Martin Desmarais

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Chocolaffee rising

Twin sisters bring Colombian treats to Greater Boston

Chocolaffee co-founders and twin sisters Angelica and Diana Cardona have already shown the perseverance needed to succeed as small business entrepreneurs — fighting through the Columbian-style nut and chocolate product company’s first business struggle with a failed business partner and store — emerging to keep the business going and on track to open a store and production facility next month.

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Success in Fields Corner

Dorchester business incubator attracting startups

When Travis Lee and John Maudlin started Fields Corner Business Lab in Dorchester two years ago they envisioned it becoming a beating heart of the area’s growing small business community. At the time, it was the kind of wishful thinking expected of any startup entrepreneur, but now, with 30 businesses and about 60 people working out of the 8,000-square foot facility on the top floor of the historic Lenane Building, their vision has become a reality.

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Asian women share insights

Asian American group builds women’s support network

Women in the corporate world face many well-documented challenges, but these can be compounded more so for women of color or women that have come to the U.S. from other countries. For this reason, the National Association of Asian American Professionals has made an effort to make sure its women members have specific support that can help them overcome what can sometimes feel like overwhelming odds to success. An important part of the effort is the association’s Women in NAAAP committee, which holds programs, social events and workshops all designed to help Asian American women succeed as professional and personal leaders, as well as influence others in their community and cultures.

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Online lending taking off

Providers find niche market with small business loans

A recent deal between a top online lending company and one of the U.S.’s largest small business associations is making waves in the loan industry, continuing a trend that sees online lending becoming an increasingly better option for cash-strapped small companies.

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Trailblazing entrepreneurs

Venture Café probes challenges to women in tech field

Venture Café’s “A Night with Female Founders” featured women entrepreneurs who are on the front line of advancing equal opportunity for the next generation of women in business, talking about their success, opening the door for mentorship and critically examining the future

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Competition for black talent

Black engineers draw major recruiters at Hub conference

Attendees at the National Society of Black Engineers were able to get up close and personal with representatives from the world’s biggest engineering firms — a concrete accomplishment for some of the U.S.’s hottest young engineering talent.

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The power of data analytics

Small businesses vary in usage of big data

Increased access to Big Data has impacted small businesses in many ways, but when it comes to marketing analytics it has thrown the door wide open. Marketing gurus generally think this is a good thing and enthusiasm for using analytics to shape marketing strategy has skyrocketed — though voices of reason caution against headlong flight into complete reliance and the costs that come with it.

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A focus on job creation

Governor’s point man on workforce launches new initiatives

As Labor and Workforce Development Secretary, Ronald Walker II is a driving force behind the state’s efforts to create new jobs and provide opportunities for Massachusetts residents to compete in the state’s growing job market.

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Forms in fashion

When it comes to building online forms, Google may have the name recognition, but the company is far from the only provider out there. For a variety of small business form needs, there are some more complex and customizable options out there. The good news is almost all are very low cost — and many free — and they provide simple and easy ways to make forms work for any business.

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The growth of online small business lending

Startups are now bypassing banks and finding capital online

Many business media outlets have emphasized online lending as a rising trend. Banner Biz has highlighted it as something to watch in 2016 as well. But it’s worth taking a closer look at the online lending sector to consider how it is changing the small business landscape, and why.

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