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How to Succeed as a Rural Small Business

June 15, 2023

You were country when country wasn’t cool. And now you’re ready to launch your small business at the core of rural America. It may not always feel like your big dreams can become reality in a small town, but in 2023, rural businesses are thriving. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the nation’s manufacturing jobs — once the beating heart of rural economies — sharply declined through the 2000s. But in the last few years, those jobs have been replaced by service and retail roles, largely in small businesses.

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13 Things I’ve Learned From Building a Startup

December 20, 2022

By Ken So

Though Silicon Valley startups are often treated as separate from Main Street small businesses, the basic tenets of starting and growing a business are the same no matter what you’re building. As the founder of a business that serves both enterprise and everyday businesses, plus a mentor to new startups, it’s been a special privilege to be able to observe and learn from business owners from all backgrounds and walks of life. Here’s advice I find myself giving a lot to new founders that I think all entrepreneurs can learn from.

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Pattern Inspires Mother-Daughter Entrepreneurs

December 13, 2022

By Amanda Kuhnert

Mother-daughter business duo, Sophia Manzi and Gail Borden, are both artists. Sophia is a painter and Gail is a quilter. Their company, Vivace Vermont, is the intersection of these two disciplines. They produce clothing and home accessories using colorful, one-of-a-kind fabrics.

The plan was hatched on a 2019 trip to New York City. “We visited Mood Fabrics in the Garment District and it left us reeling with ideas,” Sophia said. “At a diner, we started brainstorming what became Vivace Vermont.”

Sophia and Gail have always been inspired by each other’s work. “Growing up, I’d be painting and she’d be quilting in the same room, and we’d ask each other for tips and advice when we’d run into a problem,” Sophia said. On that memorable trip to New York, the two were able to pinpoint the common denominator in both of their practices—pattern.

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How to Do Business in Your Own Backyard With no Money

June 28, 2022

By: Sharita Humphrey

Starting a business can seem rather scary at first. You’ve got to think about how to get your resources, review whether your budget would be enough, or – whether a certain business would be profitable.

This is why, in order to live a simpler life, many people delay starting their dream business because of the challenges it may involve.

The good news is… there are ways to start a business in a simpler sense. You may start a business from the comfort of your own home and save a lot of headaches. It might not be the dream business you had in mind, but all big businesses started small.

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