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Opening Up Entrepreneurship To All: The Resource Hub

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Plenty of potential entrepreneurs have great business ideas but are held back in their pursuit of their goals by barriers: knowledge and resources kept out of reach of all but a few, as well as assumptions about who might be an entrepreneur and where they might come from. And while it’s understood that starting your own business is a tough road — particularly in the age of COVID, where many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat — it’s to the betterment of all that more people should have the tools available to them to try their hand at a startup.
Enter Nicole Loftus, the founder of The Resource Hub, a national directory for small businesses, as well as SkinX, a funding platform for entrepreneurs, both New York based. She’s working to help entrepreneurs succeed, including over 3,500 resources on the Resource Hub and adding new ones regularly.
Nicole has an impressive resume as an author, speaker and guest faculty member at multiple institutions, including Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. She has also served on numerous boards such as The American Red Cross, and The Chicago Workforce Investment Council (CWIC) and has mentored entrepreneurs through The Clinton Foundation and The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Given that background, it was fascinating to hear her answers on what she’s learned from her own experience as she tries to help other founders on their journeys. 

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Mary Juetten: When did you start your companies?
Nicole Loftus: In 2013 I walked out of my own company that was bringing in $40M per year and was Inc. 500 #8, to take on a mission to build a better model for funding entrepreneurs, creating jobs and equalizing opportunities in America.
The model was built by 2015, the tech build started in 2017 — including The Resource Hub — and now we’re ready to launch to the public in 2021.
Juetten: What problem are you solving?

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Loftus: Three prongs:
Entrepreneurs need support now more than ever.  
The country has thousands of free resources for entrepreneurs to get help launching, building and funding their businesses.  Entrepreneurs have no way to find them.  
The system for supporting entrepreneurs is built and run by white guys in three states shutting out the other 47 states and entrepreneurs who aren’t white guys. 
We built the first ever national directory of local resources for entrepreneurs. 
These organizations are funded by taxpayers and they are the job creators of the country.  
The Resource Hub supports organizations that support entrepreneurs that are women, minorities, veterans, disabled, LGBTQ and able-bodied white guys. 
Juetten: Who are your customers and how do you find them?
Loftus: Our potential customers are every entrepreneur and wannabe entrepreneur in the U.S. 
Juetten: How did past projects and/or experience help with this new project?
Loftus: I was raised in a blue-collar Italian family where women are still taught to make babies and spaghetti, not multi-million-dollar businesses that disrupt multi-billion-dollar industries.  I took a different path.  It was the free resources in Chicago that made me an entrepreneur (The Women’s Business Development Center and The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce).
I built my business to $40 million a year with 50+ employees and disrupted a $20 billion-dollar industry all with angel investors and bank loans.  When the time came to raise venture capital I had no idea how predatory the system was, especially in Illinois, one of the 47 states shut out of venture capital.  The vulture capitalists took control of my company, prevented any new money from coming in and forced me out.  When I realized this happens every day to millions of entrepreneurs and that this broken system is the greatest driver of inequality in America, I decided to change the game.  
Juetten: Who is on your team?
Loftus: Brilliant, proven leaders like Dr. Jasmin Sethi, who has a PhD in Economics and a law degree from Harvard; Anna Belyaev, an amazing technologist that started at the National Center for Supercomputing; and Anna Rode, Susan Dumont and my mentor Christie Hefner, former CEO of Playboy Enterprises.
Juetten: Did you raise money?
Loftus: I raised $2 Million – only debt and only from friends and family.  I will not take money from venture capitalists again.  After we’re done launching Skin, no entrepreneur will ever have to again. 
Juetten: How do you measure success and what is your favorite success story?
Loftus: The only measure for success is freedom, especially for women and minorities:  Freedom to choose a life you want, to live where you want, to be unmarried, to have children or not don’t have children.
Juetten: Any tips to add for early-stage founders?
Loftus: 
Engage your free local resources.
Spend more time choosing an investor than you do choosing your spouse; there’s no divorcing a bad VC once they’re in your business.
Research your VC’s, meet their other portfolio companies; make sure they’re a fit for your company.
Become a legal expert in all the language VC’s love to use – learn about block rights, liquidation preferences, pari passu, drag along, etc.
Juetten: And of course, any IP horror stories to share?
Loftus: Before I knew to not take on partners and that co-founders never work, I took on a partner.  It didn’t work.  She didn’t work as hard, wasn’t as committed and was a general nightmare. I let her take the whole company, all our IP, our brand, the url, the company name…EVERYTHING.
I went and started over again.  She never did anything with it.   
IP isn’t worth anything without the blood, sweat, tears to make the ideas into reality. 
 Juetten: What’s the long-term vision for your company?
Loftus: SkinX is a long-term economic initiative intended to build a sustainable infrastructure for the way businesses are funded for centuries to come. It is full-participation capitalism. It is the renewed American Dream.
Thanks to Nicole for her insight; I hope her dream of a more inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem comes true. #onwards.

How To Help Clients Pivot Their Business Strategy

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By Maria Thimothy, Sr. Consultant at OneIMS, helps businesses grow by creating and capturing demand and managing and nurturing relationships.

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Market disruption happens. While it can often be perceived in a negative light, many times it actually heralds a time of innovation and growth. Some of the biggest companies around have become successful because they disrupted the market and forced their brand as well as others in the industry to pivot and become more competitive in offering clients even better services.
Just 10 years ago we were mailing DVDs weekly, whereas today we choose from thousands of programs to stream on-demand at the click of a button, and that is all thanks to disruption. Regardless, disruption can put a strain on businesses, and it is up to us to help our clients successfully navigate the challenges of pivoting their strategy. 

Stay objective.
Whether your client’s business has been affected by natural evolution in their market, such as the development of a competitive new service or product or something as ubiquitously upsetting as Covid-19, remaining objective is key. When clients need to pivot their business models, they feel pressured to move quickly in order to avoid being left behind, or worse, going under.
However, making rash decisions is not in the interest of good business. This is why it is important that you stay objective when listening to your clients’ needs and ensure that they are looking at all their options when it comes to changing their business focus. It may be that your client is under the false impression that they have to completely overhaul their business model or embark on an expensive marketing strategy to improve their bottom line. It is your job to find all the options to help them weigh the most effective move for them.

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Keeping an objective eye and focusing on facts will instill confidence in your client that you are being thorough and not rushing them to make quick decisions that could incur unnecessary costs or even be detrimental to their business.
Do your research.
It may seem very obvious, but often we rely on what our clients tell us about their business without doing a deeper dive to see what is really going on in their market. Whether it is digging into market research and reports or taking another look at your client’s website or social media metrics, gathering as much measurable information as you can will help determine the market environment and establish a foundation of facts upon which to base decisions.
A client may see a dip in sales and think that they are offering the wrong type of service or that their target market has dwindled; however, these issues may be red herrings. It could very well be that by just tweaking their social media strategy, they can reach a broader clientele and improve their business. Keep in mind that laying strong groundwork based on well-researched data also helps create a baseline so you have something to compare to when benchmarking success.
Familiarize yourself with the competition.
Generally, markets change in waves, so what affects one company within an industry sooner or later reaches the rest. Knowing what your client’s competitors are doing to remain ahead of the game is essential to making sure you give good and lasting advice.
Looking at the competition will provide you with valuable knowledge about trends and whether the issues affect an entire market or are limited to just one area of the business and whether they impact a particular geographical area or only hit a specific segment of the buying market.
You will see how others in the business are pivoting and working to remain competitive and learn valuable lessons about what has and hasn’t worked for them. In this way, you will be well placed to offer a range of solutions and ideas. 
Be flexible.
Whether your client is looking to proactively pivot or is being pushed due to external factors, you are there to help make their journey easier and their business successful. So, the most important factor when helping businesses evolve is flexibility in your approach.
For example, a startup client may have many good ideas of their own and require more hands-on help early on as they develop and troubleshoot their marketing approach. This means an initial period of intense time investment on both your parts, followed by a lighter touch once their business is more established and stable.
On the other hand, a client with a more mature business may not think they need to pivot their business strategy, not realizing that a few small changes made consistently over time will go a long way in maintaining their long-term profitability. It will be your advice that helps keep them competitive.
Maintaining a responsive and tailored approach to your client’s needs is key to ensuring their success in adapting to changing markets and, in turn, keeps your business adapting in response as well.
We are all in this together.
Remember, no business is an island, and neither is yours. When your job is to help clients change their business models or adapt their marketing strategy to changing times, you have to remember your business is also responding and adjusting. Be sure to take an approach that is responsive to your clients’ needs and based on objectivity, strong data and market knowledge. Combine these with a flexible approach and you will be in a great position to help your clients in challenging times.

Exclusive: Black Female-Founded Partake Foods Raises $4.8 Million In Funding From Investors—Including Rihanna

Partake Foods founder and CEO Denise Woodard wants to help move the funding needle for other entrepreneurs of color.
Courtesy of Partake Foods
Ahead of the new year, the For(bes) The Culture community predicted that Black and Brown entrepreneurs would have more access to funding in 2021, with more venture capitalists of color stepping up to lead the charge. The latest funding round for the Black female-founded snack company Partake Foods is a step in that direction. 
The allergy-friendly food brand closed a $4.8 million series A funding round in late December, led by investors including Rihanna (her first investment beyond personal ventures), Kevin Johnson’s Black Capital, Seattle Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner, Black Star Fund, Once Upon a Farm CEO John Foraker, CircleUp Growth Partners, FF2032 and Marcy Venture Partners. More than 50% of Partake Foods’ total $7.5 million in funding has come from Black investors such as Jay-Z’s VC fund, Marcy Venture Partners, and Grammy Award-winning singer H.E.R.
“That was very deliberate,” says Partake Foods founder and CEO Denise Woodard. “I feel very passionate about continuing to increase wealth in the Black community wherever possible and so having investors on board that understand those missions and goals is really important to me.”
Woodard is the first woman of color to raise $1 million for a food startup, and her business is scaling quickly. The brand, which launched in 350 stores at the start of 2020, plans to grow to 5,500 by the end of 2021. Woodard plans to use new funding to expand her team, marketing efforts, product line and distribution. 
While she’s proud of her accomplishments, Woodard recognizes the lingering reality that Black women—despite being the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country—receive less than 1% of funding, an appalling statistic she is working to improve. In partnership with HBCUs, Clark Atlanta, NC A&T, Howard and Florida A&M, she is leading a “Black Futures in Food & Beverage” fellowship program aimed at fostering greater inclusivity in her industry. 
Her entrepreneurial story, which she hopes will inspire others, has also helped her work toward that goal. “I sold cookies out of my car up and down the street in New York every single day; I drove to natural food stores and did demos every single day . . . there’s so much of a longer grind,” she says. “I say that to say that if I can figure this out and get here, anyone can.”

The Journey To Multilayered Social Development And Entrepreneurship In West Africa

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By Enyonam Nanevie, founder and CEO at Building Community Bridges, providing communities in West Africa with access to basic needs and economic opportunities.

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Building Community Bridges began with an African girl’s journey almost three decades ago. For at least half of that time, my nonprofit organization was only a dream, but I never gave up on it. I was a diplomat’s daughter who became homeless at the age of 18 to pursue a path my parents did not support. As I told my parents, I wanted to go back home and help the villagers.
Being born in Togo and then becoming an American diplomat’s daughter at nine years of age meant I came from two different worlds: the world of villagers and have-nots, and the world of privilege, education and opportunity that many dream about when imagining a better life in America or Europe.

The story of Building Community Bridges (BCB) is rooted in my personal story because creating BCB was about seeking to address all the issues I had experienced as a child in Togo and Ghana. The issues many villagers experienced on a daily basis still exist today. I lived in the villages during the summers with my grandparents. I fetched dirty water from holes in the ground and brought it back for us to cook with and drink. There was no electricity in the villages I grew up in. I remember the difficulty that my mother had in paying our school fees and the many girls in similar circumstances who stayed home from school to help their families.
I did not create a nonprofit as a benevolent foreigner who wanted to “save Africa.” I created it as a child of those I left behind in the villages. My uncles, aunts and cousins still live in villages in Ghana today. My background and story informed and fueled my pursuit to create solutions that would last for the long term and address issues in a manner that upheld the dignity, culture of collectivism and hope of the people. 

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Our mission has always been to transform and empower villagers to become changemakers who take their own destinies in their hands. We have been adamant about not propagating complacency and the “aid dependency” that many international development efforts have fostered in a manner that disempowers people.
I’ve seen firsthand that the true sustainability of any project lies in the local shareholders’ — in our case, villagers’ — confidence in their own ability to maintain projects past completion. I believe the international developmental community must understand the importance of involving local communities at the beginning and throughout all levels of any development effort as a way for stakeholders to take ownership of projects. This has always been our approach because we know that the African people, with their own local knowledge base and traditional technologies, know best what they need. 
After many starts and stops, failure and successes, we have finally found a solid foundation and model that combines agribusiness and entrepreneurship, expertise from academic institutions and the transformation of villagers into investors who invest in other villages. Today, I see potential in a multilayered approach to agricultural development, with opportunities for farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs in West Africa to take a significant market share in this multibillion-dollar industry.
The president of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina stated, “I believe that the future millionaires and billionaires of Africa will come out of the food and agriculture industry — not out of oil and gas sector.” I not only wholeheartedly agree, but I’m also seeking to pioneer a way forward in Ghana by placing a fair share of profits and power in the hands of African farmers while helping them seize the market opportunities. In fact, it’s predicted that the agribusiness sector in Africa will reach $1 trillion by 2030.
For example, recognizing this long-term trend, BCB has pivoted to the growth of its social enterprise in the processing and sale of rice as one of its pillars. (Our for-profit social enterprise grew out of the nonprofit parent organization.) Our organization is working with a village partner association to provide resources that will allow the farmers to produce rice all year long. The farms’ location is close to a tributary of the river Volta, which means they have an endless supply of water, a critical component for growing rice.
I believe mechanization, processing and storage capacity are the keys to empowering African farmers to generate profits that provide a clear pathway out of poverty and to enable them to take ownership of their futures. With increased hands-on training and education on technological and digital advancements, African farmers will be poised to emerge as the winners in an era when immense global resources are being mobilized for increased food production. I predict that profits generated from this sector will impact all other development sectors, making agribusiness a new cornerstone of overall social development in rural and village communities not only in West Africa, but in Africa as a whole. 
From my nonprofit journey to the dream of agribusiness’s potential to transform the African continent, dreams must be kept alive, nurtured, pursued and never given up on. In today’s world, dreams are the promises of tomorrow. The dreams that are realized manifest our future reality for our beloved planet. Dare to dream.

How Crisis Coaching Can Keep A Startup On Course

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Guest article by Eleanor Haglund

Asking for help from a professional crisis coach can make weathering the storm a little easier.
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New year, new outlook on your venture? Not necessarily.
Just because the calendar hit January 1st doesn’t mean your startup’s crises will magically disappear. Unlike “Dry January,” or resolutions to hit the gym in the new year, solving stagnating sales or low retention within your startup won’t simply be a thirty-day sprint.    
Working with a crisis coach “is all about getting away from chaos,” says Adam Paulisick, serial entrepreneur, Executive Coach at Aspire360, and adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. While we point the finger at that one big issue, there are more problems under the surface than we expected. Here are 4 ways coaching can help a founder get past crisis-mode and onto building a better business. 

Stick Close to Founding Principles
There were multiple times where AI and machine learning compliance company Rebric was days away from running out of payroll, remembers founder and CEO Chris Oltyan. The company needed to make a change, and fast, but Oltyan wasn’t in the practice of taking just any paying customer. 
Keeping his cool, he let his next choices be guided by the company’s core beliefs (with the help of his coach and mentor circle), something he urges other founders he mentors to do. While Rebric was initially founded to aid in the HR space, changing customer needs, and market fit nudged the team towards different audiences. 

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AI and machine learning compliance company Rebric was days away from running out of payroll
When founders consider pivots or bold moves to save a company, they shouldn’t forget the core beliefs that brought them there. The company audience or offering might look dramatically different once the crisis has passed, but are the foundational values still in place? 
“Making better decisions through data is our core fundamental belief which we hold here,” says Oltyan. “If I had to change that, then absolutely it would not be worth keeping the same company.” Knowing that a pivot to a different customer could still satisfy its mission, Rebric could cut through the noise, and make the next move without fear. 
Get Hyper Focused
A crisis isn’t quiet, says, Paulisick, but leaders need to “work to eliminate the static of everything, get the noise out of their head to achieve clarity.”
Crisis and chaos will pull founders in multiple directions simultaneously but with the guidance of a coach and some self-awareness, CEOs can work to organize the noise and create a sense of calm. 
The company audience or offering might look dramatically different once the crisis has passed, but are the foundational values still in place?
“In a crisis, leaders find themselves on their heels,” explains Paulisick, “and that’s a place they’re ill-equipped to make decisions from.” 
It may seem counterintuitive, but working with a crisis coach can help slow down the thinking process, cutting away the static and panic, and allowing leaders to stop reacting and start making proactive decisions. It brings back a sense of control to founders, so they can work from a place of understanding over panic.

“It’s important to know where you’re going, and how you’re going to measure that you’re headed in … [+] the right direction.”
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Pivot in a Path
A common reaction to a crisis is to pivot the business model. Oltyan is no stranger to pivoting, but he compares it to hiking trips with his kids. 
“I let the kids go off into the woods, but I always tell them to keep these three trees in view or other wayfinders,” Oltyan explains. The strategy ensures his children are always traveling in a straight line, and they can always find their way back to camp. 
“To me, that’s what your pivots should be. As long as you keep these things in sight, you’ll always have triangulation. It’s important to know where you’re going, and how you’re going to measure that you’re headed in the right direction.”  
“I let the kids go off into the woods, but I always tell them to keep these three trees in view or other wayfinders,” Oltyan explains.
Think of crisis coaches as a personal trail guide. As a founder and CEO, you may have a map and the tools, but many of us have a hard time seeing the big picture when we’re deep in the forest. As a leader, you may pick the ultimate path or route, but the coach can show you the way. 

None of us want to encounter a crisis in our business, but for founders, weathering one or two is … [+] just a fact of life.
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Balance the Trade-Off Between Impact and Effort
When you’re in crisis mode, a dwindling bank account or the ticking clock might keep you from being able to make certain decisions, investments, or long term strategies—you might be looking for a solution right now, and fast. 
“A coach can help facilitate smaller steps for the largest gain,” advises Paulisick. With their experience and outside perspective, they can offer up small suggestions that lead to big changes.
Similarly, traditional coaching can be expensive and time-consuming, not the best combination for a stressed-out CEO. Luckily, “through digital platforms and tools, 75% of the one on one coaching can be done for 25% of the cost,” Paulisick reminds. 
Luckily, “through digital platforms and tools, 75% of the one on one coaching can be done for 25% of the cost,” Paulisick reminds.
A coach that’s the right fit and within the budget for you might look decidedly different than what you had in mind. However, it’s okay to think a little shorter-term right now and make the smart financial and personal decisions to fit your team’s needs.

Eleanor Haglund
Eleanor Haglund is the Founder and CEO of Aspire 360 and an MBA candidate at Columbia Business School (CBS ‘21). She has a background in strategy, operations and communications in the coaching, publishing, and pharmaceutical industries.

The Entrepreneur Who’s Helping Gamblers To Beat Their Addiction

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Defeating the gambling bug Jack Symons
Maria Scard Photography
Battling any type of addiction can be a daunting task. For Jack Symons the addiction was gambling. While many people enjoy betting on slot games, sports events, and online casinos, problem gambling is a very real problem that affects millions of people all over the world. Having tried everything, from parental controls software to gambling-blocking software to curb his activity, he came up with his own solution Gamban.
Launched in 2016, the technology behind Gamban blocks access to any online gambling across all of a customer’s devices. The company works with the likes of Lloyds Banking Group as well as major players in the gambling industry to help people regain control without compromising on the benefits of new technology.
Symons had previously been freelancing as a business development consultant for several design agencies. He’d also cofounded video networking startup 85by55, which had started well, but following rejection at Y Combinator interview was acquired and transformed into video recruitment tool PowerMeeter.

He admits to having gambled online from an early age. “At university, not a day went by when I didn’t play online, and on many occasions, I was playing up to 14 hours a day,” he says. “Online gambling is generally much easier to hide than other forms of offline gambling, so I was able to keep it hidden.”
Then one night he hit a jackpot, but to withdraw the money and satisfy the bonus requirements he had to continue wagering a significant amount of money. “That night I was playing single hands of blackjack and video poker at over £5,000 a hand,” says Symons. “Eventually I was able to withdraw the funds and had more money in my bank account than I had ever had before.”

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Over time he found himself playing more casino games and slots and chasing jackpots. “Once you get a taste for the swings, the high highs, and the low lows, it’s hard to go back,” he says. “What I was doing was very quickly becoming unaffordable and before long I’d lost all the money I had saved.”
Symons had tried to stop many times, but without success, and he realized that what he needed was to put a barrier between himself and gambling because his willpower wasn’t enough. He installed parental control software but quickly found it easy to disable, while specific software that he could install to block his gambling didn’t work on his MacOS computer.
He says: “One evening my father and I were talking about gambling and I came up with the idea of a light-touch, cross-platform software that blocked access to nothing but gambling. As I was still gambling, I needed this, so I got to work immediately.”
He had learned basic programming and started building a prototype for MacOS. The real challenge was creating and populating a database of gambling sites and apps, but within two days he had amassed 16,000 gambling domains on a spreadsheet.
At this stage, he needed support for some of the other operating systems and found an overseas agency to support the development. Its founder Mavia Siddiqui, his team, and Symons spent a year developing the products for different operating systems. At the same time, he also connected with Matt Zarb-Cousin, who was working on the Campaign for Fairer Gambling and fighting to reduce the stakes on fixed odds betting terminals from £100 a spin to £2.
“It was clear there was early interest from industry to financially support this project but we felt it wasn’t the right time to be partnering,” says Symons. “We launched the software in 2016 with Mac, Windows, and Android, offering it free of charge for the next two years while we navigated the best route to sustainability.”
At this stage, Derek Webb, inventor of 3-Card Poker, philanthropist, and partner in the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, became involved and went on to financially support the development of the product and the company over the next few years.
Once installed, Gamban is designed to be difficult to remove. “That’s not to say it is impossible, but we try to find the right balance between intrusion and protection,” says Symons. “We always recommend using other barriers in addition to gambling-blocking software, which gives the individual a chance to think between urge and action.”
Gamban recently won a four-year contract to provide gambling-blocking software in Norway through the monopoly operator Norsk Tipping. The Norwegian gambling regulator estimates that 250,000 customers play on offshore black-market sites, with an annual spend of €200.
The company has also secured several high-profile partnerships, including with Lloyds Banking Group. “Since the challenger banks Monzo and Starling demonstrated the impact of gambling harm prevention, the high-street banks stepped up quite quickly,” says Symons.
Gamban is also offered by some of the largest gambling operator groups in the gambling sector, including Entain, Flutter, Gamesys, and Playtech. Their biggest partnership to date is with GamCare, a national provider of free information, advice, and support for anyone affected by problem gambling. Funded by the UK Gambling Commission, this partnership brings the National Online Self Exclusion Scheme (GAMSTOP) and gambling-blocking software Gamban together through the National Gambling Helpline.
As Symons explains, working with the gambling industry operators has been complex. He says: “There is no regulatory pressure for gambling operators to offer gambling-blocking software, so partnerships are based entirely on the changing attitudes of the gambling operators and how products like Gamban can protect their players and the sustainability of their companies and the wider industry.”
Gamban, which employs a team of 15 people, many working remotely in overseas locations, is on track to turn over £2.6 million ($3.5 million) in the current financial year, with a target of £5 million ($6.8 million) for the following year. To date, the company has secured £1.8 million in angel investment.
Looking ahead, Symons aims to expand into new global markets and work with major players in the industry, banks, and governments to help people get their gambling activity under control.
“It’s our mission to build gambling-blocking software that is as good as it can be for end-users, making a positive difference to people’s lives,” he says.

Eight Tech Hacks For Better Managing Your Daily Workload

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Technology has given us a plethora of options for speeding up our workflows. From automation software to artificial intelligence chatbots, we can leverage a significant amount of tech to make demands on our time much less burdensome.
However, not all entrepreneurs utilize the benefits tech offers them to their fullest potential. This lack of adoption is partially due to how many options there are available and how obscure some of the methods are. Luckily, these eight professionals from Young Entrepreneur Council have some tried-and-true tech hacks that can significantly improve the efficiency of your business processes.

Young Entrepreneur Council members recommend these tech tools if you’re looking to improve your workflow.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Calendar Alerts And Features
Using calendar alerts and features is a no-cost hack that is compatible with any organization’s tech stack. It is basic, but it requires discipline to stick to the reminders and proposed schedule. I fill my calendar with tasks and complete them. As soon as I have a task, the first place it goes is on the calendar with a reminder. Be consistent in this practice and you will see your productivity increase. It has the added benefit of showing you where you are losing efficiency and where you might stand to hand off tasks. Each day, I look at my calendar and know exactly what needs to be accomplished. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic

2. Various Browser Extensions
I like taking advantage of different browser extensions to enhance my productivity and make my life easier. For example, I have one extension that lets me know when someone opens an email I sent so I know they received it. Another extension automatically fixes my grammar and spelling, whether in emails, on my website, social media, etc. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
3. AI For Data Analysis
Data crunching always takes a huge part out of the day for marketers because we have to think about SEO, clicks, backlinks, ad impressions, etc. For us to manually compute our data, it would take us hours compared to an artificial intelligence, which can do a comprehensive report in a matter of minutes. With AI doing all of the legwork when it comes to analysis, it’s easier for us business leaders to make decisions. We add the wealth of experience that we have with the data provided by our AI and we get a better outcome. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

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4. Alexa Combined With Project Management Software
I’ve hooked up Alexa to my project management software so I can say “Alexa, add this thing to my to-do list” and it gets put in my to-do list. Since I have Alexa speakers throughout my house, including in my office, this makes it so easy to speak the things that pop into my head throughout the day. Then, it gets triaged and handled. It is so great to be able to know those thoughts don’t get lost even if I’m in the middle of different work or away from my desk. It helps me clear my mind from that task and move on quickly to what I was trying to accomplish. – Monica Snyder, Birdsong
5. ClickUp
My absolute favorite way to use tech to boost my productivity is through ClickUp. ClickUp has been a game-changer to help with systems, to-do lists, team correspondence and delegation, project management and so much more. Every time I think I have utilized ClickUp to its fullest potential, I learn there are even more ways to help my productivity. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
6. Unroll.me
My favorite tech hack these days is Unroll.me. It has really helped me cut out the junk in my email folder by allowing me to delist myself from all subscriptions that I don’t want anymore. Email inboxes should be clear when you are a CTO, and this tool helps find important messages much more easily, so for me, Unroll.me is the greatest tech hack there is currently. – Asim Rais Siddiqui, Tekrevol
7. Notion
It’s a challenge to remember everything important when you’re attending meetings, setting initiatives and making sure everything stays on track. It can be overwhelming to swim through waves of ideas and information, all while making sure your employees and clients are happy. To help with this, I rely heavily on Notion. I dump everything into a Notion inbox: thoughts, cravings, articles—you name it. Then, I clean through Notion frequently to sort what needs to be immediately addressed, delegated or simply discarded. This keeps me on top of everything I want to do and prioritize according to importance and urgency. It takes a substantial load off my mind to know that my thoughts have a nest to fly to, and that because they do, everything will get done in time. – Shane Zilinskas, ClearSummit
8. monday.com
Project management can be very stressful and challenging, and a small mistake can mess up your orders, which may lead to customer dissatisfaction and refunds. In the long run, mistakes decrease your customer retention percentage. So we personally use monday.com for our marketing activities. Monday.com is a great project management tool used by many remote teams and agile organizations. It also works as a personal productivity tool by allowing you to assign tasks, keep up-to-date with project deadlines and see progress in real time. It also has many time- and money-saving features like integrations with a vast array of other apps and software. And it allows you to plan events, capture leads and collaborate with clients. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

Marcus Rashford Is the Most Valuable Soccer Player in the World

According to figures from the CIES Football Observatory research center, the Manchester United FC striker ranks first.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 7, 2021 2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

This story originally appeared on Alto Nivel
It is estimated that Marcus Rashford is priced at a value of 165 million euros , which places him ahead of other soccer players.
Image: Marcus Rashford – Depositphotos.com
In second place we can find the Norwegian Erling Haaland , who works as a forward for Borussia Dortmund – in the German Bundesliga – and for the Norwegian national team. It is estimated to have a value of 152 million euros.
That said, there are other more expensive players, such as defender Trent Alexander Arnold (Liverpool), Alphonso Davies (defender in Bayern Munich) and Rúben Dias (Manchester City FC), according to said center specialized in data and statistics of analysis.
In addition, the maximum values that are considered for midfielders and goalkeepers were registered for Bruno Fernandes , whose player belongs to Manchester United FC for an estimated 151 million euros, in the same way we can find in the list Ederson Moraes, who is part of the Manchester City FC for an amount of 80 million euros.
Image: CIES Football Observatory
Where were the famous Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?
The famous soccer player belonging to the Barcelona team, Lionel Messi, was placed at number 97 , with an estimated cost of 54 million euros. In addition, Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo took the 131st place with a value of seven million less than the aforementioned, giving a result of 47 million euros. According to the CIES , the values were determined by means of an algorithm , which among other articles, takes into account the age of the soccer player – between 33 and 35 years old – and is subtracted from their agreement.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have earned the place of the two best players today, this due to their goals and achievements that have represented their trajectory in the world of football, although they do not appear even in the top 10 of this ranking, To review its values, we must position ourselves from the Top 100 onwards.
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Tesla outperforms Facebook's market value for the first time

The value of Elon Musk’s auto company scraped $ 769 billion.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 7, 2021 1 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Tesla first beat Facebook’s market valuation for the first time on Thursday, January 7. Shares of Elon Musk’s electric car maker briefly came in at a price of $ 811.61 per share during the session, bringing the company’s value to $ 769 billion.
Against this, according to data from Refinitiv , Facebook’s market value of 765 billion dollars.
In the last 12 months, the value of the stock of Musk’s automaker has risen more than 700% in the last 12 months and is already the most valuable automaker in the world.
This morning the South African businessman surpassed Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to become the richest man in the world according to the Bloomberg index, with a personal fortune of $ 188.5 billion.