Nielsen ratings. So if you are in the packaged goods space, you want to pay careful attention to the latest Nielsen report “How and Why Sustainability is Gaining Momentum with Customers.

For the purposes of this report, Nielsen chose to study purchases of three of the most common fast-moving consumer goods, coffee, chocolate and bath products, because of their differences from each other. What they found was that products with sustainability claims generally outperformed the growth rate of total products in their respective categories.

For instance, based on sales for the 52-week period ending 3/24/2018, the weighted average of all three categories showed 3 percent more growth for sustainable products. Sustainable coffee 11 percent more, sustainable chocolate 2 percent more and sustainable bath products 13 percent more than the total of their respective categories.

Related: This Brooklyn Entrepreneur Was Shaken to Her Core by Nepal’s Devastating Earthquake and Did Something Incredible

In the case of coffee, brands advertising environmental sustainability can claim greater retail shelf placement because of increasing demand. Having built a retail brand ourselves, and having had to fight over precious shelf placement, we can attest that this is a very big deal. Better shelf placement generally means better sales.

According to the Nielsen report, “Brands that are able to strategically connect (sustainability) to actual behavior are in a good place to capitalize on increased consumer expectation and demand.” The report adds, that “Sustainability claims on packaging must also reflect how a company operates inside and out.”

In other words, customers want sustainable products from sustainable companies. This includes everything from labor practices to the environmental impact of their production. We caught up with Tim Grosse, who has written extensively on this subject and is the CEO and founder of E Squared Energy Advisors. He says, “This new consumer sustainability report from Nielson reinforces what we have been advocating for in terms of sustainable energy programs and technologies that reduce the planet’s carbon footprint.”

He further states, “This is official validation for how energy and sustainability work together to boost your top-line revenue growth and your profitability at the same time. Your business can ride this tsunami wave by gaining market share from the rapidly growing number of environmentally responsible consumers or your business can lag the market and peers by ignoring this trend.”

Related: 5 Reasons Why Sustainability and Social Issues Attract Customers

For years we have been saying consumers vote with their purchases. It’s nice to see the world’s most respected sales research and analytics company finally prove it and do so in terms that any company can understand, sales! With the rapid increase in climate-related news, damage and hazards to health, this new mega-trend can do nothing but accelerate.

The Fourth National Climate Assessment mandated by Congress a decade ago was just released. According to Tony Barboza of the Los Angeles Times, the report by 13 federal agencies found that climate change is now being felt in communities across the country. “It projects widespread and growing devastation as temperatures and sea levels rise with worsening wildfires and more intense storms bringing cascading harmful effects to our ecosystems infrastructure and society.” The report calls for immediate steps to reduce carbon emissions.

In other words, consumers are already being affected by the purchases they have made in the past. They know they must change their spending habits now for the sake of their own health and that of their children. Oh, and that millennial market that everyone has been trying to crack? Who has the most to lose? The millennials of course! They and the next generations behind them will live the longest in an increasingly compromised environment.

As the Nielson report concludes, “No matter what, sustainability is no longer a niche play: your bottom-line and brand growth depend on it.”

But as Grosse says, “Energy efficient alternatives, such as chiller and HVAC optimization, LED lighting retrofits, and solar energy are a huge piece of the sustainability puzzle. With the recent price shifts, these technologies are very economical as well. In fact, many solutions provide almost immediate positive cash flow while dramatically lowering a company’s carbon footprint.” He adds, “Companies that embrace new energy technologies enjoy a triple-bottom-line win in productivity, profits, and planet.”

Related: What Condoms Can Teach Us About Sustainability

So now, energy efficiency is not only desirable, it’s sustainable, and it’s doable!

The Nielson report says “Unmet consumer needs exist across many categories. Strategically aligning your business and marketing strategy to meet that unmet demand will ensure that the next big sustainability wave is a market win for your brand.”

It’s time to jump on the energy and sustainability bandwagon now … or miss the boat!


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A dinner meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi could cause a disruption in economic growth.


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Thanks, China! U.S. stock prices rallied late in the day after Reuters reported that a Chinese trade official said that “consensus is steadily increasing” between U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators.

The Entrepreneur Index™ closed up 0.64 percent after trading within a narrow range for most of the day. The S&P 500 index was up 0.82 percent while the Dow and Nasdaq composite indexes were both up 0.79 percent.

Investors are eagerly awaiting the outcome of a dinner meeting tomorrow between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 economic summit in Buenos Aires. The ongoing tariff battles between the two countries are expected to hurt global economic growth. President Trump continues to send mixed signals on the potential for a deal, saying yesterday that the two countries were very close to an agreement, but that he wasn’t sure he wanted to sign it.

The bond market believes an economic slowdown is coming. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond was down another three basis points to close at 2.995 percent, in part due to comments from Federal Reserve members earlier in the week that expressed concern with global growth and corporate debt levels. The 10-year bond yield hasn’t closed below three percent for more than two months.

With interest rates falling, high dividend-paying real estate investment trust (REIT) stocks posted solid gains on the Entrepreneur Index™. SL Green Realty Corp. (2.77 percent), Kimco Realty Corp. (2.64 percent) and Apartment Investment and Management Co. (2.04 percent) were all up on the day.

The technology sector was relatively quiet again today. Chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. had the biggest gain on the index, rising 3.86 percent. Investors have been worried about demand for the company’s high-end processing chips in part because of the crash of crypto-currency markets. NVIDIA’s chips are popular with crypto-currency miners. The stock lost half its value since early October, but has been trending up for the last week.

Fellow-chipmaker Analog Devices was up 2.68 percent and salesforce.com rose 2.18 percent. Netflix, which has been up sharply in the last three trading sessions was down 0.91 percent.

Tesla shares rose 2.75 percent after an electric vehicle blog site — Electrek — said the company had successfully ramped up production of its mass-market Model three sedan to 1000 cars/day. Most of the cars have been sold for more than the company’s $35,000 target price so far. Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk said that selling the cars at that price before achieving higher production rates and lower costs could kill the company. Tesla shares are up 13 percent for the year.

Discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc. had one of the larger declines today, falling 1.88 percent after rising more than six percent yesterday. The biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ was posted by O’Reilly Auto Parts, which fell 2.27 percent. Hess Corp. was also down 1.01 percent as the price of oil fell 1.48 percent today. Oil was down 22 percent in November, its worst month in more than ten years.

Other notable declines on the index included Chipotle Mexican Grill (-1.94 percent), retailer L Brands (-1.43 percent) and whiskey-maker B”>Brown-Forman Corp. (-1.2 percent).

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.


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Tech stocks are up big today, and it’s not hard to see why.


3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Cyber Monday put a jolt in the stock market today.

Data from Adobe Analytics suggest that America may have had its biggest online shopping day in history, as consumers flocked to take advantage of online deals today.

The equity markets liked the action. With Amazon and technology stocks leading the way, the Entrepreneur Index™ was up 2.25 percent for the day, with 56 of 60 stocks on the index posting gains. The Nasdaq composite index was up 2.06 percent, while the Dow and S&P 500 indexes were up 1.46 percent and 1.55 percent respectively.

Technology stocks, the hardest hit segment of the market in the last two volatile months, posted some of the largest gains on the day. Amazon.com, the biggest online retailer in the world, was up 5.28 percent. Twitter was also up 5.43 percent. None of the 13 tech stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ were down today.

The biggest gain in the sector was posted by chipmaker NVIDIA Inc., possibly the most volatile stock in the market this year. It was up 5.52 percent after a Credit Suisse analyst initiated coverage with an outperform rating, suggesting that the nearly 50 percent drop in the stock price

over the last two months has created a great buying opportunity for investors.

Related: Tech Stocks Continue to Tumble, With Precious Few Exceptions

Wynn Resorts, another extremely volatile stock this year, was up 6.89 percent today — the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™. The gambling environment in Macau, where Wynn operates three casinos, was once again the reason for the move in the stock price. Brokerage firm Sanford Bernstein increased its forecast for November gambling revenue in Macau to seven percent to eight percent from an earlier estimate of two percent to four percent. Wynn’s shares are still down 34 percent for the year.

Tesla shares were up 6.19 percent today after another unusual interview with CEO Elon Musk aired on HBO yesterday. Musk said that earlier this year Tesla was only weeks away from death due to the rocky production ramp-up of the company’s Model three sedan. He also said he plans to take a trip to Mars when the opportunity presents in the future.

L Brands, makers of Victoria’s Secret lingerie, appeared to be a big winner in the early holiday shopping season. The stock was up 6.74 percent today, though it is still down 47 percent so far this year.

Other major gains on the Entrepreneur Index™ were posted by TripAdvisor Inc. (4.36 percent), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (3.61 percent), Jefferies Financial Group (3.61 percent) and Under Armour Inc. (3.35 percent).

Only six stocks on the index had declines today. The largest was registered by food-maker J.M Smucker Company, which was down 1.54 percent. Chipotle Mexican Grill was down 1.15 percent, and oil and gas producer Hess Corp. was down 1.03 percent, despite a more than two percent rally in the price of oil today.

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.


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