Five must-read pieces for business founders and builders.

March 25, 2022 -- Happy Friday and welcome back to Friday Finds! From the rise of debt financing to crisis advice from Black business owners, here are The Hustle’s picks for inspiring and insightful entrepreneurial reads.

  1. While venture capital remains the gold standard for startup funding, debt financing could be the next big thing as the VC world cools down amid a volatile market and falling valuations.  
  2. The pandemic has disproportionately affected Black businesses. A panel of Black founders share their tips on pushing through a crisis, including building a strong network of supporting cast and getting out of your comfort zone to get involved in startup programs that may lack diversity.
  3. Entering the European market can be challenging. To launch a new product on the continent, American entrepreneurs should be aware of differences in regulatory environments, customer relationships, advertising practices and more. 
  4. The tech industry has struggled with diversifying its workforce at the same time it's been facing a labor shortage. A study shows that 250,000 qualified women of color are missing from the tech sector, and companies can include them by considering transferrable skills and experiences from non tech jobs.
  5. An email newsletter is great way to provide extra value to your royal customers and keep them engaged with your brand. If you're thinking of starting one for your business, check out HubSpot's comprehensive checklist for creating an email newsletter. 

March 18, 2022 -- Happy Friday and welcome back to Friday Finds! From startups trying to digitize restaurants to a retiree's successful attempt at franchising, here are The Hustle’s picks for inspiring and insightful entrepreneurial reads.

  1. It's getting hot in the kitchen. Investors are pouring into restaurant tech as more eateries opt for digital ordering, payment and delivery systems. In 2021, restaurant tech startups received $2.3 billion in VC funding, compared to $800 million in 2017.
  2. Rachel Roff founded Urban Skin Rx, a clinical skincare line for diverse skin tones, after she discovered a lack of services for darker skin tones as a beautician. The products are now sold in Ulta, Walmart, Walgreens and more.
  3. As companies continue to compete for talent amid the Great Resignation, more firms are offering sabbaticals as a perk. Giving employees extended time away may reduce burnout and help their reports gain more responsibilities.
  4.  A former mechanical engineer, Steve Ojeshina found a new passion in retirement: franchising. In 4 years, he has opened 17 beauty salons and 2 fitness studios, franchised from two separate brands.
  5. Using pre-built templates can be a quick and easy way to create a beautiful website for your business. To make sure you're making the right choices, see the 14 dos and don’ts of using website templates in 2022.

March 11, 2022 -- Happy Friday and welcome back to Friday Finds! From battery swapping bikes to Rihanna's potential IPO, here are The Hustle’s picks for inspiring and insightful entrepreneurial reads.

  1. Berlin-based startup Swobbee has raised $6.5 million in a Series A to built a network of battery swapping stations in Germany and beyond. The stations will allow micro-mobility vehicles, such as e-bikes, to get fresh batteries on the go. 
  2. Online education firm Outschool uses Zoom to teach school children classes ranging from clarinet to bridge design. The pandemic boosted its sales from $7 million to $130 million in two years -- but can it keep up the momentum as schools fully reopen?
  3. Pop star Rihanna is exploring options to take her lingerie brand Savage X Fenty public. The company, known for its inclusivity and wide range of sizes, could be valued as much as $3 billion. 
  4. Voting rights activist and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has started 3 businesses with the same co-founder. Her tips on maintaining good relationship between business partners include writing out roadmaps, documenting key decisions, and keeping an open line of communication.
  5. As the old saying goes, the customer is always right. To build a customer-first organization, read the ultimate guide to training for customer service and support.

March 4, 2022 -- Happy Friday and welcome to Friday Finds! From next-gen supercomputers to Serena Williams's latest venture fund, here are The Hustle’s picks for inspiring and insightful entrepreneurial reads.

  1. While AI software has proliferated in the past decade, hardware hasn't always kept up. Luminous recently raised $105m in a Series A to solve that problem; it's currently building  supercomputers designed to run complex AI systems. 
  2. Serena Williams's VC firm Serena Ventures just closed a $111 million round for its inaugural fund. The firm, which previously only held the tennis superstar's angel investments, has put 76% of its money towards underrepresented founders. 
  3. Vlada Bortnik fled to the U.S. from Ukraine in 1990 with her family. She later started video messaging app maker Marco Polo in 2012, and credits her childhood in her homeland for shaping her into the leader she is today. 
  4. Feeling uninspired? Here are 15 tips for business owners to find motivation and get the creative juices flowing again. 
  5. Surveys are one of the most effective ways for founders to get customer feedback. To create and distribute surveys for your business today, check out the the 16 best totally free online survey makers and tools.
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Originally published Mar 25, 2022 11:15:00 AM, updated April 15 2022

Topics:

Entrepreneurship