The aerospace and defense industry is an established engine of growth in Arizona, contributing $8.8 billion to the state economy and providing almost 100,000 jobs. But with competition from other states growing and the military's technological requirements changing, the state needs a coordinated approach if it wants to maintain a thriving aerospace and defense industry, according to a recently released study by the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business. Institute Director Dennis Hoffman and W. P. Carey Dean Robert Mittelstaedt comment. How Small Businesses Can Survive and Thrive in a Recession -- Part Two
Some small firms have weathered the economic storm by cutting expenses and reducing staff. But others have continued forward by focusing on what they do best: exemplary customer service, employee excellence and innovation. They tweaked their business plans to react to the new economic realities. They diversified their product lines. In short, they plumbed the depths of their entrepreneurial spirit. Ten such companies in the Phoenix area have been named Spirit of Enterprise Awards finalists by the W. P. Carey School of Business. In Part Two of a continuing series on small business success, the 10 Spirit finalists were asked what they've done to succeed in the face of extreme adversity.Give Me the Bad News: Successful Entrepreneurs Need Negative Feedback
What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Tom Blondi, who has been involved with several start-ups, says it takes more than a great idea. Much as you might like the cheerleaders, what you need more is someone who will ask tough, specific questions. Blondi spoke at the Spark IT Invitational, a conference sponsored by the W. P. Carey School's Center for the Advancement of Business through Information Technology. Eric Crown: The Swirling Computer Business of the Roaring '90s
For alumnus Eric Crown, his induction into the W. P. Carey School's Hall of Fame is sweet vindication. While pursuing a degree in computer information systems, Crown, 46, wrote a paper on a potential mail-order business that would sell parts for the burgeoning computer market. He got a C on the assignment because, he recalls, the professor didn't deem the idea viable. However, two years after his 1984 graduation, Crown started just that business. Today Insight Enterprises, Inc. has clients in 170 countries, counts more than 4,000 employees and notched $4.8 billion in revenues in 2007.The Profile of a Top Entrepreneur: Commitment to Quality, Customer Service and Employees
What are the characteristics of companies that succeed, even in tough times? The stories behind the five winners of this year's Spirit of Enterprise Awards are instructive. These companies are focused on quality, dedicated to excellent customer service, and committed in a deep way to their employees and communities. The mission of the Spirit of Enterprise Center, which presents the awards, is to honor, assist and educate entrepreneurs. The 12th Annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards does just that. 'Founders at Work' Chronicles the American Idols of Startups
Tim Brady, founder of Yahoo … Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development … Max Levchin, founder of PayPal … Steve Wozniak, founder of Apple. All are legends in the technology world. But once upon a time, they were regular people. Where did they get their 'big ideas'? How did they muster the confidence to convince investors to back them? What made them overcome incredible odds to become rich and successful? "Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days" offers answers to these questions and more. Author Jessica Livingston is a founding partner at Y Combinator, a seed-stage venture firm and organizer of Startup School. Her research and her interviews with 32 startup founders of successful technology firms yields a glimpse of the earliest days of startups that have become part of today's business lexicon. A Business Owner Who Survived the World Trade Center Attacks Writes About Preparing for Disaster
September 10, 2001, was the first and last business day for a small pizza parlor in lower Manhattan; without business interruption insurance, the owners did not have enough funds to cover fixed expenses until they could repair and reopen the restaurant following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. "Be Prepared," the Boy Scout motto, packs a lot of wisdom for small businesses, writes contingency planning expert Donna Childs. In her new book, "Prepare for the Worst, Plan for the Best: Disaster Preparedness and Recovery for Small Businesses," Childs explains what small businesses should do to survive a crises. Rule-Breaking Entrepreneurs Share Stories of Success
In 1949 when Shirley Schmitz graduated from Arizona State University women leaders were an anomaly in business. Now 80, she is charismatic and sharp, and could easily fill a book with insights earned during her own high-octane career. But instead of dwelling only on how she made it, Schmitz convinced 11 other entrepreneurs -- all brash rule-breakers from a range of industries -- to spill the beans, too. Her book, "Guts, Imagination, Vision; Conversations with Innovators-Changemakers," will be launched at the Spirit of Enterprise Award luncheon on September 25. Oren Harari: Avoiding the Perils of the 'Copycat Economy'
What's riskier? Staying in the pack or venturing cautiously out on a limb? Management professor and author Oren Harari showed the audience at a recent conference hosted by the National Association of Women Business Owners the perils of the "copycat economy," then showed them how to rise above commodity hell. 2008 NAWBO Conference: It's a Man's World -- Or Is It?
Does the world of business -- in the past dominated by men -- pose any special challenges for women? With one startling exception, a selection of presenters and attendees at the recent annual meeting of the National Association of Women Business Owners told a video crew from Knowledge@W. P. Carey that "yes, it's an issue, but you can overcome it." Here, prominent female business researchers from the faculty of the W. P. Carey School offer their points of view.