Deborah L.'s Feed
Sep 15, 2010

Former Lehman’s banker drives startup Zimride

CHICAGO (Reuters) – When John Zimmer, 26, left his job at Lehman Brothers to pursue an entrepreneurial dream in the summer of 2008, he had no idea how fortunate his timing was.

“How can you leave a sure thing…to do this risky startup?’” Zimmer recalled a family friend warning him. Just months later, Lehman collapsed into bankruptcy, part of a chain reaction that sparked the financial meltdown on Wall Street.

Sep 8, 2010
Sep 8, 2010

Grandmother finds business idea in her purse

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Frustrated that she couldn’t find her lipstick, keys and other essentials in a stylish new handbag given to her as a gift by her son, Anita Crook came up with a solution. In 2005 she designed the Pouchee – a pocketbook organizer that Crook expects will fetch her close to $2 million in revenues this year.

“I couldn’t find any way to organize it and I thought, well, you know, maybe I could design something,” said Crook, 63, who began the company out of her home in Greenville, South Carolina with $10,000 from her savings and the conviction she was filling a need. “I don’t look at myself so much as an entrepreneur as I do a problem solver.”

Sep 2, 2010
Sep 1, 2010
Sep 1, 2010

Mother turns son’s death into inspiration for business

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Last summer, Melody Jamali lost her 21-year-old son, Eric. Her pain was heightened by the impersonal service she received while selecting an urn to hold her son’s ashes.

“I was appalled, absolutely appalled,” said Jamali, who was overwhelmed by the stress of it and wound up settling for a vessel that had little meaning. “It was just a transaction. It was the height of insensitivity.”

Aug 31, 2010
Aug 27, 2010
Aug 26, 2010

Ghost bloggers help small firms target new audiences

By Deborah L. Cohen

(Reuters) – Philip de Souza, founder and president of data security firm Aurora Enterprises, believes in ghosts.

After trying for weeks to persuade his small team of in-house engineers to blog under the company’s fold, de Souza went looking outside for ghost bloggers who could deliver compelling prose on security and related industry issues for his L.A.-based firm.

Aug 25, 2010
    • About Deborah L.

      "Deborah Cohen writes a weekly column on small business for Reuters.com. Small business coverage is a big change for Deborah, a former staff writer with Reuters, Crain’s Chicago Business, Bloomberg News and the Post-Tribune in Gary, Ind., whose prior beats focused on large public companies in the fast-food, telecommunications and advertising industries. She has written for Business Week's Chicago edition, the American Bar Association's ABA Journal, Indianapolis Monthly magazine, QSR magazine, Forward magazine, and Bloomberg magazine, among other publications."
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