Small Business Briefing

Boon for businesses sharing Beyonce's baby's name?

The Globe and Mail

Beyonce and Jay-Z. (AP2009)

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Blue Ivy making hay with newborn's name choice

Many entrepreneurs see their business as their baby -- but they don't expect their baby to share the same name as the newborn daughter of power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z.

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But a couple of businesses called Blue Ivy find themselves in that very position, and are taking advantage of it.

The owner of a Boston event-planning company can't believe what the chances were of them both picking that name, according to this piece in the Huffington Post. "It didn't seem possible to me," she was quoted. “I chose these two random words, and Beyonce had the same vision?”

Still, business owner Veronica Alexandra sees some synchronicity, the article reports. "Ultimately, this is the name of the most important person in Beyonce's world, and I have the same type of intensity for my company."

There's good and bad to that: Of course, there's recognition but, as the Huffington Post piece and another Ad Age story report, her business's name has been pushed down in Google search results by the baby.

Still, Blue Ivy's owner is making hay with media appearances, has put a banner picture of Beyonce and Jay-Z on her website offering "congrats to our soulmate" and is also making the most of it on social media, the Post reports. And she hopes her event-planning business will be handed the job of hosting Beyonce's baby's first birthday celebrations.

Meanwhile, Florida-based BlueIvy Communications issued a press release offering crisis-management tips to the hospital where the baby was born, and where there were complaints about the treatment other patients got because of overprotective security by Beyonce and Jay-Z's security team. The release acknowledges the "endless media coverage and social media exposure for a few lucky companies that share the Blue Ivy name," and, with its tips, also notes that "the team at BlueIvy Communications is here to help."

CFIB set to launch annual Red Tape Awareness Week

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business next week launches its third annual Red Tape Awareness Week, an effort to bring attention to the burdens and frustrations for small businesses created by red tape, and lobby for change. The CFIB will offer up what it calls red tape digital diaries, which chronicle the red-tape frustrations of some small business owners. The CFIB will also release some reports, including its own grading of the Canada Revenue Agency and various governments. For a closer look at the red-tape issue, have a look at an interview we did during last year's awareness week with CFIB senior vice-president Laura Jones, as well as an online discussion we held.

Canadians show optimism in EO global survey

Canadian entrepreneurs are looking like a more optimistic bunch than much of the rest of the world, according to a new global survey from the Entrepreneurs' Organization.

Fifty-nine per cent of Canadian entrepreneurs surveyed predict an improvement in the economy over the next six months, the highest of any of the regions polled, and many points above the 41-per-cent global average, according to the survey of more than 1,500 entrepreneurs in 37 countries. And 70 per cent of Canadian entrepreneurs indicated a proclivity to start a new business, as compared to a global average of 63 per cent.

As well, Canada led job growth, with 90 per cent of Canadian entrepreneurs having either created jobs or held steady in the past six months, and was also strong in predicting job growth over the next six months (69 per cent, higher than the actual 62-per-cent growth over the previous six months and above the 66 per cent globally) The country also reported the greatest ease of access to capital, at 59 per cent, above the 40-per-cent global average, the report said. For more details, click here.

Older entrepreneurs

You may connect startups with youth, but a growing number of older entrepreneurs are starting businesses in their fifties, sixties and even seventies, points out this piece in the Huffington Post.

With knowledge, experience and either financial freedom or financial insecurity, many are turning to entrepreneurship later in life.

In fact, research by academic, writer and entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa cited in the piece found that, in 2008, "at the height of the entrepreneurial youth renaissance," the number of company founders older than 50 was double those younger than 25; the number over 60 was also twice the number under 20. And the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity was among those in the 55-to-64 age group. Mr. Wadhwa said in the piece that he expects the boomer boom to continue through this year.

The increase in boomer startups has been fuelled by the recession, creating a number of "reluctant entrepreneurs." Age discrimination may also be pushing those over 50 out the door and into their own doors, the piece says. No matter what the reason, it can be a good fit; a survey by MBO Partners cited in the piece found that 30 per cent of the independent worker market are boomers and 10 per cent are older; moreover just 8 per cent of independent contractors aged 50 to 64 and fewer than 1 per cent over 65 are seeking traditional employment.



EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Startup Weekend Calgary

It's time for Startup Weekend to move to Calgary. Startup weekends, held in a variety of cities, involve an intense 54-hour weekend, where groups begin with Friday night pitches, move through brainstorming, business plan development and basic prototype creations and end with Sunday night demonstrations and presentations of potential working startups created. Calgary's event will be held Feb. 3 to Feb. 5. For more information, click here.

Networking know-how

Knowing how to network is key to creating awareness for your business, building clients, creating referrals and industry contacts. For some networking knowhow, the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development is holding a workshop on Jan. 18 in Halifax. For more information, click here.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

When talk isn't cheap: How to bring down cellphone costs.

This week's Challenge: The co-founder of Beautifully Bare High-Tech Spa needs to reduce her mobile expenses now .

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Startup life after 40

For another look at successful startups among an older generaiton, meet half a dozen of Canada's tech entrepreneurs "who prove that 40 is nowhere over the hill for startup success" who we profiled back in August. It came with an accompanying photo gallery.

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