Archive for September, 2018

Kickstarter Launches Designed by Artists

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Kickstarter Designed by Artists Launched

A new initiative called Design by Artists from Kickstarter looks to bring community-centered products with cross-category projects.

Kickstarter Designed by Artists

The company says it wants to elevate these projects by providing the resources artists need to build their first product. The goal is to highlight projects with social awareness as well as products which will enrich the lives of the people who use them.

For small businesses who want to create products to support their community, Design by Artists is one way to showcase their project.

In describing what Kickstarter wants to do with this initiative, Daniel Sharp, Outreach Specialist, Arts Team, wrote on the company blog, “We’re looking to highlight artist-designed products that take their bold ideas outside the patron, gallery, and institutional models—and put them in the hands of the community they serve.”

Designed by Artists is going to be kicking off on October 15 running through November 15. The initiative will feature live projects in newsletters, social media, and other channels.

Kickstarter Designed by Artists Launched

Additionally, Kickstarter will have resources for artists with information on how they can scale their projects, identify manufacturers, and involve the community they want to serve.

Funded Products

For artists, technologist and local small businesses who want to positively impact their community, Kickstarter offers the following funded projects to inspire them.

Little Sun a solar-powered phone charger to provide wider access to sustainable energy.

Kickstarter Designed by Artists Launched

Dulltech, is a device which makes it much easier for users to loop and synch video with their peers.

Flint Water an exhibition to raise awareness and funds for the Flint Water Crisis.

Kickstarter by the Numbers

Since it was founded in 2009, people have pledged $3.892 billion on Kickstarter and successfully funded 150,527 projects. There were a total of 15,199,786 backers and 48,217,432 pledges overall.

As of September 19, 2018, a total of 417,495 projects have been launched with a success rate of 36.7%.

Technology projects have the lowest success rate at 20.05% and dance has the highest success rate at 61.83%. However, technology projects have the second highest number of funding with one or more million dollars at 101, with games taking the top spot at 114 projects.

Images: Kickstarter

This article, “Kickstarter Launches Designed by Artists” was first published on Small Business Trends


USA Today, Womply Lend Help to Main Street Businesses

Friday, September 28th, 2018

There’s often a focus on online businesses.

This week, there seemed to be a concerted effort to help local small businesses get online and even one instance where an online behemoth plans to enter into a very traditionally local, seasonal business.

Earlier this week, USA Today announced a new tool to help local small businesses, often called the Main Street businesses, enhance their online presence and launch effective targeted marketing campaigns. Be on the lookout for the newspaper company’s new LOCALiQ service.

On the back end of many local small businesses are usually some antiquated systems for dealing with customers and clients. That’s where something new from Womply is designed to fit. The new Womply CRM is designed specifically for mom-and-pop shops that are more likely to be complicated by traditional CRM systems.

And finally, Amazon is reportedly planning to insert itself into another local business, just in time for the holidays. The latest suggests Amazon is planning to sell and deliver Christmas trees, just like it does with clothing, tools, and just about everything else. Of course, this could be an opportunity for Amazon to partner with one or several local Christmas tree sellers where this move might actually benefit some sellers.

That’s just a small portion of what was making news this week for small businesses. Literally just the business on one street. Check out the rest of the week in small business news in our news roundup below.

For those accustomed to This Week in Small Business appearing at this time, check back next week when host Brent Leary brings you his take on the news. Don’t miss that next show by subscribing to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel today.


73% of Gen Z Freelancers Do So By Choice, Report Says

Upwork’s Freelancing in America: 2017 survey reports there will be more Gen Z people than Millennials in the workforce within a year. They are the generation that is most likely to freelance. In fact, the data shows that 73% of this generation freelances by choice.


The Cost of Hiring a New Employee Could be as Much as $7,645 Per Recruit, Report Says

Did you know the cost of hiring a new employee can be as much as $7,645? In his exploration of the costs associated with hiring and training new recruits, Amr Ibrahim, CEO of ULTATEL, a telecom solutions provider, cites an Industrial Distribution report titled ‘Distribution Hiring Process: The $7,645 Letter’.


NLRB Proposes Rule Change to Restore Joint Employer Standard

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced it was going forward with a proposal for re-establishing rulemaking in the joint employer standard. New Joint Employer Standard Proposal The NLRB issued a proposed rule (PDF) to establish an updated standard to determine joint employer status under the National Labor Relations Act.


Week Plan App Aims to Stop Small Business Owners from Feeling Overwhelmed

Week Plan is a weekly planner and task manager being marketed to small business owners who may feel like they have a bit too much on their plate. The app seeks to ratchet down that overwhelmed feeling by steering you to the tasks that matter most, instead of trying to get everything done.

Retail Trends

Free is Better Than Fast for Ecommerce Consumers

When it comes to consumers who shop online, the ability to return the items they buy for free is hugely important. Free Shipping Is Better Than Fast According to the 2018 annual eCommerce survey by Dotcom Distribution, more than 90% of the respondents placed a high value on free returns when they make an online purchase.


Catholic Business Owners Urged to Cut Tithes to Vatican

The main organization for Catholic owners of multi-million dollar businesses announced it placed its annual Vatican tithe in escrow following recent scandals.

Technology Trends

Shopify Launches New App Store to Connect Merchants with the Best Apps

Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) has launched a new app store with the goal of making the more than 2,400 apps in the store easier to find. According to Shopify, 85% percent of the merchants who use the company’s platform rely on apps to run their business. And the number of apps the average merchant uses has grown six-fold since 2012.

Vimeo Launches Stock Video Marketplace for Small Businesses, Creators

Online video platform Vimeo has launched a new stock footage marketplace that could benefit small businesses seeking material for video content. The videos on Vimeo Stock are sourced from the community of filmmakers on its platform — so for creators there is also an opportunity here. The collection offers royalty-free videos with starting prices small businesses can afford.

Mastercard and Microsoft Team Up to Help Small Businesses Become Exporters

In order to solve the problems of cross-border trade and payments small businesses face, Mastercard (NYSE: MA) and Microsoft have created a new solution to simplify the process of doing business around the world. Mastercard Track Mastercard Track integrates with the existing procure-to-pay process system a business has in place.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “USA Today, Womply Lend Help to Main Street Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends


Samsung Announces Details for Big 6-inch Galaxy A7 Smartphone

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Samsung Announces Details for Big 6-inch 2018 Galaxy A7 Smartphone

Image capturing capability in smartphones is one of the key features consumers look for in their device. With the new Galaxy A7, Samsung has ticked all of the boxes on this aspect of this particular smartphone with three cameras. Yes, that is not a typo, three cameras.

The three cameras will provide a great marketing angle, but what is even more important is Samsung has finally put some premium specs in a mid-range phone. While $1,000+ flagship phones get all the attention, most consumers don’t spend their money on the high-end phones.

For small business owners looking for a mid-range phone with premium features from a top tier brand, the A7 might be the right device. The only caveat is Samsung still hasn’t announced the price, but a statement by DJ Koh offers a hint.

In the press release, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics, DJ Koh implied this phone is created for a wide audience. Koh said, “Samsung is committed to delivering meaningful innovation to all consumers across the Galaxy family, no matter who they are or where they are in the world.”

Samsung Announces Details for Big 6-inch 2018 Galaxy A7 Smartphone

Triple Lens

The triple-lens configuration starts with an 8MP 120-degree Ultra-Wide Lens to capture wide-angle images, a 24MP main camera, and a depth lens for out-of-focus Bokeh effects. The cameras are further optimized with Samsung’s intelligent Scene Optimizer, which adjusts the color, contrast, and brightness based on the subject being captured.

The front camera also has premium specs at 24MP, adjustable LED flash, and a Selfie Focus feature to provide Bokeh effect to your selfies.

2018 Galaxy A7: The Rest of the Specs

The primary specs for the Galaxy A7 are solid, which begin with an octa-core processor running at 2.20GHz, a 6.0” FHD+ (1080×2220) Super AMOLED display, and 4 or 6GB of RAM with 64 or 128GB of storage.

You can take a look at the rest of the specs below.

Samsung Announces Details for Big 6-inch 2018 Galaxy A7 Smartphone

The Future of Mid-Range Phones

Moving forward, the bulk of the sales for smartphones is going to be in the mid to low-range segment in developing countries around the world. Companies like Xiaomi, OnePlus and others have already established themselves in the mid-range segment with premium phones that are competitively priced.

In order for Samsung to compete in this segment, it has to price the A7 aggressively. With the A7 slated to hit select Asian and European market before it becomes available elsewhere, Samsung might be going for an aggressive pricing strategy.

The company said the A7 will be available later this fall and it will reveal more information about the phone at an event in Malaysia on October 11.

Images: Samsung

This article, “Samsung Announces Details for Big 6-inch Galaxy A7 Smartphone” was first published on Small Business Trends


Randgold hits back at DRC miner claims over Kibali ownership

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Bulgarians Made 736.7 Thousand Trips Abroad in August 2018, or 8.3% Increase YoY

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Sofia. Bulgarians made 736.7 thousand trips abroad in August 2018, or an 8.3% increase YoY, according to data of the National Statistical Institute (NSI).
Most Bulgarians travelled for leisure and recreation – 43.4%. The largest number of trips Bulgarians made in August was to: Greece – 195.5 thousand, Turkey – 142.1 thousand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – 53.6 thousand, Germany – 47.1 thousand, Romania – 45.9 thousand, Serbia – 45.8 thousand, Italy – 28.6 thousand, Austria – 21.3 thousand, the United Kingdom – 21.0 thousand, France – 18.7 thousand.
In August 2018, 2,240.2 thousand foreigners visited Bulgaria, or 5.4% more than in August 2017. European Union citizens represent the largest relative share – 62.3%, or 5.3% up year-over-year. The number of visitors from Germany was the highest – 287.4 thousand, followed by visitors from Romania – 285.1 thousand, Turkey – 277.1 thousand, Greece – 165.8 thousand, Poland – 114.9 thousand, Russian Federation – 112.6 thousand, Ukraine – 98.8 thousand, the United Kingdom – 82.7 thousand, France – 72.8 thousand, Serbia – 72.8 thousand.

Focus News Agency


Restrictions of Export of Medicines that are in Short Supply on the Bulgarian Мarket

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Sofia. The Parliament has passed today the Medicinal Products in Human Medicine Amendment Bill, restricting the export of medicines that are in short supply in Bulgaria, Focus News Agency reports.
The Bill introduces measures for monitoring the medicinal products included in the Positive Drug List and for limiting their export in case of their absence or shortage in the country. The ban will cover a one-month period. An obligation is imposed on holders of authorised products to maintain a reserve of up to 10%. An expert council with the Bulgarian Drug Association will be drawing up lists of the products prohibited for export. Companies that breach the export ban will be fined BGN 50 to 100 thousand, and if they commit the same violation again – by a fine of BGN 100 thousand to 150 thousand.


Seagate Addresses Business Storage Needs with New 14TB Hard Drives

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Seagate 14TB Drives Address Business Storage Needs

If you are looking for maximum storage for your business needs, Seagate may well have the right hard-disk for you. The data storage solutions provider recently launched its advanced range of 14TB hard-discs that includes SkyHawk that can store over 9000 hours of HD video, IronWolf for your NAS needs, and the Barracuda Pro for desktop computing.

Seagate 14TB Drives

The Barracuda Pro offers small businesses, IT staff and creative professionals with industry leading 7200 RPM spin speed and transfer rates of up to 250 MB/s are possible. What this simply means is that you can now efficiently transfer large files to an attached backup or even engage in data-intensive editing of 8k videos.

For NAS drives, Seagate now provides IronWolf and IronWolf Pro drives that are optimized with AgileArray firmware, which provides dual-plane balance, rotational vibration sensors, advanced power management and error recovery control and as well improves RAID performance. Additionally, customers get peace of mind with Seagate IronWolf Health Management and 2-year Seagate Rescue Data Recovery Services. The comprehensive health analysis and status updates allows users to be preventative and not just reactive.

The IronWolf and IronWolf Pro drive comes with 2 years of Seagate Rescue data recovery as well as a 3 and 5-years limited warranty respectively.

The SkyHawk is optimized for surveillance, providing your business with enough storage space for more than 9000 hours of HD video. This drive also comes equipped with ImagePerfect firmware that minimizes dropped frames and downtime. And like the IronWolf’s, the SkyHawk features a Health Management technology that actively monitors and analyzes the drive’s health, empowering its users to prevent, intervene and recover from potential anomalies.

On the other hand, the Exos X14 is designed for hyperscale data centers, and according to Seagate, this drive boasts “the industry’s lowest power consumption and best performance in its class.” The drive also features the “always-on” Seagate Secure protection that effectively encrypts data without performance degradation.

Seagate says that the The IronWolf and IronWolf Pro 14TB are available starting from $529.99 and $599.99 respectively, while the BarraCuda Pro 14TB and the SkyHawk14TB are going for $579.99 and $509.99 respectively. The Exos X14 is available at $614.99.

Image: Seagate

This article, “Seagate Addresses Business Storage Needs with New 14TB Hard Drives” was first published on Small Business Trends


Bulgaria Q4 Wholesale Gas Prices Jump by 14%

Friday, September 28th, 2018

SOFIA, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Bulgaria will raise wholesale natural gas prices by 13.89 percent from October 1 to reflect higher prices on international markets, the Balkan country’s energy regulator said on Friday.

The State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation said in a statement it had set gas prices at 456.65 levs ($270.59) per 1,000 cubic metres for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Bulgaria gets almost all its natural gas supplies from Russia’s Gazprom under an oil-indexed contract.


Regulations require the gas wholesaler, state-owned Bulgargaz, to set the gas price quarterly, based on its contract with Gazprom, and the energy regulator takes the final decision.

Utility prices are a politically sensitive topic in the European Union’s poorest country because they make up a large portion of monthly household expenses. High electricity bills sparked nationwide street protests in 2013 which toppled the government of prime minister Boyko Borissov.

The double-digit hike in gas prices prompted heavy criticism from local employers and industrialists.

Analysts said the increase would hurt gas-dependent Bulgarian industries, weighing on their competitiveness, and translate into higher bills for hot water and heating for households.


New hot water and heating prices – expected to increase by up to 9 percent — will be announced next week. ($1 = 1.6876 leva) (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Adrian Croft)


Our Metrics Seem Somewhat – Flawed

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Chart Business Cartoon

Mostly when I write I write first and draw later. But when I do sales graph cartoons it’s often backwards.

Take this cartoon, for example. I drew this graph and that arrow going back over the axis and pondered it for a while.

Then my wife looked over my shoulder and said “what’s going on there?” And I responded “honestly, I have no idea.”

And then I had a new graph cartoon.

This article, “Our Metrics Seem Somewhat – Flawed” was first published on Small Business Trends


Telenor Bulgaria Backs Second Global Datathon 2018

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Telenor Bulgaria said it’s backing the second edition of the international Global Datathon 2018 hackathon that will be held between 28 and 30 September. Global Datathon 2018 is a 48-hour competition organised by the volunteer organisation Data Science Society. Its participants will be able to work with mentors and experts from around the world. This year, the event is supported by mentors from ten countries, as well as experts from large companies, including Telenor, which prepared cases with real data. During the event, participants work on solving real-world problems from different areas of data sciences.

The competitors will share their ideas for products and will work in teams on the different cases in a special platform created by the organisers.

As a partner of the event, Telenor will give a predictive analytics case where the task will be to make a prediction of the future amount of communication fails through time-series analysis. The teams will also be able to choose cases in the areas of IoT, ecology, air pollution and others.

The autumn hackaton will be held online and at a few physical locations around the world, including Sofia University’s Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and locations in Austria, India and Croatia.

The finalists’ presentations can be watched live online after a registration on Data Science Society’s website.



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