What Most Startup Entrepreneurs Get Wrong

Eric Ries - The Lean Startup, London Edition

Eric Ries calls it a MVP or minimum viable product in his book “The Lean Startup”.  Again, call it whatever you want.  But the point here is to start serving your target customer in small ways; and sometimes at no cost to them.

via What Most Startup Entrepreneurs Get Wrong – Forbes.

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Need money for a start-up? Try crowdfunding.

Deutsch: Rollenmodell für Crowdfunding

Turned down for a bank loan but determined to get her knitting book business off the ground, Shannon Okey joined the growing ranks of entrepreneurs raising start-up money online.

She sent out an appeal to her 7,000 Twitter followers and offered books, knitting designs and even a custom-knit sweater to people willing to pledge their support on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.com.

Within a month, she’d raised $12,480 from 283 backers. Two years later, Okey has grown Cooperative Press into a six figure business.

via Need money for a start-up? Try crowdfunding | ABS-CBN News.

How accountants can save the world

Accountants' Office

Will accountants save the world? That was one of the most provocative questions to come out of the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development last week.

While it will take some time to get an answer to that question, the fact that it’s being asked demonstrates the level of concrete involvement in sustainability issues by the business community, which was more involved — and more engaged — than at any United Nations conference in history. And at least at the city and organization levels, cross-sector collaboration was evident, declarations rampant and commitment to concrete action well underway.

Especially in the finance sector, where arguably the most opportunity exists, I heard a lot that gave me reason to hope. During my time in Rio, I talked to bankers, accountants, business leaders and academics — all of whom spoke passionately about the need to value and appropriately account for nature.

Here are five efforts that stood out as examples of the role that just about every stakeholder in the financial markets system — bankers, investors, insurers, corporations, accountants, top executives, stock exchanges, or financial analysts — can play:

Natural Capital Declaration (NCD)’s 39 banks, investors and insurers (see Principles for Sustainable Insurance) joining forces with more than 50 countries — including the UK, Philippines and South Africa, as well as corporations, including Unilever, Dow Chemical and Puma — to make a collective call for natural capital valuation. A strong start, but one issue is that the larger financial institutions are not yet involved.

via How accountants can save the world — maybe | GreenBiz.com.

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Ottawa free trade talks with China

BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 08:  Chinese Premier...

OTTAWA — The Conservative government is expected to announce in the coming days that it has cleared the first hurdle towards free trade talks with China.

Canada and China launched a joint study during Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s trip to China in February that is aimed at determining ways to enhance trade and economic activity between the two countries.

The study was to be completed by the end of May, and industry representatives say they have been told the high-level assessment went better than expected.

China has emerged as Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the United States and a major source of foreign investment — including $10 billion into Alberta’s oilsands and B.C.’s shale gas deposits.

Kathleen Sullivan, executive director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, said members of her association had expected the results of the study to be released last week, but the government seems to be waiting for the right moment.

Whenever the results are released, however, the key question will be what comes next.

via Ottawa inching closer to free trade talks with China.

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