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Technology, an invaluable tool to make an inclusive world

On March 17, four successful businesswomen will share their vision to close gender gaps in the Women 4.0 webinar, forming alliances and leadership with a cause.
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March 15, 2021 4 min read

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

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In Latin America, women represent 40% of the economically active population. But we did not reach 15% of female entrepreneurs, as indicated by the study Brechas para el Entrepreneurship , carried out by the Inter-American Development Bank ( IDB ) and the Association of Entrepreneurs of Latin America ( ASELA ).
The biggest barrier for female entrepreneurs is achieving a work-life balance. To this we add a significant challenge for company founders: obtaining financing.
In the region known as the Pacific Alliance, which includes Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, 90% of those who access private financing are men, the IDB and ASELA research abounds.
Despite these challenges and the ravages of Covid-19, many Mexican women have strength every day and work very hard to get ahead. Today women enter the labor market more frequently, which is why the labor participation gap has decreased in the last 15 years.
The proportion of working women increased by five percentage points; On average, 40.7% of women and 75% of men are in the labor market. However, there are still differences in general working conditions between men and women. There is no equal opportunity and not the same treatment in employment.
This according to the study Decent work in Mexico 2005-2020: Analysis with a gender perspective , presented by the Center for Research on Women in Senior Management ( CIMAD ) of the Ipade Business School with the support of AT&T Mexico .
Following in the footsteps of powerful women
Victories are achieved with many wise advice, that is why we invite you to participate in the Woman 4.0 webinar, forming alliances and leadership with a cause , organized by Entrepreneur and Mastercard, which will take place on March 17 at 3:00 pm through the Entrepreneur networks in Spanish.
There are four speakers: Marcela Carrasco, president of the Andean Division of Mastercard, Silvina Moschini, CEO of SheWorks! and TransparentBusiness, Gabriela Lucke, director of the INCAE Women’s Leadership and Collaborative Center, and Claudia Corona, founder of Impronta Verde and Co-Leader of the 30% Club.
They know that technology makes a company powerful and efficient. It is precisely technology that has allowed us to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the participation of women in the technology sector in Mexico is very low, only 9% of technology companies are led by women. This is stated by Endeavor , a non-profit organization that supports high-impact entrepreneurs.

Art: Entrepreneur
Learning from a multinational CEO
One of the speakers at the Mujer 4.0 webinar, forming alliances and leadership with a cause is Marcela Carrasco, president of the Andina Division at Mastercard. His expertise is to design and implement strategies in the area of technology and generate new business opportunities. She has been with Mastercard for 11 years. Before that, she was at Banco Superior for 11 years and two years as vice president of consumer affairs at Banco Davivienda.
“I am passionate about knowing that technology is an invaluable tool to make an inclusive world, beyond money. The inclusion of everyone becomes a fundamental step in the creation of a sustainable and equitable society, ”says Marcela Carrasco on LinkedIn.
As responsible for the business strategies of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname, Peru and Venezuela, he constantly promotes the creation and adoption of new payment solutions that are safe, reliable and easy to use. She faithfully believes in the role of women as agents of disruption and change in leadership and business growth processes. He forcefully warns that: “Not taking women into account is not taking half the population into account.”
Join us next March 17 to the Women 4.0 panel, forming alliances and leadership with a cause , where you can learn more about how women can gain better spaces and boost their growth.
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Strategic thinking to create an impact in your sector

We invite you to participate in the Woman 4.0 webinar, forming alliances and leadership with a cause to achieve the success of your business through the advice of four powerful women. Join us this March 17 at 3:00 pm!
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March 15, 2021 4 min read

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

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In everything, women must be included in decision-making. At home, in companies, in government, in education, etc. What it is about is that there is rectitude and equality.
The UN estimates that it will take at least 10 years to reverse the economic impact on women by Covid-19. To help address the ravages of the pandemic in the female sector, Entrepreneur and Mastercard do their bit by organizing the Women 4.0 webinar, forming alliances and leadership with a cause.
The event will take place on March 17 at 3:00 pm through the Entrepreneur networks in Spanish.
Technology: the best tool for social and economic mobility
What is a world power like China or the United States doing in a world where the coronavirus has caused an economic and social crisis? They emphasize investing in technology. This is the keyword in times of pandemic. However, in the technology sector there are very few women working. The latest LinkedIn report indicates that only 27% are CTOs; and only 25% of the workforce is female.
One of the speakers of the Woman 4.0 webinar, forming alliances and leadership with a cause . She is Gabriela Lucke , passionate about the education sector. She is the director of the Center for Collaborative Leadership and Female Leadership at INCAE Business School, where she has excelled in creating and implementing a gender equality strategy.
She is a business administrator with a master’s degree in Project Management. As a commercial specialist, he has advised more than 1,000 companies. She has led three editions of the LEADS Mujer by Mastercard and INCAE program . She mentors women both in the personal empowerment process and in the development of business growth plans.
She firmly believes that education is the best tool for people’s social and economic mobility . “With my international experience and my capacity for strategic thinking, I want to create an impact in the education sector and seek change in order to make a positive contribution to an organization and its mission,” Gabriela Lucke shares on LinkedIn.
She recommends giving your mind and concentrating on acquiring a deep understanding of the market your company is in. Investigate, scrutinize, examine the whole world in which you are interested. The creation of a strategic network of contacts is also very important, from high-level government representatives to counselors of educational institutions in Gabriela’s case.
“Working at the United States Embassy allowed me to lead multicultural teams from different organizations both locally and internationally. I also have experience developing strategic alliances with chambers and associations in order to reach more potential clients ”.
Art: Entrepreneur
The director of INCAE’s Center for Collaborative Leadership and Women’s Leadership advises women entrepreneurs to think strategically with limited budgets . The key is in the execution of projects, maximizing the return on investment for your company and your clients. “It is vital to maintain an excellent track record in service. That you have clients who can attest to your skills ”, he assures.
In the last seven years Gabriela Lucke has assisted more than 400 US clients from five industrial sectors to enter the Costa Rican market and has also advised more than 500 companies on opportunities in the Central American market.
“Not only do you have to provide knowledge about the region in which you move, but also have experience in various sectors. Trust your abilities to increase revenue, adoption and market penetration in an organization ”, concludes a leader Gabriela Lucke, leader of the LEADS Mujer by Mastercard and INCAE program.
Join us for the Woman 4.0 webinar, forming alliances and leadership with a cause and get more advice from Gabriela’s voice. The appointment is next March 17 at 3:00 pm
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Remote work: the great protagonist of the new normal

March 15, 2021 5 min read

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

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
“Whoever wants to be a leader must serve others.” This is the definition of leadership that I like the most. Because many seek their own interest instead of seeking the welfare of all. Women who want to become agents of change help others achieve their dreams.
But how to achieve a change and impact with your business? You need to put your full attention on the use of technology. Whether in data science, artificial intelligence, internet of things, robotics, 3D printing, drones, bots, among many other tools that make the difference between dying on the business path or staying.
Only those who acquire knowledge and put it into practice will be able to run their business better. That is why Entrepreneur and Mastercard organize the Mujer 4.0 webinar, forming alliances and leadership with a cause , which will be on March 17 at 3:00 pm (Mexico City time) through the Entrepreneur networks in Spanish.
Four multinational CEOs, entrepreneurs and senior managers will be the speakers: Silvina Moschini , CEO of SheWorks! and TransparentBusiness, Marcela Carrasco , president of the Andean Division of Mastercard, Gabriela Lucke , director of the INCAE Collaborative Center and Female Leadership, and Claudia Corona , founder of Impronta Verde and Co-Leader of the 30% Club.
In Latin America, 65% of women who work in the technology sector declare that gender equality has increased, according to the report Where are we now? Understanding the Role of Women in Technology , from Kaspersky .
Another study that lasted 15 years observes that, in 2005, 28% of women held middle and upper management positions. And by 2020, their participation in managerial positions was 38%, which means that the female workforce managed to increase ten percentage points with an average annual growth of 2%.
This according to the study Decent work in Mexico 2005-2020: Analysis with a gender perspective , presented by the Center for Research on Women in Senior Management ( CIMAD ) of the Ipade Business School with the support of AT&T Mexico.
Art: Entrepreneur
A multi-award winning serial entrepreneur
March of this year marks one year since the Covid-19 crisis began, which led 3.9 billion people – half of the world’s population – to stay at home.
In this scenario, the companies that implemented remote work in due time were the ones that recovered the ravages of the coronavirus the fastest. Distance work is being consolidated due to the relocation of talent, more flexible hiring schemes and the progressive inclusion of women who are increasingly balancing professional and personal life.
In the Woman 4.0 webinar, forming alliances and leadership with a cause , one of the speakers will be Silvina Moschini, CEO of SheWorks !, a marketplace for hiring professional women with flexible models. Silvina is the first Latin American woman to found and run a $ 1 billion unicorn company. She is a pioneer in remote work as she is the founder of TransparentBusiness, a cloud-based platform that allows remote teams to be managed.
“ Remote work consolidated itself as the great protagonist of the new normal . From the smallest to the largest companies, they had to adapt their models to distributed teams ”, says Silvina Moschini, LinkedIn influencer, contributor to the World Economic Forum and winner in 2019 of the EQUALS in Tech award, a United Nations initiative that recognizes the most innovative global projects focused on bridging the gender gap through technology.
What began as a massive experiment forced by circumstances, turned out to be a win-win solution: a recent survey by Enterprise Technology Research predicts double productivity in telecommuting by 2021. Its benefits are tangible and create great opportunities for companies and workers.
Silvina, as an expert in digital acceleration and technology, shares three tips for Entrepreneur in Spanish to be successful in 2021:
1. Agility to reinvent yourself
Install practices in your company to speed up processes. It is very important to focus on objectives, structures that favor decision-making and teams with clear and verifiable roles through technology.
2. Talent and flexibility
Once the obvious restrictions related to physical space and movement have been overcome, they have discovered that talent no longer has any geographical border.
3. Work teams in the new era
Surround yourself with people with digital skills, increasingly fundamental skills, according to a Deloitte analysis on how to build teams in the age of Artificial Intelligence.
If you want to receive more advice from Silvina and three other extraordinary businesswomen, join us in the Woman 4.0 webinar, forming alliances and leadership with a cause .
The appointment is next March 17 at 3:00 pm (Mexico time).
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Can Your Company Withstand a Crisis?

After three decades in business, I’ve honed in on these five skills to build a profitable and lasting enterprise.
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March 16, 2021 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As my recruitment firm reaches its 30-year milestone, I realize I am one of the lucky ones. Turning an enterprising idea into a profitable venture with staying power is no small feat, and I’ve had my share of challenges along the way. But thanks to the advice from other successful owners and learning from my own mistakes, I’ve been able to grow despite the obstacles.
Whether you looking to start up or already have an existing business, here are five tips to ensure your success:
1. Find your niche
The premise of every successful startup is to do something different or better. But don’t stop there. Keep perfecting your idea so that you become the leader in your industry. When drafting my firm’s business plan, I realized there was only one recruitment model based on the compensation variable. I set out to do something different, and brought a new recruitment model to the market. By setting up a unique model to find and court candidates, my business was able to serve our clients as well as carve a niche within the field.
Related: 3 Steps To Find Your Niche & Flourish
2. Invest in the best people
One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs have is finding others who share their passion. It starts by hiring good people, but continues as you groom employees for positions of greater responsibility. This process brings out the “intrepreneur” within leaders and charts a path for their growth and development.
Think about ways beyond salary to invest in your employees. As a primary caregiver and breadwinner, I wanted to build a company with a commitment to a work-life balance, and found other professionals who shared this goal. Communicate openly and honestly by in ways that build trust and respect, like sharing the company’s financials, and create plenty of employee perks.
3. Build and leverage your network
It’s not enough to have a great idea. As self-starters, we must find ways to spread the word — and that’s where your network comes in. Don’t be afraid to call on others to lend a hand. You’ll be surprised at how willing they are to help.
Related: Building the Right Network for Your Business
4. Weather the storm
Despite the freedom and ability to stretch your thinking that comes with becoming your own boss, problems can test your management prowess. This has been one of my biggest takeaways when the events surrounding 9/11 threatened my firm’s existence despite several years of consistent growth. As a response, my team created a plan to recruit essential workers in tandem with the American Red Cross, and we managed to recruit trained 100-plus workers in 100 days. That experience gave us the tools to navigate future crises by developing a smart plan of action. Led by the mantra “We’re all in this together,” our team talks regularly and candidly about the challenges ahead and how we can confront them.
5. Give back
As a startup or small business, you might think the opportunities to give back to the community are limited. In reality, there’s unlimited potential. Consider how you can lend your expertise to professional and business groups, or how you might rally your team around a meaningful cause. Doing so is not only good for business, but also boosts morale.
Related: 3 Ways to Give Back That Don’t Require a Financial Investment

Is Your Workplace Culture Missing the X Factor?

March 15, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
We spend a lot of time at work, so it makes sense that business owners, leaders and HR professionals are concerned about their work environments and how employees perceive their organizations. Yet so many of these same leaders think workplace culture automatically takes care of itself.
The reality is that workplace culture needs to be a series of intentional considerations, decisions and actions to cultivate an organization where employees and the overall business thrive. Here are nine workplace culture checkpoints you should review to make sure your company culture is headed in the right direction:
1. Your MVP
MVP stands for mission, vision and purpose. This is your why. It’s the glue that holds your organization together and guides it into the future. As a leader, your MVP truly becomes your most valuable player. Having a good MVP can help employees navigate uncertainty and inspires their commitment to the organization.
2. Values
Values are your guideposts when directing leaders and employees to make the best decisions for the organization. In my first job out of college, I worked for a company that valued honesty and service. Leaders exemplified these traits, and they filtered through every level of the organization. These values were a part of the company’s fabric, and were a part of meetings, the logo and corporate communications. As a result, employees were engaged and proud to be a part of something larger than themselves. When values are clearly articulated, employees have clear expectations and know how to act in the best interest of the organization.
3. Traditions and practices
Your company likely has a particular way of doing things: how employees communicate with others, standard operating procedures and the organizational structure are a few of the norms that are specific to a company. All of these make up your organization’s traditions and practices, and cultivating these habits will make your workplace unique.
Related: 6 Communication Tips to Strengthen Your Company’s Culture
4. The X Factor
There are certain companies that people regard as aspirational workplace cultures. It’s fine to borrow some of the good work these organizations have done and implement it into your own culture, but you also need to define what makes you special. Why do people want to work for your company? Why do people stay once they’re hired?
5. The recruitment process
Your success as a company is dependent on who you hire, but making a great hire actually starts before the interview process. While recruitment has a sales and marketing component, it’s important to be transparent about what the job specifically entails. Give careful consideration to the overall employee experience — some companies even include a job preview, which includes a sneak peek of a realistic day in that particular position. There’s also a growing trend to include compensation information in the job posting so there’s no question about pay from the beginning of the recruitment process.
You should also pay attention to the difference between “culture add” and “culture fit.” Culture add means that a person is increasing the diversity of the team through their unique experiences, their background, work history and diversity of thought. A team of cookie-cutter employees won’t help you achieve your big goals.
6. Engagement
Employee engagement carries an array of different meanings, but I like to simply ask, “What gets our employees out of bed in the morning?” If you understand what motivates your staff, you are more likely to get them to stick around and perform effectively within their jobs. Organizations with higher levels of engagement also tend to have higher levels of retention.
Related: 3 Ways to Engage Offsite Employees in Your Culture
7. Growth and development
Growing and developing your staff starts with orientation and onboarding, but it shouldn’t stop there. In order to continually improve your culture, the organization should have training opportunities that teach managers how to lead their teams and learning opportunities to prepare employees for the future. Training events should always include content that reinforces the culture, the MVP and values.
8. Performance and feedback
One of the best ways to ensure regular communication between managers and employees is to institute a practice of regular one-on-one meetings. Communication doesn’t always happen organically, so leadership needs to ensure that managers and employees have time to devote to these important conversations.
9. Workplace well-being
If you don’t take care of your people, they’re not going to stay. You should consider how employees are rewarded and recognized, whether there is work/life balance and the organization’s compensation and benefits structure. Leaders should be motivated by what they can personally do to create a great place to work.
Once your team has an opportunity to review the nine areas, you’re ready to move into the action-planning and goal-setting phase. When you align your goals with cultural tenets, be proactive and regularly communicate them with staff. Cultivating workplace culture is an ongoing process that happens on a consistent basis, so don’t be afraid to make course corrections and revisions along the way.
Related: An Alternative Path to ‘Always-On’ Company Culture

PPP Paid Over 4,000 Businesses Twice, Government Watchdog Says — and They'll Have to Pay It Back

Between April and August 2020, 8,731 PPP loans were duplicates, totaling about $692 million.
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March 15, 2021 3 min read
This story originally appeared on Business Insider
The Paycheck Protection Program was established under the CARES Act to provide aid to small businesses suffering during the pandemic. But it provided too much aid, it turns out. 
But the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the Small Business Administration’s program has a major flaw: duplicate loans.
A report released on Monday by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), a government watchdog, found that of the PPP loans approved between April 3 and August 19, 2020, lenders made more than one loan disbursement to 4,260 borrowers, including 2,689 borrowers with the same tax identification number and 1,571 borrowers with the same name and business address. Those potential duplicate disbursements totaled about $692 million and involved 8,731 PPP loans.
Related: Why Aren’t Struggling Small Businesses Taking More PPP?
The SBA responded to the findings in the report by saying it will resolve duplications by recovering improper payments and and preventing loan forgiveness on the duplicate loans. That means small businesses will have to give back the duplicate loans, if they can.
According to the report, the SBA identified issues in 2020 that had caused duplicate loan applications to be processed. The SBA had turned off controls for its electronic loan application system, leading to duplication, even though the office had said it would rely on loan reviews to eliminate the issue. The report looked at the PPP’s first round in August 2020.
“Establishing strong controls to prevent improper or duplicate disbursements from occurring during initial loan processing is more effective than attempting to identify and resolve improper disbursements in the loan review phase,” the report said. “SBA’s efforts should focus on safeguarding funds up front, as it is more prudent and effective to prevent a loan from occurring than attempting to recover funds after the loan has been disbursed.”
The OIG recommended that the SBA:
Review potential duplicate loans and take action to recover any improper payments;
Review controls related to all PPP loans to ensure duplicate loans are not forgiven;
Strengthen the SBA’s loan servicing portal controls for future PPP-type programs;
And strengthen controls and guidance for lenders to ensure lenders meet program requirements.
The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis had requested that the OIG conduct the report to review the vulnerabilities in the SBA’s loan processing system. Along with the duplicate loans, the PPP faced issues shortly after it was implemented in March, famously including fast-food chain Shake Shack receiving a $10 million loan it ultimately gave back, despite the loans being intended for businesses with 500 employees or fewer. 
However, lawmakers have advocated for the PPP and its importance in helping small businesses recover financially from the pandemic. In the $1.9 stimulus plan President Joe Biden signed on Thursday, $50 billion was set aside for small businesses, with $7.25 billion to be used specifically for the PPP. 
And the House Small Business Committee on Thursday introduced legislation to extend the PPP through May 31, ahead of its current expiration date on March 31. 
“The demand for PPP loans right now is a testament to the program’s effectiveness and the lingering impacts of this pandemic,” Small Business Committee Chair Nydia Velázquez said in a statement. “That’s why we cannot cut off aid now and this short-term extension is so important.”

Immersive Technologies on the Rise in Pandemic Year 2

Developers are no longer trying to create quick-fix solutions to pandemic problems. Instead, they are now taking a more in depth look at these challenges and are trying to come up with longer-term solutions that will be beneficial to businesses even when we aren’t in a pandemic. 
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March 15, 2021 7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
2020 was a chaotic year that had us all relying even more on the technology we use to stay connected. This year is bound to (and already has) come with its own set of challenges, including the fact that we are entering year two of the pandemic. We’ve made a lot of adaptations to our day-to-day lives and many of these aren’t going anywhere soon, if ever.
While I think most people have accepted the new normal, many are still holding on to the idea that life will return to how it was in 2019.
The truth is, though, many of the changes we’ve made during this pandemic are here to stay, especially in terms of technological advancements … and they will continue to get better. We aren’t destined to just stare at Zoom boxes for all eternity. 
Because of the duration of this pandemic, developers are no longer trying to create quick-fix solutions to problems. A major way this is happening is by making more engaging and dynamic online experiences. In 2021, we’ll begin seeing some much more interesting things happening online from better ways to shop, attend meetings and go to digital events (at Yeti we’re even been working on some). It’s a fun time to be building experiences online!
Here are three technologies on the rise as we engage more in digital first experiences:
Web sockets and real-time web 
While web sockets and real-time web technology isn’t new tech by any means, the ways in which people are creating more interactive experiences with it will continue. 
Web sockets are the ability to have a two-way connection between a server and a browser as soon as something happens (ex: sending a message). As we build more social interactive web experiences as a result of the pandemic, this technology, while already popular, will really thrive.
We’re going to see people do some really fun and creative things with real time communication out of necessity. Some fun interactive events we’ve seen leveraging these platforms include:
Gather. Gather has created a game-like experience where people can run around a room and interact with other users.
Google’s Chrome Dev Summit. Google ran their Chrome Dev Summit on a real time platform that allowed you to “run around” like you were in a conference video game and interact with other attendees. 
3D javascript
3D javascript, specifically three.js, is another technology that’s been around a while but is just starting to hit its stride in performance on both mobile and desktop browsers. This javascript technology gives developers the power to create three-dimensional graphics, which add another layer of potential interactivity to web projects. 
Judging by the amount of interest we at Yeti are getting from our prospective clients to create engaging and interactive web pieces, we think three.js is the right answer.  More and more opportunities to build interactive 3D objects on this platform are arising. Online we’re already starting to see a lot more of this technology popping up.
A few areas we see really benefiting from online 3d modelling are:

Education. Online education and remote learning is a huge topic of conversation. While reopening schools is a big priority, the reality is that remote learning is going to continue being important. Showing students things in a 3D world is going to make it all that much easier to educate. There’s lots of work to be done, but some really interesting examples of three.js being used for educational purposes include Pioneer and Weedensenteret.

Ecommerce. With fewer in-store experiences where people can interact with products, retail has a lot to benefit from the web being more 3D. This way, people can interact with products or just have a fun experience to learn more about the brand and build a connection before buying. Some examples of retailers exploring this are:
Chartogne-Taillet Champagne
Gucci

Entertainment. Games have long been one of the only reasons we would use online 3D libraries, but now games are moving beyond that. We saw several big annual conferences in 2020 add a 3D javascript layer to their entirely digital events, which allowed attendees to explore a world and interact. We’re now seeing these 3D worlds pop up for gyms, conferences and right now, we are working on building some for universities and charity fundraisers.

Virtual reality (VR)
We’ve been excited about VR for a while, as I believe there is so much opportunity for incredible technology to be developed. While we, as a software development firm, have been experimenting with VR for many years, VR is still very much experiential and not going to be mainstream anytime soon. There are many barriers to entry with widespread adoption to VR, most notably, price point for VR devices. 
However, given our current state of constant separation, it’s a tool that can really help bring businesses together in unique (and fun!) ways. We have been experimenting with ways to create and collaborate using this platform, but here are some straightforward ways businesses of all shapes and sizes could use VR:
Workshops. Whiteboarding and interactive communication is always what makes client kick off calls and day-long client workshops so interactive and beneficial. VR allows you to have these kick off calls and meetings without leaving your respective cities. It’s still a bit clunky but apps like altspace, bigscreen or Spatial are working on these problems and they will only get better. At some point in the future it might not make sense to travel to these workshops when you can just put on a headset.
Company events. We at Yeti were really bummed about not being able to have our annual Christmas party this year. So instead of spending lots of money on food, drinks and entertainment, we sent every employee a VR headset. That way we could have a virtual Christmas party. We were able to get everybody together to play paintball in RecRoom. (Very Silicon Valley, we know, but it was a blast!)
Training. Training has become one of those incredibly difficult things to do while socially distanced. VR helps bridge that gap. Especially as teams continue to stay remote, even after the pandemic, VR training will be a great way for teams to still ensure employees are properly trained even if they are miles apart. Furthermore, it’s a great way to ensure training is standardized across the board. Multiple benefits for HR teams make this a potential trend that could last. 
If I could put one word to the challenges this pandemic has brought on, I’d have to pick “exhausting.” When it comes to digital experiences, we are all exhausted from being constrained to our tiny boxes on Zoom, exhausted from constantly having connection issues, and exhausted from trying to attend virtual events and conferences in hopes of inspiration only to have the event fall flat. 
But we’re entering a fairly exciting period where we will start to truly see digital experiences and events that are thoughtful and well-executed. Those will be here to stay even after the pandemic and we’re excited to see the tech that is developed this year!

Celebrity Placements are the “Holy Grail” of Marketing. Here's How to Score One for Free.

Organic celebrity endorsements are a complicated art, but they easily transform into dollars if you play your cards right.
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March 15, 2021 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
I can vividly recall the first time I fell victim to a celebrity product endorsement. Paris Hilton was captured sporting a brightly colored Juicy Couture tracksuit in the streets of L.A. The getup cost more than a month’s expenses on my student allowance, but I just had to have it. This experience is not only seared into my memory, but it also testifies to the power of celebrity.
The landscape has changed since the days Paris Hilton strutted down Robertson Boulevard. Nowadays, celebrity placements come with a hefty price tag. In the age of social media, public personalities have learned to leverage their popularity and transform it into dollars. But organic, or non-paid, celebrity endorsements still happen often. When one happens to you or business, you will instantly recognize the selling power of celebrities.
Landing an organic celebrity placement is a science, and it typically requires a pricey public relations firm. With tact and tenacity, you can be on your way to finding the holy grail with these tips.
Start with gatekeepers
Unless you want to pay a lot upfront, landing a celebrity endorsement will take time. Outreach needs to be strategic and shouldn’t start directly with the celebrity. People constantly bombard talent with offers and free products, so yours may get lost in the mix. Instead of trying to immediately infiltrate a celebrity’s conscience, you should start by targeting their gatekeepers.
Your celebrity target trusts the opinions of their group and is more likely to pay attention when gatekeepers use or recommend a great product or service. Research the circle and those your celebrity interacts with on a day-to-day basis, especially within the category of your product or business. For instance, if you have a makeup brand, target their makeup artist. If you are looking to seed a wellness item, a go-to would be a trainer. The same strategy bodes well for a fashion item and the talent’s stylist. Other personalities to consider are managers, agents, publicists and anybody in their glam squad. All of these people yield a quiet influence you can capitalize on.
Related: Get to Know the 3 Types of Influencers
Don’t “spray and pray”
Publicists often joke about brands that “spray and pray.” These brands gift massive amounts of product to everyone and their mother. Then they sit back and pray that an influencer or celebrity is spotted with their product. 
Instead of sending product to a massive list of personalities, be thoughtful and studied in your approach. Only send gifts to celebrities who both vibe with your brand ethos and are likely to use your product. Certain talent is more prone to being captured by photographers. These types of celebrities are more likely to organically have your product in their pictures, which you can use for press. This subset of talent changes constantly, but a good way of keeping track is by monitoring celebrity photo sites like Backgrid and Startrack. Nail down a tight list of celebrities who are both a fit for your brand and constantly appear on these sites. Next, research their team on databases like IMDB or Celebrity Intelligence.
Related: How Machine Learning Is Changing Influencer Marketing
Timing is everything
If your celebrity target is about to get married, can your product be an asset to their upcoming nuptials? Being strategic with timing pays off in dividends. Send a note to their manager offering free products for their life events. This works especially well for alcohol brands. Other milestones you can time your outreach to include birthdays, anniversaries or upcoming box office releases.
Related: Here’s Why Brands Are Failing at Influencer Campaigns (and What to Focus on in 2021)
Post-placement actions
After an organic celebrity placement is secured, amplification is key. It doesn’t matter if your dream celebrity is sporting your product when the press and consumers aren’t made aware. In order to give your placement legs, you need to reach out to entertainment press with a product credit. Your target list of journalists should include weekly entertainment magazines, like People and Us Weekly. You should also target high-volume digital entertainment and celebrity news sites with your outreach. The credit information you provide these journalists should include a link to buy and price. If you participate in affiliate programs, include that in your note to the press as well.
Scoring an organic celebrity placement isn’t easy, but it will always be well worth it. Take a studied approach and have patience, because the holy grail always delivers.

Why Every Entrepreneur Is An Investor

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Many first-time entrepreneurs sometimes believe that their job is to find an opportunity and focus … [+] on execution while the investor is responsible for providing the capital to realize the vision. While this may be true, it is rarely the case in the beginning. Prepare to be your own investor.
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Influenced by the unbelievable journeys of the biggest technology companies with hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, many first-time entrepreneurs sometimes believe that the job of the entrepreneur is to find an opportunity and focus on execution while the investor is responsible for providing the capital to realize the vision. While this may be true, it is rarely the case at the start of a new venture.
On average, out of 6 million new businesses starting up in the U.S. each year, banks issue only 100 thousand SBA loans, around 70 thousand startups get an angel investment, and fewer than 5 thousand startups get venture capital funding. This makes it a very safe assumption that more than 90% of all new businesses are funded by the founders, at least in the early stages.
In general, startup investors are looking for ventures with potential – interesting ideas based on reality led by competent teams. You, as the founder, are the one person who understands the idea the best, who knows the capabilities of the team the best, and ideally who understands the market and the target customer the best.

Bearing in mind this access to the highest-quality information about the startup, if you as the founder are not willing to invest your own resources in your venture, why should outside investors do so?
The majority of startup investors nowadays are simply not interested in purely theoretical ideas. Most of the time, if you are building a true high-risk startup product, you need to provide some form of proof indicating product-market fit before you can attract experienced startup investors.

Today, even startup incubators supporting starting founders with interesting ideas and visions are looking for some form of validation. You’ll most likely have to develop your first product version by yourself (your early prototype or MVP), and you’ll have to attract your first customers by yourself.
Those facts simply entail that in the beginning, you won’t be able to just manage the project. You’ll also have to be the first investor in your own venture.
In many cases in the very early startup stages, your new business wouldn’t require as much capital as it would in the later growth stages. Partially thanks to the development of no-code technologies and new marketing solutions, developing the first useful version of your product and reaching your first customers could be done for cheaper than ever before. This means that you’ll be able to invest in your own business without breaking the bank.
Moreover, the risks of failure for a startup project are highest in the early stages. Targeting a non-existent consumer need is the biggest startup killer – around 34% of failed startup projects point at lack of market need as the main reason for their failure. If you are willing to bear this risk and to bet on your own ideas and effort, this sends a great message for future investors.
The fact that the founder’s early investment in the form of capital, time, and effort aiming to validate the idea is the one that is exposed to the highest risk means that this investment is also entitled to the highest returns. Consequently, if you treat your startup as an investment, you’ll have a good basis to negotiate better terms in your future fundraising rounds by demanding a higher valuation, i.e. to give up a smaller stake in your company.
Even if the nominal value of the investment that the founder has made in the company is lower, the overall stakes for the founder are higher, which justifies higher returns.
Last but not least, investing your own resources in your startup idea has other intangible benefits. It forces you to treat your project as an investment. It’s a common saying that you need to work ON your business, and not only IN your business, and putting your own money in the project is a great motivator to do so.
You’ll be enticed to make sure you’re not wasting your time and money and you’ll actively think about deploying available resources most optimally in order to maximize your expected return on investment in the long run.
Adopting this mindset would let you shape a project which is much more likely to attract investors in the future. If you require the involvement of an investor in order to build your startup, you may never start. Think about your startup as an investment in which you need to efficiently allocate resources to maximize future returns.

10 Memorable Logos, and How They Became Iconic

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

A logo is the graphic image of a brand. This advertising strategy has been used for many centuries as it is a way of identifying a company or a creator. Furthermore, the importance of logos lies in the fact that they are easily recognizable, even from childhood.A logo must be able to condense, in a single image, the personality of the brand , to communicate a clear message to its audience and, above all, to become an effective tool for marketing and promoting the company. These can be made up of the name of the brand, the initials or a drawing that relates to the company, its values or its history.
We present a list of the 10 logos most remembered by our users on social networks. Take their strategies into account when designing your business:
1) NIKE

Image: Kristian Egelund via Unsplash
The sports clothing and accessories company has managed to position itself in a remarkable way. The slogan “Just Do It” and the popcorn in its logo are simply unforgettable. Why a popcorn? The NIKE brand was founded in the 60s and both its name and its logo are inspired by the Greek goddess Nike, deity of victory, who had wings and was very fast. The design was created by a young student who was paid $ 35 at the time. We like it because it is simple, easy to remember, attractive and because of its relationship with the values of the company.
2) Apple

Image: Zhiyue Xu via Unsplash
A bitten apple is the image of one of the most recognized and innovative companies of the 20th century. There are many theories about the origin of this logo: that it is a tribute to Alan Mathison Turing, inventor of current computing, who committed suicide with a poisoned apple; that it was the favorite fruit of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak; which is the emblem of Apple Records , the record label of The Beatles, Jobs’s favorite group; that Jobs’ adoptive father was a farmer and that he belonged to a group of farmers, or a simple reference to Isaac Newton’s apple (the first logo alluded to this character). The logo, designed by Rob Janoff, was initially rainbow and mutated to a bright gray. Many claim that the bite means knowledge or that it means that, in English, it is “bite”, which they alter to “byte”.
3) Coca-Cola

Image: Jordan Whitfield via Unsplash
This brand is a benchmark in all advertising elements, and its logo is no exception. This only consists of white typeface on a red background (or red typeface). The logo was created by the librarian Frank Mason Robinson in 1885, who thought that two letters “C” would look attractive in any advertisement; he named the brand and added the most widely used cursive font in the United States at that time. In fact, the first design has had very few modifications throughout its history. Coca-Cola is found in more than 200 countries in the world and it is almost a fact that everyone recognizes its logo from a distance.
4) Sabritas

Image: mafarifi_ via Instagram
Sabritas is one of the most loved brands in the Mexican market. The company “Sabrosas Botanitas” was acquired in the 1960s by Pepsico, formed by Pepsi and Frito-Lays, who were in charge of building the image of Sabritas, based on the popular Lays snack in the United States. This logo is said to have been created during a focus group when, in the branding process, participants were asked what this product produced for them, to which many responded with a happy face . From there, the design has been modified over the years, but it remains the main differentiator of this company that “wants to see you smile”.
5) Starbucks

Image: Sorin Sîrbu on Unsplash
The logo of this chain of coffee shops is known practically worldwide and is also one of the most plagiarized. As in the case of NIKE, the origin of its name and logo has a mythological and literary basis. The name appears in the famous Herman Melville novel, “Moby Dick,” where Starbucks was the first mate on Captain Ahab’s ship. As for the logo, although many refer to it as a mermaid, it is actually a melusine, that is, a double-tailed nereid. In the beginning, the logo was designed in black ink and then it became green. This element has mutated a lot and currently (as of 2011) a close-up of this character is shown.
6) Google

Image: Rajeshwar Bachu via Unsplash
When a brand is able to cover its logo, modify its colors and even omit some letters and change them for drawings, it means that it has achieved its mission. And there is no better example than Google. This is demonstrated with doodles (logos that honor certain characters or events). The first doodle appeared in 1998 and was “Burning Man.” Google also changes its colors to gray tones when a world tragedy occurs. The logo of the most important search engine in the world has undergone transformations over time; In the beginning it had an exclamation point (copied from Yahoo! ), until it reached the current one, designed by Kedar Ruth, which is based on the Catull typeface.
7) Ferrari

Image: Jannis Lucas via Unsplash
The logo of this luxury car brand is one of the most famous because, in addition to its style and elegance, it has become a sign of status. Usually the image shows a black prancing horse on a yellow background with the letters S and F, “Scuderia Ferrari.” The horse was the symbol of Count Francesco Baracca, who served in the Italian air force in World War I. In 1923 Enzo Ferrari met Baracca’s mother who asked him to put the horse that her son used, as it would bring him luck. So it was. Since then, this is the Ferrari emblem to which Enzo added the color yellow to be representative of his birthplace: Modena.Other famous logos in the automotive sector are the Mercedes-Benz star that teaches mastery on land, sea and air, and the four interlocking Audi rings that refer to the union of four Saxon brands.
8) McDonald’s

Image: XUNO. via Unsplash
The golden “M” for McDonald’s is one of the most well-known symbols in the world. It began to be used in 1962 when Jim Schindler, inspired by the arches that the first establishments had, used this logo in all his restaurants. This large “M”, both for its color and its shape, has great significance: first of all, it encourages hunger and represents a safe and trustworthy place. In addition, the golden hue works for investors who see in this fast food brand a profitable option to have a business. This logo is known as “Los Arcos Dorados” .
9) Disney

Image: Valentin GIRARD via Unsplash
Disney is synonymous with family entertainment and fun. Its original logo shows all these qualities. The logo arose from a stylization of the signature of its founder, Walter Elias Disney. However, this large corporation modifies its image according to its products. For example, for the movies, in addition to the typography, it shows the famous castle with a blue background (inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle, in Germany), while for others the unforgettable silhouette of Mickey Mouse’s ears or hand is used.
10) Nestle

Image: inma lesielle via Unsplash
Nestlé is one of the largest food companies in the world, a recognition it has maintained over the years. The first logo of this company arose in 1868 with its creator Henri Nestlé, who decided to base the design on the meaning of his surname in German (little nest) and on the family emblem. It was not until 1938 that he added the name to it and little by little it was simplified and modernized to give life to the image we know today.


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