Starbucks starts fund to spur US job creation

Starbucks introduced on Monday the "Create Jobs for USA" fund in partnership with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a group of private financial institutions that provide affordable loans to low-income people and communities.

Schultz called small business an engine for job growth that has stalled and said entrepreneurs must have access to credit so they can hire again.

"Businesses and business leaders need to do more; we can't wait for Washington," Schultz told Reuters in an interview, adding that Americans deserve better leadership.

The Starbucks founder and chief executive caused a political stir in August when he called on his peers to withhold campaign donations to the president and members of Congress until a "fair, bipartisan" deal on the country's debt, revenue and spending was reached.

Calling all unreasonable entrepreneurs

Ted Fellows posted the following today:

Are you're looking to take your social venture to the next level?  Apply to be an Unreasonable Fellow today!

Our friends at the Unreasonable Institute are looking for 25 stellar entrepreneurs to join them next summer for their amazingly awesome six week program in Boulder, Colorado. The Fellowship aims to accelerate these social entrepreneurs and their ventures using the amazing resources available in the Unreasonable Network.

Fellows are selected from around the world and are bounded by one common goal: using entrepreneurial skills for social good.  During the six week fellowship, the entrepreneurs receive training from and build relationships with 50+ world class mentors.  At the end of the program, each Fellow is given the opportunity to pitch his or her idea to over 100 potential funders including the heads of some of today's most recognized brands.  

Application deadline is November 10, 2011. Apply today!

For more information about the Unreasonable Institute, visit


Some Growthink 4th Quarter Goals

Kudos to Brian Yanez here at Growthink for noting down these various 4th quarter goals from our Friday lunch meeting:

  • Better, more "real time" accounting systems
  • Increase Growthink's presence at events/conferences
  • More use of video
  • More use of social networking (the stream, the stream, the stream!)
  • More team vertical and functional specialization
  • More emphasis on presentation graphics and graphic design
  • Think, as a firm, more "visually"
  • Access to more and better research databases

Let's make it happen!


9 Traits of Great Entrepreneurs

I really liked these 9 traits:

  1. Thoughtful listening. Does s/he watch customers and how they behave? What is the input-output ratio?
  2.  Do they iterate rapidly?
  3.  Are they good at mental arithmetic?
  4.  Do they validate the user-base of the product? i.e. measure high-quality repeat users or the net promoter score?
  5.  Do they measure figure metrics which reflect both the quality of the business and factors which they can influence?
  6.  Is s/he able to convey a complex business in very simple terms? (The test is to explain it to your mom and see whether she understands. If she can’t understand it, it is too complicated.)
  7.  Would they ‘throw a turd in the punch bowl’ and disrupt the industry?
  8.  Can s/he imagine doing anything with his/her life other than the chosen service or product? (Correct answer is no)
  9.  Do they refer to a ‘museum of mistakes’ and avoid them?
From here:

The Truth About Business Plans – Do You Really Need One?

A great article that Dave Lavinsky here at Growthink wrote - "The Truth About Business Plans – Do You Really Need One?" was published on Grasshopper's blog today - see the article here:

Pete Kennedy here at Growthink has a great relationship with Grasshopper ( - we use them and they have one of the best telco problems out there for businesses of all sizes.