Five Guys Continues to Expand

Now in the Georgia-South Carolina Coast area:

Local Five Guys’ franchise owner Chris Smith has opened four of the hamburger-and-fries restaurants on the Georgia-South Carolina coast and plans to open three more in the near future.

Coming soon: A restaurant in Southside’s Twelve Oaks Plaza, one on Hilton Head Island and one in Pooler.

It’s part of the explosive growth of the chain based in Lorton, Va. It has 850 locations in the United States and Canada and is adding 250 more this year, said spokeswoman Molly Catalano.

The company has grown from a family-owned, mom-and-pop business into a more mature organization, Smith said.

“The restaurant business is a very, very difficult business, even with a great idea like Five Guys,” he said.

He focuses on choosing good locations and putting up good signs, since the chain doesn’t advertise.

Franchisees pay a 1.5 percent fee for marketing, with all the money going for an employee bonus program.

“Secret shoppers” visit every restaurant twice a week and rate the location on a long list of standards, including quality, cleanliness and service.

Telegraph’s Interview with Peter Jones

The Dragon talks to Angela Wintle about schooling, stripy socks and how Dragons’ Den changed his life. A few sections I found interesting:

Routine I’m woken at about 6.15 when the kids bound in to say good morning. I shave, shower, get dressed and shovel down a bowl of Frosties, all in the space of 20 minutes. Then I head to the car, cappuccino in hand, where my driver takes me to my head office in Marlow. I have 16 investments and check the latest sales figures online on my way into work. I work long hours, usually clocking off at around 8pm, when I’ll often go on to a dinner lasting until midnight. If I’m filming Dragons’ Den, we work flat out until 8pm, although I love seeing the weird, wonderful and plain delusional.

Business collapse I started my first major business when I was 21, providing computers and services to corporate clients. I had a comfortable lifestyle, but lost everything during the 1990s recession when several customers who owed me money went bust. I briefly moved back in with my parents, but I’ve never been one for crying into my soup. By 1998 I’d got enough money together to launch a telecommunications firm. When I told my bank manager I intended turning over £2 million pounds, he looked at me in disbelief, but we generated £14 million worth of sales in the first year.

Stripy socks I’ve always worn stripy socks (pictured) and they’ve become a trademark, even though my staff think they’re the height of bad taste. In fact, I seem to have started a craze since wearing them on television and sell 30,000 pairs a month for charity through my shopping site, When I met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Kensington Palace, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to show them off. Much to my surprise, Prince Philip lifted his trouser legs to reveal his own pair.



Company Partners with Stanford for Engineering Entrepreneurship Program

MWH a sponsor of engineering center at Stanford:

MWH, the Broomfield-based company that operates worldwide in environmental engineering, construction and consulting services, has become a sponsor of the National Center to Educate Entrepreneurial Engineers at Stanford University    in Palo Alto, Calif.

The center is designed to be a hub for collecting and sharing fast-changing information about the field.

It will “serve as an education, research and outreach hub for creating, collecting and sharing resources relating to innovation and entrepreneurship education among the nearly 350 engineering schools in the United States,” MWH said in a news release.

Social Entrepreneurship at Temple

Temple business student has a strategy to feed his starving Mali people:

Mohamed Ali Niang will skip his Aug. 26 graduation from Temple University. The budding entrepreneur, 23, will be busy trying to lift a West African country out of abject poverty and to save lives.

In the process, Niang said, he hopes the rice-processing and rice-distribution business he traveled to Mali this weekend to start will make him “a rock star.” But not in a pile-of-money, limousines-and-swooning-young-women kind of way.

Niang said he would consider himself rich if Malians stop dying from malnutrition, a condition said to claim one child every 10 minutes in the beleaguered country of more than 14 million people, where his parents were born.

More High School Entrepreneurship

Summer camp teaches high school students to start their own business:

In its second year, the Entrepreneurship Summer Camp and Personal Enrichment, called ESCAPE, at NSU brings university professors, local entrepreneurs and leaders to educate high school students about business basics such as etiquette, finance, budget, marketing and public relations, said Janet Goldstein, one of the program organizers.

“It’s not school,” said Goldstein. ” They’re not graded, but the more they participate, and the more they do, the more they will get out of it.”

For Etzine, the camp not only educated him, but also motivated him.

“What really boosted my confidence was the peer construction criticism and praise,” said Etzine, who won the Best Business Award – the highest award at the camp.

This summer, the camp hosted two sessions, each lasting one week. Last year, there was one session, but rising popularity among students led NSU to add a session, said Goldstein.

Can Generation Y Help the Economy?

Are Gen Y-ers ready to contribute and create jobs? With the explosion of entrepreneurship education programs and the free-spirit of that generation, I lean towards yes. And there seems to be some evidence of that being true:

They’ve proven they have the gumption to start their own businesses. Now they say they’re ready to save the economy.

Generation Y entrepreneurs have a message for Congress and consumers: Invest your time and money in young startups and we’ll help get this lackluster economy going again.

“You have 77 million Gen Y-ers out there,” said 27-year-old Scott Gerber, the founder of The Young Entrepreneur Council. “The reality is if you don’t want a lost generation, you need to start thinking about the future.”

Friday’s employment report from the Labor Department showed that 13.9 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds were unemployed in July. That’s almost double the percentage of those over 30 who were unemployed.

Gerber and others like him think the traditional route to employment has failed their generation. “It’s a scary moment we’re in, but entrepreneurship can get us out,” he said.


Recycling, Entrepreneurship and Texas A&M

New program at Texas A&M that mixes entrepreneurship and recycling:

Texas A&M University announced today that it will place a PepsiCo Dream Machine recycling kiosk at Mays Business School, providing students and faculty with a convenient and rewarding way to recycle their bottles and cans while on-the-go. The unveiling of the Dream Machine is scheduled to coincide with the school’s annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program, which runs from August 6 – 13, 2011 at Mays Business School. The official kick-off event is scheduled for noon on Thursday, August 11th in the Wehner Building.

The Dream Machine recycling initiative, created by PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) in partnership with Waste Management (NYSE: WM), is introducing thousands of recycling bins and kiosks at popular public locations across North America. The kiosk is a computerized receptacle that includes a personal reward system, powered by Greenopolis, which allows users to earn points for every bottle or can they recycle in the kiosk and redeem those points for local discounts on entertainment, dining and travel at


Norwegian Entrepreneurship

Fascinating post on entrepreneurship and small business in Norway:

Norway has a grand public sector, which is also the primary customer and main source of revenue to many private companies. It is said that money flows within this system – among the public and its private customers, making service and consulting industries thrive. Consequently, this leaves out the good-enough products of startups.

Also at the expense of startups, it is believed that the best brains are recruited within the same feedback loop. But, with roughly 800 employees from more than 50 countries, Internet browser company Opera Software is mentioned among the companies who work against this and manage to attract top talent through international recruiting.

With the commoditization of web technologies, and despite a heavy service-driven industry, consultancies and agencies now begin to offer web products. Although not a Norwegian thing per se, this will hopefully continue and create spin-offs paying into the startup ecosystem.

Even though it is one of the wealthiest countries around with a large public sector, Norway’s total private R&D expenditure in 2009 was about 1.8 percent of gross domestic product. In comparison, EU average was around 2 percent. So, there may be some truth in saying that we don’t invest in what we request.

With nearly 5 million inhabitants, you may also argue that Norway is not a sustainable market for consumer-facing startups. But, at 5,3M and 5,5M this does not seem to bother Finland or Denmark respectively.

Entrepreneurs to Rise from the Japanese Quake Rubble

Interesting bit of history about some Japanese companies that originated during stressful times. Offers some hope for the future of Japanese entrepreneurship:

The hope of venture capitalists is that the quake that shook Fukushima will jolt attitudes enough to nurture a new generation of entrepreneurs.

“I am always saying the next Sony is going to come out of Fukushima. It’s why I am trying so hard to find that next company,” says William Saito, a start-up investor who moved to Tokyo after selling his biometric technology company in California to Microsoft.

Five months after the quake, a few green shoots are appearing, but mostly in niche areas.

One company is making air-conditioned jackets and ventilated shoes to deal with a power squeeze in the sweltering summer. Another is selling steel ‘arks’ designed to float occupants out of harm’s way should a monster tsunami strike again.

But adding to expectation that business activity will expand beyond quirky products is an example from Japan’s last big deadly earthquake in 1995 centered on the western Japan city of Kobe that killed more than 6,000 people.

It spurred Hiroshi Mikitani, who after loss of two family members in the disaster, set up Rakuten, convinced that if he didn’t act on his business idea, fate may rob him of his chance. Today it is Japan’s largest online shopping mall with a value of $14 billion.

More Indian Entrepreneurship!

These stories keep on coming. India entrepreneurship will be/is a force to be reckoned with!

With increased enthusiasm and interest among young Indians to take up entrepreneurship, Nurture Talent Academy and BITS Pilani’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership have come together to guide, mentor and train startups during Conquest 2011. Conquest 2011, an international business challenge and entrepreneurship conclave brings together members of the startup ecosystem together including venture capitalists, media, angel investors, successful entrepreneurs and mentors.

While there are several business plan competitions that take place round the year for students, Conquest 2011 has build a unique positioning by focusing on the entrepreneur and his venture, rather than the merely judging the idea. As a part of the selection process, over 500 entries were screened. Out of these, 38 were mentored by seasoned entrepreneurs all over the country, by listening to their problems and giving them one to one guidance. As next step in the process, each selected finalist team will go through an extensive training session by Amit Grover, CEO and Founder, Nurture Talent Academy. The startups will be going through exercises on marketing, business models, scaling up, mistakes in current business setup and raising venture capital as a part of the training session.

“We at BITS Pilani have been pioneers in fostering entrepreneurship. This year we decided to give more value and exposure to our participating startups by not focusing on redundant business plans but on developing startups through extensive face-to-face mentoring sessions all over the country and Nurture Talent Academy was a natural fit as they have shown the commitment towards young ventures right from the start.”, said Saurabh Gupta, Coordinator for Conquest 2011.

Indiana County expands Entrepreneurship Initiatives

These types of local entrepreneurship intiatives seem to be sprouting up throughout the country. Here’s to hoping they help, but don’t get in the way of or “pick winners”. Read whole story:

The Whitley County EDC today announced the expansion of the EDC’s Small Business & Entrepreneurship Initiative (SBEI) to include the SBEI GreenLight, a program focused on rapid response business coaching and mentoring for local entrepreneurs.

SBEI provides resources for pre-startup, startup and growing businesses in Whitley County by combining the Kauffman Institute’s FastTrac New Ventures business planning course with personal business coaching provided by seasoned and experienced business owners. SBEI is led by program manager and aerospace veteran Bruce Stach.


Another job creation bill

From Kentucky Politics blog:

U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Hebron, in his most recent op-ed, praises various GOP policies and re-iterates his plan to pass the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Security(REINS) Act he introduced last year and earlier this year.

The act would require an up-or-down vote by Congress of any major regulation, which the bill defines as those with a $100 million economic impact or more.

Indian Entrepreneurship


World class companies spend enormous amounts of time and effort to get their “user-experience” right. They employ experts in human behavior, design, sociologists, technologists, man-machine interface, time-motion studies, scientists, and the like to observe, study, document, measure, take feedback, and prototype as part of the process of designing products and services. How many Indian companies can make that claim?

Design is still a hugely under-appreciated discipline in India. It shows in the way our cities are designed, our buildings are architected, the way everyday goods and services are created and offered. Either they’re crude and terrible copies of designs from the West which are out of place given the differences in usage and context in our country. A look at the glass and steel monstrosities dotting our cities as part of “modern” India is a case in point. Unfortunately, designs have come to mean designer – usually outrageously expensive and over the top – in India!

Given the appalling lack of design aesthetics, surely there’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurs who think in terms of design and user experiences. Who are demanding, innovative and willing to push the envelope.

Can the poor benefit from more entrepreneurship?

A new study suggests that entrepreneurship would go a long way in helping the low income:

Poorly designed government regulations are hampering privately funded assistance options that immediately could provide essential services to the economically disadvantaged, according to a recent report by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).


The report examines five essential services — transportation, child care, security, housing, and healthcare — that could benefit from private investment and entrepreneurship.


“Residents understand the problems in their own communities. Local entrepreneurs should be allowed to provide better service solutions at lower costs, as well as new products and services tailored to the community needs,” said NCPA senior fellow and report editor Roger Koppl. “Too many one-size-fits-all regulations are stifling innovative ideas that improve quality of life in low-income areas where they’re needed most.


 “The best thing we could do right now is allow local entrepreneurs to create and compete. We should remove obstacles preventing innovative entrepreneurs from better serving poorer Americans,” notes Koppl, regarding the concept of Enterprise Programs — an initiative aimed at providing essential services to the poor through freeing entrepreneurs from exhaustive federal regulations.





Favorable Start up states

Interesting look at which states are the best for entrepreneurs:

States in the Northeast and West Coast are most favorable for startups, according to the latest State Entrepreneurship Index published by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln last week.

The annual index ranks states using the number of businesses that open and close, the average earnings of its entrepreneurs, the number of patents per capita, and other data, says Eric Thompson, an economics professor and director of the university’s Bureau of Business Research.

New York, Washington state, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Oregon topped the list. South Carolina came in with the lowest ranking, while Nevada plummeted 40 spots to 47 for the biggest change on the index. Alabama, Mississippi, and Arizona were also in the bottom five.

Thompson says states in the South and Southwest had a higher number of business closures compared to the rest of the country, which contributed to their poor index performance. He suggests attitudes toward entrepreneurship and economic development affected states’ rankings.