3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: May 11
By Laurie Kulikowski - 05/11/12 - 10:43 AM EDT
NEW YORK (MainStreet
) -- What's happening in small business today?
1. Moms making millions. CNNMoney
highlights five "mom-preneurs" who have figured out the secret to running a successful company.
The list includes a former General Mills
marketing employee who creates personalized baby books; a fashion designer who creates decorative storage products; former eBay
employees who created an online subscription service for teaching kids about other countries; an entrepreneur who launched a line of three-wheeled cruisers for kids and adults; and a former teacher who created a product that erases those annoying black marks from using markers.
2. Etsy becomes certified as a B Corporation. Etsy
, the online marketplace for small independent businesses to sell their goods, announced Wednesday that it has joined with a handful of New York-based companies that have already certified themselves as so-called B Corporations
, or B Corp.'s.
B-Corp.'s have been getting increased attention. In February, New York became the seventh state to recognize the legal structure for businesses in the state. Under this structure, for-profit companies can engage in socially and environmentally-minded initiatives. Certified companies are rated on rigorous standards of transparency, accountability and performance, Etsy says.
More than 500 companies have structured themselves as B Corps. Etsy will be among the biggest, along with Patagonia
and Seventh Generation
, the company says.
"We believe becoming a certified B Corporation is one of the most important things Etsy has ever done," says CEO Chad Dickerson. "It helps us keep an eye on the mindful, transparent, and humane values we aspire to. The B Corp assessment gives us a framework for measuring our success against rigorous values and responsible practices as we scale as a company."
At least one Etsy investor approves of the legal change. "Etsy is a prime example of the Internet-based networks and marketplaces that are reshaping our economy and society," says Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures and a long time Etsy investor. "We believe that the best long-term stewards of these networks will focus on value creation for all participants instead of solely on shareholders."
Etsy is looking to build on the already in-place initiatives it has, such as offering loaner bicycles to employees, hiring local small food businesses that incorporate in-season ingredients, donating office compost to a Brooklyn community farm and regulating office energy consumption, according to the company
The company also announced that it has secured $40 million in new funding from Index Ventures, who led the round, Accel Partners, Union Square Ventures, Hubert Burda Media and Glynn Partners.
"Our goal is to be the global platform for independent, creative businesses," says Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson. "Etsy has been driving a new, people-powered economy. With this funding, we're going to accelerate our expansion internationally and debut new services to become a one-stop shop for our sellers' businesses
3. Which states are the best to start a small business in?
Texas continues to dominate the list of states which is most welcoming for small businesses. According to a poll by Thumbtack.com
and Kauffman Foundation
, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin and San Antonio ranked among the top four friendliest for small businesses and the state overall earned an A-plus, CNBC
States were graded on a number of factors, including ease of starting a business, hiring costs, government regulation and training programs, CNBC
says. Idaho, Oklahoma and Utah also landed perfect grades for their friendliness toward small businesses, earning high marks for things like low tax rates.
Conversely, small business owners gave California, Hawaii, Vermont and Rhode Island an F, while New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Michigan each scored a D, CNBC
-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.
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