Category Archives: Education

Sustainable Education for a Healthier Future

Education gives knowledge which as Bacon rightly puts, is a “source of power to man”. However, it is crucial we note that this power can function either as one employed to build a better future or as one that destroys.

Our masters, the likes of Galileo, after much philosophizing and experimentation, discovered truths and initiated beneficial principles now observed in our educational system. Their great philosophies are perfect for numerous situations, but our system does not show scholars the path to think and understand the proper situations to apply them. This is chiefly because the concentration of teachings nowadays is not to make people think, which ought to be the primary goal, but chiefly to uphold existing laws, reasoning in the confinement of principles, and empowering indirectly an unsustainable world.

Acquiring Knowledge of established principles is good. But our educational system is leaving out an essential goal of growing our thinking faculty, by not grounding scholars with the understanding that the established principles are simply discoveries employed to help and should not be taken as final. Such limits our sense of discovery needed to address the diverse problems growing in our world.

Time or situation can transform valid principles to invalid; the superseded scientific laws or theories we had and will still have are examples. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” (Ralph Waldo). A good quote it is; however, students are not grounded to understand its context and scope: Sadly, one can now see a sadist employing similar quote to justify actions, causing mayhem.

At a tender age, it was like a law according to my parents and remarks from people that rain starts and ends in certain months. I remember asking: “What if it rains in January?” their answer was: “It cannot”. The reply came with some air of finality because the principle had been valid historically and probably because they had never experienced otherwise. The principle was true. To them it was irrevocable. But time has invalidated that principle through climate change. Now the months they had known to bring heavy downpours sometimes turn to be the driest.

Life gets more complex every day, luckily we have principles intended to help, not to mold or limit our future. Sadly, our recognized principles cannot fit in every situation, and sticking on them will only bring about chaos. For a sustainable world, we need a kind of education where principles are acknowledged as a stimulus and not a decree. We need Education where people have enough grounds to express themselves beyond established principles, laws or philosophies; one that develops our reasoning and thinking faculty without constraints.

Pitiably, the knowledge we now gain from education does not train one in the part of wisdom which grows when one begins to think. It only exposes some people’s wise thoughts or principles. Our system of education now yields educated fanatics: people that have acquired better knowledge on how to present and manage their fanaticism, planting chaos by training advanced erroneous people.

Due to life’s growing complexities, education that develops our discerning ability to avoid further knowledge misappropriation is needed. Adoption of fine principles helps, but we should avoid settling in a period where ¬≠scholars are chiefly concerned with following of principles, so we can elude a future of people that reason more with citations than their heads, like robots.

For a peaceful and sustainable future, we should stop the degrading practice of following principles thoughtlessly in our educational system, and welcome fresh educational scheme that stimulates our thinking faculty. That will enable all to understand the fact that time or situation can change anything. So, one would not be quick to conclude because of knowledge from recognized scholars or universal principles.

I believe in the future of education where people do not just copy principles or laws, but where people also philosophize on situations to know where the principles are usable. This will free our world from the problematic chains of principles. Some of our masters foresaw this ugly future of ‘scholaroids’; Socrates addressed it: “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9698205

Paying Off in the Balance

One of the first things that attracts someone to a CRNA program is a nurse anesthetist salaries. However, before you decide that being a CRNA is for you, make sure you learn all the requirements and balances that make a top salary possible.

Requirements

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) must have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and be a registered nurse. They are also required to have a two year Master’s Degree in Anesthesia and a year of internship. This heavy requirement means a CRNA must work steadily both on their education and the requirements of certification in order to get with the license to provide anesthesia.

The Plusses

There are a lot of good things about being a CRNA. You work with the supervision of an Anesthesiologist or MD Anesthetist so you always have an expert available to help you with any needs. The median salary for a CRNA is higher than any other nursing certification at $146,000 a year. In states where CRNA’s can have their own business, they can become independent contractors, pulling in a larger salary than the median and working for themselves. They often have different hours than that of a regular nurse and have more control over their schedule and on-call nights.

The Balance

There are some less positive things that go into the life of a CRNA. The primary concern for them is lawsuits. Anesthesia providers are one of the first people to get sued if anything goes wrong with the surgery and have extremely high malpractice insurance rates because of the risk. If the CRNA is an independent contractor, the hospital or surgeon will not cover legal costs for the CRNA.

Also, some hospitals only use anesthesiologists. As the hospital system advertises “all doctor anesthesia” that means more CRNA’s don’t have places to work.

The Likelihood

Most CRNA’s end up being hospitalists – which means they work for a hospital under a doctor and provide anesthesia for procedures and outpatient surgery. They make about $150,000 a year and are given a schedule of work by the hospital. That usually means more hours and more nights on call than independent work, but they get hospital benefits, insurance, malpractice coverage and other perks that make the job worth having.

Other Opportunities

Beyond working in the hospital for procedures and surgery, CRNA’s also work with dentists and oral surgeons, sports medicine trainers, orthopedists and other medical services that use anesthesia as part of their treatment. These opportunities allow a nurse anesthetist to specialize in a particular field which can yield them both an increase in salary as well as other benefits.

In a world with a nurse shortage and a need for more people to have procedures that require anesthesia, CRNA’s make an excellent living and provide a valuable service to American health care.

The Best Way to Learn Forex and Starting Investing in the Currency Markets

There are many methods to learn Forex at a level that you could help you make money in the markets. The one and only way I would not suggest trying is through trail and error. There is a reason that books where invented decades ago, which was to pass along knowledge that had already been gained. Today there are many exceptional currency training courses on the market that teach an almost endless number of Forex trading strategies. Each of these techniques have there plusses and minuses and I will discuss a few of my favorite training classes below.

If you are completely new to trading or just what something that is very simple to use, does not require a great deal of time to learn and is not very complicated then the course Forex Made E-Z is just what you need. It is a trading method I discovered a few years ago that I use every day which is a low risk technique that produces consistent profits.

The trading procedure taught in this class is called Forex Scalping, which simply means you are trying to get in and out of the market very quickly with a goal of making a 5% profit daily. By not leaving your funds in the market over night you lessen the risk of having significant losses on any one trade and if you leave your profits in your account and not take them out you will witness your profits increase significantly in a short period.

The best way to learn Forex trading is by enrolling in a Forex mentoring program which are instructed by professional currency traders. These Forex programs provide a comprehensive education which provides a solid foundation for you to build on in the future. They come with extensive learning materials, such as; EBooks, videos, DVD’s, CD’s and software that simulates trading.

You will have many one on one training sessions with the Pros that teach the class where you will have a chance to review any material that you were not quite sure of when you covered it by yourself. In addition, you will also have many one on one trading sessions with the instructors providing real time real market guidance.

My three top rated mentoring programs are called Straight Forex, The Forex Brotherhood and Fap Winner. Each of these classes have proven to be a great way to learn Forex trading at its highest level. I wish you good luck with your entry in to the markets and hopefully it will prove to be as lucrative as you think it can be. I ensure you, there are many people making substantial sums of money investing in Forex and you can be one of them.

Music Manager For Musicians

A music manager is the one who is in charge of all the little details as he or she keeps track of all the little (and not so little!) details so everything runs smoothly. As a manager, you decide where the artists will perform, when they will be there, how they are getting there, where they stay while they are on tour, and handle all the financial matters. A musical artist wants to focus on making their music. As a music manager, you do just about everything else.

How do they get the skills? Getting a degree in music management through a school or other study program will ensure you know just about everything you need to know about the business, but it is not, of course, completely necessary. Few musical stars had to go to school to get a diploma to be a rock star, and they did just fine picking it up as they went along.

In fact, up until a little while ago, these degrees were not even available and as with most higher education degrees, they do not come cheap. There are plusses and minuses to either approach, and while having a degree will make you a more exciting (not to mention trustworthy) employment candidate and thus able to start out higher on the food chain. It can be done without the cost and the homework, while adding real world experience to your resume to boot.

A music manager wears many different hats, often at the same time as he or she is responsible for managing and organizing contracts, hiring people (and sometimes firing them as well), designing the venue setup from speakers to drum sets to sometimes even seating arrangements, and making sure the group or artist has everything, they are going to need for the gig with them in the truck when you all pull out to go! As a music manager, you are the group’s secretary, travel agent and mother, all rolled into one. It is your responsibility to make sure that everything goes perfectly on the end of the band and tech staff so if anything goes wrong, it is your job to take responsibility for it and fix it.

The drawback to this career is that that you could end up working with artists and genres you would not otherwise choose for yourself, and you sometimes have to deal with diva like behavior on the part of your artists. If they want a certain brand of bottled water and will not go on stage until they get it, it is your job to get it for them right now. As a manager, you will get all the blame when things go wrong, (sometimes up to and including the weather,) and none of the credit when they go right, and it can be about as high a stress position as you can find anywhere.

What are the benefits and advantages of being a music manager? The benefits to being a music manager may far outweigh the potential drawbacks if you love what you do. A music manager must love music and helping to create it, if from behind the scenes.

As a manager, you are the power behind the throne. If you are a naturally organized person and you enjoy planning, you can make your own job run as smoothly as possible as that of your clients. It is your job to pick gigs that help your clients grow in their careers so if you do a good job and come to be a reliable team leader, as your clients gain popularity, they may take you with them in their rise to fame and fortune.

A New Twist on an Old Business Model

The idea of getting involved in network marketing might not fill you with enthusiasm. The thought of having to give those closest to you the hard sell probably leaves you pretty non-plussed. Especially if you’ve come across some of the stories of people going for a nice evening of food and a few drinks round a friends place, only to walk into a full on sales presentation. Not at all something that I’d like to be involved in.

But is that standard for all network marketing opportunities?

Do you really have to employ these stone-age business building tactics if you want to get involved in network marketing?

Surely, now we are in the internet age, things have progressed and we don’t need to use those tactics any more. After all, network marketing companies are some big businesses. Diamond directors are multi-millionaires in numerous of these companies.

Obviously the business model works, it is proven, it makes money, maybe you just need to adapt some of the tactics in a way that’s comfortable for you. Or you might be the kind of person that enjoys all the social, face to face meetings and presentations aspect of network marketing.

I’m not knocking it. It’s just not something I am comfortable with. And chances are it’s something a lot of people are not comfortable with. Because, to be fair, most people are not good salesman, not good at selling full stop. Well I know that I’m not anyway. And to be honest, a lot of the people that I have come across trying to make a sale to me are not either. And it shows.

So there has to be a way of taking the internet technologies and applying them to network marketing. And again, I’m not saying that the network marketing method of doing things isn’t right. I just think that it can be more successful and comfortable for people by taking on some of the benefits the internet can offer.

So that is where the internet network marketer comes into play. So how do you go about creating a successful business if you don’t like to sell?

Well apply the tools that take care of the parts you don’t want to do. Focus on putting things in place that can introduce you and your company for you. And only speak to people that had already been educated on your products and company.

Then you don’t need to get out there and do all the finding and gathering of prospects; and that is a big thing when it comes to this business. Because you only really wan to be talking with people that have shown an interest in what you’re doing, and not people who have no interest and never will have.

It cuts out you having to pitch to ninety nine people just to find that one person that may be interested. That’s the hard part. So if you can put systems in place to get that part of it automated for you, then you could be setting yourself up for a really profitable, and fun business. Because network marketing can be a fantastic online business, that anyone can have success with.

Advantages to Marketing With Articles That Are Easy to Work With

There are many thousands of articles on the internet, and more appear daily. Out of all these articles, however, only a small percentage do the author any good. Article marketing, if done correctly, can be a very effective way to get traffic to your website and market your products or services. Let’s look at some of the reasons why article marketing can be so beneficial to internet marketers.

One of the more obvious perks of article marketing is that you gain an ability to easily pre-sell your products. Naturally, informative articles can warm up your potential customers about the product and provide them with enough information to assist them in making their purchasing decision. Essentially, the article is not meant to be a sales pitch, but rather educating potential buyers of the items or the problem it will be able to solve. This can definitely make your sales figures higher because when your prospect has made up their mind to buy something, it’ll be easier for you to conduct a sale. Several article marketers don’t put this technique to use and hope to be flooded with traffic, when the truth is they can use their articles for pre-selling the product and lead interested individuals to their website. An argument for the extreme importance of pre-selling is that lately people have become very aware of the items they spend their money on and how much they’re willing to spend. In order to give them a nice buying experience and to aid them in making an informed decision, informative articles can be like the missing pieces to a puzzle. Finally, you should consistently try to tone down your pre-selling so that you don’t turn your article into an advertisement.

Article marketing gives you quality website traffic in several different ways. There are both general and more focused article directories where you can submit your articles, and these will provide you with targeted visitors right away. Some internet users visit these directories and a certain number of them will find your articles there. The next type of traffic you get is from the search engines, when they rank your articles.

The trick to getting ranked is to put your main keywords into both title and body of all your articles. Article marketers who figure out how to rank for high search volume keywords can get thousands of visitors from the search engines. This is a relatively easy way to rank for your keywords, because most article directories have high page rank and are given preferential treatment by the search engines. Many webmasters are constantly seeking content, and some of these will find your articles and re-publish them on their sites, giving you another source of traffic. That’s why you you end up getting traffic from places you aren’t even aware of.

The more articles you publish, the more content you are collecting for yourself, and you may be able to use this again later for another purpose. You may be able to come up with creative uses for this content. Once you have a number of articles on one topic, for example, you could turn them into a single ebook, report or course, which you could market or give away as a marketing tool.

This way you don’t have to do any additional research to put together a useful eBook or course that you can use to build your list or as a free gift for your subscribers. You may also want to include republishing rights with your free report, to encourage others to circulate it. This is how you can have your report spread virally, which will increase your traffic over time.

In conclusion, the plusses that we shared about article marketing in the above article are just a small peek into the potential it can offer you and your business. It’s totally your choice in how you want to delve into this method for your own advantage.

A Great Way to Get Fit in a Hurry

Just about anyone can enjoy bootcamp fitness. You can either participate in a bootcamp setting or you can enjoy getting fit at home. There are some wonderful things about a bootcamp, however. You get to work out with other people who are also trying to get fit. Even though it is a bootcamp you still get to train at your own pace. You should push yourself a little in order to reap the benefits.

The Bootcamp Setting

There are many plusses to a bootcamp setting. For one thing you will get to work outdoors at most bootcamps. You will be able to enjoy the company of others who are also trying to get fit. In many cases you will work as teams with others to get fit by playing fitness games and doing races and other team sports. Sometimes just having other people to exercise with in a bootcamp setting can inspire you to do more and exercise harder. It may be just what you need to get motivated to get in shape. There will be physical trainers who are often referred to as drill instructors on hand to teach you and help you with your workouts.

Bootcamp at Home

If being around people and exercising in front of them is not your style, you may prefer to do a bootcamp at home. You can enjoy an outside setting at home for exercising. By doing exercises without taking breaks you will get the benefit of a bootcamp. The secret is to do different exercises such as push-ups, squats, jumping jacks, and other calisthenics without a break in between. You can also take up jogging in the park to get some scenery. You really don’t need any special equipment to enjoy bootcamp fitness. Just your body is all you need to get a good workout.

Bootcamp Fitness in the Workplace

Many employers are learning how well it pays to send their employees to bootcamp to get fit. Employees tend to do more when they are fit. This is true of all types of employees whether they are factory workers or bank employees. What boss doesn’t want more from their employees? In most cases when employees are sent to a bootcamp setting they will work as teams to get races won or win other physical games. They will work out together as well.

Where to Find a Bootcamp

Bootcamps are very popular all over the world. You can find them throughout Australia, the US, UK, and everywhere in-between. Sending employees to an exotic place would be a wonderful way for them to get fit. Many bootcamps have nature hikes for the enjoyment of all who come to them. Not only are nature hikes a great way to get fit, but they are educational as well.

There are indoor bootcamps for winter months when getting outside just won’t work. The workouts are similar with calisthenics being the number one form of exercise. This type of exercise will work the heart and muscles, giving a whole body workout. Can you think of a better way to get fit than bootcamp fitness?

Bundled Cable TV and Internet Packages Can Save You Some Money

More than likely you have heard the following saying, which is “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. When it comes to getting both your internet and cable TV from the same company, sometimes it is a very good deal, and other times, you should be using more than one company.

Each and every location and deal is going to be different when it comes to it being a good deal, or not. So, if you want to be absolutely sure you paying as little as possible while receiving the highest quality product, you are going to need to spend a little time researching your alternatives.

When it comes to cable TV, your three options are the cable itself, a satellite system, or receiving it over the internet. Presently, the internet TV industry is still in its infancy, and should improve significantly over the next decade or two.

That being said, there still are some very good deals to be had, if you look around for them. The problem with internet TV currently, is that you almost always have to purchase special equipment to view it on your television set. You might be wondering why that is an issue. Well, it is because more than likely the equipment you buy today will be totally obsolete in less than five years, and you will not be able to recoup those funds.

So, when it comes to receiving your television entertainment, you are going to really have to examine all the plusses and minuses of each option, compare their monthly cost, and make your decision based on your findings.

Thankfully, you will have a little greater selection when it comes to your internet service. Not only will you be able to choose from your local telephone and cable TV company, but there are all kinds of independent suppliers that you can also use.

Once again, you are going to need to compare their cost, verse your needs, as well as the quality of the service that these companies provide to make an educated decision.

After you have accumulated all of your research material, you now have enough data to make you a very sharp shopper. What you want to do now, is to select the bundled package that you prefer, and compare it to the individual services that you like best. Whichever price wise works out best for you and your family, is the way you should precede.

The Facilities of Owning a De Waterkant Property

Living in South Africa requires a lot of research and rational thinking because, as living anywhere in the world, there are plusses and minuses, advantages and disadvantages. There are many people who really enjoy living in South Africa. For those people, Africa it is a way to leave life adventurous, to leave the ordinary behind while taking risks and learning more about the world.

Suburbian South Africa is more quiet and peaceful, the prices are lower than in the city. De Waterkant properties are situated at Green Point along the Somerset Road, near the Bo Kaap suburb. De Waterkant is the name used to indicate that the suburb is situated at “The Waters’ Edge”. This suburb is newly renovated and it offers a bright perspective on city living.

Diverse range of De Waterkant property can be found in means of location, facilities and prices. Apartments and cottages, free living homes or semi-detached dwellings can also be found. The surroundings offer great views of the mountains and the fresh air helps De Waterhank property owners appreciate and enjoy life more.

The houses are deceptively small at the outside but offer generous space through well thought techniques and experience in interior design both in terms of style and practicality. In the neighborhood there are entertainment places, restaurants and a well balanced mix of residential and trade center through a strong policy that prevents overdevelopment.

De Waterkant area has evolved very much over the years and has been attracting an increasing number of visitors with each year. Its accessibility has enabled travelers to reach it easier and the local people also benefit from its development.

Although it is situated at the periphery of the Cape Twon it is close to all tourists attractions and therefore, locals have plenty of shopping choices and amenities together with extraordinary schools. There are two major hospitals that serve locals and tourists very well. It is about Chris Barnard Hospital and the Somerset Hospital.

For others instead, South Africa might be less suitable. This is why good research and consultations with De Waterkant property agents represents a must. In maybe 15 years South Africa may become a role model in terms of human cooperation and development. From other points of view, South Africa can be a place where unemployment, AIDS and child rape are serious problems. In truth speaking, there are many nonprofit organizations which help develop better policies in terms of AIDS prevention and family education.

Finance Your Startup in the Community

Finding finance for your startup may be easiest within your own community. Your ‘community’ could be in terms of relationships, geography, field of interest or affiliation.

Community Financed Business is not a generally accepted term. However, there are an increasing number of ways that businesses are financially supported within a community. Some are very traditional, such as coops that started in the nineteenth century and new ones are emerging all the time. An example is crowdfunding, that springs very recently from the social networking phenomenon.

The impetus is coming from two directions. The first is the disaffection for Wall Street and all that ‘big banking’ represents. The other is the burgeoning ‘local’ movement, the natural offspring of environmentalism.

Keeping funding in your own community has advantages and disadvantages. Some of the plusses are that you know the people providing money and your business is ‘visible’ to them. Banks have a very bureaucratic approach and lending decisions have to be ‘passed up the line’ to a corporate office somewhere else. With community finance, your access to the lenders is easy and in most cases will be face-to-face. Minuses include the reverse of that coin: you will have nowhere to ‘hide’. I always tell business borrowers to ‘over-communicate’ with their bankers. If you borrow from those you know, the time spent on communicating with them is likely to take a lot of your energy (and emotion).

Family and Friends (some say also, Fools)

For many generations, startups have looked to their family and friends for finance, whether equity or loan money. This is often extended to customers and suppliers, too. According to the Angel Capital Education Foundation, startups annually raise $60 billion through friends and family. Thus it’s probably the biggest single source of ‘series A’ funding that there is.

There are some strong caveats to this route, since emotion and relationships are to the fore. You will be focused on getting the money, but you need to know their point of view, too. Treat them as if they were a business and give them good reason to help. Be clear about how you will repay them and use a promissory note to make it legal.

Have a backup plan. If the loan from a family member needs to be called in for reasons like the lender lost a job, you need to be able to repay quickly or risk a family feud. Ask yourself if it’s the right course in the first place, and beware that it’s tough to price and structure the right deal for both parties. Think about how things will be if your startup goes belly-up. Checking downside risks is often the key to a successful startup.

Community Financed Business

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is now a widespread means of providing small-scale financial support to farmers. Typically, members in a community buy shares in the produce of farms pre-season and receive delivery as and when the particular crops or meat becomes available. The process has now spread to other sectors of the economy, mainly in ag and food. There are examples in seafood (Port Clyde, ME) and restaurants where patrons invest and get repaid in meals and other perks over time.

This tends to be a very effective, but somewhat risky way of raising funds-for the investor. I lost several hundred dollars, supporting a small bookshop in my village, where my up-front money was to have been repaid in books on a monthly basis with a small amount of interest. The business model was not carefully enough prepared and the startup was poorly managed, and resulted in failure.

Interestingly, about two years later in the space next door, another community supported business has opened – a restaurant. Not only did these founders sell shares to local supporters, but they, themselves, are buying produce from local CSA farms. There are many other ways in addition to the CSA model of pre-funding product sales by subscription or ‘shares’.

Cooperatives

They are much more widespread than you might imagine, both locally and nationally. There are nearly 30,000 of them in the US. I used to serve on the board of the Brattleboro Food Coop, a two-store retailer in my local Vermont town. We had reached capacity in our main store with a $16 million turnover, and decided to build an entirely new store at a cost of several millions. Coop members in the locality advanced well over $1 million in 3 and 5 year loans as part of the shareholder equity to back the bank and other financing. In addition another local coop partnered in the building – Coop Power – by providing the solar roof.

A significant proportion of coops are small and locally oriented. Many are among farmers and banking. Savings and Loan Associations are, in effect, coops. Some started small and local but have grown into large entities, with the strength of local support. An example is Land o’ Lakes, now pretty much a national brand of dairy products.

Direct Public Offerings

A direct public offering is a way for a company to “go public” without the intermediaries that orchestrate an IPO. A company completes required offering documents and securities filings, which enables them to sell shares directly to the public – the company’s customers and community.

A recent example of a DPO is Quimper Mercantile in Port Townsend, WA, that has raised over $500,000 in a DPO to open a general store. They were assisted by Cutting Edge Capital. Another of CEC’s clients is People’s Community Market, whose model of grassroots investing allows Californians of all economic backgrounds to become Founders and Shareholders in creating a food store in West Oakland.

Crowdfunding

You will surely have heard of Kickstarter. An MBA student of mine raised over $15,000 (on a $10,000 target) seed money locally for Raleigh City Farm in North Carolina, via a Kickstarter campaign. Well, the movement is much more widespread and often locally oriented. You can take a look at my crowdfunding page for more info.

The JOBS Act which is due to come into force this year, allows anyone to invest up to $10,000 a year, or up to 10 percent of their net income if they earn less than $100,000 a year, in private companies. This contrasts with the present, given that crowdfunders are largely rewarded non-financially. One of the first platforms off the block will be Earlyshares, an equity based crowdfunding platform.

Revenue-based Funding & Customer Financing

Another new approach to funding business is Revenue-Based Funding. The idea is that instead of the risk being associated with the capital growth of the investment, the lender takes a risk on the revenue, by charging a percentage of the top line. A US company called RevenueLoan now offers a Revenue-Based Funding product, but on relatively large amounts for startups. As they say, “Revenue Based Financing (RBF) is a hybrid financing method that fills a need in the growth capital market for companies with approximately $1 to $10 million in revenue and a proven plan for growth.

Maker Community

Typical interests enjoyed by the maker subculture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, 2-D plotter cutting, water-jet cutting, and the use of CNC tools (even applied to embroidery), as well as more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts.

The whole print-on-demand industry is another example, where authors can produce books even one at a time. While these are not funders, they reduce the costs that would otherwise be associated with small-scale manufacturing. However there are hybrids that combine maker facilities with startup seed funding, as well as incubation space in factory-like settings.

Business Accelerators and Incubators

Unlike many business assistance programs, business incubators do not serve any and all companies. Entrepreneurs who wish to enter a business incubation program must apply for admission. They also tend to be physical places where you can start your business under a collective roof. Many incubators/accelerators are competitive to join, but once in seed capital is provided.

While it is possible to generalize about accelerators, there are almost as many variations as there are similarities. Business Accelerators may focus on very specific geographies (such as cities or States), industrial sectors (such as information technology or clean energy), industrial processes (such as manufacturing or industrial kitchens). Accelerators can offer physical space on short or medium terms, networking, mentoring, funding or introduction to funding, training, peer group support. These may vary in time, for instance: pre-launch, startup, early stage.

Other Community Finance Opportunities

Many other community or ‘local’ finance opportunities exist. There may be financial incentives such as grants available from local government agencies, or business plan competitions run by local development bodies and academic institutions, for instance.

Depending upon the governance structure of your startup, there may be program funds that are accessible. For instance, in those States where the L3C form (limited liability company that limits the level of profit) exists, you could get foundation funding.

There are also combinations of some of the different community funding avenues to be explored. For instance, you could use crowdfunding to extend the family and friends route. You could add other people in your network and, by having a larger lender base, each contributor’s risk could be reduced, because they’d be providing smaller sums. The downside of the hybrid would be the time you would need to commit to keeping lenders informed of progress.

How You Can Do It?

Brainstorm with friends and associates, but do it in an organized way. You probably have fixed ideas about how you are going to raise money for your startup and it will be important to spawn new ideas. On a solo basis, one of the methods I use is mind-mapping (several free programs and apps are on the Web); it lets me get all my scattered ideas briefly noted in one visual space. It helps me see the wood for the trees.

Affinity diagrams might be something you can use in a group. It sounds daunting, but all you need is some wall space and sticky-notes. Participants work on their own ideas and post them. When you have them all on the wall you can begin to see which ideas are related, or which may generate new ideas.

Be as wild as you can about where you can capital or loans from. You’d be surprised about how many sources there are, and just how many people would love to help.