Presenting the Entrepreneurial Spirit 2009 Grant Finalists, Part I

In a two-part feature, we will present the business ideas that made it to the final phase of the Idea Cafe grant. Read below, be inspired. You can vote for your favorite finalist (free registration is required).

Finalists for Seventh Idea Cafe Grant Announced

Idea Cafe's editorial team has selected 50 finalists out of the list of semi-finalists, which was announced on May 26th. Congratulations to the finalists, and a sincere "Thank you" to everyone who applied for the seventh Idea Cafe grant! It is always a great experience to go through hundreds of innovative and inspiring ideas; and this is what Idea Cafe grants are all about--inspiration.

Boosting Revenue with Reseller Web Hosting: a Q&A

In these challenging economic times, entrepreneurs and small businesses are looking for effective ways to boost revenue by adding on to existing services and up-selling customers. Reseller Web hosting is one area that has emerged as a reliable revenue stream for entrepreneurs. Idea Cafe discusses the topic with Stephen Holford, Chief Marketing Officer at Fasthosts Internet, Inc.

Idea Cafe: What is reseller web hosting, and why should entrepreneurs consider it as a reliable revenue stream?

Semi-finalists for Seventh Idea Cafe Grant Announced

Idea Cafe's editorial team has selected the semi-finalists for the Seventh Idea Cafe Small Business Grant. The selection process took into consideration several factors: how viable or interesting the business idea was; how well the entrepreneur described her plans for the future; and what she was willing to give back to the local community. We are thankful to everyone who applied for the grant, because going through the descriptions of hundreds and hundreds of wonderful small businesses was an inspiring and somewhat humbling task. And here they are, the semi-finalists for the Entrepreneurial Spirit 2009 Grant.

WOMbeat! - Operating at WARP Speed (and More Updates)

As you may know from our recent updates, we here at WOMbeat! have used the winning proceeds from the Idea Café “Innovation & Originality Grant” to continue updating our website which allows our users to easily share great local recommendations with people they actually know and trust - friends, family and coworkers. Some of you may have already seen many of the new features we have already implemented over the past couple of months.

Idea Café Grant Registration Closes, Winner Selection Begins

The registration period for the Seventh Idea Cafe Small Business Grant closed on May 17, 2009. The editorial team of the site will now begin the preliminary selection of finalists, and voting for the winner will open on June 2nd. The entrepreneur who received the highest number of votes from Idea Cafe Regulars will be officially announced the winner of the Seventh Idea Café Small Business Grant on July 7th.

How Factoring Services Can Help You Take Advantage of Discounts

In many industries, an important cash flow strategy is to take advantage of what are often referred to as early pay discounts, or “2/10, net-30 discounts.” Such discounts allow companies to subtract 2 percent (and sometimes more) from the invoice amount if it is paid within 10 days instead of the normal 30.

These discounts can really add up, especially for companies with thin profit margins. The challenge for many companies, however, is managing their cash flow system in a way that enables them to take advantage of these discounts on a regular basis.

Choosing the Best Marketing Tools For Your Small or Local Business

Online marketing...Email marketing...Blogs...Search engine optimization (or SEO)...Google Adwords...Yellowpages...LinkedIn...Facebook...MySpace...

Do any of these words cause you heartburn? Today, we are fortunate to have so many marketing options, but more options can mean more confusion. But how is a business owner supposed to evaluate which ones are right for their business or the most cost-effective?

On the strengths and weaknesses of small business: Idea Cafe talks to Susan Wade of Network Solutions

Network Solutions recently conducted a survey with the University of Maryland to create the Small Business Success Index (www.growsmartbusiness.com). The Small Business Success Index measured the strengths and weaknesses of small companies, and found that small businesses are succeeding despite the economic downturn, and also that they are still investing in their companies, in spite of the 48% of small business owners expecting the economy to be in decline in 2009. According to Network Solutions, small businesses can optimize their performance for maximum success using the index.

Small businesses moving to the cloud: a Q&A

Cloud computing is coming to small business, and it brings benefits in terms of price and stability. A number of different services, necessary for running a small business, can run as a hosted (cloud) service. We explore the issue in an exclusive Q&A with Scott Kinka, Senior Vice President at EvolveIP.

Idea Cafe: What is the cloud and how can it help small businesses? What types of services run in the cloud?

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