Good morning, Times of E readers! This is your weekly news roundup. Every Friday, we’ll give you the rundown on the latest news in the entrepreneurship world so you can stay in touch with promotions, recent studies, pitching opportunities and more.
If you have a piece of news, please send it to Skyler Rossi, [email protected].
Dolly Parton’s Tempest In A Coffee Cup
Dolly Parton rewrote her famous “9 to 5” song into “5 to 9” for website building company Squarespace’s Super Bowl commercial. The rewrite highlights the time many put into their side hustles outside of standard business hours. In the commercial, Parton sings,
“Working five to nine/ you’ve got passion and a vision /’Cause it’s hustlin’ time/ a whole new way to makе a livin’ /Gonna change your life / do something that givеs it meaning…”
Many celebrated the rewrite, relating to its sentiment. Working after hours is the way so many people start their businesses, after all. Others critized it, such as feminist commentary website Jezebel, which calls the song bleak, arguing that it celebrates an “empty promise” of capitalism that working after hours guarantees reaching your dreams and ignores the reality of burnout.
No one else seems to pointing out there’s a middle ground, so we’ll do that: Rather than signaling that capitalism doesn’t work, the hard work required for most people to launch a venture today be symptomatic of America’s lack of a social safety net, which makes it impossible to take a six months or a year off to launch a company.
CBO Report Outlines Possible Effects of Increasing Minimum Wage
The U.S. The Congressional Budget Office released a report Monday outlining the budgetary effects of the proposed minimum wage increase to $15 by 2025, if it were to go into effect at the end of March. The report focused on existing businesses and did not look at the effects on entrepreneurs, startups or, specifically, small businesses.
Its findings include:
- 1.4 million workers could become unemployed
- 900,000 people could be lifted out of poverty
- The cumulative budget deficit between 2021–2031 could increase by $54 billion
- During that same period, cumulative pay of affected people would increase, on net, by $333 billion
- Prices for goods and services would go up, reflected by the increase in wages, which would increase federal spending
April Will Be Vaccine ‘Open Season‘
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday that he predicts April will be “open season” for vaccinations– he believes it will be the month when anyone can start to get vaccinated. So far, 65.9 million doses have gone into the arms of Americans, according to CDC data.
Last month, Times of E talked to innovators and experts about the slow pace of vaccine delivery. Read that story here: The Great, Predictable Vaccine Logjam
Names to Know
Lowell, Massachusetts-based accelerator Entrepreneurship for All announced three additions to its Board of Directors Wednesday: InaMarie Johnson, chief people and diversity officer of Zendesk, a San Francisco-based web support platform, Vernon Irvin, the chief revenue officer of Everbridge, a Burlington, Massachusetts-based software company and Marcos Marrero, the former director of planning and economic development for the City of Holyoke in Massachusetts.
Pete Fitzboydon, former CEO of London Sport and Cycling UK, has been appointed to managing director at London-based consultant thinkBeyond. The organization aims to “drive social change across sport and the wider business sector,” through providing consultancy and strategy to mainly sports organizations, according to a news release. thinkBeyond has a network of over 3,000 organizations in more than 150 countries, according to the release. It’s a subsidiary of Benchmark, a London-based sports investor.
Jordan Dolin was appointed to the board of Chicago-based digital health analytics company HealthChampion. Dolin is the founder of two health care companies, Furthur, a healthcare innovation accelerator, and Emmi Solutions, Chicago-based healthcare technology company which was acquired by Wolters Kluwer in 2016 for $170 million, according to a news release. Dolin has also been a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago’s Graduate Business School for 20 years.
New Chamber To Support Rural Entrepreneurs
The Rural America Chamber of Commerce, a Callicoon, New York-based group that seeks to elevate and advocate for rural business owners across the country, launched Thursday. Solo entrepreneurs, small or mid-sized businesses, trade associations and nonprofits operating in areas where the population is 50,000 people or less are eligible to become members. Each will receive a landing page for their business and be a part of the national rural entrepreneur community. The group has three goals for 2021: closing the digital divide, funding rural hospitals and sparking conversations about the racial divide.
Its founder, Sherri Powell, is the only full time staffer and two freelance employees will start once the chamber launches. It also has a board of 11 people. Powell said she’s covered all the costs herself so far, and plans to begin fundraising once the chamber builds up a member base.
Read the full story: New Chamber of Commerce Aims Support 25M+ Rural Entrepreneurs
Tourism Accelerator in Jordan
The Jordan Tourism Board partnered with Amman, Jordan-based VentureX on Feb. 4 to launch a tourism dedicated start-up accelerator, according to an article from Trade Arabia and reshared by Wamda. The accelerator seeks to “fortify the position of global tourism from Jordan and push the national plan for the revival of tourism,” after the industry was hit hard by the pandemic, according to a Jordan Tourism Board news release. Jordan is home to Petra, a stone city that was the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom. It’s one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. It’s looking for companies that are innovating solutions to “future-proof the travel and tourism industry” and help tourism “thrive in the new normal brought about by Covid-19,” according to the article. The accelerator will be a three-month program for the technology start-ups or pre-scaleups selected, and three months of pilot implementation for the top 10 companies.
Applications Launch for First 2021 Cohort of This Arkansas Incubator
Applications are live for the free I-Fund at Winrock International incubator, a virtual program that provides funds and technical assistance and training to entrepreneurs that was modeled after the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps. Early-stage entrepreneurs in Arkansas can apply until Feb. 28 on the program’s website for the cohort set to start on March 27.
Study: Half of US Consumers Would Consider A Digital-Only Bank
A study conducted by Hampshire, United Kingdom-based Juniper Research found that over half of US consumers who want to change banks would switch to a digital-only one. The same finding was reflected in a similar UK study, according to the press release. The study also found that COVID-19 has increased contactless payments. Also, 89% of U.S. contactless payment users now use contactless cards, and 35% of non-users expect to get a contactless card soon.
After Polson, Montana entrepreneur Carol Lynn Lapotka received a call from a nurse friend asking her to make him a mask last year, she pivoted her clothing brand REcreate Designs to produce only masks. Soon the Polson community began to help, and together they made 27,000 masks. She also moved the operations of her artistry marketplace handMADE Montana online.