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Business under Trump

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We recently gave a talk to the Greater Houston Black Chamber (GHBC), at their monthly Business Luncheon “2nd Tuesday with the Chamber” on for February 14, 2017. The link at left is to a video of the discussion. I described the current economic environment for black businesses in Houston and provided a forecast for 2017. 

"Founded in 1935 as the city’s first African -American civic organization, the GHBC has evolved into an active participant in the City of Houston’s socioeconomic process. The organization is a 501(c) (6), not-for-profit, private, member-driven organization that serves the Greater Houston Area.  The GHBC is dedicated to supporting African-American small businesses in the areas of education, certification and accessing contracting opportunities and capital."

See: https://youtu.be/toYeng7PlRQ

​Taming​ ​the​ ​Tax​ ​Code - Brendan Cody, GWU student and Impact Investing Intern

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Tax​ ​reform​ ​will​ ​continue​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​major​ ​issue​ ​over​ ​the​ ​next​ ​several​ ​months. Both​ ​Congress​ ​and
President​ ​Trump​ ​have​ ​expressed​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​interest​ ​in​ ​reform.​ ​

A ​panel​ at George Washington University titled ​“A​ ​General​ ​Perspective on​ ​Taming​ ​the​ ​Tax​ ​Code:​ ​What​ ​Yesterday’s​ ​Reformers​ ​Can​ ​Teach​ ​Today’s​ ​Reformers”​ ​provided great​ ​insight​ ​into​ ​the​ ​methods​ ​and​ ​issues​ ​of​ ​reform​ ​from​ ​the​ ​perspective​ ​of​ ​the​ ​House​ ​Ways​ ​and Means​ ​Committee.

​Bill​ ​Archer(R-TX)​ ​and Charlie​ ​Rangel(D-NY)​ ​are​ ​both​ ​former​ ​committee​ ​chairmen​ ​and ​were​ ​members​ ​of​ ​​Ways and Means in 1986 when​ ​the​ ​tax​ ​code​ ​was​ ​last​ ​reformed​.​

​Rangel​ ​emphasized​ ​the​ ​importance​ ​of​ ​the​ ​president in​ ​getting​ ​tax​ ​reform,​ ​specifically noting ​that the​ ​President’s​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​inspire​ ​confidence​ ​among​ ​the​ ​public​ ​and​ ​the Congress​ ​can​ ​be​ ​decisive​ ​in​ ​the​ ​fate​…

First Socially Responsible Investing Portfolio Devoted to Diversity Launched

by Bill Baue. SocialFunds.com July 31, 2006.

Minority-owned Creative Investment Research conceived of the portfolio to promote corporate diversity while targeting women and minority investors for economic empowerment.

SocialFunds.com -- Socially responsible investing (SRI) has a long history of promoting corporate diversity through positive screens and shareowner advocacy--for example by filing resolutions for more race and gender diversity on the board or a commitment to sexual orientation non-discrimination. However, there has not been an SRI portfolio exclusively focusing on diversity until last week's launch of the Diversity Index Portfolio by Creative Investment Research, a Minneapolis-based minority owned social investment advisory firm. The portfolio consists of between 40 to 60 large-cap US companies with strong diversity performance.

"While other socially responsible funds may consider workforce diversity as one factor among many, the Creative Investment Research Di…

Property Flipping Remediation Yields Investment-grade Security

Property Flipping Remediation Yields Investment-grade Security
by Mark Thomsen October 10, 2001

SocialFunds.com -- A three-year property flipping scheme in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota (see yesterday's article) affected a total of over 500 families. While some were able to regain their credit, many lost their homes. However, about 50 families, despite all odds, had managed to hold on to their houses. In a few cases they have staved off foreclosure by making partial payments.

The Family Housing Fund (FHF), a nonprofit that promotes affordable housing in Minneapolis and St. Paul, realized that these 50 families might have a chance of keeping their homes if they received the right help. This help would have to go beyond the scope of the Property Flipping Task Force, a multi-organization initiative that FHF launched to help victims of the scam.

In the summer of 2000, members of FHF met with the Board of Pensions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to discuss how new …

Feedback on the new book!

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I thought I would share some initial feedback I have received on the new book: The JOBS Act: Crowdfunding Guide to Small Businesses and Startups 2nd ed. https://www.amazon.com/JOBS-Act-Crowdfunding-Businesses-Startups/dp/1484224086
"Definitely clear. I really enjoyed the depth of substance on the Act. I also liked the enthusiasm for crowdfunding w/o any of the manic cheerleading seen elsewhere (impact investing has the same problem - IMHO). Balance goes a long way in my view and you reminding readers that crowdfunding is real work is very important.
Scott S.
Thank you, Scott!

$25K for Women-Owned Businesses and Women Founders

Walker's Legacy - Due this FRIDAY Register Today: Deadline Approaching for the PROSPECTUS Online Business Accelerator. Win $5,000 in prize funding with the Walker's Legacy PROSPECTUS Online Business Accelerator. This is an opportunity for small women-owned enterprises to grow and expand! Your business is accepted into the program once registration is complete. With partners like Google, and Kiva Zip, PROSPECTUS is designed to provide women business owners with the resources they need for their businesses.Sign up todayor encourage a woman in your network to take advantage of this opportunity by nextFriday, January 13, 2017!
The Vinetta ProjectThe Vinetta Project's $20K Venture Challenge is open to DC-area female founders with tech or tech-enabled businesses. You can learn more about eligibility and application requirements on their website.
Open to women founders with tech or tech-enabled businesses (startup must have at least 1 woman founder to be eligible)Winner gets $20K i…

Performance of the Diversity Fund, May 20, 2011 to December 22, 2016

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A diverse corporation has an inclusive work force, marketplace and business community (suppliers, partners and investors). To successfully compete in the United States and globally, companies must reflect the changing population within the ranks of their employees and managers. Increasingly, the faces of our work force, our suppliers and our investors are faces of color, faces of women, faces of people with disabilities, faces of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals, faces of older workers. By integrating diversity into the workplace, companies vigorously tailor their offerings to fit the needs of shifting cultural priorities.

The chart below shows the performance of the Diversity Fund Model Portfolio versus the S&P 500 index from May 20, 2011 to December 22, 2016.

Stocks of the largest companies in the U.S. are included in the fund. These companies have been selected because they have outstanding investment characteristics. Companies have been selected because th…