Don’t Bet Your Business on an N of 1

When you’re doing statistical analysis, N is your sample size. If you want results that are statistically significant, meaning that those results show an actual pattern as opposed to having likely just occurred by chance, you need a large enough sample size. Yes, I know this is a super dumbed-down simplification but stick with me…One of the things I see a lot in entrepreneurship circles is that business owners are willing to bet their entire companies on an N of 1, which is never statistically significant.  Continue Reading

How (and Why) ESOs Distract You With BS That Doesn’t Matter

I’ve worked in the entrepreneurship support space for many years so I’ve been to my fair share of workshops, conferences, and roundtables with economic development professionals and one of the most frustrating aspects of these get-togethers for me has always been the desire of some to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing useless crap that doesn’t matter at all.  Continue Reading

Is “Meeting People Where They Are” Just Thinly Veiled Racism/Sexism/Classism?

One of the frequently used phrases that irks me most in my work with ESOs and other economic development organizations and professionals who also support minority and female entrepreneurs is, “you have to meet people where they are.” It bothers me so much because I see it as a thinly veiled expression of racism, sexism, and/or classism.  Continue Reading

The Layers of the Access to Capital Problem in Entrepreneurship Support

Most academics and economic development professionals agree that the three key barriers to entrepreneurial success for minorities and women are 1) a lack of management knowledge/expertise, 2) a lack of access to capital, and 3) a lack of access to networks. Let’s take the lack of access to capital problem and break down its layers a bit so that we can identify the proper solutions. Continue Reading

Why Chicago Doesn’t Need Another CDFI

For those of you who are not familiar, a CDFI is a Community Development Financing Institution. In the small business world, these organizations make small business loans to companies and entrepreneurs who would be unable to get a traditional bank loan due to a lack of collateral, poor credit, no business history, a small loan size, or a host of other factors.  Continue Reading

Let’s Get Honest About Entrepreneurship Support

I’ve been publishing my New Venture Mentor blog, which directly serves entrepreneurs, and consulting directly with small business clients for years. I’ve also separately published pieces like my white paper, Re-Examining Entrepreneurship Support Structures to Improve Outcomes for Under-Served Entrepreneursand worked with non-profits that support entrepreneurs to help them improve their service offerings. Continue Reading