Pride Month is a time to celebrate equality for all, as Ukraine is fighting to preserve its culture, democracy and equality for its citizens.
June is Pride Month when the LGBTQ+ community comes together to celebrate our progress and remember those who fought for our rights. This year, we want to highlight our work at Alternative Spaces and our Ukrainian partner, Onix Systems. We have been working together daily for 15 years, producing high-quality software, innovative applications and complex installations.
What’s more, Alternative Spaces is LGBTQ+ owned and operated, while Onix Systems fully embraces and supports our LGBTQ+ Community. Despite the horrific Russian invasion, Onix continues to work with us daily, even after spending nights sheltering in basements during multiple air raid warnings. Onix is located in a remote area of Ukraine and all 340 team members are safe.
This June, as we celebrate Pride Month, please take some time to explore our blog posts and learn more about the value we offer. You can read about how misterb&b is working to create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ travelers worldwide. This is what Francois de Landes, VP IT and Operations, misterb&b has to say:
Andy Cramer, CEO of Alternative Spaces, and I have developed an extraordinary working relationship over the past five years.
He undoubtedly has our best interests in mind. Andy helped with our strategic scaling opportunities, sent us our CTO, with his marketplace experience suggested solutions to add inventory for available guest accommodations, and assisted us as we moved through COVID and the war with Russia.
Andy is in constant contact with me. He consistently adds his knowledge, expertise, contacts, and support to misterb&b’s benefit. I highly recommend working with him and his team. They will ensure you get the best programmers, that project milestones are completed on time without errors, and the benefit of his wisdom as a veteran CEO.
We hope that this information will help you see how your company can benefit from working with us and support our Ukrainian partners at the same time. Thank you for your time, and we look forward to working with you. Link to the misterb&b story
Car brands have been targeting the LGBT consumer (especially the L and G) very early on – as buying a car involves quite a bit of money. Some brands focus on gay men, others typically on lesbians – but in recent years it’s mostly been ‘loading the brand’ with diversity, via lifestyle campaigns.
It is not only about convincing the LGBT to buy that car, but also to remain loyal to the brand (repeat purchases), and above all to recommend it to ‘relatives’ in the LGBT community (NPS, member get member). See also my articles A pink Cadillac?, Subaru – the ladies love it and Toyota, ally since 1992. Saturn was there early, and 20 years ago Mercedes also contributed. Their compatriot BMW started Marketing the Rainbow a little later, but has since shown a few nice campaigns. ‘Ride with Pride’, ‘Driven by Diversity’: the slogans write themselves.
BMW is a German multinational company (est. 1916), which produces luxury automobiles and motorcycles in Germany, Brazil, China, India, South Africa, the UK, and the US. They also own Mini and Rolls-Royce. The company has significant motorsport history, especially in Formula 1, sports cars and the Isle of Man TT: it’s all very masculine.
BMW’s corporate home page includes a section on Diversity, where they say: “For us, diversity means living a culture that is based on appreciation and respect, so that people of all origins can contribute and develop with their personality and identity. BMW Group PRIDE stands for exactly that. The network acts as the mouthpiece of the LGBT+ community where diversity, equality, trust, respect and inclusion come first. Together, we ensure a positive, tolerant and open work environment in which everyone is welcome regardless of their sexual identity.”
The beginning: a paradox
It started in 2006 with a paradox: BMW of North America came under fire from Gaywheels.com – for advertising in gay and lesbian magazines. They called BMW hypocritical by targeting “the deep pockets” of gays and lesbians in publications like OUT and The Advocate, but didn’t offer domestic-partner benefits to employees. Their sister brands Mini and Rolls-Royce were already steps ahead. This changed in 2008, when BMW followed the colleagues, after which Gaywheels endorsed them as gay-friendly.
A year before, a local dealer in Texas, Classic BMW, had started to look at the gay drivers. One ad stated “Being Out Has Never Been So In”. Another aimed at lesbians with the slogan “Freedom to Go Where You Want and Be Who You Are”. A third ad was more neutral and stated: “It’s about respect”.
In 2007, they ran a teasing campaign which included billboards: the visual showed a convertible with the text “Hard Top. Firm Bottom. It’s so L.A.”, playing with words commonly known in the gay world. Another read: “When the top’s away, the car will play”. They were the work of David Morris Parson, who was rewarded with the Commercial Closet Award, for respecting diversity. However, the use of stereotypes was not appreciated by everyone. A market survey in Texas revealed that the target group found the ad, in particular the tagline, both offensive and insulting (sic.), because they used negative stereotypes, in this case the promiscuous gay.
BMW of North America was a top sponsor of the 2012 Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair of the National LGBT Bar Association.
In California, Berkeley Motor Works listed itself in the GayPinkSpots directory as gay-friendly BMW auto repair shop.
In Palm Springs, the BMW Performance Driving School considered itself to be a Palm Springs Area Destination, possibly of the gay kind, by being included on the visitgaypalmsprings.com website.
In 2015, the BMW 2 Series received the Pink Brand of the Year Award in Belgium. They commented: “The LGBT community really likes our BMW 2 Series. This week, we received the Pink Brand of the Year Award and we are proud of it. Because sheer driving pleasure is for everyone.”
A report conducted in China in 2016 showed that “if you were to stereotype members of the LGBT community in China, you’d come to find that China’s gay men have deemed BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi to be their top three auto brands. Meanwhile, lesbians picked Land Rover, Lamborghini, and Mini Cooper.”
In New York, BMW and Bleu Magazine organized an “ultimate brunch”, celebrating the vibrant culture of the LGBT community, similar to a Chicago event.
And now… “Thought Leadership”
In 2017, Hildegard Wortmann, Senior VP BMW, said: “To stay relevant to digital natives, who are more interested in smartphones than cars, automakers must be prepared to take more risks when positioning their brands and not shy away from edgy subject matter“. Since advertising no longer has the same reach, marketing executives need to be more willing to stretch the limits and be prepared to go directly to the customers and take a stance on key social issues such as gay and lesbian rights. She referred to it as providing “thought leadership.” Her team placed a specially designed BMW i8 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California, making a connection with “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll”. Taking the risk brought rewards as the social media impact was immediate with people posting pictures of themselves in front of the BMW i8. “We’re using their community in order to boost our message,” Wortmann said.
The story behind the British vanity licence plate “YES I GAY” is a bit vague and might be a hoax, as it appeared on two different silver BMW’s. The plate was not issued by BMW though, and just happened to be attached to one. Or two?
In the 2018 campaign “Unexplainable”, a 30-second beautiful lifestyle video features a series of kisses at the end: one kiss is shared between two men. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Prides around the world
Over the years, they were present at – or supported – pride festivals around the world.
During the 2019 WorldPride in New York, there was an extensive program. BMW launched the #GoWithPride campaign: the programming included the creation of a custom wrapped BMW 8 Series, together with Jonathan Adler, who shared his journey to the WorldPride NYC Parade in the BMW 8 Series Convertible on BMWUSA’s Instagram page.
Also, there was a partnership with CNN, the “QUEER CITY: A CNN Experience”, a multimedia museum experience, which explored the real stories of people behind landmark moment in New York City’s queer history. At the location, BMW set up a photo booth, where visitors could take a picture expressing what Pride meant to them. These then became part of an exhibit wall thus including attendees into the festivities.
A fleet of #GoWithPride wrapped BMW 8 Series Convertibles carried the WorldPride Parade’s grand marshals. BMW partnered with GLAAD, outside of their NYC headquarters leading up to the weekend’s events. The company made a donation to GLAAD and provided food, beverages and giveaways, while a fleet of BMW X7 Sports Activity Vehicles delivered t-shirts to over 200 GLAAD volunteers.
2020 Driven By Pride
In 2020, while corona prevented Pride festivals to be celebrated “as usual”, BMW of North America launched a new campaign in celebration of Pride Month, entitled “Driven By Pride.” It featured various activations, including BMW’s support of The Trevor Project’s “Pride Everywhere” campaign, and communications across BMW’s digital channels.
NYC Pride hosted a special broadcast event featuring five custom-wrapped BMW 8 Series Convertibles. The vehicles featured blended rainbow colors that represent the entire Pride flag and LGBT+ community, as well as a special “PRIDE” BMW roundel design on the hood of each vehicle, replacing the BMW letters with PRIDE.
Along with the car show, the event included live musical performances from Janelle Monae, Billy Porter, Deborah Cox and Luisa Sonza. In addition, the broadcast features grand marshals from the LGBT+ community, including Dan Levy of Schitt’s Creek.
“While many of this year’s live Pride activities were cancelled out of necessity, BMW continues to stand with the LGBT+ community in this celebration of Pride and unity,” said Uwe Dreher, vice president of marketing, BMW of North America. “As the world continues to demonstrate for racial equality and justice amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more urgent time to celebrate togetherness and unity.”
Through their employee platform, attention was given to the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
2021 Driven By Pride
For the third year the Driven By Pride campaign was run. It featured designer LaQuan Smith rejoining forces with BMW to design original Pride vehicle wraps for the BMW 4 Series Coupe, following Smith’s role in BMW’s New York Fashion Week partnership.
The wrap was to be featured on five BMW 4 Series vehicles in the annual New York City Pride parade, which in the end only took place virtually.
For the same event, performer, activist and world-renowned drag queen, Shangela, joined BMW for digital content as part of the Pride campaign. She also joined GLAAD’s head of talent, Anthony Ramos, for an Instagram Live interview, sponsored by BMW.
Gay Games Munich
On Facebook the BMW Group PRIDE, together with “The Proud Wiesn”, one of the big LGBT+ Oktoberfest events – sponsored by BMW – rooted for their hometown Munich to be the host for the Gay Games 2026. Messages of support were also posted on Instagram. The honor went to Valencia.
A little later than other car brands, BMW joined the rainbow train. This was selective and always befitting their luxurious character. Often cars were decorated in Pride colors, activities around Pride were sponsored or even organized. Outside of these events, the brand doesn’t do much, although the casual kiss in a TV commercial does earn points. There were also collaborations with various charities. They therefore score a 7.5/10.
The WE Empower Challenge, a Programme co-led by Vital Voices & the Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University, is a First-of-its-Kind Competition for Women Social Entrepreneurs
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator (WEA), a strategic multi-partnership convening five United Nations agencies and Mary Kay, Inc., in support of last week Global Entrepreneurship Week and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, announced a partnership with WE Empower UN SDG challenge, a first-of-its-kind competition for women social entrepreneurs across the world.
WEA is designed to maximize the development impact of women entrepreneurship in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by creating an enabling ecosystem for women entrepreneurs that fosters growth, sustainability, and resilience. UN Partners of WEA include International Labour Organization (ILO), International Trade Centre (ITC), UN Global Compact (UNGC), UN Development Programme (UNDP), and UN Women.
The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge is a global business competition for women entrepreneurs who are advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and inspiring entire communities to act to create the world they want by 2030. The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge honors women entrepreneurs who are advancing the SDGs through their business practices. The opportunity recognizes their innovative work, ignites awareness about the valuable contribution women entrepreneurs can make toward the SDGs, and provides awardees with capacity-building training sessions and connections with business experts around the world.
The programme elevates and showcases the valuable contributions women entrepreneurs and business leaders can make toward the SDGs and solving the world’s greatest challenges. WE Empower is co-led by Vital Voices and Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at ASU and supported by partners at Bank of Montréal (BMO), Diane von Furstenberg, the G5 Collective, GroYourBiz, Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Mary Kay, Inc., Oxford University Said Business School, Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, UN Foundation, and the World Bank.
“The WE Empower SDG Challenge powerfully showcases women entrepreneurs as ideal role models demonstrating positive business, social and environmental performance,” said Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operating Officer at Mary Kay, Inc. “The Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator is honored to partner with WE Empower, a consortium of over 70 partners joining forces for an even greater multiplied impact.”
“We are thrilled to celebrate our partnership with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator, co-founded by WE Empower lead partner Mary Kay, Inc.,” said WE Empower UN SDG Challenge co-chair & ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory’s Amanda Ellis. “Women entrepreneurs are valuable solutionaries for the UN SDGs and the global 2030 agenda, and WEA unlocks a suite of valuable support tools to help amplify positive impact.”
Globally, women already comprise one-third of all business owners, making critical economic and social contributions, despite the systemic barriers they face. Only five percent of countries legislate for full gender equality, making the support tools provided by the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator even more important. In June 2021, WEA joined the Generation Equality Forum in Paris as well as the Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights, and committed to empower five million women entrepreneurs around the world by 2030 to accelerate progress for gender equality.
During UN General Assembly (UNGA 76), WEA announced the launch of a series of impactful initiatives and knowledge products – all shaped through a gender lens. WEA’s impact work includes digital capacity building tools and training, entrepreneurship and policy research, and gender-responsive procurement (GRP) advocacy and training. In October, WEA also announced a milestone partnership with the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network (CBWN) aiming at advancing women entrepreneurship in 54 countries of the Commonwealth.
About the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator (WEA) is a multi-partnership initiative on women’s entrepreneurship convening 5 UN agencies, International Labour Organization (ILO), International Trade Centre (ITC), UN Global Compact (UNGC), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and Mary Kay, Inc. to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2030.
The ultimate goal of the initiative is to maximize the development impact of women entrepreneurship in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by creating an enabling ecosystem for women entrepreneurs around the world. The Accelerator exemplifies the transformational power of a multi-partnership of unique magnitude to harness the potential of women entrepreneurs.
The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge is the first-of-its-kind global competition for women social entrepreneurs who are advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and inspiring entire communities to act to create the world we want by 2030. The WE Empower Challenge honors innovative women leaders from around the world who are pushing the SDGs forward through sustainable business practices and inspiring others to follow suit. The opportunity recognizes their innovative work and provides Awardees with capacity-building training sessions and opportunities to connect with an unparalleled global network to advance their enterprises. This program elevates and showcases the valuable contribution women entrepreneurs and business leaders can make toward the SDGs and solving the world’s greatest challenges.
About Vital Voices Global Partnership
Vital Voices Global Partnership is an international non-profit organization that identifies and partners with creative and fearless women leaders around the world. Vital Voices searches the world for women leaders with daring vision for change, then works with them to make that vision a reality. We are venture catalysts, who provide leaders with capacity building, skills training, grants, access to a network of their peers, mentorship, visibility, recognition, and guidance to accelerate change on a global scale. For more than 20 years, Vital Voices has invested in over 18,000 women leaders from 182 countries and territories, who have then gone on to create change affecting millions around the world. Vital Voices works with women who advance economic opportunity, increase political and public engagement, end gender-based violence and promote human rights through signature fellowships, individualized investments and meaningful, lifelong partnerships. Vital Voices connects women solving problems in their communities and equips them with the tools they need to incite global, positive change and accelerate shared progress for all. Visit www.vitalvoices.org to learn more.
About Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at ASU
The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University represents the urgent belief that we can and must make a meaningful contribution to ensuring a habitable planet and a future in which well-being is attainable. The Global Futures Laboratory is the world’s first laboratory dedicated to the health of the planet and its inhabitants. It is built upon the deep expertise of ASU and leveraging an extensive network of partners for an ongoing and wide-ranging exchange across all knowledge domains to address the complex social, economic and scientific challenges spawned by the current and future threats from environmental degradation. This platform positions a new world headquarters for an international array of scientists, scholars and innovators and lays the foundation to anticipate and respond to existing and emerging challenges and use innovation to purposefully shape and inform our future. For more information visit globalfutures.asu.edu.
SCHAUMBURG, Ill–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The benefits of good governance systems are widely acknowledged, but often governance programs at smaller organizations are nonexistent or immature. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) often deal with constraints such as limited IT resources and smaller budgets, and may have unique needs for their core business and priorities. A new guide from global technology association ISACA, COBIT® for Small and Medium Enterprises, provides guidance for SMEs on developing an enterprise governance system for information and technology (I&T) tailored especially to their unique needs.
COBIT for Small and Medium Enterprises explains the core model and components of the globally recognized COBIT framework, illuminates the key governance and management objectives that are most relevant to SMEs, and walks SMEs through the fundamentals of starting and implementing an I&T governance program. It also provides detailed COBIT guidance specific to SMEs by domain, objective, component, activities, capability levels and metrics. In addition, the guide features mechanisms to help a SME including a governance system design workflow, a suitability assessment, COBIT goals cascade mapping tables, a practical example with detailed steps, and descriptions of SME roles and organizational structures.
“There is no magic formula for all small and medium enterprises to follow when it comes to developing an I&T governance system,” says Lisa Villanueva, ISACA IT Governance Professional Practices Lead. “However, by using tailored resources and a governance system design workflow, SMEs can thoughtfully develop an actionable road map for developing a governance system that can help guide them through the process and ultimately help them design and implement a system tailored especially to their needs.”
Some of the activities outlined in the detailed guidance include:
Evaluate the governance system—Consider external regulations, laws and contractual obligations and determine how they should be applied within the governance of enterprise I&T.
Understand enterprise context and direction—Develop and maintain an understanding of the current way of working: the operational environment, the enterprise architecture (processes, data, applications and technology domains), organizational culture, and current challenges.
Initiate a program—Appoint a dedicated manager for the program, with the commensurate competencies and skills to manage the program effectively and efficiently.
Monitor, control, and report on the program outcomes—Manage program performance against key criteria (e.g., scope, schedule, quality, benefits realization, costs, risk, velocity), identify deviations from the plan and take timely remedial action when required.
COBIT for Small and Medium Enterprises is geared toward organizations with up to 250 full- time employees, in which 30 to 70 employees work with IT systems and services, including business managers, professional staff, IT managers, quality or security professionals, and internal auditors. The guidance reflects that enterprises of this size may have limited in-house IT skills and/or capacity, lack complex IT infrastructure, tend to be cost conscious, have a short span of control, and may need to outsource more complex tasks.
For more than 50 years, ISACA® (www.isaca.org) has advanced the best talent, expertise and learning in technology. ISACA equips individuals with knowledge, credentials, education and community to progress their careers and transform their organizations, and enables enterprises to train and build quality teams. ISACA is a global professional association and learning organization that leverages the expertise of its more than 150,000 members who work in information security, governance, assurance, risk and privacy to drive innovation through technology. It has a presence in 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters worldwide. In 2020, ISACA launched One In Tech, a philanthropic foundation that supports IT education and career pathways for under-resourced, under-represented populations.
One in Four Gen Z Consumers Will Stop Buying from Brands That Do Not Take a Stance on an Important Issue
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#consumerbehavior–American consumers are experiencing a second year of unprecedented change, giving 2020 solid competition for an emerging set of challenges for U.S. businesses. Political polarization, COVID-19, race relations, immigration, LGBTQ+ rights and climate change have been top of mind for consumers this year–leading to shifts in consumer expectations of businesses.
“Most Americans want brands to engage in social and political issues,” says David Wellisch, Collage Group CEO and Co-Founder. “The numbers are even more striking when we look by specific issues. For example, 85% of Americans want brands to play a role in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and alleviating its impact. And, then there’s the stick—we see younger Americans, bicultural Hispanics, and Black Americans are much more willing to penalize brands for non-action on issues they see as important.”
These are just a few of the many datapoints on shifts in American consumer behaviors since 2020 released publicly this week by diverse consumer insights company, Collage Group. In the report, America Now: How We Have Changed Since 2020, researchers, led by Chief Product Officer David Evans, Senior Director of Product & Content Bryan Miller, PhD, and Director of Product & Content Jack Mackinnon, unveil changes to diverse consumer attitudes at a key juncture in American history. The results come from a survey fielded in September 2021 of 3,785 Americans, representing Americans across race, ethnicity, generation, sexuality and gender.
Key insights illuminated in the research include:
1. Most Americans (58%) Want Brands to Engage in Social and Political Issues
Stopping COVID-19, improving race relations and halting climate change are the top three social and political issues consumers want brands to support.
The majority (85%) of Americans want brands to play a role in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and alleviating its impact.
The majority (59%) of Americans believe corporations bear the responsibility of fighting climate change – not individuals.
The majority (55%) of consumers across all generations acknowledge the urgency of taking action on climate change.
2. Race and Ethnicity is the #1 Way Multicultural Americans Self-Identify, Regardless of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, or Sexuality
Race and Hispanic ethnicity are the most common self-descriptors for multicultural Americans, ranking higher than personality, age/life stage, country of origin, being American, sexuality, gender and more.
Multicultural Americans report an increased interest in buying from brands that support people of their racial and ethnic background—an ~11% increase on average in 2021 comes on top of a 2020 baseline of ~52% of consumers.
3. Empathetic Gen Z Support Black and LGBTQ+ Americans Much More Than Older Generations (+15%)
The majority of Gen Z consumers wants brands to support women (56%) and Black Americans (55%).
Inaction is risky for brands with younger consumers, as 26% of Gen Z would stop using or buying a brand if it did not take a stance on an important issue.
4. COVID-19 Worries Remain for Two-Thirds of Americans, and Their Concern Is Tied Primarily to Economic Factors (64%)
Nearly two-thirds of Americans are still concerned about COVID-19, with Asian Americans feeling the most concern at 72%, up 4% since 2020.
Most Americans (64%) are concerned they may not have enough money to keep up with monthly expenses; Hispanic Americans are the most concerned with 3 in 4 (74%) citing the concern.
5. Many Multicultural Americans Have Reprioritized What Matters Most to Them vs. One Year Ago
Multicultural Americans say being happy and healthy (41%), saving money (33%) and supporting family and community (27%) are now their top priorities.
The majority (54%) of Hispanic Americans say being healthy and happy is much more important to them today than it was one year ago.
“Engaging authentically with an increasingly diverse America can be hard, and missteps are easy,” says David Wellisch. “But our research illustrates that not engaging is not an option, especially during challenging times. This is consumer expectation.”
Collage Group will be presenting a sub-set of the research in an upcoming webinar open to all reporters, and marketing and insights professionals on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 2:00 p.m. EST.
For more than 10 years, Collage Group has developed consumer insights across race/ethnicity, generation, sexual identity and gender with a focus on high-growth consumer segments. Members of the Collage Group cultural intelligence platforms–Multicultural, Generations and LGBTQ+ & Gender–have access to 10+ years of consumer insights and 300+ studies with new data unveiled weekly. Learn more.
Helps global entrepreneurs start a US business with support including EIN, US address, bank account, and tax consultations
Funds will be used for scaling the team and investing in product and engineering to automate a process still inundated with manual paperwork
There are 50M+ independent creators globally, and US monthly business applications are over 400,000 per month
NEW YORK & BENGALURU, India–(BUSINESS WIRE)–StartPack announced today that they have rebranded to doola, are growing profitably globally, and have raised $3M in financing to empower anyone in the world to turn their dream idea into their dream US business. The new funding round was led by Nexus Venture Partners with participation from YCombinator, Hustle Fund, XX, Psion Capital, Translink Investment, and other all-star angels, including Jacqueline Reses, Dharmesh Shah, Ankur Nagpal, Rohini Pandhi, Arjun Sethi, and Prasanna Sankar. The funds will be used to scale the team and further invest in product and engineering.
It’s time for the paperwork to keep up with the demands of the modern entrepreneur. doola empowers founders, wherever they’re based, with the tools they need to set up a US entity so they can charge what they’re worth, access best-in-class payment systems, and understand how to get and stay legal. With hands-on and continued support, doola partners with entrepreneurs to confidently start a US business.
doola (formerly StartPack) helps global entrepreneurs form US LLCs by supporting customers through the incorporation process so they can confidently collect payments, build credibility, stay legal, and make more money. doola provides company formation, an EIN, a US address and bank account, access to US payments, tax consultations, US tax support, a phone number, $50,000 in startup perks, and more. Today, hundreds of companies have launched with doola, and these founders didn’t need a US social security number to benefit from doola’s products and services. doola was founded in late 2020 by Arjun Mahadevan and JP Pincheira, with its HQ in New York City.
“Creators and independent entrepreneurs want to focus on their crafts that they love. However, to build businesses around their crafts, they would also need to take care of unexciting but necessary backend business management functions (like incorporation, compliance, taxes, banking, payments, etc.), for which they usually do not have expertise, nor interest, nor the time those activities demand. doola is set to address just that: so solopreneurs can do what they love and are best at, while doola takes care of the rest,” said Jishnu Bhattacharjee, Managing Director at Nexus Venture Partners.
Arjun Mahadevan, CEO, doola, said, “doola is not just a formation service; we’re a fintech company. This is our wedge to building the operating system for creators globally: from formation to financial to legal stack. Our work at doola is far from complete; we’re just getting started. It’s just the tip of the global iceberg for us.”
About Nexus Venture Partners
Nexus Venture Partners is a leading early-stage venture capital firm partnering with extraordinary entrepreneurs building product-first companies. With $2 billion under management, Nexus operates as one team across the US and India. Nexus portfolio includes Apollo, Aryaka, Clover Health, Delhivery, Druva, FingerprintJS, Hasura, H2O.ai, Infra Market, Kaltura, Mezi, Observe.ai, PaySense, Postman, Pubmatic, Quandl, Rancher, Sibros, Turtlemint, Unacademy, and Zomato. For more information, visit www.nexusvp.com.
The company will also sponsor a first-of-its-kind Fellowship that supports diverse entrepreneurs and founders in building inclusion and representation into the core of their products through AI
MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Spectrum Labs, a leading AI-based content moderation platform, today announced the relocation of its headquarters to Miami. Spectrum Labs’ presence in Miami will enable the company to access a diverse and skilled talent pool to help realize its ambition of helping its customers to build online communities that serve as an engine of business growth. While Spectrum Labs’ headquarters are moving, the company will remain remote-first and continue to support employees from anywhere.
“As a business, Spectrum Labs is focused on building brighter and cleaner communities,” said Justin Davis, CEO and Co-Founder of Spectrum Labs. “A key part of this is diversity of thought. Having diverse perspectives is a catalyst in building an inclusive AI company, especially one in content moderation. This move to Miami gives us access to a diverse and highly skilled talent pool that will enable us to build innovative solutions and power a better internet as we live more of our lives online.”
As a leading innovator in AI development, Spectrum Labs provides technology talent in Miami an opportunity to join a growing industry that is forecasted to reach around 126 billion dollars by 2025, as well as the chance to join the movement towards building a stronger and safer internet for future generations.
A key pillar in creating better online communities is ensuring they are built with inclusion and safety at the core. As part of its work in this area, Spectrum Labs is also announcing its headline sponsorship of the Inclusion by Design Fellowship launched by Oasis Consortium, a nonprofit organization that advances digital sustainability through ethical tech and standards. The Fellowship is created for diverse founders, including Miami based tech leaders, who run community based companies and aim to build safety into their emerging platforms. Recipients of the fellowship will receive access to Spectrum Labs’ content moderation platform at a discounted rate.
“Oasis partners with ethical technology companies like Spectrum Labs, to enable ‘ethical by design’ for emerging platforms,” said Tiffany Xingyu Wang, President and Co-Founder of Oasis Consortium. “Safety, Privacy, and Inclusion by design are the pillars to build ethics and civility into our digital future.”
“Miami offers leaders everything they need to build a tech company,” said Miami Mayor, Francis Suarez. “We’re focused on providing a business-friendly environment while also ensuring we build a city that works for everyone. We welcome companies like Spectrum Labs who will play a significant role in helping us grow a robust and inclusive tech hub, and commend their efforts to incentivize diverse startup founders to prioritize safety in their technology through their sponsorship of Oasis’ Inclusion by Design Fellowship.”
To learn more about opportunities with Spectrum Labs and how its content moderation technology works for text and audio, please visit Spectrum Labs’ website.
About Spectrum Labs
Safe online communities are profitable ones; our AI-based Trust & Safety platform identifies 40+ toxic behaviors across all languages enabling Trust & Safety teams to reduce content moderation efforts by 50% and increase detection by 10x. Spectrum Labs’ mission is to use the power of data and community to rebuild trust in the Internet, making it a safer and more valuable place for all. For more, go to spectrumlabsai.com.
The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index signaled continued positive momentum for the labor market
CLEVELAND–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (“SBEI”) reported a seasonally adjusted increase of 1.07% in October, which is a significant jump from the mildly positive report in September. The CBIZ SBEI tracks payroll and hiring trends for over 3,700 companies that have 300 or fewer employees, providing broad insight into small business trends.
“The increase in hiring reported in October is probably the result of a few contributing factors,” said Philip Noftsinger, Executive Vice President, CBIZ, Inc. “Continued decreases of COVID-19 cases are likely contributing to more people returning to work, all enhanced unemployment benefits have expired and businesses under 100 employees are unaffected by the federal vaccine mandates.”
The ADP and Moody’s employment report indicated growth in hiring among small-, medium- and large-sized companies. Its October reading showed an overall increase of 571,000 private-sector jobs for the month, only a slight increase over the September report. Small businesses accounted for 115,000 of those new jobs on a seasonally adjusted, month-over-month basis. The ADP and Moody’s report counts small businesses as companies with 49 or fewer employees, while the CBIZ SBEI uses data from companies with 300 employees or fewer.
The CBIZ SBEI reported robust hiring in the West (2.09%) region for the second consecutive month, likely driven by its delayed economic reopening following the delta variant’s impact on the region. The Central (0.61%) region showed little change while still seeing positive growth. The Southeast (1.49%) and the Northeast (1.35%) both reported hiring increases.
On an industry level, the most notable increases were seen in Accommodations and Food Services, Construction, Retail, and Transportation. Non-profit, Professional Services, and Wholesale Distribution saw decreases in hiring.
“The vaccine mandates will likely continue to be a variable in hiring trends,” added Noftsinger. “As we approach the busy holiday shopping and travel season, the hope is that the growth momentum continues.”
To view an infographic with data from the employment index, visit the CBIZ website.
Additional takeaways from the October SBEI include:
October’s snapshot: 25% of companies in the index expanded employment, 53% made no change to their headcounts and 22% reduced staffing.
Industries at a glance: Hiring gains were seen in Accommodations and Food Services, Construction, Retail, and Transportation. Meanwhile, declines were reported in Non-profit, Professional Services, and Wholesale Distribution.
Geographical hiring: The Central (0.61%), Northeast (1.35%), Southeast (1.49%) and West (2.09%) regions all experienced hiring increases.
What’s next? Small businesses are continuing to grow as the economy rebounds to pre-pandemic levels. Vaccine mandates may play a continued role in labor trends.
The October CBIZ SBEI data follows the Q3 2021 release of the CBIZ Main Street Index, which surveyed nearly 2,000 businesses throughout the U.S. on their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.* The data reveals that tax policy, supply chain issues and inflation are all leading concerns for small business owners. Additionally, 52.8% of respondents reported staffing shortages as a top concern, which was even higher than the percentage reported in Q2. Please see the CBIZ Main Street Index webpage for an interactive infographic with additional data.
*Note: Not all of those surveyed in the CBIZ Main Street Index are clients of CBIZ.
(1) The SBEI illustration is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on our work at https://www.cbiz.com.
CBIZ, Inc. is a leading provider of financial, insurance and advisory services to businesses throughout the United States. Financial services include accounting, tax, government health care consulting, transaction advisory, risk advisory, and valuation services. Insurance services include employee benefits consulting, retirement plan consulting, property and casualty insurance, payroll, and human capital consulting. With more than 100 Company offices in 31 states, CBIZ is one of the largest accounting and insurance brokerage providers in the U.S. For more information, visit www.cbiz.com.
Training to Prepare Those Most Impacted by Cannabis Prohibition Pursue Opportunities in the Newest Industry Coming to Virginia
RICHMOND, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#BIPOC—Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition (VMCC), a Virginia-based nonprofit organization that empowers Black and Brown communities to become shareholders in the cannabis industry, has opened applications for its virtual ‘Fall 2021 Cannabis Entrepreneur Boot Camp.’ The four-week boot camp will start on Saturday, November 6, 2021, and provides entrepreneurs an accelerated leg-up in what will be one of the newest and most exciting industries in Virginia.
“The cannabis industry has made a lot of promises of righting the wrongs of past for communities of color, and with this boot camp, we are helping ensure those promises come to fruition,” said VMCC Founder Paul McLean. “VMCC is made up of small business owners in Virginia who want to see people, families, and communities of color create generational wealth with cannabis. We think we can help entrepreneurs turn their ideas and dreams into real cannabis businesses that can create positive change in their communities.”
The boot camp provides:
a step-by-step playbook to create a successful business plan,
connections to help run your business,
support to finance your new business, and most importantly
a community support network of like-minded people.
The boot camp is meant for someone who:
has been impacted by a cannabis arrest or conviction,
is directly related to someone who has had cannabis-related justice involvement,
has spent 3 of the last 5 years in an area with high unemployment levels, low-income levels, and/or high poverty,
has graduated from a historically black college or university (HBCU) located in the Commonwealth,
has been in the legacy market and wants a legal business, or
The Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition (VMCC), headquartered in Newport News, is a pioneering 501(c)4 nonprofit organization founded in 2021 that empowers Black and Brown communities to become shareholders in the cannabis industry. The company promotes economic empowerment through equitable ownership, employment, and purposeful reallocation of tax revenue in all sectors of Virginia’s regulated cannabis industry. The Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition offers cannabis industry educational boot camps for entrepreneurs most impacted by the war on drugs. For more information, visit http://vmccequity.org.