ICSB World Congress , Washington, D. C.

The 2022 ICSB is holding their annual global conference this week July 4th-8th in Washington, D. C.  Combining fun with learning, students were able to sightsee as well as attend a Washington Nationals baseball game on July 4th.  Founded in 1955, the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) was the first international membership organization to promote the growth and development of small businesses worldwide. The organization brings together educators, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners from around the world to share knowledge and expertise in their respective fields through publications, programs, workshops, training sessions and certifications.
Necessity is the mother of innovation, as evidenced by the current startup surge, with new businesses opening up at rapid rates across the globe. In addition, the events of 2020 brought about a global awakening to social inequities such as racial injustice, climate change, and income inequality. Creating solutions to right these societal wrongs requires constructing economic systems guided by ethics and empathy rather than individual interests. Human-centered or humane, entrepreneurship addresses the needs of both employees and society at large. With an emphasis on inclusiveness, cooperation over competitiveness, and leading humanity forward, this way of operating is making space for an entrepreneurial revolution that disrupts society as we know it.

Among the sessions topics included technology for humanity, digital marketing, disrupting value based entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship survival tips, essentials of operating a family business, universities in entrepreneurial ecosystems and MSME, defining and value in markets, pitch acting for stronger presentations, sustainable entrepreneurship, elements of a successful venture, the entrepreneurial revolution ahead, GEM research opportunities, papers the economic impact of COVID-19, ecosystems and national innovation, women and youth entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial revolution in hospitality and tourism, and the real meaning of leadership.

One session that caught the editor’s eye was The Entrepreneurial Revolution on Poverty featuring Dr. Michael Morris of Norte Dame University and his Global Partnership for Poverty and Entrepreneurship, a network platform for sharing venture creation resources.  It provides tools and a framework for low-income entrepreneurs and supports annual and bi-annual conferences.  Of interest was Dr. Morris’ adaptation of the entrepreneurial mindset for poverty by which cognition becomes opportunity alertness, affect engendering passion, optimism, and self-efficacy, promotion behaviors in creative problem solving and resiliency.

The current CEO and President Ayman el Tarabishy of D. C. based Georgetown University acted as host.  From his deputy chair in the department of management, Dr. El Tarabishy connected all the points in the capitol city for attendees.  And his role as creator of the United Nations Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day, helped add U. N. participates to the conference.  All members owe a debt of gratitude to Ayman for an exceptional conference.

Written by Editor Clint Day, an ICSB member who attended virtually.


Honor Nation’s Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Many have experienced and overcome hardship.

Americans just celebrated the Fourth of July.  Look around your town.  Take a moment to notice –and appreciate– all the many small businesses –and large ones, too — that were started by immigrants.  As we celebrate America, we also celebrate what America has meant –and continues to mean –for immigrants and how much immigration has improved the America we celebrate.

Immigrants are America’s not-so-secret strength.  Most immigrants come here to save their lives –whether to flee persecution or poverty.  In many countries, being the “wrong” religion, the “wrong” ethnicity, the “wrong” sexual orientation, or “wrong” gender could lead to oppression or even death.  Most immigrants experience hardships –sometimes death-defying hardships –to come here.  And throughout America’s history, most immigrants have been economic immigrants, coming here not only for greater freedom or safety but for the opportunity to pull their family out of poverty.

In return for providing immigrants a new home, immigrants bring America so much.  They revitalize America.  Immigrants bring us fresh, new ideas.  They become our scholars.  They win Olympic medals.  They bring new food.  They create businesses –both small businesses and huge corporations.  They sometimes create  entirely new industries.  They keep America vital and competitive.  Here are just a few statistics on immigrants’ effect on business and job creation:

  1. Nearly 45% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants as of 2019, according to SHRM Executive Network.
  2. Those companies employe over 13.5 million people -almost 11% more than fortune 500 companies founded by non-immigrants.
  3. About 17% of all small businesses are started and owned by immigrants.
  4. A Kauffman Foundation study found that tin 2012, immigrants started businesses at almost double the rate of non-immigrants.

Think of some of the many immigrant entrepreneurs who have made America what it is today:

  • Levi Strauss (above 1st pictured): The man who invented blue jeans emigrated from Bavaria (now a German state) in 1848.  There are few things more American than a pair of Levi’s!
  • Liz Claiborne:  This Belgian-born fashion designer co-founded the famous label bearing her name.  In 1986, Liz Claiborne Inc. became the first company founded by a woman to make the Fortune 500.
  • John W. Nordstrom: The man behind the famous, upscale department store chain came from Sweden in 1887.
  • Eugene Kleiner;  Austrian-born Kleiner was one of the “Traitorous Eight” -the founders of Silicon Valley, and the co-founder of the famed venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
  • Sergey Brin, 2nd pictured above:  The co-founder of Google was born in Moscow in 1973 and came to America at the age of 6.  Where would you be without Google?
  • Elon Musk, 3rd pictured immediately above: Tesla Motors, SpaceX, PayPal, household battery power.  The serial entrepreneur emigrated from South Africa ot Canada and later here to the U. S.
  • Sofia Vergara: Perhaps known best for her role as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the TV show “Modern Family”, Columbian-born Vergara also started the talent agency Latin World Entertainment, the lingerie brand EBY, and the media company Raze.

A few years ago, I toured the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn where my father grew up.  My dad, Alex, was the son of hardworking, ambitious immigrants from Eastern Europe.  Like most immigrants, they came to this country seeking a better life for their children –more economic opportunity, more political and religious freedom.  Walking around my father’s old neighborhood was like taking a trip back in time –except the current generation of immigrants was from the Caribbean instead of Eastern Europe, black instead of while, and spoke with a different accent.  But they were living much the same lives –students pouring over homework in the library, kids playing in front yards, parents going off to low-paying service jobs or starting their own small businesses.

Clearly, America meant the same to them as it meant to my family.  And I could clearly see that these children were our future doctors and lawyers –and the future of America.  We are all –with the exception of native Americans –the descendants of immigrants.  That’s something to celebrate.

Courtesy of Rhonda Abrams published in USA Today, Tues., July 5, 2022


InBIA Convenes in Atlanta for Annual Conference.

The International Conference on Business Incubation (InBIA) has just concluded their annual conference in Atlanta from June 26-29, 2022.  InBIA is a global non-profit with over 1,200 members that lead entrepreneurship support organizations in 30 countries. InBIA provides industry best practices through education while enabling collaboration, mentorship, peer-based learning, and the sharing of innovative ideas for entrepreneurs across the globe. As the largest member-based entrepreneurial support network in the world, InBIA  provides the best industry resources for building entrepreneurial ecosystems through sustainable programs across a wide scope of industries and disciplines. Among members are  business incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, and other entrepreneurship support organizations who are dedicated to nurturing the unique startups in their communities.

One of four session tracks was Entrepreneurship Ecosystems of great interest to your editor who is advising the University of Hawaii Hilo about establishing one on the Island of Hawaii.  Establishing and growing a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem is widely recognized as an important aspect of creating regional prosperity through new job growth. The sessions explored the elements and strategies for building successful entrepreneurship ecosystems in any community. Topics included  creating effective partnerships, ecosystem mapping, engaging community stakeholders, fostering local entrepreneurship culture, encouraging diversity and inclusion, creating sustainable ecosystem models, rural opportunities, and more.  The Kauffman Foundation sent a team from Kansas City as part of a partnership call the EBLP, Ecosystem Builders Leadership Project, which helped support several breakout sessions on ecosystem building.  Details on site below:


EBLP is an initiative to collaboratively design, create, and validate a formal entity or shared infrastructure whose purpose is to provide leadership for the advancement of the entrepreneurship ecosystem building field of practice. Past ESHIP Summits and other inputs have made clear the need for more coordinated and centralized efforts to build field-wide infrastructure that will help accelerate wider understanding and adoption of ecosystem building as a practice in economic, community, workforce and entrepreneurship development in the United States.  The origin of the Ecosystem Building Leadership Project (EBLP) stems from the great work of 1500+ participants of the ESHIP Summits hosted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Over the course of three years and four Summits, ecosystem builders from all 50 U.S. States, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and 20 other countries gathered to join collective efforts to explore and progress the entrepreneurship ecosystem building field of practice.  The project team includes InBIA CEO Charles Ross and Beth Zimmer, an experienced ecosystem design practitioner, as project lead.  They are supported by a diverse collaborative advisory group.

Other conference activities included two pre conferences, one a certification in mentor development and the other on sources for funding sustainable entrepreneurship centers.  Attendees has the opportunity to take part in an Innovation Tour of metro Atlanta centers.  Atlanta has long been considered the FinTech capitol with Visa and Equifax headquarters based in the city.  The tour included:

Russell Innovation Center’s RICE, an economic mobility engine for the community: driving entrepreneurs and small business owners to innovate, grow, create jobs, and build wealth. Housed in over 50,000 square feet of convening, meeting, and innovation space in a LEED building. Part business generator, innovation lab, and museum, RICE invests in Black entrepreneurs, strengthens businesses, and creates community.

Atlanta Tech Village, a community of innovation powered by the 4th largest tech space in the U.S. and deep connections to Atlanta’s business and investment community. The Village supports and inspires entrepreneurs to achieve success through a community that promotes faster connections between talent, ideas and capital. Designed for the unique needs of tech and tech-related startups, ATV is engineered to provide a powerful combination of factors that dramatically increase a startup’s chance of success.

     The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is Georgia’s technology business incubator, assisting entrepreneurs throughout the state. Via a unique blend of coaching, curriculum, community, and connections – not just to Georgia Tech and its resources, but also to capital and customers, ATDC helps Georgia startups at various stages navigate the choppy waters of taking an idea from concept to product prototype to launch and ultimately to scale.










5th U. N. Small, Medium Sized Enterprises Day.

One of the most important uses of entrepreneurship is raising-up underdeveloped economies which, in turn, creates jobs, raise standards of living, and improve sustainability.  The latter is a major objective of  the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda for 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”.  Among them are health, education, zero poverty and hunger, climate change and decent work and economic growth.   It is because the U. N. sees the latter, work and economic growth, as springboard to all other SDGs that entrepreneurship has reached a focus of importance.  As a consequence, five years ago a global small and medium-sized enterprise day was created.  Entrepreneurship’s own  International Council for Small Business (ICSB) has partnered with the U. N. to help promote entrepreneurship in furtherance of economic growth.

ICSB is the primary international entrepreneurship organization in the U. S., and its current President Ayman El Tarabishy from George Washington University was chiefly responsible for the day’s planning and execution for which we all owe a debt of gratitude.  Each year’s event corresponds with release ICSB’s Annual Global Micro-Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Report full of important data.  Among topics are Top Ten Trends for 2022, How Digitalization Produces SME Growth, the arrival of an entrepreneurial revolution, and use of entrepreneurship ecosystems to catalyze ethical technology.   Those and other topics are inside the 110-page report available in PDF format and summarized here:  https://icsb.org/toptrends2022/.

The world is in a state of uncertainty with new Covid-19 variants and their effects on businesses and governments around the world. Resilience has been the most popular theme for 2021.  Nevertheless, MSMEs and other forms of sustainable, humane entrepreneurship provide the best framework for recovery.  They are, after all, the most flexible and the most in touch with their local communities which allows them to use innovation to expand what a recovery might look like.  Change in the role of the women entrepreneur, decentralized finance enabling more SMEs, application of A. I. (artificial intelligence) on top of digital marketing, and Solopreneurs are among examples.

By editor Clint Day who watched proceedings on U. N. TV.


The Importance of Woo-Woo to Entrepreneurship.

Kat Norton explains the Woo-Woo that powers entrepreneurship.  Catch ahold of it, and you can write your own future.  For years there has been an effort to link some kind of spirituality and subconscious thinking to success in entrepreneurship.  Kyle Garman came close in his book on The Entrepreneurial Mindset, but even it was on the conscious mind.  This gal Kat Norton has hit the nail on the head, linking success to re-programming her subconscious!. She is featured in this month’s Entrepreneur Magazine, and we quote  some of the interview.

Why is she suddenly famous?  Tik-Toc of course.  In her corporate past she used Excel worksheets to analyze corporate operations.  She was good at it, but employed by a consulting firm, was too scared to answer questions in meetings although she knew the answers.  In just two years she is alone at the Top 40 hip-hop Tic-Toc tracks while performing Excel functions.  She did was she was good at and had a passion for, but the explanation for her spectacular success is something core to entrepreneurship but rarely used.  Once mastered her techniques can help every entrepreneur become successful in work and life.

It’s Woo-Woo, my term adopted from the article.  At it basics, it asks you to change your energy transmission.  Science has proven we all emit energy, and we all have known or experience friends and co-workers with less and then excessive energy (think Energy Rabbit).  Entrepreneurs are drawn to magical thinking, best expressed for years as the entrepreneurial mindset, to see opportunity when other can’t and to be willing to take a calculated risk.  What Kat Norton did was read all she could after finding the Breaking the Habit book about being yourself by Joe Dispenza which argues your thoughts have consequence so they create your reality.  She bought the concept hook, line, and sinker.

Kat first used what she knew, Excel.  As she learned this method to “rewire her brain” to a higher energy field, she started a coaching business online for using Excel under the name Miss Excel. It morphed into a big following on Tic-Toc and Instagram to the point that just two years later at age 29, Kat to making…stand by…$100,00 per day from Excel webinars and platform advertisers.  The explanation is this Woo-Woo aspect of entrepreneurship which she used to completely transform her introverted personality in an outgoing, highly energized and positive person.  Studies have shown entrepreneurs are drawn to a higher level of thinking vs. the general population.  She is now convinced this Woo-Woo of a higher energy field has transformed her persona to a smiling, confident and rich young lady.

Are you interested in following suit?  The idea to put out positive, high energy that comes back compounded. If you project positive energy, people are attracted to it, you act more confident, stand taller, and smile wider.  Kat says if you put yourself into this higher level of energy, you become aligned where thoughts and actions are one.  She truly believes her success in Excel webinars on social media are because of “this high vibrational state”.  An expert in hypnosis, Lacy Phillips, writes one has to rewire their brain chemistry, “one should get all the visions of what they like, things that happened during your childhood.  And, as they come up you realize [there could have been another way to use your subconscious positively].”

Your editor knows there is a place for positive motivation in entrepreneurship.  As younger people and students see their vision, gain confidence, hone their personal human relations skills, and align their passion subconsciously to their goals they become another person and begin to live the life of an entrepreneur.  $100,000 per day at age 29 makes her system worth a try!


Written by Current blog editor Clint Day partially paraphrasing Entrepreneurs Magazine’s article by Paul Six in its April-May issue, page. 42-47.  I have used Kat’s technique in my early  startups and been surprised by what became reality.  This process is not Woo-Woo.



Be a Clydesdale Not a Thoroughbred.

“Entrepreneurs Aren’t All Unicorns – Some Are Clydesdales” suggests that there are various models of entrepreneurship. The author, Dr. Kasie Whitener, states that “…we have somehow hijacked the word ‘entrepreneur’ in the startup space. The startup ecosystem is often a short game fueled by venture capitalists looking to make money by betting on the right horse. The startup story has become one of speed, innovation, and serial founders. I submit that is not the only model of entrepreneurship.”

Entrepreneurship is not always about a billion or even a multi-million dollar exit.  Sometimes is is just about finding work to support your family, i.e. building something sustainable. As the authors states, “It’s slow and it’s purposeful and it’s not as sexy as the-next-big-thing. But it’s entrepreneurship. And we could use more of it.”

Courtesy of the Carlsen Center for Entrepreneurship, CSSU Sacramento

Note from Editor – My experience as a serial entrepreneur and decade teaching startups, I could not find a better description of the process.  Clydesdales can be sexy.

2022 Deshpande Entrepreneurship Symposium

The Deshpande Symposium is an annual gathering of like-minded professionals focused on accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship within higher education institutions and through partnerships with private, public and non-profit organizations. All were excited to gather in person  this year in Cleveland, where best practices were shared and learned for developing entrepreneurial ecosystems, and the importance that diversity, equity and inclusion to their success.

Philip Gaskin, VP of Entrepreneurship for the Kauffman Foundation, and Renu Khator, President of the University of Houston and a true example of crashing the glass ceiling, were featured as Keynote Speakers.  Anyone that has tried to shift university culture to integrate innovation and entrepreneurship recognizes it can be a daunting challenge, with a strongly entrenched culture, both immediate in the university but more broadly in the “academy” -the broader academic ecosystems of faculty and students.  The Deshpande Symposium is to the culture shift a source of ideas, a chance to share best practices, and a chance to reflect on initiative that did work or didn’t work.  It has become an important niche in the pantheon of university-related conferences as the “symposium of practice”
This year contributed to the sharing of best practices by hosting two plenaries, one on HBCUs (Historically Black College and Universities) as Entrepreneurial Change Agents, and another on the organizational makeup and innovative activities implemented by creative Renu Khator, Chancellor of the entire University of Houston system. The former’s panel included Bowie State’s innovation center director Johnetta Hardy, Morehouse C-Center director Dr. Tiffany Bussey, and Fayetteville State’s Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Carolin Glackin.  Each contributed to the evolving growth of HBCUs to the field of entrepreneurship.  Chancellor Khator’s theme “Dare to Ask, Dare to Act” governs her leadership.  During her tenure she has changed education by doubling graduation rates, added micro-credentialing to workforce development, and started after school K12 mentoring.  Dr. Khator has impacted health care in the Houston community through university backed underprivileged community clinics, and been a prime mover in social entrepreneurship through the Wolff Center, rated the no. 1 in the U. S. by the Princeton Review.  The latter is a immersive program of 1,000 businesses and 500 community mentors, and a boot camp which has trained 350 students.

As they say, save the best for last.  Venture Well (VW) sponsored the closing plenary which Phil Weilerstein (VW CEO) hosted virtually by interviewing the NSF (National Science Foundation) Assistant Director and new TIP (technology, innovation and partnerships) chief Erwin Gianchandani. This insightful, gifted public servant outlined advancements in emerging tech.  Among other TIP initiatives are new regional,” innovation engines” that will greatly expand the opportunity for grant projects.  It invites proposals to develop coalitions of academic institutions, nonprofits, for-profits, government entities and others to create innovation ecosystems “galvanizing use-inspired research, technology translation and workforce development”.  Here is the link more information the NSF Engines:


Written by Editor Clinton Day who attended virtually (a first year option)


The $95 Billion Unicorn, The Collison Brothers’ Stripe.

Billionaire brothers John and Patrick Collison built Stripe into one of the world’s most-hyped, highest valued — and profitable! — startups, worth some $95 billion. Now they must stave off going from disruptor to disrupted.

It’s just before five o’clock, and Stripe cofounder John Collison is preparing to address his hundreds of Ireland-based employees on the top floor of his headquarters in Dublin’s “Silicon Docks” District.  Such regular Friday town halls, which are also simulcast to New York, San Francisco, Singapore and anywhere else its 7,000 employees want to tune in from over Zoom, are an almost sacred tradition at Stripe, the payments company that Collison cofounded with big brother Patrick in 2010. With Patrick away getting married, it’s up to John, 31 and with a dusting of gray hair now topping his boyish face, to field questions.

It could get contentious: There’s a social media “kerfuffle” playing out over Twitter this week: Stripe has been accused in a series of (since deleted) tweets by Zachary Perret, the billionaire cofounder of fellow fintech unicorn Plaid, of meeting with his company under false pretenses only to build a competing software tool.

Patrick, Stripe’s 33-year-old CEO, has interrupted his honeymoon to write a memo to the entire company (later shared publicly) warning that such scrutiny—and uncharitable interpretations of Stripe’s motives—will only increase over time. John, Stripe’s president, is prepared for the worst. But the staff question, when it comes, is just about a name. Is calling a new product Financial Connections a sign that Stripe is moving toward more boring monikers from now on? It’s a serious question. Artful names like Atlas (software to help with company formation) and Radar (fraud detection) sound better, John admits. But they’re terrible for search engine rankings. In the end, no one asks about the Twitter dustup. (Plaid declined to comment.)

“We will compete with a bunch of companies, and we’ll partner with a bunch,” John says with a shrug. “Everyone just needs to be a grownup and well-behaved about it.”

Even so, such “front page tests” of Stripe’s ethical reputation, as Patrick calls incidents that have the potential to bubble up in the popular press, will only prove more common as Stripe transitions from startup darling to tech dreadnought. The company, dual-headquartered in San Francisco and Dublin, processed $640 billion in payments last year across 50 countries. Its gross revenue, still mostly the 2% to 3% it collects on such volume, reached nearly $12 billion in 2021, according to sources with knowledge of its financials, up about 60% year over year. Net revenue, which excludes the cut Stripe passes along to partners like Visa and Chase, reached nearly $2.5 billion. And, unusually for a unicorn that’s still growing fast, Stripe finished the year with hundreds of millions in profit on an Ebitda basis, two sources add. Stripe declined to comment on its figures.

Its eye-popping financials explain why investors including Fidelity and Ireland’s sovereign development fund poured an additional $600 million into Stripe in March 2021, raising its total funding to date to $2.4 billion and valuing it at $95 billion. That puts Stripe behind only TikTok owner Bytedance, Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Shein and Elon Musk’s SpaceX for the title of the world’s most valuable startup. (Forbes estimates Patrick and John Collison each own about 10% of Stripe, making them worth $9.5 billion each.)

Courtesy Forbes by Alex Konrad, May 26, 2022


Entrepreneurship Alive & Well in Latin America


From Mexico to Argentina and points in between, Latin America’s major cities have emerged as some of the world’s most vibrant centers for entrepreneurship. Region-wide, there are at least two dozen unicorns in industries ranging from on-demand deliveries to digital payments. Startups have sprung up everywhere to fill the void of access to services such as credit, health care and education. Yet millions upon millions of people, especially women, remain unserved. Where can technology break down barriers further? Who’s going to bankroll the next wave of innovation? At the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Latin America, Angélica Fuentes, Founder and President, Muvop; Mate Pencz, Founder and Co-CEO, Loft; Sumita Pandit, Chief Operating Officer, dLocal, speak with Carol Massar, Anchor, “Bloomberg Businessweek”, Bloomberg Television and Radio

Entrepreneurship is the trend in Latin America

What does it take to become a Latin American Mark Zuckerberg, or even just someone who makes a living running a business out of his living room?

The motivation to become an entrepreneur is not always money. Whether it is through programs to attract entrepreneurs –such as Start-Up Chile in the so-called Chilecon Valley-, or through training to develop a business model, or even some simple but timely advice, any incentive serves to transform big ideas into lucrative businesses.

Youth opt to become entrepreneurs for a variety of reasons. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, nearly two of every three Latin American entrepreneurs are driven by opportunity rather than necessity.

The Latin American and Caribbean region has become a breeding ground for new businesses led by young people. It is now the second most enterprising region in the world.

Four of every 10 Latin American youth report a desire to become an entrepreneur, but not all of them take that first step.


IMPORTANCE  –  The editor’s two Bar Charts, Entrepreneurship Quick Study Guide (general principles) and the newer Lean Entrepreneurship Guide (14 evidenced-based methods) are now translated into Spanish.  We only wait for a distributor to add a heading and a footing to publish.

Two charts shown in the Amazon Entrepreneurship Power Pack – https://www.amazon.com/Entrepreneurship-Power-Pack-Everything-Entrepreneur/dp/1631835653