Rihanna Launches Another Big First: A Visual Autobiography

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Rihanna pictured in gold and black long dress at her book launch party

With only two months left in the year, Rihanna continues racking up a number of big wins. Recently at New York City’s revered art institution, the Guggenheim Museum, the fashion and beauty industry disrupter celebrated the release of Rihanna, the lavish large format book that features 1000 photos—many never seen before images from her days growing up in Barbados to candid moments between her global jaunts with friends and family.

As Rihanna welcomed invited guests—including many Navy fans—to the book launch, she acknowledged the book’s many contributors and artisans, including the Haas Brothers, who she said “they decided to do something this huge and dream this up with me.”

But the celebrated multihyphenate couldn’t finish her next acknowledgment after simply saying three words, “my bestie Melissa.”

The crowd erupted into thunderous applause for her long time friend Melissa Forde, who has a number of photographs featured in the book. “Thank you for these intimate images of life,” said Rihanna. “I didn’t even know the camera was here.”

She also thanked her tour photographer Dennis Leupold, who has shot a number of ESSENCE covers including Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson and the cast of Black Panther, by calling him “a legend in his own right.”

Rihanna book is pictured opened with two pages filled with photos

And if Rihanna, which is 504 pages and weighs 15 pounds, wasn’t special enough, the artist has created three other unique editions. Already available, the Fenty x Phaidon edition, “This Sh*t is Heavy,” includes a copy of the book and a tabletop bookstand inspired by Rihanna’s hands. On November 20, the Luxury Supreme edition is signed and numbered by Rihanna and a “Drippy + The Brain” gold toned bookstand covered with a bespoke black vermiculated fabric (together it weighs 126 pounds). Lastly, the Ultra Luxury Supreme edition, entitled “Stoner,” includes a Portugal marble pedestal.

Rihanna will be available on October 24.

Continue on to Essence to read the complete article.

Charles Barkley donates $1 million to Miles College, an HBCU in his native Alabama

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76rs great Charles Barkley speaks at a podium

Over the course of his philanthropic efforts, Charles Barkley has made injecting cash into Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) a priority.

Recently, Miles College — an HBCU located in Fairfield, Alabama — announced a $1 million gift from Barkley, the largest donation by a donor in the school’s 122-year history.

Barkley has previously donated $1 million to a trio of HBCUs: Clark Atlanta, Morehouse College and Alabama A&M. His most recent donation will jumpstart a $100 million fundraising campaign, interim school president Bobbie Knight said.

“What Barkley has done helps lay the foundation for the campaign,” Knight said.

Knight became the school’s first female president last July, and making sure her tenure includes financial resources was a goal of Barkley’s.

“I’ve gotten to know Bobbie Knight over the last year and it was something I really wanted to do,” Barkley said. “To have a female president is a big deal. I want to help Bobbie be as successful as she can be.”

Continue on to USA Today to read more.

MBEs: Get Certified Today

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diverse business group walking and talking

Why certify? Businesses that are certified as minority owned are subject to different laws and regulations than other businesses and as such are very different entities from typical enterprises. Unlike a standard business license or registration, a minority-owned business enterprise certification is not required to run a minority-owned business, although certification can provide many benefits for a company—especially in regards to government contracting.

Below are some of the certification processes your company can expect to navigate when seeking minority-owned business enterprise certification. Also listed are the requirements that must be met by businesses that are seeking certification.

  • Manufacturers – Maximum number of employees must not surpass 500 or 1500, depending on the product being manufactured.
  • Wholesalers – Maximum number of employees must not surpass 100 or 500, depending on the product being provided.
  • Service providers – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $2.5 or $21.5 million, depending on the service being provided.
  • Retailers – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $5.0 or $21.0 million, depending on the product being provided.
  • General and Heavy Construction businesses – Annual sales receipts must not exceed $13.5 or $17 million, depending on the type of construction the company is engaged in.
  • Special Trade Construction businesses – Annual receipts must not be higher than $7 million.
  • Agricultural businesses – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $0.5 to $9.0 million, depending on the agricultural product being produced.

Business Requirements

1) The company applying for certification must have a racial minority owner who owns at least 51 percent of the company.

2) The same owner must hold the highest position in the company.

3) The company must pay a fee based on company annual gross sales and also file an application that details basic company information, such as what year the business was founded.

4) The company’s primary business locations must be available for site visits.

Getting Bids

Build Relationships. When it comes to winning bids in the government contracting marketplace, contacts are everything. Business owners are advised to take the time to make connections, build relationships and network extensively. The contacts a business develops are often the key to furthering their success in government contracting. Proactively networking with larger companies, agencies and even competitors can lead to subcontracting opportunities while also showing agencies that you are a trustworthy and reliable business partner.

Subcontract. Building a reputation as a professional enterprise is crucial to the success of any business. Winning a government bid isn’t only about the monetary aspects involved with a contract; other factors are evaluated, too. An agency will often look at company financials, work history and reputation before selecting a winning organization. It helps to have contacts who can vouch for your company and the work that you do. By subcontracting, you build your reputation and gain valuable experience.

You never know when the contacts you develop will come in handy. Therefore, you should make each and every relationship meaningful because in the long run, these are the relationships that will further your company’s success.

Government RFPs are a great way for minority-owned business enterprises (MBE) to win spot and term contracts. Every year, the U.S. federal government spends more than $200 billion on goods and services, all of which are provided by private companies and many of which are minority-owned businesses. From federal to state, local and special districts, all levels of government have programs in place to increase their involvement with certified minority-owned business enterprises. Only companies who have gone through the MBE certification process are eligible for the money that is made available through such programs.

Source: BidNet

Former Memphis Firefighter Launches New Career With America’s Top-Rated Home Inspection Company

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Former firefighter Byron Matthews in his Pillar to Post uniform

When Byron Matthews says he has a thorough understanding of building structure, he is not exaggerating. Recently, the 46-year-old Matthews became a franchise owner with the No. 1 home inspection company in North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®. Matthews serves clients throughout Shelby County and west Tennessee.

But prior to joining Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, Matthews spent 15 years as a firefighter and EMT for the city of Memphis. A Memphis resident, Matthews says his prior career gave him the perfect foundation for his new one. “Being a firefighter for 15 years and having an understanding of home structures, foundations and fire inspections make a great fit for being a home inspector,” Matthews said.

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for over 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors has ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise 500® for 23 years in a row, and the past 8 years they landed the top spot in their category.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service.

“I always wanted to be a business owner, so this was a great match for me,” Matthews said. “My goal is to expand my business and be a role model in my community.”

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are more than 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® for 23 years in a row, the past 8 years as No.1 in Category. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit www.pillartopost.com. To inquire about a franchise, go to www.pillartopostfranchise.com.

American Airlines adds to executive ranks with new hire

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Ken Charles headshot

American Airlines added a new executive that will focus on diversity, the carrier recently announced. Kenneth Charles was named the chief inclusion and diversity officer for American Airlines Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL).

Charles comes to American from U.S. Bank, where he was senior vice president of Enterprise Talent. He also previously worked at General Mills as vice president of Global Inclusion and Staffing and chief diversity officer.

In his role with American, Charles will establish the company’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as the airline strives to establish best practices.

“We are on a journey to enhance our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion across American, and Ken will help chart our course to ensure American is an industry leader,” said Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive of American, in a prepared statement.

“Our decision to become more intentional in this area is vital to our global business,” Parker added. “Ken will provide a needed and important voice in all of our critical decision-making.”

Charles comes into a roll American has been aiming to fill for several months.

Continue on to BizJournal to read the complete article.

The No. 1 job of 2019 pays $140,000 — and its hiring growth has exploded 74%

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human hand touching robotic hand

Career and job site LinkedIn released its annual “Emerging Jobs” list, which identifies the roles that have seen the largest rate of hiring growth from 2015 through 2019. No. 1 on the list: Artificial Intelligence Specialist — typically an engineer, researcher or other specialty that focuses on machine learning and artificial intelligence, figuring out things like where it makes sense to implement AI or building AI systems. Hiring for this role has been tremendous, growing 74% annually in the past 4 years alone.

Hiring for this role has been tremendous, growing 74% annually in the past 4 years alone. “AI has infiltrated every industry, and right now the demand for people skilled in AI is outpacing the supply for it,” Guy Berger, the principal economist at LinkedIn, tells MarketWatch. “This is the third year in a row a role related to machine learning or artificial intelligence has topped the list, and we can only expect demand to increase.”

The pay is impressive too, with AI roles often commanding six figures. Jobs site Indeed notes that artificial intelligence engineers in San Francisco, for example, rake in $120,000 to upwards of $160,000. Sometimes AI roles can garner pay of $250,000 or more.

LinkedIn isn’t the only company to highlight an AI specialty role as a job to watch. Indeed’s annual list of the “25 best jobs of 2019” named machine learning engineer as No. 1, citing a 344% increase in job postings in the past few years and an annual base salaries of $146,000, among other perks.

So what’s behind this rapid growth in AI jobs? Berger says that “almost everyone” is hiring for these roles from the obvious (tech and automotive) to the more surprising (higher education and sports).

And these offer a real opportunity even for people who aren’t currently in AI: “We’re in an extremely tight labor market so companies are really looking to hire whoever can get the job done,” says Berger — who notes that learning skills like TensorFlow and Python, as well as diving into machine learning and natural language processing, could help you land the role. You can often take these kinds of classes as certificate programs from local universities, coding schools and more.

Rounding out the top 5 jobs on LinkedIn’s emerging jobs report are robotics engineers (40% annual hiring growth), data scientist (37%), full stack engineer (35%) and site reliability engineer (34%). “While many of these jobs are tech roles, they’re not necessarily in the tech industry. Every company has had to embrace tech at some level and we’re seeing that reflected in these high-growth jobs,” adds Berger.

But interestingly, there are also a number of client-facing roles that are experiencing rapid hiring growth, such as customer success specialist and sales development representative. Many roles like this “are heavily reliant on relationships, so being skilled in things like communication, problem-solving and collaboration are key,” Berger notes, adding that for these kinds of gigs companies “will rely on people skills that can’t be automated, successfully complementing new technologies.”

LinkedIn’s Top 10 Emerging Jobs
1. Artificial Intelligence Specialist
2. Robotics Engineer
3. Data Scientist
4. Full Stack Engineer
5. Site Reliability Engineer
6. Customer Success Specialist
7. Sales Development Representative
8. Data Engineer
9. Behavioral Health Technician
10. Cyber Security Specialist

Continue on to MarketWatch to read the complete article.

National Museum of African American History and Culture Opens New Exhibition, “We Return Fighting”

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we return fighting sign in the museum

We Return Fighting: The African American Experience in World War I” opens Friday, Dec. 13, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. On view until June 14, 2020, the exhibition examines the impact of the war on African life 100 years since it ended.

Covering nearly 100 years of history, from 1865 to 1963, the exhibition is divided into three sections: Pre-War, During the War and Post-War. “We Return Fighting” explores the full range of African American participation in the war—from serving in segregated units as laborers and supply handlers in the United States and France to earning major military awards after fighting alongside the French in Europe. The exhibition goes beyond war history to show how that global conflict changed African American life, contributing to the birth of the Negro Renaissance and the civil rights and labor movements.

“Some 17 to 21 million soldiers and civilians died in what was the worst war in modern history,” said Spencer D. Crew, interim director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. “Empires fell, maps were redrawn and the lives of countless people were forever changed. For African Americans, the war tested the meaning of citizenship and patriotism. They went to war fighting for democracy abroad; they returned fighting for democracy at home.”

African Americans returned to a segregated America where lynchings were on the rise and poor black sharecroppers were leaving the South in search of factory jobs in the North and the West. Those who were highly vocal with their protests became known as “The New Negro,” aggressively pursuing social justice and civil rights.

“On and off the battlefield, during and after the war, African

su-committee
The sub-committee of Management and Counsel of Grand United Order of Odd Fellows (1907-1908)
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Charles Hamilton Houston, J. and Dr. Rosemary Jagus

Americans were fighting for their rights and to make equality a reality,” said Krewasky A. Salter, exhibition curator. “They were asked to serve, but they were subjected to unfair draft practices and were the victims of the one of the largest and most unjust court martials in American history. After the war, the time was right for thinkers and for activists to step forward and help create a better America.”

The exhibition explores the work and the impact of nine African American luminaries who emerged as prominent thinkers and activists: A. Philip Randolph, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Col. Charles Young, Mary Church Terrell, Lt. Charles Hamilton Houston, Oscar de Priest, Josephine Baker and Robert Abbott.

Among the exhibition highlights:

  • The Croix de Guerre, the medal France used to recognize the valor of the 369th Infantry Regiment. The unit fought with distinction on the front lines of France for 191 consecutive days and suffered more than 1,400 casualties. Each member of the unit was awarded the medal
  • Paintings, drawings and sculptures created by major African American artists, including Charles Alston, Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, Horace Pippin, Henry O. Tanner
  • A touch-screen interactive giving access to 146 soldier photographs and details of their war-time duty
  • A 1918 photograph of President Woodrow Wilson, Gen. John J. Pershing and an unidentified African American soldier, an image used as a souvenir to document and celebrate the African American participation in the war
  • Oil paintings by French artist Lucien Hector Jonas, c. 1917
  • Uniforms worn by French, Senegalese and African Americans
  • A collection of weapons ranging from pistols, rifles and sabers to items connected to the use of poisonous gas

The museum developed the exhibition in partnership with Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale. Based in France, this organization was created to research the impact of World War I through the lens of the African American experience and to commemorate the centennial of the end of the war. The exhibition is supported by Altria Group, Nationwide Foundation and The Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Major funding comes from the Mission du centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale.

Located inside the museum’s Special Exhibitions Gallery, “We Return Fighting” fills more than 4,000 square feet of space with never-before-seen photographs, original uniforms and weapons, historic film footage, and interactive features. Numerous unique artifacts on display are presented in this exhibition through generous cooperation of institutions in France including: Musée de la Grande Guerre, Historial de la Grande Guerre,  La Contemporaine, Bibliotéque, archives, musée des mondes contemporains, Musée de l’Armée, and Musée franco-américain du Château de Blérancourt. Additional loan of historic materials from U.S. institutions have enhanced the exhibition including, The National WWI Museum and Memorial, Women in Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, the Library of Congress and many others. The exhibition is presented with a companion book, “We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity.”

About the Companion Book

We Return Fighting: World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity, Smithsonian Books, 160 pages, $19.95. Edited by Kinshasha Holman Conwill, deputy director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This book presents photographs, artifacts, medals and renderings of battle scenes alongside powerful essays that together explore the roles played by African Americans during World War I and how the wartime experience reshaped their lives and their communities once they returned home.

With a foreword by Phillippe Etienne, Ambassador of France to the United States, and an introduction by Lonnie G. Bunch III, 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian and founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture., the book contains essays by renowned writers, historians and scholars including Lisa Budreau, Brittney Cooper, John Morrow, Krewasky Salter, Curtis Young, Chad Williams and Jay Winter.

About the Curator

Krewasky A. Salter, Ph.D., U.S. Army colonel (retired), is the executive director of the First Division Museum in Wheaton, Illinois.  As a guest curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, he curated the museum’s inaugural exhibition, “Double Victory: The African American Military Experience.” He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida, a Master of Strategic Studies from the Air War University, Maxwell AFB in Alabama and a doctorate from Florida State University. He has taught courses in military history, strategy and leadership at the United States Military Academy, West Point; the Command and General Staff College, Leavenworth; and Howard University. The author of two books, he served as associate producer of the PBS documentary, Unsung Heroes: The Story of America’s Female Patriots.

About the National Museum of African American History and Culture  

Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed nearly seven million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu, follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.

5-Year-Old Drumming Prodigy Receives Scholarship Offer From HBCU

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5-Year-Old Drumming Prodigy marching in high school band playing his drums

Musical prodigies showcase their otherworldly abilities at a young age, but Jeremiah Travis is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. And the historically black Alcorn State University apparently feels the same way, as it has offered the 5-year-old wunderkind a full band scholarship well over a decade before he even graduates high school.

USA Today reports that when he does finally graduate high school in 2032, he’ll have a home in the school’s Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Band. “Now, to know that he is 5 and has a full scholarship made me feel so good,” his mother, Nicole Jackson, said. “I am just amazed at his playing level with him being so young.

Travis’ journey as a drummer began with beating on ABC blocks as a baby, and now the snare drummer for St. Helena College’s high school marching band is a familiar face at performances throughout Louisiana, including halftime shows for the New Orleans Pelicans. Most kids his age are playing with toys or spending their afternoons with an Xbox controller in their hands, but Travis would much rather spend his time perfecting his craft.

“He’s not a video game person,” Jackson said. “He likes to move and learn different things with drums.” Chesteron Frye, band director at St. Helena College and former student band director at Alcorn State University, took an immediate interest in Travis after spotting him drumming in the stands. “He was sitting in the stands just beating on the stands with some drumsticks and I was like, ‘Who is this little baby keep beating drum sticks in the stands?’” Frye told WAFB.

“So we told him come on over and we held the drum out, someone was holding it, and he just started going, going against the other band across the field and I was like, ‘Wow,’” Frye said.

Continue on to The Root to read the complete article.

Da Lucky Spot: Meet the Charlotte Man Behind Walmart’s First Black-Owned Barbershop

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Entrepreneur Shaun Corbett cuts the ribbon on Da Lucky Spot, Walmart’s first Black-owned barbershop.

The philosopher Seneca said luck is where opportunity meets preparation. For Charlotte, North Carolina, barber Shaun “Lucky” Corbett, his golden opportunity paved the way for what would become Walmart‘s first Black-owned and operated barbershop.

On Sept. 26, Corbett was joined by dozens of community supporters eager to witness the moment he opened the doors of Da Lucky Spot Barbershop at the Walmart on Wilkinson Boulevard. The grand opening festivities were replete with balloons, laughter and plenty of smiles as folks gathered to celebrate the accomplished businessman.

Corbett, 40, has established himself as a leader in the local community over the last several years with his charitable give-back programs. As a licensed barber, he envisioned his shop as a space offering fellowship and suppport, especially for the neighborhood’s youth.

The road hasn’t always been smooth, however, and like most business owners, Corbett relied on his faith to get him through the rough spots.

“How I landed it was never giving up, seeing the vision [and] just working diligently,” he told Atlanta Black Star via phone. “Development is the main thing … understanding and being intentional about conversations I have when I have the opportunity to help.”

Corbett got his start in 2005 after enrolling in the No Grease barber school, the Charlotte Agenda reported. He spent his weekends cutting heads at the barber shop and served up slices at a local pizzeria to cover his hefty tuition — $10,000 to be exact.

By the next year, he was a full-time barber with his own chair. Corbett was eventually able to open his first Lucky Spot shop on North Tyrone Street in 2010.

The space quickly became more than just a barbershop. Corbett hosted a number of community programs, including his handing out of turkeys to families in need each Thanksgiving, after-school tutoring sessions for the kids and a backpack drive for students headed back to school in the fall. The local leader is perhaps best known for his acclaimed Cops & Barbers program, which aims to build trust between police and the communities they serve.

Continue on the Atlanta Black Star to read the complete article.

JAY-Z Is the First Hip-Hop Artist to Become a Billionaire: Inside His Fortune

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JAY-Z in blue suit and white collared suit on stage before performance

When JAY-Z rapped “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man” on Kanye West’s 2005 track “Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” he really meant it.

According to a new report released by Forbes on Monday, the rapper turned mogul has become the first hip-hop artist to amass a billion-dollar fortune with his impressive investments across liquor, art, real estate and companies like Uber.

Before becoming a musician, JAY-Z, 49, was a drug dealer in his hometown of Brooklyn. In 1996, he started his own label, Roc-A-Fella Records, to release his debut album, Reasonable Doubt. Since then, he has earned 14 No. 1 albums, 22 Grammy wins and a reported $500 million in pretax earnings, according to the outlet.

In order to calculate JAY-Z’s net worth, Forbes says they first looked at his stakes in companies like Armand de Brignac champagne (which he owns 100% of) and applied their customary discount to private firms. They then added up his income and subtracted “a healthy amount to account for a superstar lifestyle.” Additionally, they say they ran the numbers with a roster of outside experts to ensure that the estimates were “fair and conservative.”

Since its launch in 2006 in JAY-Z’s music video for “Show Me What You Got,” Armand de Brignac is estimated by Forbes to now be worth $310 million. JAY-Z’s cognac D’Ussé, which is a joint venture with Bacardi, is estimated to be worth $100 million.

JAY-Z is also estimated to have $220 million in cash and investments, including a stake in ride-share service Uber which is estimated to be worth $70 million itself.

JAY-Z’s music-streaming service Tidal — which launched in 2015 with a number of celebrity investors including his wife, Beyoncé, Kanye West and Calvin Harris — is estimated to be worth $100 million.

Continue on to Yahoo entertainment to read the complete article.

The Best And Worst States For Entrepreneurs In 2020

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black man looking excitedly at his laptop

There might be an ongoing trade war and recession worries, but small businesses in the United States continue to flourish. According to a report by Guidant Financial, 78 percent of small businesses are reporting profits, with both confidence and happiness indices ranking among the highest in recent years. Approval rates for small business loan applications at big banks rose from 26.7 percent in Sept. 2018 to 27.9 percent in Sept. 2019, according to Biz2Credit.

Thus, the overall small business climate looks favorable for an enterprising entrepreneur. However, one fundamental factor that can change business climate is geography. Depending on the state — not to mention the city — where you want to start a business, these overall conducive conditions can change dramatically.

Seek Capital conducted a study of all 50 U.S. states to determine which ones were the best and which ones were the worst for entrepreneurs wanting to start and maintain a successful business. The study analyzed states in terms of 21 factors, ranging from socio-economic factors such as the five-year increase in working-age population, unemployment and labor force participation rates, to factors more specifically focused on entrepreneurial activity, such as the rate of new entrepreneurs, the opportunity share of new entrepreneurs (the percentage of entrepreneurs who said they started their business out of opportunity rather than necessity) and startup survival rates, sourced from the Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship.

There are definitely some geographic patterns that emerged from the results of the study. The list of the top-10 best states are a combo of states located in the U.S. West and South regions, as designated by the Census Bureau. Midwest states are scattered across the middle of the rankings. And among the 10-worst states, the list of states includes those located in the South and the Northeast, the latter being the most unfavorable region in general for starting a business.

Here are the top-10 best states for starting a business:

  1. Utah
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. Colorado
  5. California
  6. North Carolina
  7. Idaho
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Georgia
  10. Wyoming

Each of these states saw sizable injections of venture capital into new companies in 2018. California startups received the most money, with 2,869 companies getting $77.3 billion in venture capital funding, for an average of $26.9 million per company. No. 6 North Carolina was no slouch either, with $2.6 billion in venture capital funding going to 173 companies, for an average of $15.1 million per company. Not coincidentally, these 10 states had very active entrepreneurs. Florida has the highest rate of new entrepreneurs with 0.46 percent of its population starting businesses, followed by 0.45 percent in California and Wyoming.

The 10 Worst States for Entrepreneurs in 2020

The states that made up the worst states for entrepreneurs shared several traits. One of them mentioned is geographic: Six out of the 10 worst states are located in the Northeast — Pennsylvania (41st overall), New Hampshire (44th), Maine (47th), New Jersey (48th), Connecticut (49th) and Rhode Island (50th). The remainder of the 10 worst states are located in the South.

Declining working-age populations was shared by all of the 10 worst states with the exception of Arkansas. In absolute terms, Pennsylvania lost the most, suffering a decline of 148,126 working-age people from 2013 to 2018. In percentage terms, Louisiana and Maine lost the most, down 2.2 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively, over the last five years. Business taxes in these states are also mediocre to outright unfavorable

Here are the bottom-10 worst states to start a business, with No. 1 being the worst:

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Connecticut
  3. New Jersey
  4. Maine
  5. Alabama
  6. Maryland
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Arkansas
  9. Louisiana
  10. Pennsylvania

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

 

Chef Big Shake Debuts New Online Store, Offers Deep-Fried Turkey for the Holidays

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Chef Big Shake in Chef's uniform smiling with arms folded

People line up at Big Shake’s Nashville Hot Chicken, excited to get the array of unique flavors being served up. Now, people across the country can simply log online and buy whatever they want, and it will arrive at their doorstep within two business days. With the launch of the online store, Chef Big Shake has made it possible for everyone to get in on the hot chicken, deep fried turkey and “famous” shrimp burger action.

This comes just in time for the holiday season, giving people the ability to order Chef Big Shake’s custom deep-fried turkey that they can serve up for their special meals with family and friends.

“There are many people who have been waiting for this store to go live, so it’s an exciting time,” explains Shawn Davis, otherwise known as Chef Big Shake, the creator of The Shrimp Burger and owner of Big Shake’s Hot Chicken & Fish. “The online store will let everyone get a taste of our food, whether for themselves or as a special gift for someone else. Some say you can’t find a better gift than my famous hot chicken.”

Chef Big Shake’s online store, located at ShopBigShakes.com, serves up a full menu of options to choose from, including his famous Nashville hot chicken, seasonings and peppers, shrimp burgers, and more. For those wanting to ensure their holiday meal is simple and a big hit this year, they may want to order Chef Big Shake’s deep-fried turkey, for only $89.99.

The deep-fried turkey offered through the online store serves 10-12 people and is shipped Monday-Wednesday. After it has been expertly deep-fried, it is then frozen to seal in the flavor, then packed in a reusable cooler with dry ice, and shipped anywhere in the country, arriving in two business days. Once the person receives it, they put it in the freezer, and then follow the simple instructions for heating it in the oven, so it’s ready for that special holiday gathering. Chef Big Shake’s deep-fried turkeys are crispy on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. They can also be ordered infused with their award winning Nashville Hot Chicken heat injections: such flavors as CryBaby® – Mild, Stop Drop n Roll® – Medium, Rambo – Hot. Or, classic flavors such as: honey butter, honey BBQ, Cajun butter, Jerk, lemon pepper, and classic seasoning.

“Whether you are someone who lives near a Big Shake’s or you wantDepp fried turkey being cooked someone who doesn’t to try the food, we want to make sure you have the best tasting turkey this holiday and ready to help,” added Davis. “But be careful, once you go Big Shake, you never go back! This food will keep you coming back time and again.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving. Here are some safety tips for those who plan to deep-fry their turkey themselves for the holidays:

  • Never leave food cooking in the kitchen unattended, and don’t leave the house while the food is cooking.
  • Make sure that children stay away from food that is being cooked, so they don’t get burned.
  • Keep the outdoor deep fryers away from flammable sources, including garages and balconies. Also, check the weather to ensure that it will not rain or snow.
  • Be sure that the turkey is completely thawed, which will help eliminate flare-up risks.
  • Those using a propane-powered deep fryer will need to ensure there is a two-foot buffer between the burner and tank. Ideally, you should use a fryer that has temperature controls, so that the oil is not heated beyond its smoke point.
  • The fryer must be on a level surface before it can be used. If it’s not, there is a risk of it being tipped over, starting a fire.
  • Avoid overfilling the oil in the fryer, which can ignite if it comes into contact with the burger. Check with the manufacturer’s directions for the correct amount to use.
  • When it’s time to submerge the turkey, shut the burner off. You can turn it back on once the turkey is submerged in the oil.
  • Use protective gear, such as safety glasses and oven mitts when working with the fryer.
  • Once the turkey is done, remove the pot from the burner and place it in a safe, level place to cool overnight, before disposing.

Big Shake’s currently has three locations, in Franklin and Goodlettsville, Tennessee and Huntsville, Alabama with a fourth location opening soon in Huntsville, Alabama. Chef Big Shake became famous for his signature shrimp burgers, which were featured on the hit show “Shark Tank.” They have sold hundreds of thousands of them. The restaurant has also become famous for its hot chicken plates, chicken sandwiches, hot chicken and waffles, hot chicken tacos, and more. They also feature a variety of fish entrees, including whiting and catfish. Diners can choose their level of heat, ranging from “cry baby” to “executioner.”

To learn more about Chef Big Shake’s online store or to order a deep-fried turkey, visit the site at: https://shopbigshakes.com/. To learn more about Big Shake’s Hot Chicken & Fish, visit the site at: bigshakeshotchicken.com/.

About Big Shake’s Hot Chicken & Fish

““Chef Big Shake,” was named after and founded by Shawn Davis, a man who worked his way up from restaurant dishwasher to chef to entrepreneur. After being passed up on the reality business show “Shark Tank,” he received the funding he needed to take his business national. Today, his product line, which features five varieties of “The Original Shrimp Burger,” is available in over 2,500 stores, and he owns Big Shake’s Hot Chicken & Fish restaurants. To learn more about the restaurant chain, visit the site at: bigshakeshotchicken.com/.

Interland Free Game Makes the Holiday Season Fun

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Interland games

Be Internet Awesome Teaches Kids the Fundamentals of Internet Safety in an Interactive Way

Just in time for the Holidays, Interland aims to teach kids in a fun way how to stay safe online.

The Interland game is free and accessible to everyone and teaches important lessons like being careful about what kids share online, how to spot scams and protect their privacy and the importance of being respectful with others.

The four lands and their key learning objectives are:

 

Reality River

Don’t Fall for Fake.  The river that runs through Interland flows with fact and fiction. But things are not always as they seem. To cross the rapids, use your best judgement and don’t fall for the antics of the phisher lurking in these waters. Learning objectives include:

  • Understand not everything is true online.
  • Recognize the signs of a scam.
  • Understand phishing and how to report it.

Mindful Mountain

Share with Care. The mountainous town center of Interland is a place where everyone mingles and crosses paths. But you must be very intentional about what you share and with whom…information travels at the speed of light and there’s an oversharer among the Internauts you know. Learning objectives include:

  • Be mindful of what is shared and with whom.
  • Understand consequences of sharing.
  • Understand some info is extra sensitive.

Kind Kingdom

It’s cool to be kind. Vibes of all kinds are contagious—for better orInterland game with water and a boat for worse. In the sunniest corner of town, cyberbullies are running amok, spreading negativity everywhere. Block and report bullies to stop their takeover and be kind to other Internauts to restore the peaceful nature of this land. Learning objectives include:

  • The web amplifies kindness and negativity.
  • Not tolerating bullying and speaking up.
  • Block and report mean spirited behavior.

Tower of Treasure

Secure your secrets. Mayday! The Tower is unlocked, leaving the Internaut’s valuables like personal info and passwords at high risk. Outrun the hacker and build an untouchable password every step of the way…to secure your secrets once and for all. Learning objectives include:

  • Take responsibility to protect your things.
  • How to make a strong password.
  • A good password should be memorable.

Interland is currently available in English, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. To access this free game visit:

https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/en_us/interland

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