How to Participate in National Small Business Week Without Leaving Your Office

If you don’t live in or close to any of the selected cities for #SBW2014, here’s how you can keep up with National Small Business Week online.

Happy National Small Business Week, small business owners and entrepreneurs! Ever since President John F. Kennedy first signed the presidential proclamation in favor of Small Business Week in 1963, this national holiday has been recognized far and wide across the United States and is celebrated on a yearly basis. This year the festivities begin this week from May 12th through May 16th.

Throughout the week, various speakers and seminars will be presenting in a few select cities (San Francisco, Kansas City, Boston and Washington, D.C.). If you’re someone who gets especially excited about Small Business Week, but you don’t live in or close to any of the selected cities, you don’t have to miss out on all the fun! Here’s how you can keep up with National Small Business Week online.

1) The SBA website is your best friend.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is your ultimate resource during National Small Business Week with a special site created for everyone to browse through and follow along. On the site you can locate (on the home page, and under the Schedule tab) links, instructions, and times to tune into live feeds of the conference. Be sure to check out the schedule to see which speakers you especially don’t want to miss.

 2) Join in on the conversation.

With any big event these days, there is a designated hashtag. This year, the National Small Business Week hashtag is #SBW2014. Tweet with it on Twitter to see how people react to the events in real time, check out any and all small business discussions on Facebook, and take a look at any cool event photos by searching the hashtag on Instagram. Hashtags are great for conferences like these because you get to be a part of a larger conversation with people you wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to communicate with. Connect with fellow small business lovers all over America this week; all you need is the secret password (hint: #SBW2014).

3) Continue learning even after the events are over.

Just because National Small Business Week comes to an end doesn’t mean the celebration, or the learning and discussion, needs to end too! Just in time for National Small Business Week, Facebook has announced the new release of Small Business Bootcamps. The social platform came to the realization that a fair amount of their site users include small business pages. To help celebrate small business, they’re offering “boot camp” seminars to educate small business owners on how to best utilize Facebook to grow their businesses.

What a wonderful time we live in that National Small Business Week can be accessible to any small business enthusiast in the United States! But why stop there? If we can attend NSBW from the comforts of our cubicles, then we can learn about and grow our entire business from the very same place. By taking advantage of things like Small Business Boot Camps, we’re truly pushing our businesses to their full potential.

About the Author

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and@mycorporation.

Our Tribute to Small Business Superheroes

In honor of National Small Business Week, we created a video tribute to celebrate and honor the Small Business Superheroes here in our hometown of Durham, NC. Check it out!

To do our part to promote, honor and celebrate small business owners during National Small Business Week, we spent some time in our hometown of Durham, N.C., visiting small businesses to talk about their goals, their products and services, and most importantly the people behind them. Afterward, we made this video to share and raise awareness for small businesses everywhere. So without further ado, we present… Small Business Superheroes!

Here at Shoeboxed, we support and celebrate small businesses every day. Most of our customers are small business owners, after all! Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and pillars of their respective communities. They employ our friends and families, they make our daily routines possible, but their heroic efforts are rarely recognized.

Shoeboxed would like to thank the following Durham small businesses for allowing us to film in their shops and for taking a few minutes to share with us about their experiences working at or owning a small business in our wonderful city:

  • Market Street Coffee
  • Morgan Imports
  • Ninth Street Flowers
  • The Playhouse Toy Store
  • Saltbox
  • Tip Top Cycles
  • The Cupcake Bar
  • The Regulator Bookshop
  • The Scrap Exchange
  • Triangle Startup Factory

The SBA: Your Secret Weapon for Small Business Opportunities

National Small Business Week is just a few days in a jam-packed year of activities that benefit small businesses, thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Since 1953, the SBA has been working to empower entrepreneurs and small businesses in order to help them grow, increase their independence, and encourage a thriving U.S. economy.

This post is a part of a series celebrating National Small Business Week. If you’re a small business owner using Shoeboxed for your business and would like to share your experience, we’d love to hear from you.

National Small Business Week is a time to celebrate and honor the incredible achievements of small businesses across the country. It’s also a time for entrepreneurs to take advantage of small business opportunities offered by the Small Business Administration, the driving force behind this annual week of workshops and events.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of National Small Business Week, which takes place in five cities across the U.S. and culminates in Washington D.C. with the naming of the National Small Business Person of the Year.

But National Small Business Week is just a few days in a jam-packed year of activities that benefit small businesses, thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Since 1953, the SBA has been working to empower entrepreneurs and small businesses in order to help them grow, increase their independence, and encourage a thriving U.S. economy.

The SBA offers a variety of small business opportunities and matchmaking services to help business owners start a venture, acquire grants and loans, and take advantage of partnership opportunities with larger corporations.

What follows is a comprehensive list of some of the most popular small business opportunities offered by the SBA, and a handy how-to guide for applying for and securing funding and assistance.

Startup America

The most powerful opportunities for SMBs occur when public and private sector organizations come together to offer increased funding and business connections for startups that wouldn’t otherwise have them.

The goal of Startup America is to give high-growth startup companies every chance possible to succeed and thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace. In addition to dumping billions of dollars into education and mentoring programs, Startup America has created a partnership program that helps startups and big businesses connect with each other in mutually beneficial ways.

small-business-opportunities-1The SBA recognizes the fact that getting started can be one of the hardest parts of beginning a business, and that seed money is an essential component of any startups’ success.

Because of this, the SBA has vowed to match private investments in high growth startup companies dollar for dollar. This means that any venture capital invested in your startup can be doubled, simply by participating in the program.

If you’re starting your business in an area that is considered “economically distressed,” or if you’ve had trouble scoring a business loan by traditional means, this program may be perfect for you.

The SBA is particularly concerned with small businesses interested in starting with capital between $1 and $4 million; traditionally, small amounts like these are the most difficult to get funded.

The Early Stage Innovation Fund benefits SBAs and investors by doubling the amount of startup capital available during the early stages of the startup process.

Clean Tech Startups

If your small business deals with clean energy or environmentalism, you can benefit from the mentorship program headed by the SBA and the Department of Energy. In 2013, funding from this program will provide accelerated small business opportunities to 100 clean energy entrepreneurs throughout the United States.

The Clean Tech Startup program doesn’t provide financing directly to SMBs. Instead, it pours funding into four separate programs that offer “intense mentoring” to startups that are fiercely innovative and seem like promising business ventures. In other words, all you need to participate in this program is one heck of an idea.

Once selected, you will be assigned a mentor or team of mentors who will guide your startup in accelerating its growth. You’ll be assisted by a network of entrepreneurs, successful clean energy experts, and larger corporations that have a vested interest in seeing your venture succeed.

Interested? Check out which program is currently operating in your part of the country by clicking here.