Getting Mini-Loans Online

There is an alternative to applying for loans from a bank. If you only need a little funding or you are not fully set-up as business yet, then you may want to check out these sites where people (friends and strangers alike) can loan small amounts to you. has a Facebook application where borrowers are linked with lenders who share similar interests.

At loans can be up to 25,000 so they are oftern for start-up businesses.

Virgin Money “facilitates loans between people who already trust each other.

Zopa is a UK-based personal listing/lending service which will be coming to the US soon.

Intuit Presents: I Will Just Start

 To market to budding entrepreneurs, Intuit has created a new contest where the prize is $50,00 in cash, products and services. Also a free copy of Quickbooks Simple Start is available online at I Will Just Start.  In addition the New York events will take place next week, November 8 and 9 at the “Just Start Lounge” at the Grand Central Terminal.

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Intuit Inc., the maker of Quicken and TurboTax software, is offering aspiring entrepreneurs a chance to compete for a business start-up grant valued at $50,000 in cash, products and services.

The grant is part of the Mountain View, Calif., software-maker’s nationwide “Just Start” campaign, which offers guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs on the steps needed to launch their effort.

To help jump-start the program in Chicago, local entrepreneurs will offer advice at a lounge Intuit will set up from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Union Station. In addition, a free copy of QuickBooks Simple Start, the simplified accounting software that previously cost $99.95, will be distributed. The software can also be downloaded free from the company’s Just Start Web site, .

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Avoid The Rush; Start Reducing Your Taxable Income Now

Now is the time to crunch the numbers or run a report to have an idea of what your taxable income will be for 2007. If you think that you will have to pay a lot in taxes, then start now to reduce your taxable income.

  • Review charges on debit cards, credit cards and see if they are deductible business expenses
  • Look at last year’s tax form and compare to this year’s expenses.
  • Make charitable donations.

If self-employed, make contributions to a SEP IRA, but if you work for a company than has a 401K, then follow below.

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To reduce your taxable income this year, consider maximizing your contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401(k). You won’t be taxed on the contributions you make now, and you may be in a lower tax bracket when you do eventually withdraw the funds and report the income.

If you qualify, you might also consider making either a tax-deductible contribution to a traditional IRA or an after-tax contribution to a Roth IRA. In the first instance, a current income tax deduction effectively defers income–and its taxation–to future years; in the second, while there’s no current tax deduction allowed, qualifying distributions you take later will be tax free. You’ll generally have until the due date of your federal income tax return to make these contributions.

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New York Times Small Business Conference

Yesterday, I attended the New York Times Small Business Summit. It was great! the theme of the summit was “Gather, Network, Grow”. The keynote speakers (Tom Scott and Danny Meyer) were excellent. I met a lot of wonderful entrepreneurs, and got useful information.

The morning session was moderated by Jane Applegate, author and founder of The Applegate Group. The panelists were a diverse quartet on entrepreneurs who generously shared their stories. Wally Ganzi of the Palm Restaurants, Jason Ackerman of Fresh Direct, Suhwei Lin of Manthattan Portage, and Jason Goldberg of Jobster.

Then I attended the speed networking session which was a frenetic exercise in making contacts. It helps to have a one-minute pitch down, since there was only five minutes to introduce yourself to three people. I ran out of business cards, but meet loads of interesting people.

Tom Scott presented the lunch keynote speech. He talked about how he started Nantucket Nectars and PlumTV. He was great as talked about luck, fear and failure was essential for his success. [Crazy!]

The afternoon session that I attended, “Getting a Grip on Rapid Expansion” was abundant with practical information. The panel was moderated by Author Paula McCoy-Pinderhughes who wrote the book, How To Be An Entrepreneur And Keep Your Sanity. The panelists were Cliff Ennico (attorney), Marc Shuman (CEO of Garage Tek) and John D’Aquila (CPA).

John D’Aquila confirmed what I have told many clients– setting up a LLC is the best, easiest corporate structure.

The afternoon keynote was presented by Danny Meyer, owner of top rated restaurants Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe. His new book, Setting The Table, talks about the difference between service and hospitality.

I had a great time and the summit was well worth the $99 registration. My brain is overloaded with new information and I plan to update the blog more regularly to share what I find.