Friday Finds: Entrepreneurship Stories Of the Week in May

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Jennifer Wang
Jennifer Wang


Five must-read pieces for business founders and builders.

May 27, 2022 -- Happy Friday and welcome back to Friday Finds! From a carbon neutral bakery to a startup digitizing Middle Eastern retailers, here are The Hustle's picks for inspiring and insightful entrepreneurial reads. 

  1. Group support startup Circles has raised $16.5m in a Series A as mental health apps continue to gain in popularity. Circle's platform offers weekly group video meetings, with mental health professionals that guide the process. 
  2. Bread Alone, a family owned business, is the first US bakery to be run on 100% renewable energy. To make the conversion, the organic bakery switched all their appliances to electric, and installed solar panels to power the operations.
  3. Running a Fortune 500 company is no easy feat. This year, the most inspirational CEOs on the vaunted ranking ranges from the women who helm CVS and Walgreens, to the heads of Apple Inc. and Coinbase Global. 
  4. Store management platform Dukkantek is modernizing small and medium merchants in the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The startup's offerings include back-office software (such as inventory management), digital payment systems, and e-commerce products that help stores to start selling online.
  5. While simple to create, mass email campaigns can be ineffective in a world where customers expect personalized offers and interactions. To better tailor your outreach, check out: Mass email is dead. Try this better marketing strategy instead

May 20, 2022 -- Happy Friday and welcome back to Friday Finds! From professional networking startups to fish container furniture, here are The Hustle's picks for inspiring and insightful entrepreneurial reads. 

  1. Industry-specific professional networks are thriving in the age of remote working. Bravado, a professional community for salespeople, recently raised a $26 million Series B, while Chief, a network for female leaders, announced a $100 million funding round in March.
  2. Atlanta entrepreneur Pinky Cole gave the new grads of her alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, quite a surprise this week. The restauranteur, who founded the Slutty Vegan chain, gifted each student the ability to register a limited liability company to help them jumpstart their road to business ownership. 
  3. A new survey found that companies with a strong culture of recognition can save millions in turnover cost. When managers acknowledge and thank workers for their contributions, and praise them for their ideas, employees are 4x more likely to feel "connected and engaged."
  4. Japan's fishing industry has been in decline for two decades due to overfishing and other unsustainable practices. Japanese designer Takuto Ohta is taking used fishing containers and turning them into furniture -- and he plans to open source his designs so others can build their own.  
  5. Webinars are making a comeback, but an effective landing page is crucial to getting registrations. To craft the best home for your webinars, check out the 25 webinar landing page examples to copy in 2022.

May 13, 2022 -- Happy Friday and welcome back to Friday Finds! From drones for wind farms to D2C contact lenses, here are The Hustle's picks for inspiring and insightful entrepreneurial reads. 

  1. As renewable energy gains steam in the US, a startup is using drones and AI to detect equipment failures before they shut down the wind turbines. SkySpecs, which uses drones to monitor turbine blades from above, recently raised $80m in a series D to fund its expansion.
  2. When Mahisha Dellinger launched her hair care company Curls in 2002, she had trouble finding educational resources and outside funding for a product aimed at Black women. She has since started the Black Women Making Millions Academy, which teaches Black women how to start, grow and scale their own businesses.  
  3. DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) programs have been expanding across the corporate world, but one element that's often missing: local relevance. To make your DEI programs truly inclusive instead of US centric, try practices like surveying local employees and researching each country to understand its underprivileged groups.
  4. A wildlife photographer, Ashleigh Hinde knew the importance that vision plays in life. After growing frustrated with the quality and cost of contact lenses, she launched her own D2C brand, Waldo, in 2017. The e-commerce company quickly became a hit; it has grown 500% since its founding. 
  5. Customer loyalty is essential to sustaining a business, but how do you measure a feeling like loyalty? Learn to put a number on loyalty and turn them into growth by reading customer loyalty analytics: 6 ways to help grow your business.

May 6, 2022 -- Happy Friday and welcome to Friday Finds! From the rise of fungus leather to Pinterest marketing techniques, here are The Hustle’s picks for inspiring and insightful entrepreneurial reads. 

  1. Investors are increasingly interested in sustainable alternative fabrics, from fungus-sourced leather to kelp-derived yarn. Case in point: VitroLabs, which develops lab-grown leather, just raised $46 million in a Series A  this week.
  2. Sharing mental health struggles at work can be hard -- and sometimes even more so for senior executives. NBCUniversal's vice chairman of business affairs, Jimmy Horowitz, shares his experience of speaking up about his depression and helping his firm build programs around mental health.
  3. Veronica Tessler opened a froyo shop in 2011, when the tasty dessert was one of the hottest food trends. Then the fad began to fade: since 2016, the average earnings of frozen yogurt store operators are down 30+%. To keep her business going, Tessler focused on building ties with the local community, and diversifying her product mix, like offering hot cocoa bombs in the winter.  
  4. West Virginia's Jill Rae Scarbro, founder of autism therapy center Bright Futures Learning Services, is Small Business Administration's person of the year. The behavior analyst, who suffered from dyslexia and ADHD as a child, manages 3 locations that treats kids with autism. 
  5. With 400m+ monthly active users, Pinterest can be a great platform for building an audience and showing off your latest products. To up your game on the picture sharing site, check out 11 companies on Pinterest that are crushing it.
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