Latest Popular

How a Brooklyn Woman Shed Her Entrepreneurial Training Wheels

Independent bike shops have suffered through a notable decline over the years, but you wouldn’t know it from talking to Nechama Levy. She and her business partner, Joe Lawler, launched their full-service New York City shop, Bicycle Roots, in 2012, and they have been on a roll ever since. “There are people who just fall in love with bicycles, and I am one of them,” Levy said in a recent interview. “We plan to be in this location and serving the neighborhood for a long time.” Free Enterprise recently caught up with Levy, a former bicycle mechanic originally from Queens, NY, to chat about what makes independent bike shops special, how her shop competes with other stores, and her advice for fellow entrepreneurs. Why did you decide to open a bike shop? Most people who work in the bike industry don’t want to be an employee for their whole lives. […]

How a Brooklyn Woman Shed Her Entrepreneurial Training Wheels

Creating opportunity

D.C. just held the startup Olympics. The winning companies will blow you away

Next month in Rio, the world’s greatest athletes will gather to compete for the title of fastest runner and highest jumper, best swimmer and sharpest shooter. Recently, one group in D.C. held a rather similar global competition, only rather than looking for the world’s fastest or strongest, the group sought to find the most innovative. And for the third year running, the competition was as fierce and the competitors were inspiring. Based in the nation’s capital, 1776 only invests in companies that are tackling challenges in areas like education, energy and sustainability, health care, and transportation. Approximately six weeks ago, the incubator—which is also a longtime partner of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—wrapped up its third annual global startup competition, called the Challenge Cup, in which the group seeks to identify the most impactful startup on Earth. During the challenge, new and early-stage companies from 54 cities competed in local […]

D.C. just held the startup Olympics. The winning companies will blow you away

Doing good

The 4 Ridiculously
Successful Entrepreneurs You Didn’t Know Have Learning Disabilities

In business, particularly as an up-and-coming entrepreneur, learning is everything: Learning how to manage employees, learning how to raise and invest capital, learning how to handle inevitable twists and turns, learning how your competitors operate so that your firm can find an edge. Thus, for individuals with learning disabilities, starting and running a successful business may seem implausible, even impossible. But they would be mistaken, as several highly successful entrepreneurs have proved otherwise. Here’s how four business leaders learned not only to overcome disabilities like ADHD, Asperger’s and dyslexia, but actually turned them into an advantage. Richard Branson, Virgin Group The colorful business magnate has never been shy about acknowledging he suffers from dyslexia, a learning disability that makes it difficult for individuals to read and interpret letters. His disability made it difficult for him to succeed at school, because teachers thought thought he was lazy or stupid. Read More: […]

The 4 Ridiculously
Successful Entrepreneurs You Didn’t Know Have Learning Disabilities

Doing good

The Sharing Economy: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

More and more people are opting out of 9-to-5 workdays, either by choice or because their hands are forced by circumstance, and finding new jobs through the sharing economy. Although people describe the sharing economy in many different ways, it’s most easily explained as a business built on an individual sharing resources (whether it be services or products) with their community on demand for a fee. To be fair, the idea itself isn’t new. People have offered and advertised their services for everything from handyman work to babysitting for decades now. However, the Internet – and more specifically, the proliferation in smartphones – have only recently enabled a growing number of startups to gather and formalize sharing opportunities into thriving businesses. Want to rent a room (or even an entire castle) at the last minute? Click through listings that meet your exact criteria from home-rental business startup Airbnb. Need to […]

The Sharing Economy: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Creating opportunity

Why some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are flocking to Kansas City

Bright-eyed, highly skilled entrepreneurs have long migrated from America’s heartland to the tech utopias in Silicon Valley and other parts of the West Coast. But lately, that migration sometimes flows in the opposite direction—and one Midwestern city is capitalizing on that reversal. “Kansas City attracts people from Seattle, San Francisco, and all over who want to live in a connected city,” said Sarah Fustein, the director of co-working and strategic partnerships at Think Big Partners, which provides mentorship, partnerships and co-working spaces to Kansas City entrepreneurs. “I get applications from people across the country that have worked for big-name [companies] and want to move here to work.” The trend is showing up in census data. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of 18- to 25-year-olds in Kansas City rose 13 percent, while the percentage of 25- to 29-year-olds surged 8 percent, according to a U.S. Census report. The increase came […]

Why some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are flocking to Kansas City

Silicon Cities

How One Entrepreneur Refused To Let Autism Hold Him Back

Joe Steffy, who was born with down syndrome and later diagnosed with autism, was told he would likely never be hired for a normal day job. Officials at his school told him he would struggle to communicate, have a difficult time caring for himself, and likely always be dependent on others. They were right about one of those things: Steffy may never be hired. That’s because he’s too busy running his own successful company. With help from his parents, Steffy, now 30, started Poppin Joe’s Gourmet Kettle Korn in 2005. The Kansas Department for Developmental Disabilities provided Steffy with a startup grant to grow the business and he now oversees two retail locations: one in Louisburg, Kansas and another in Brunswick, Georgia. The company sells a variety of kettle corn products to retail outlets, festivals and specialty events and regularly ships batches of its product to soldiers in Iraq and […]

How One Entrepreneur Refused To Let Autism Hold Him Back

True innovation

A New Kind of Basic Training for Vets at DC’s Dog Tag Bakery

Dog Tag Bakery's co-founders wanted to combine their shared respect and admiration for our troops into a hands-on educational program.

A New Kind of Basic Training for Vets at DC’s Dog Tag Bakery

Creating opportunity

America’s flag, American made: Get to know Annin Flagmakers

Annin Flagmakers has been manufacturing American flags since 1847. Here's their story.

America’s flag, American made: Get to know Annin Flagmakers

America at work

Meet America’s First Family of Fireworks

We like to think of family businesses being passed down from generation to generation, but the fact is, only 3 percent of family-run businesses make it to the fourth generation. New York-based Fireworks by Grucci is one of them. What began 165 years ago as a tiny business has today become a multi-million dollar pyrotechnics company. Over that period, Fireworks by Grucci has been run by five—and soon to be six—generations of Gruccis; the children of Phil Grucci, the fifth-generation president of the company, are already working in the business. “Our family is the key and core of our successes because of our unity and through thick and thin—the good times and bad times—we’ve been able to endure,” Phil Grucci said. Angelo Lanzetta launched the family on its pryotechnic path after emigrating from Italy to the United States in 1870. But it wasn’t until Felix Grucci, the third-generation owner, took […]

Meet America’s First Family of Fireworks

America at work

Social media mavens share their top tips for small businesses

For some small business owners, keeping up with social media can seem like a daunting task. Creating compelling stories on Snapchat, churning out clever tweets, and keeping the Facebook feed fresh—on top of everything else entrepreneurs have to handle on a daily basis—is enough to send anyone into a tizzy. Even so, creating a strong digital presence has become less an option and more a necessity for small businesses that want to stand out from the competition and continue to grow, according to experts who spoke at last week’s America’s Small Business Summit in Washington. In fact, nearly two-thirds of all Americans now use social media networks, up almost tenfold from 2005, according to a 2015 report from the Pew Research Center. How does that translate into a business imperative? Well, a 2015 Deloitte study found that almost half of millennials (47 percent) used social media at some point in […]

Social media mavens share their top tips for small businesses

Creating opportunity

Five Reasons So Many Veterans Succeed in Business

A growing body of research suggests that veterans possess many of the characteristics common among successful business leaders and entrepreneurs. Here are 5.

Five Reasons So Many Veterans Succeed in Business

America at work

The new face of small business in America [infographic]

Editor’s Note: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual America’s Small Business Summit takes place this week in Washington. Make sure to follow along via the ASBS homepage and the Twitter hashtag #IAmSmallBiz for updates and live-stream events. The face of America’s small business owners is slowly changing. Here’s a by-the numbers guide to entrepreneurship across the country.    

The new face of small business in America [infographic]

America at work
Load More