Business

A start-up called the Legacy Movement has launched a new program to support entrepreneurs in underserved communities. The subscription-based "educational ecosystem" will connect underserved entrepreneurs, including women, veterans, and minorities, with mentorship and funding opportunities. The goal is to help these entrepreneurs "launch and sustain new businesses, build generational wealth, attract capital and create more jobs."

A new report from Dow Jones VentureSource looks at women's representation at venture-backed companies and how women in executive positions can boost a start-up's odds of success. The report, Women at the Wheel: Do Female Executives Drive Start-Up Success, uses the following question as a jumping off point: if women earn more advanced degrees than men (as became the case in 2010), then why are there not more female senior executives?

New e-commerce company Bow & Drape uses technology to customize off-the rack clothing. There are six different clothing models that can be customized with trim, fabrics, sleeves, and lengths into a total of 3,000 different combinations. The pieces start at $200, and some designs include sequin trim.

A new video from Cisco's "My Networked Life" YouTube series focuses on Azita Ardakani, the founder of Lovesocial, a social media company that works to "]connect] people with things that matter." In the video, Vancouver-based Ardakani discusses how she believes in "the value of the message, as opposed to the value of the medium," meaning ever-shifting technology. "I feel a responsibility to help bring messages that are worth getting out there to as many people as possible," she says. Watch the whole thing after the jump.

Phone batteries die during the day. Carrying around chargers and cords is a drag. So a Chicago entrepreneur has come up with a solution: a purse that's also a phone charger. The Everpurse charges an iPhone while it’s in your purse.

"There are a growing number of efforts to help women and minorities become entrepreneurs and get funding for their start-ups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere," reports the Wall Street Journal's Deborah Gage, citing San Francisco-based NewME and New York's DigitalunDivide. "All of the efforts come amid a relative dearth of African-American and Latino entrepreneurs and investors, though Asian entrepreneurs are relatively common in Silicon Valley."
"At nine of the 10 largest U.S. private-equity firms, women account for an average 8.1 percent of managing directors and senior executives, the highest-ranking and best-paying jobs," Bloomberg's Devin Banerjee reports. And yet, "The dearth of women at the top of private-equity firms hasn’t been an issue in the [2012 presidential] campaign," despite the fact that "Bain, which Romney ran for 15 years until 1999, counts seven women among its 87 managing directors and senior executives, or 8 percent."

Millions of Americans live in food deserts. A full 10% of the country has no access to healthy or fresh food. Many low-income neighborhoods have only a convenience store stocked with junk food, cigs, and booze. Seattle’s Stockbox Neighborhood Grocery wants to solve that problem. This mini-grocery is packed with fresh food and staples as well as meat, dairy, and produce -- sort of a throw back to small-town stores.

Of the many reasons put forward to promote gender diversity in workplaces, a call for general fairness is one of the more effective and is easily understood. But the debate becomes illogical when diversity advocates claim that company performance will automatically lift if there are more women involved in executive-level decisions. In fact, it does women a disservice to raise such unrealistic expectations.

An infographic from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation displays some of the key lessons highlighted in its book "A Rising Tide," which was released this spring and covers the topic of female entrepreneurs. According to the infographic, women business owners are a growing economic force, though they tend to remain relatively small and, perhaps because of this, ted to raise less money than male-owned companies. Check out the whole thing after the jump.

The Zip Cup is a collapsible mug that should have been invented 20 years ago -- before Americans started piling 58 billion paper cups int

You can’t really walk around with just a phone and a $20 bill.  But most phone cases don’t let you stash more than that.

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