How tiny Fairfield, Iowa, became a micro-business capital

When the COVID-19 crisis hit, Jim Masterson had to figure out how to massage a horse online.

For more than a decade, Masterson and his wife, Conley, have been the go-to experts for equine performance bodywork.

If your show horse got sore after a jumping competition, you could attend a workshop with a Masterson instructor to learn how to release the horse’s muscle tension through the unique Masterson Method.

The pandemic put a stop to the instructor visits and forced the Mastersons to think creatively about their business model and the horses they’ve dedicated their lives to helping.

Fortunately, they had access to an entire community of creative and like-minded entrepreneurs.

Based in the Corn Belt city of Fairfield, Iowa, the Mastersons are part of an entrepreneurial Shangri-La. The 10,425-person city, about 115 miles southeast of Des Moines, is home to a large number of small, internet-based micro-businesses that are … Read the rest

Twitter Fake Accounts Removed Due to Posing as Black Trump Supporters

Social media giant Twitter has removed a select group of fake accounts that were pretending to be owned by Black supporters of President Donald Trump, according to The Hill.

As we get closer to the presidential election, the attempt to sway Black people to vote for Donald Trump has been ramped up as the support among Blacks is very low. Darren Linvill posted on his Twitter account that he helped work on the piece that revealed the fake Black Twitter accounts.

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Four policy pillars that will encourage online micro-businesses

As the U.S. rides out the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic storm, one often overlooked group has emerged as critical ballast for local communities: online micro-businesses.

As stay-at-home orders crippled economies, 44% of these micro-businesses moved more of their business to the internet, ramping up their e-commerce efforts and other digital offerings. By the end of July, less than 2% of them had closed permanently. It’s little surprise then that communities with more micro-businesses lost fewer low-income jobs at the peak of the crisis

These results come from the Venture Forward initiative, a multiyear research project that looks at the economic impact of the 20 million websites with domain names registered with GoDaddy. Three-quarters of these ventures are commerce-driven micro-businesses. The rest are community, civic or hobby-based sites.

Working with academic partners, Venture Forward has found:

  • Micro-businesses create jobs. Economists at UCLA Anderson Forecast determined that there’s a causal impact between
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18-Year-Old Quinton Byfield Becomes Highest-Drafted Black Hockey Player in NHL History

An 18-year-old Black hockey player has made history in a sport that has very few Blacks!

Quinton Byfield, who played the center position for the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves, was drafted No.2 overall by the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night. That makes him the highest-drafted Black player in National Hockey League (NHL) history, according to ESPN.

Byfield is a native of Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. His father, Clinton, is originally from Jamaica.

Previously, the highest selection for a Black player was the fourth pick, which was achieved two times. San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane (2009, Atlanta Thrashers) and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (2013, Nashville Predators) were the previously highest-drafted Black players in the NHL, at No. 4.

“Being in the record books for anything is definitely super special, but that especially,” Byfield said. “My dad and mom didn’t play hockey or didn’t have too much knowledge Read the rest

How and why to host virtual parties for ecommerce businesses

Like any business, the key to success in selling your products in an ecommerce business is building relationships. If you have been looking for a way to connect with more customers, it might be a good idea to host virtual parties to generate interest and excitement in your business.

In this post, we’ll explore how and why you should implement virtual parties for ecommerce businesses into your strategy so you can make more money and build your fanbase.

Getting started with a successful virtual party

Virtual parties have become a popular sales method thanks to social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram. Anyone can do a Facebook Live and invite people from around the world to get together and sell products. It’s the modern version of the classic Tupperware party.

But hosting a virtual party for your ecommerce business requires more than a sales pitch. Including games and prizes, … Read the rest

Obama Acknowledges Los Angeles Lakers and Seattle Storm For Their Championship Wins and Praises Social Justice Stand From Players

The No. 1 sports fan of the United States made sure to acknowledge the championships that were won by the current NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the current WNBA champions, the Seattle Storm. He also made mention of the racial justice stance that many professional basketball players of both leagues have taken with all the civil unrest due to the protesting of police brutality and racism against people of color. Former President Barack Obama took to Twitter to state how proud he is of the players for encouraging civic participation.

Obama also touted his friendship with the current NBA Finals MVP, LeBron James, … Read the rest

Advanced ecommerce features to consider for your online store

Starting an online store is just the beginning. Once you get into the groove of marketing your store and handling orders, it’s time to consider adding advanced ecommerce features, so you can sell more products and increase your profits.

In this post, we’re going to cover advanced e-commerce features you should consider adding to your store.

Advanced e-commerce features to consider

Going beyond the basics and adding advanced features to your store will help you improve your customers’ experience and sell more products. Here are seven advanced e-commerce features to consider adding to your online store.

  1. Reporting tools
  2. Integrated blog
  3. Abandoned cart recovery
  4. Advanced search and filtering options
  5. Mobile-optimized checkout
  6. Integrated social media and SEO
  7. Video or 3D product demos

Not sure which of these advanced e-commerce features will give you the biggest bang for your buck? Get the details on all of them to help you decide which upgrades … Read the rest

Meet Anheuser-Busch’s First Black Female Brewmaster

The beer industry is increasingly becoming more diverse as more entrepreneurs establish brands dedicated to cultivating space for Black people and other people of color to talk about their love of the beverage. Anheuser-Busch is the world’s largest beer company in the world compromising notable names including Budweiser and Bud Light. Now the company is making moves to diversify its workforce and making history by appointing its first Black female brewmaster.

Natalie Johnson made history recently when she became the first Black female brewmaster for the beer giant. In a Q&A with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Johnson discusses how she became interested in beer brewing,  entering the market as a STEM graduate, and promoting diversity within the beer industry.

BE: How did you get your start in brewing beer?

Johnson: Being from St. Louis, the Anheuser-Busch name and its ties within the community are known by everyone! The summer prior to … Read the rest

5 delegation tactics for small business owners

Business owners are accustomed to wearing several hats and having control over every aspect of their company, dispensing with any delegation tactics. Recent research from Salesforce found that small business owners are personally responsible for an average of 4.2 roles in their business. While that much work can be exhausting, for those who enjoy entrepreneurship, it’s also gratifying. There aren’t any outside factors, you’re in the driver seat, and success or failure solely depends on your efforts. However, if you’d like to scale your business (or finally take some time off), you need to learn delegation tactics and use them.

Why do you need delegation tactics?

Many leaders struggle with delegation. A psychological study offered two reasons why business owners are reluctant to delegate:

  1. A faith in supervision effect, which reflects the tendency of observers to see work performed under the control of a supervisor as better than identical work
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Morehouse College Students Gain Top Prize, Career Exposure At Black Enterprise’s HBCU Hackathon

The results are in!

The 6th annual BE Smart Hackathon, hosted by Black Enterprise and American Airlines, has concluded, revealing an array of prize-winning teams that represent the best tech talent from the nation’s HBCUs.

Team Morehouse, composed of five students from Atlanta-based Morehouse College, scored first prize in the tightly-contested final showdown. Its Free-Fly travel app greatly impressed the BE Smart judging panel consisting of Earl “Butch” Graves, Jr.,  president and CEO of BLACK ENTERPRISE; Earl Barnes, managing director of Enterprise Infrastructure Services at American; Dr. Jerry Higgs, senior software and systems engineer at e-commerce marketplace Etsy; and Cornelius Boone, American’s vice president of Human Resources and Team Member Services.

Each member of Team Morehouse walks away with 100,000 AA Advantage Miles for their first-place showing. They also won one of the event’s coveted partner prizes, awarded by software intelligence firm Dynatrace.

Also making a … Read the rest