5 survival tips for entrepreneurs

Shazi Visram has experienced success in her start-up HAPPYFAMILY, but the road to greatness was far from smooth even though she knew her idea for baby and toddler meals was a good one.
For others who are confident in the idea of their start-up but feel stuck in the bumps on the road, she offers five tips for making it through in one piece and maybe even enjoying the ride.
1. Raising capital is a sales process
When HAPPYFAMILY landed a large retail contract we needed to raise money for raw materials and production right away. We were open and frank with our investors but not desperate. Securing money is a sales process and the key to sales is to present benefit. We positioned this as good news—HAPPYFAMILY was growing faster than its projections. We also let our investors see, and share, our passion. Your enthusiasm for your brand is infectious.
2. Find creative solutions
HAPPYFAMILY had almost raised several million dollars of expansion cash when the recession hit. All our money walked and we got creative to survive. HAPPYFAMILY relies heavily on HAPPYMAMAS, our network of real moms who conduct grassroots marketing. With capitol in short supply, HAPPYMAMAS, the mainstay of our branding, was on the chopping block. Instead, we joined with Stonyfield Farm’s YoBaby brand, allowing them access to our HAPPYMAMAS in exchange for their help subsidizing the program. Finding a creative solution not only preserved our community-based marketing, it brought us new customers through YoBaby and a corporate partner with whom we share a common mission.
Full story at Inc..

Top 10 women entrepreneurs

Million-dollar ideas are few and far between. In fact, it's seldom so simple, coming up with the big idea or scoring the big break or simply deciding you've got what it takes. More often, it's a study in perseverance, creativity, self-confidence and, every now and then, putting a little frustration to good use.
Here, 10 women who started small and made it big, creating media empires, international beauty conglomerates or companies that Harvard Business School now uses as efficiency case studies.
  • Anita Roddick -- The Body Shop: Roddick began with a tiny store in Brighton, England. Today, there are almost 2,000 Body Shops with 80 million customers speaking 25 different languages worldwide.
  • Debbi Fields -- Mrs. Fields Cookies: In 1977, Mrs. Fields' Chocolate Chippery in Palo Alto, Calif., was about to go its first day without a sale when she started handing her product out for free on the sidewalk, and the rest is history.
  • Oprah Winfrey -- Harpo Productions: Number one on our list for obvious reasons. Successful actress, activist, broadcaster, producer, media mogul and all-around star, Oprah takes the entrepreneurial Gold.
Full list at HowStuffWorks.com.

11 winning female entrepreneurs

Rock on, ladies. Although 40 percent of women own US businesses, they receive only 5 percent of equity capital investments. In response to the mix-match, Ernst & Young LLP recognizes female entrepreneurs with its 2010 Entrepreneurial Winning Women competition, a leadership program aiming to grow businesses founded by women entrepreneur. Winners are chosen by a panel of independent judges.
Who made the list this year?
  • Lisa Bair| The Hobart Group
  • Ali Brown | Ali International LLC
  • Amy Gonzales and Kelly Caldwell | AK Environmental
  • CPT (Retired) Dawn Halfaker | Halfaker and Associates, LLC
  • Lili Hall | KNOCK inc.
  • Jessica Herrin | Stella & Dot
  • Barbara Levine | Exam Coordinators Network
  • Elisabete Miranda | Translation Plus
  • Darlene Panzitta | DSP Clinical Research
  • Susan P. Rice | Cavanagh Services Group, Inc.
Full story at ey.com.

Top 10 strategic technologies for 2011

Gartner Technologies announced its top 10 strategic technologies for the coming year. The Connecticut-based IT research and advice company built its list by seeking technologies that could significantly impact enterprise within three years. This meant trends with “a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt,” according to a company press release. What made the top 10?
  • Cloud computing
  • Mobile Applications and Media Tablets
  • Social Communications and Collaboration (social networking, social collaboration, social publishing, and social feedback)
  • Video
  • Next generation analytics
  • Social analytics
  • Context-aware computing
  • Storage class memory
  • Ubiquitous computing
  • Fabric-based infrastructure and computers
Full story at Gartner.com.

8 effective mind mapping tools for brainstorming

Just when you’re aching for a light-bulb moment, Dumb Little Man curates a list of the eight best mind mapping tools for brainstorming. The list includes:
Full list at Dumb Little Man.
More tips on getting things done.

10 ways data is changing our lives

When you hear the word 'community' do you only think about your real-life neighbors in your sub-division? With social media and networking tools millions belong to virtual communities as well. These virtual communities are similar to those in real-life in that the focus is on building relationships. Often times these virtual relationships translate into real-life customers, consumers, and on occasion friendships.
This example of community or society is only one way of how data has changed our lives. Here are a few other ways:
  • For a handful of years we've been able to map out directions from one location to the next, however with the introduction of Bing's Sidestreet, destinations are now not only viewable, but clickable for additional research.
  • Shopping has gone the route of convenience. It's faster and much easier to point, click, enter data, and ship the order to the recipient.
Get the entire list on Telegraph.