Business assistance for local entrepreneurs

OpenBusThe Small Business Administration and Department of Labor have partnered on a new website to help states offer assistance to local entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses.

The site is geared toward helping states take advantage of the $35 Million the federal government gave to states to implement Self-Employment Assistance programs to help those looking to create jobs in their communities.

These programs provide Unemployment Insurance recipients interested in starting a business with financial assistance, training and resources to get their businesses off the ground. Among the links to resources on the site, there is a link to the New York State fact sheet on how to apply for local assistance through this program.

Count down to earth day

This year, earthday.org is focusing their theme on facing climate change.  To draw attention to the fact that climate change impacts us all, a global mosaic is being built.  Organizers are asking folks to upload photos that include a face with a sign that says “The Face of Climate Change.”  So go ahead and personalize your message to the world.

earthday

Infographics get a second wind

Info-ArtToolsInfographics have been around for centuries, from ancient cave paintings  to modern subway maps to (probably the most recognizable infograph of all time) the Periodic Table published back in 1869.

Recently, infographics and info-art have gotten a second wind.  Data visualization has have become a popular trend for folks who want to quickly and easily present complex information.  It’s no wonder since we live in an age where data is being produced at exponential rates.  In fact, Google executives estimate that every two days, we create as much data as we did between the “dawn of time through 2003.”  Every two days!  Much of this is generated from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Four Square and the like.

The increasing number of easy-to-use tools available has also made it easier for those without a degree in design to generate creative infographics; and to share them with the masses via social media.

Here’s a few tools that you might try:

Piktochart visual.ly Tagxedo
Wordle easel.ly Many Eyes
 Stat Planet by Stat Silk  infogr.am  creately

….more tools.