February 09, 2016

Sign up for free Business Plan Bootcamp March 7

Melissa Krinzman (2)Join us March 7 for a lively discussion and Q&A with our panel of experts sharing advice on launching your business, formulating a winning short business summary and pitching to investors. Also hear from a couple of previous Business Plan Challenge winners about their entrepreneurial experiences. You don’t have to enter the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge to attend our Bootcamp, but of course we hope you will.

Our discussion will be led by:

Melissa Krinzman, the Managing Partner of Krillion Ventures, a $50 million Miami-based early stage venture capital firm that actively invests in financial services, transportation, logistics, real estate and health startups. Her fund has invested in 17 early-stage companies, nine of which have South Florida roots. She is also a veteran Business Plan Challenge judge.

Mark Kingdon, a three-time tech CEO (Organic, SecondLife and NiftyThrifty) and an investor in two dozen early stage companies. His portfolio includes Twitter, TheRealReal, OfferUp, Refinery20 and three Miami-based companies (EveryPost, Sktchy and HYP3R).

Mark Kingdon (1)This event will be at 6 p.m. March 7 at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus Auditorium, Room 1261 in Building 1.

The Bootcamp is free but registration is required. When you register, the form will allow you to tell us the questions you would most like our panel to answer. Don’t be shy – this way we can tailor the program as much as possible to our audience. Here is a report on last year’s Bootcamp.

Register here: http://businessplanbootcamp.bpt.me

Questions: ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

February 05, 2016

Daymond John kicks off entrepreneurship contest, but first some Shark Tank advice

Daymond

Photos by Jasen Delgado / www.jasendelgado.com

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com / @ndahlberg

The American Entrepreneurship Award, a new contest for early-stage Miami-Dade entrepreneurs, used some celebrity magic to draw a standing room only audience to its launch event: Daymond John.

Daymond(3)The Shark Tank star entertained and inspired the audience Thursday with his rags to riches story – he started making urban streetwear while working at Red Lobster. He opened FUBU in 1989 and had to close it three times over the next three years because he ran out of capital. But his passion, and FUBU’s many fans, powered him forward: Now it’s a $6 billion enterprise.

Today, of course, John, who is the author of the new book The Power of Broke, has invested in scores of companies through Shark Tank, rolling up his sleeves and working closely with the companies, including South Florida's Three Jerks Jerky and AquaVault. “The Sharks all feel we are a very small part of a very huge [entrepreneurial] movement,” said John, noting that Shark Tank is one of the top shows watched by kids 5-15 and one of the top shows parents watch with kids. “We’re a part of something that will help the next generation.”

John will be a celebrity judge for the AEA award, a new annual contest offered by Libra Group and Miami Dade College’s Idea Center. It’s is open for applications at www.americanaward.com until April 29. The winner receives up to $25,000, as well mentorship and support services. In addition, Miami Dade College students will also be eligible for a separate $2,500 MDC award.

At the American Entrepreneurship Award event, Daymond John shared this advice:

* Successful entrepreneurs take affordable next steps.

* Surround yourself with like-minded friends who won’t let you quit. Seek out mentors from among the successful business people you know.

* Responsibility must be taken, not given (advice from his mom).

* Success is all about tapping into a movement. It’s about the following you create with your own authentic voice. It’s not the money that will get you there (”Money just drives your problems in a limousine”). And it is all about the hustle.

* What separates the rock stars from the rest on Shark Tank? Proof of concept first and foremost, the companies already have proved customers want the product and they have some sales. Second, the founders have failed more times than they have succeeded; they are so excited about what they are doing, they would do it for free the rest of their life if they could. And third, the business must be scalable.

 

 

 

January 26, 2016

Dawn Dickson a finalist for SBA’s InnovateHER Business Challenge

DawndicksonDawn Dickson, founder and CEO of Flat out of Heels, is one of 10 finalists of the 2016 InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge, a nationwide business competition presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Dickson’s Miami Beach-based companies makes and sells rollable ballet flats that can easily fit in a purse -- a convenient way for women to relieve stiletto sore feet on the go.

An executive committee of SBA officials reviewed more than 180 semi-finalist nominations and selected 10 finalists whose products and services best met the competition criteria and presented the greatest potential for success. The semi-finalists were chosen at more than 200 local competitions across the country hosted by universities, accelerators, clusters, scale-up communities, SBA’s resource partners and other local community organizations and involving more than 1,000 entrepreneurs.

These 10 finalists are invited to the National InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge during Women’s History Month in Washington, D.C., where they will pitch their businesses to a panel of expert judges for an opportunity to win $70,000 in cash and prizes from Microsoft.

For more details on the competition and the other finalists, visit www.sba.gov/innovateHER.

 

January 17, 2016

What can you expect at WordCamp Feb. 19-21? Get the lowdown

Wordcamp

 

WordCamp Miami is back for another year on Feb. 19-21, with an expanded lineup of content, a Kids’ Workshop and more. Organizer David Bisset gives us the lowdown:

What WordCamps Are: WordCamps (wordcamp.org) are conferences that focuses on everything WordPress, which is open-source software that currently makes up 25% of the top million website of the web. Most weeks out of the year a WordCamp is happening somewhere in the world. From the United States to Europe, to places throughout Asia and Australia.

WordCamp Miami: WordCamp Miami has been an annual event in South Florida for the past 8 years. It’s grown from a 150 person event from its first year to over 770 attendees in 2015. The scope of the event has also grown in that time to not only include talks specifically on WordPress but also blogging, content creation, SEO, designing, marketing, and developer related topics. It’s been on of the longest running non-profit tech conferences in South Florida.

The 8th annual WordCamp Miami is happening next month - February 19-21 - at Florida International University. It has a full schedule lined up for everyone from those wanting to learn WordPress for the first time to those who are already skilled at developing with it.

 Here are some of the highlights:

* If you’ve never used WordPress and want to learn, a full-day workshop is available on Friday February 19th. The class is limited to 100 individuals so that the instructors can take you step by step from learning hosting basics to being able to customize a basic WordPress site of your own.

* If you are a freelancer (whether you use WordPress or not), there’s a full-day freelancer’s workshop on Friday February 19th.

Saturday and Sunday (February 20th and 21st) are full of talks ranging from how to improve your website’s SEO, security, and how to build an commerce site with WordPress. Sunday has a full track dedicated to business owners and agencies, along with a brand new “Learn JavaScript deeply” for developers.

* The conference is especially family-friendly this year with a Kid’s Workshop Sunday morning (where parents and kids ages 8-13 can learn to create their first blog), an arts/crafts/STEM class in the afternoon, and then a kid’s panel to end the day (in which the invite is still open if you want to nominate your child who blogs to come and speak). Kids are welcome to attend both days on the weekend, and are free to attend.

Outside of the knowledge provided by over 70 speakers from across South Florida and the rest of the world, WordCamp Miami has many knowledgable sponsors on hand if you want to talk to anyone face to face about website hosting and security. There is also “Happiness Bar” staffed over the weekend by knowledgable WordPress users if you have a question about your WordPress site or need advice about your next website.

Because this is a non-profit event, ticket prices are a low $35 for the weekend (plus a little more if you want to attend a workshop on Friday). Discounts for students and teachers available. The event usually sells out so you might want to pick up your tickets as soon as possible. Weekend tickets include food, swag, t-shirts and access to the after-party.

Tickets: 2016.miami.wordcamp.org/tickets

 

January 11, 2016

Startups can now benefit from the R&D tax credit

Guay.Louis-Oliver_2014By Louis Guay

Startups, welcome to the R&D tax credit party.

The days of the R&D tax credit’s temporary and retroactive extensions are finally over. Thirty-five years after its original introduction as a temporary provision of the tax code, the federal R&D tax credit was made permanent by The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“PATH” Act) last month.

In addition, the PATH Act includes two new provisions that will make it easier for startups as well as small and medium-sized businesses to immediately benefit from the lucrative R&D tax credit. These two modifications to the credit are effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015.

Immediate value for startups

The first significant R&D tax provision introduced by the PATH Act will have a major impact on emerging and early-stage startups.

Historically, these startups that have yet to generate enough income to have a federal income tax liability could not get any immediate value from the R&D credit. They had to carry forward the credit in hope of applying it against a future income tax liability.

Starting in 2016, eligible startups with less than $5 million in gross receipts will now be able to use their R&D tax credit (capped at up to $250,000) to offset payroll taxes, generating immediate value.

AMT turnoff

The second key provision removes one of the biggest limitations that had prevented certain small and medium-sized businesses from capturing the credit in the past.

The PATH Act will allow eligible businesses with $50 million and less in gross receipts (based on a three-year average) to apply the R&D tax credit against the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). This is huge news for shareholders of qualifying pass-through entities (e.g., S corporations and partnerships) who have an AMT liability.

Act now

A common misconception about the R&D credit is that only large companies are eligible and that it’s too complicated to qualify. However, with the two major barriers discussed above mitigated or eliminated entirely, startups as well as small and medium-sized companies have an unprecedented opportunity to benefit from this valuable credit – and they need to start planning now.

Even with the changes, this credit remains one of the most challenging provisions of the tax code; therefore it’s critical for businesses to establish appropriate tracking mechanisms and documentation strategies for their research and development activities. A tax professional with R&D tax credit expertise can assist businesses with qualifying for and claiming the credit. Act now to take advantage of this new opportunity.

Louis Guay is a tax manager in Kaufman Rossin’s Boca Raton, Florida, office, where he specializes in assisting taxpayers with R&D tax incentives. Kaufman Rossin is one of the Top 100 CPA firms in the U.S. Louis can be reached at lguay@kaufmanrossin.com.

January 10, 2016

#MadeInMiami: Ginnybakes finds sweet success, becoming national player

Ginny

Ginnybakes, which makes better-for-you snacks, is run by the family team of Steve Simon, president, left, his wife, Ginny Simon, CEO/founder, and son Michael Simon, vice president. CARL JUSTE cjuste@miamiherald.com


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/biz-monday/article53809605.html#storylink=cpy

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

In this made-in-Miami story, Ginnybakes has created a recipe for success.

The young food-products company offering organic, gluten-free and kosher snacks started out five years ago as one woman’s vision and then a tiny family company with all hands on deck. Today ginnybakes has 35 employees, and its products are in some Publix, Whole Foods, Kroger, Fresh Market and Albertson’s supermarkets as well as many smaller stores nationwide. Ginnybakes cookies are part of first-class snack baskets on American Airlines, and the products are also sold on ginnybakes.com and through Amazon.

Ginnybakes cookies in two sizes (regular-sized cookies in boxes and minis in snack bags), bake mixes, bars and crumbles are created, baked, packaged and shipped right from ginnybakes headquarters, a large office, kitchen and warehouse in northwest Miami. The company’s T-shirts sport the hashtag #MadeInMiami.

“It’s been a real sense of fulfillment that this product launched, hit supermarkets and is a national product. This is my dream, this is my passion project, I taught my boys more lessons from this than anything else I ever taught them. It’s about hard work, ambition, drive,” said Ginny Simon, founder and CEO of ginnybakes and a mother of four sons.

Last year, ginnybakes landed at No. 211 on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies, with $2.15 million in revenue in 2014 and a three-year-growth rate of 2,027 percent. The company was No. 13 in the food and beverage category, “and we were number one in passion, don’t forget to mention that,” quipped Steve Simon, president of the company and Ginny’s husband.

Since then, revenues have grown to $3.1 million in 2015, a 45 percent increase over 2014, said CFO Jason Lewis, who has a background in private equity and financial analysis. Online sales at ginnybakes, which were essentially zero at the beginning of 2015, grew steadily and are currently 2 to 3 percent of revenues, he said.

The company’s biggest customers are health-conscious millennials moms like Serena Berra, of Miami Beach. For a couple of years now, Berra has been buying the ginnyminis at Whole Foods for her family, and has purchased the vegan cookies online. “They are all delicious. It’s hard to find good taste when you are eliminating glutens or dairy. I grew up working at a bakery so I really care about taste.”

Ginnybakes has been riding a trend of healthier living and organic eating. The U.S. organic foods market produced an annual growth rate of about 12 percent in 2013 and 2014, and sales reached nearly $40 billion, according to the Organic Trade Association. The 2013 total cookie market was $8.27 billion and the premium and healthy cookie category was about 20 percent of that total. Growth looks like it will continue: According to the 2015 Global Snacking Survey by Nielsen, 75 percent of respondents want snacks with no artificial colors or flavors and more than half of the respondents seek gluten-free indulgences.

“We are outrageously delicious and we are a better-for-you cookie. But the first thing we want you to know is we are outrageously delicious,” said Ginny Simon. The company released three new cookie flavors, sweet cinnamon love, ginger crisp love and cranberry pistachio bliss, in the fall for a total of 10, and there is also a vegan line of snack foods. “We are just real food; that’s really our pride and joy.”

The story of ginnybakes is rooted in family and the founder’s own passion for healthy living and baking. When her four sons hit high school and college ages, Ginny Simon went back to school to become a certified holistic nutritionist and founded her first company, Mindful Organics, a consultancy on healthy living, in 2009. She was a home baker and wanted to offer her clients a healthy baking mix but she couldn’t find anything on the market she loved. That’s how ginnybakes got started in 2010, and its first products were baking mixes.

By early 2011, she and her small team — basically any family members and friends she could recruit — decided to get the product out into the marketplace. By April, ginnybakes was in Epicure and Apple A Day in Miami Beach, then Fresh Market soon afterward, she said.

Fresh Market’s Aventura store manager, Eddy Neam, was instrumental in helping Ginny Simon get her start. She was experimenting with the gluten-free products at the time and wanted to test the marketability through sampling in the store, he said. With the gluten-free population growing, he thought the products were very viable, “but what really sold me was her. Her passion is what elevated it to the next level.”

By this time she had baking mixes and ready-made boxed cookies, a request by the stores, and with Neam she came up with the idea of smaller cookies in ready-to-go snack bags. He was impressed with how she had sought out the right people to help her with the packaging and she went through two or three phases of packaging to get it just right.

Ginny Simon had set up shop in a friend’s warehouse and had use of his commercial kitchen for a while and by the end of 2011 built out her own 1,200-square-foot kitchen in her friend’s warehouse. Alas, within six months that space was too small, and the Simons bought their current northwest Miami headquarters building in 2012. “Manufacturing is not easy, but I didn’t know better when I started,” she said.

By then, the company was beginning to go national with Fresh Market and had begun entering Whole Foods, and Ginny had finally persuaded her husband, Steve, an attorney, to join the business full time as president. “In the beginning, he wanted it to go away, he didn’t believe it was real,” she said.

After graduating from Northwestern University in chemical engineering, son Michael joined in 2013 as “the ball was rolling and sales were growing and I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to step into,” he said. His mother laughed at his request for a job description. “At the time, I had other offers, and I was teetering on going, and I wanted to make sure this wasn’t just a son job,” said Michael Simon, who is vice president.

After the first day on the job, he was convinced it wasn’t. In the early days he focused on the manufacturing and quality assurance side of the business; now he focuses on sales. But as any small business owner knows, every management job is a little bit of everything. “I like to say ginnybakes is our fifth child. Sometimes she is really really good and sometimes really really bad,” quipped Ginny.

Although ginnybakes began being picked up by Whole Foods in the Midwest in 2012, it wasn’t in the chain’s Florida stores until 2013. “Brett King of Whole Foods Florida said, ‘How come you aren’t with Florida? I’m going to tell you why. You’ve been too polite a nuisance; if you really want something, you go for it,’" space="1"” she recalled. By July, ginnybakes was in Whole Foods Florida stores.

A big milestone was getting into the first Publix in 2014, a store in Miami Beach. “I was beyond thrilled because this was the everyday shopper that we could educate and they could find us. Publix put us at a good price point to sell, and I felt like we could reach the consumer that really needed us,” Ginny Simon said. It’s now in the GreenWise sections of 50 to 60 Publix stores.

Also in 2014, Ginny, Steve and Michael Simon were selected as high-impact Endeavor Entrepreneurs, which means they would be mentored and supported by a global network of business experts. Lewis started out volunteering as an Endeavor mentor to the company, but joined ginnybakes’ management team about four months ago.

Endeavor has helped the company build an advisory board, and offered access and connections to experts in the food industry and entrepreneur mentors who have been there, done that, the team said. Ginnybakes also participated in a Northwestern Kellogg School of Management program last year, in which a team of Executive MBA students from Miami integrated with the company and helped guide strategic planning, said Steve Simon.

Building on the company’s growth in 2015, the near-term goal is to expand distribution in large grocery chains, and eventually saturate regions, Steve Simon added.

Ginnybakes, now with 35 employees, is much more structured these days as the company has grown up, but there are still the “all hands on deck” days, such as when the whole team worked on a recent Sunday to get a big order out. “In the early days there were a lot of those, with all four sons helping out,” Ginny Simon said.

She adds, “I don’t know that we would have been so successful in another city or state. The stores in Miami, Miami Beach, in Florida — they really took care of us.”

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg

Ginny2

January 07, 2016

Babson College to launch Women Innovating Now Lab in Miami this year, with Knight support

WIN Lab_2015-2016 Cohort (4)

Babson College's WIN Lab, an accelerator program for women entrepreneurs, will be coming to Miami this year. This is the current WIN Lab cohort in Boston. 

 

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

The typical startup accelerator is technology-focused and the company founders it helps are overwhelmingly male. A Babson College program wants to change that.

Babson’s Women Innovating Now Lab, known as the WIN Lab, is designed to help women entrepreneurs launch successful businesses. The accelerator-like program offers training sessions and connects women entrepreneurs to a wide range of experts for guidance. It also provides access to strategic networks and co-working space so participants can build and expand their ventures.

The WIN Lab will receive $800,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of a three-year grant to launch WIN Lab in Miami. The first cohort will begin this fall.

Babson, well known for its acclaimed business and entrepreneurship programs, is no stranger to South Florida. The WIN Lab in Miami is part of the college’s growing presence in the region, which includes one of the university’s most active alumni networks with 1,300 Miami-based alums, an advisory role at The Idea Center at Miami Dade College and its connection to Miami Dade College as the academic architect of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. This will be the first WIN Lab outside of Boston, and the organization is planning to expand to other cities.

The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson launched the WIN Lab in Boston in October 2013. It has been designated as one of the top two “specialty” programs for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship; earned BostInno’s designation as one of Boston’s “50 on Fire” innovators and visionaries; and was honored by the prestigious Rosoff Awards for diversity.

Susan Duffy, executive director at the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership, said she and her co-founder, Heatherjean MacNeil, both entrepreneurs, believed  it was time to disrupt the accelerator model. They saw  gender imbalance even in Babson's own entrepreneurship programs.

"Accelerators around the country have less than 13 percent women, and Babson was courageous enough to say we can do more," said Duffy in a phone interview. "It is really important to begin to tap into the entrepreneurial potential of both men and women. When it comes to venture acceleration, one size doesn't fit all."

Duffy said that Miami ranks in the top five metro areas for its high rate of women-owned businesses but also ranks in the bottom five metro areas when it comes to women entrepreneurs' economic clout, a measure that combines the number of women-owned businesses, their revenues and employment numbers. "Women-owned businesses in Miami are not scaling up. Some would look at that as a problem, we look at that as an opportunity."

In addition to being for females, Duffy said the WIN Lab will be different from other accelerators in that it will be sector agnostic rather than focused solely on tech and it will be an eight-month program instead of  compressed into three months. WIN Lab will be focused on building competent confident CEOs with programing full of female role models as well as coaches and experts of both genders, she said.

Since launching WIN Lab in Boston, Babson has seen dramatically increased female participation in its rocket pitch contests, its Beta competitions and its summer venture programs. “We have the numbers to prove that what we are doing is having an impact,” said Duffy. “It changes the understanding of what is possible.”

Babson presidentBabson President Kerry Healey and Matt Haggman, the Knight Foundation's Miami program director, announced the launch of WIN LAB in Miami Thursday at a Babson College event hosted at MBAF in downtown Miami. "This is a first-of-its-kind program designed by women entrepreneurs to support women entrepreneurs," said Healey at the event. "We're honored to be a part of the [Knight] Foundation's mission here ... to make Miami a place where ideas are built."

Never has there been a time when entrepreneurs can solve such big important problems as now, said Haggman. In creating an ecosystem, he said, "this really has be about all of Miami. WIN Lab is the next step in this ... We can't wait to see the impact this will create."

Babson anticipates kicking off its Miami launch with a community event in March and then recruiting 20 WIN Lab Miami participants for the first cohort. Entrepreneurs will mostly be in the beta stage with their companies, but some strong candidates in the ideation stage may be accepted. The WIN Lab, which will be free for participants, is expected to officially launch in the fall. In the coming weeks, Babson will hire a director to head the program in Miami, secure a location for the WIN Lab and establish a regional advisory board comprised of local investors, women entrepreneurs, experts and coaches.

Over the past 3 1/2 years, Knight has committed about $20 million to more than 165 projects in entrepreneurship in South Florida and has been increasing its investments in programs such as Babson’s that aim to accelerate diversity. For more information about WIN Lab, visit babson.edu/WINLab.

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg

December 31, 2015

4 local women-led startups are semi-finalists in national SBA contest

Toneybands

Yoga Factory & Ftiness client Jenene Caramielo from Weston and others use Tone-y-Bands during a hot yoga class Monday in Weston. Photo by Taimy Alvarez / Sun Sentinel)

By Marcia Heroux Pounds / Sun Sentinel

Four local companies are semi-finalists in a national Small Business Administration competition for products and services that affect women and families.

The startups in the InnovateHer competition are:

  • Tone-y-Bands of Boca Raton, which developed adjustable wrist weights to improve a cardio and arm-toning workout.
  • Child Rescue Coalition in Boca Raton, which is developing forensic technology for law enforcement. It already provides software tools to track, arrest and convict child abusers.
  • Natural Birth Works in Coral Springs, a co-operative that provides midwife and other services for women.
  • Flat Out of Heels of Miami Beach, a maker of rollable ballet flat shoes.

Tone-y-Bands and Child Rescue Coalition are members of the latest class of entrepreneurial ventures in Florida Altantic University's Tech Runway program in Boca Raton, which provides $25,000 in funding as well as mentoring and resources to startups.

Tone-y-Bands was born when Janice Haley's husband was working on the house and said, "I wish I could get more [exercise] benefit out of what I'm doing." Not finding what they wanted for wrist weights, the Haleys developed their own, Tone-y-Bands, designed to burn more calories. Haley plans to sell Tone-y-Bands to fitness instructors and studio owners, who can sell them to their clients. She also is developing electronic versions of the bands, which could include exercise monitors or other options.

Child Rescue Coalition has its roots in a family business, TLO in Boca Raton, which was sold in 2013 to TransUnion. After her father, programmer and entrepreneur Hank Asher, died in 2013, Carly Asher Yoost and her sister Desiree Asher stepped in and ran the business. As part of the sale, Carly Asher Yoost was given the technology developed to track child abusers on the Internet. The tools show investigators how to track child abusers via the Internet as they share child pornography. "We have had over 6,000 arrests in the last four years alone directly from our system," she said.

Child Rescue Coalition works with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force in South Florida, as well as law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and 57 countries. The nonprofit is now developing a forensic tool that it plans to sell to law enforcement that will automate the process of retrieving information that could lead to a conviction, including deleted files.

Natural Birth Works is a 2-year-old business founded by midwives Gelena Hinkley and Sandra Lobaina that offers midwifery care, childbirth classes, postpartum care and other services for women. The company will open a birthing center in March in Margate, Hinkley said.

"Some women don't want to go to hospitals, but they don't want to stay home either," Hinkley said. The new center will give them the option for midwifery care in a setting outside the home for the birth of their baby, she said.

Flat Out of Heels, launched in May 2012 by Dawn Dickson, are flat rollable shoes designed to be emergency shoes to carry and wear when high heels become unbearable. The company's website, FlatOutofHeels.com, claims it has larger sizes and more designs than competitors, as well as harder, more durable soles. The flats are sold online and in stores.

The four South Florida companies are among 12 semi-finalists in Florida. Ten of the semi-finalists nationwide will be chosen by Jan. 15 to compete for a $70,000 prize and connection to resources in the national InnovateHer competition in Washington, D.C.

December 10, 2015

Miami area ranks No. 6 in nation for small business activity

Babyktan
Miami-based small business Baby K’tan participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Miami Dade College. Baby K’tan team members, from left: Robert Rincon, Michal Chesal, Isaac Wernick, Abby Schochet and Jamie Cohn, with dolls wrapped in Baby K’tan carriers. CHARLES TRAINOR JR. ctrainor@miamiherald.com 

 

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area ranked number six in the nation for small business activity in a new report released Thursday by the Kauffman Foundation. But the report also showed the region’s businesses are getting smaller, and nearly two-thirds have fewer than five employees.

Nationally, small business activity is on the rise in 49 of the 50 U.S. states, including Florida, and 38 of the top 40 largest metropolitan areas this year, according to the  2015 Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship. The Kauffman Foundation, a national nonprofit, researches and supports entrepreneurship.

“Following a post-recession downward and stagnant trend in small business activity, we’re now seeing Main Street Entrepreneurship begin to rise,” said E.J. Reedy, director in Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “This obviously is good news given that these small businesses make up 63 percent of all employer firms nationally.”

In South Florida, small businesses make up roughly 90 percent of the economy by many measures. The new Main Street Entrepreneurship Index is an indicator of small business activity, focusing on established small businesses and trends in ownership rates. The Index measures the rate of business owners in the economy, as defined by the percentage of adults owning a business in a given month, and established small business density, as defined by the ratio of established small employer businesses compared to population.  

The top five metropolitan areas for small business activity as measured by the index were New York, Boston, Providence, RI, San Francisco and Portland, OR.

The Miami area came in at number 6, the same rank as 2014, but ranked high in several measures, including No. 1 in the rate of business owners, with nearly 8,690 business owners for every 100,000 adults. By contrast, the lowest rate was 3,810 business owners in the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

Established Small Business Density, a key component of the Index that measures the number of small businesses per 100,000 people in an area, ranged from a low of 560 established small businesses per 100,000 people in Riverside, Calif., to a high of 1,267 established small businesses per 100,000 people in New York. Miami’s ranking was high, about 1,099 per 100,000 people.  

The report also showed owner demographic trends in states and metro areas, broken out by gender, age, nativity, race and education. Miami came up in the top five of two lists: Metro areas with the highest rates of older adult business owners (ages 55-64); and the areas with the highest rates of young adult business owners (ages 20-34).

Another interesting trend was a look at the makeup of small businesses – defined in this study as at least five years old and having 1 to 49 employees -- and the changes over time. In 1996, 52.1 percent of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area’s businesses had 1 to 4 employees, while 9.1 percent had 20 to 49. In 2012, the latest year of available census data: 63.7 percent had 1 to 4 employees and 6.1 percent had 20 to 49. Organizations such as Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Miami Dade College are focused on helping small businesses develop a strategy for scaling up by providing education, access to resources including capital and a support network.

Among states, Florida ranked 10th, up one since last year’s ranking and brought up by Miami’s strong ranking (Tampa-St Petersburg was 21st and Orlando was 26th). Florida also showed up atop the top five in youngest and oldest adult business owners.

“This index provides a baseline for metro and state leaders to gauge the number and density of small businesses and the rate of ownership over time – including a first-ever look at trends by demographic groups,” said Josh Russell, senior research assistant in Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. The report is available at www.kauffmanindex.org.

The Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship is the second report to be released this year under the umbrella of the Index of Entrepreneurship; the first report, in June, was the Kauffman Index: Startup Activity, in which Miami ranked No. 2 in the nation. In a future index, Kauffman plans to include measurements of entrepreneurial growth, success rates and venture capital activity. 

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg

 

Miami area ranks No. 6 in nation for small business activity

Babyktan
Miami-based small business Baby K’tan participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Miami Dade College. Baby K’tan team members, from left: Robert Rincon, Michal Chesal, Isaac Wernick, Abby Schochet and Jamie Cohn, with dolls wrapped in Baby K’tan carriers. CHARLES TRAINOR JR. ctrainor@miamiherald.com 

 

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area ranked number six in the nation for small business activity in a new report released Thursday by the Kauffman Foundation. But the report also showed the region’s businesses are getting smaller, and nearly two-thirds have fewer than five employees.

Nationally, small business activity is on the rise in 49 of the 50 U.S. states, including Florida, and 38 of the top 40 largest metropolitan areas this year, according to the  2015 Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship. The Kauffman Foundation, a national nonprofit, researches and supports entrepreneurship.

“Following a post-recession downward and stagnant trend in small business activity, we’re now seeing Main Street Entrepreneurship begin to rise,” said E.J. Reedy, director in Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “This obviously is good news given that these small businesses make up 63 percent of all employer firms nationally.”

In South Florida, small businesses make up roughly 90 percent of the economy by many measures. The new Main Street Entrepreneurship Index is an indicator of small business activity, focusing on established small businesses and trends in ownership rates. The Index measures the rate of business owners in the economy, as defined by the percentage of adults owning a business in a given month, and established small business density, as defined by the ratio of established small employer businesses compared to population.  

The top five metropolitan areas for small business activity as measured by the index were New York, Boston, Providence, RI, San Francisco and Portland, OR.

The Miami area came in at number 6, the same rank as 2014, but ranked high in several measures, including No. 1 in the rate of business owners, with nearly 8,690 business owners for every 100,000 adults. By contrast, the lowest rate was 3,810 business owners in the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

Established Small Business Density, a key component of the Index that measures the number of small businesses per 100,000 people in an area, ranged from a low of 560 established small businesses per 100,000 people in Riverside, Calif., to a high of 1,267 established small businesses per 100,000 people in New York. Miami’s ranking was high, about 1,099 per 100,000 people.  

The report also showed owner demographic trends in states and metro areas, broken out by gender, age, nativity, race and education. Miami came up in the top five of two lists: Metro areas with the highest rates of older adult business owners (ages 55-64); and the areas with the highest rates of young adult business owners (ages 20-34).

Another interesting trend was a look at the makeup of small businesses – defined in this study as at least five years old and having 1 to 49 employees -- and the changes over time. In 1996, 52.1 percent of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area’s businesses had 1 to 4 employees, while 9.1 percent had 20 to 49. In 2012, the latest year of available census data: 63.7 percent had 1 to 4 employees and 6.1 percent had 20 to 49. Organizations such as Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Miami Dade College are focused on helping small businesses develop a strategy for scaling up by providing education, access to resources including capital and a support network.

Among states, Florida ranked 10th, up one since last year’s ranking and brought up by Miami’s strong ranking (Tampa-St Petersburg was 21st and Orlando was 26th). Florida also showed up atop the top five in youngest and oldest adult business owners.

“This index provides a baseline for metro and state leaders to gauge the number and density of small businesses and the rate of ownership over time – including a first-ever look at trends by demographic groups,” said Josh Russell, senior research assistant in Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. The report is available at www.kauffmanindex.org.

The Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship is the second report to be released this year under the umbrella of the Index of Entrepreneurship; the first report, in June, was the Kauffman Index: Startup Activity, in which Miami ranked No. 2 in the nation. In a future index, Kauffman plans to include measurements of entrepreneurial growth, success rates and venture capital activity. 

Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; @ndahlberg