Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
Jobs on the rise in October. New Labor Department numbers reveal that, for the first time since May, the U.S. actually added jobs in October - 151,000 of them, to be exact. Today's Wall Street Journal reports that though the unemployment rate was still a high 9.6 percent, the private-sector added 159,000 jobs last month. The majority of them were added in mining-related jobs, followed by the health care sector. Manufacturing, on the other hand, lost about 7,000 jobs. President Obama calls the report "encouraging news," but, he said at the White House, "The unemployment rate is still unacceptably high, and we've got a lot of work to do."
Time to start giving out raises? Jay Goltz thinks so. Blogging for The New York Times, Goltz points to the fact that it's been close to three years since the start of the economic slide and most employees haven't seen pay raises at all since then. Hearing whispers of the recession's end, employees no longer feel simply lucky to have jobs, but want to get more compensation for their work. Combine that with shrinking 401(k) balances, drops in home values, and increased skill sets or responsibilities, Goltz believes doling out raises is only fair. "Make sure your best people, who have options, are not caught in a salary freeze that leaves them cold," Golz advises. "And leaves you out in the cold if they leave."
Obama's passage to India. President Obama will pay his first official visit to India this weekend – with 215 American executives in tow, The New York Times reports. The unlikely delegation, whose members include Mary Kay cosmetics and Cinnabon sticky buns, hope to succeed where economic policymakers failed. The group arrives in Mumbai on Saturday, where Obama will likely play salesman-in-chief for several multibillion dollar defense deals. But the president and his entourage have an uphill battle. The new era of cross-continental commerce is not without its critics, who sneer at India's outsourcing firms and contrast Washington's deal-making in Delhi with the largess it shows toward India's arch-rival Pakistan.
A burning passion for the candle business. Interesting story in today's Boston Globe about Micheal J. Kittredge, the founder of the Yankee Candle Company, a staple in malls across America with annual sales around $36 million. Kittredge sold the candle giant to a buyout firm in 1998 for a reported $600 million, the proceeds of which he used to buy a summer house in Nantucket and a 197-foot luxury yacht to sail with his family. Twelve years after the sale, however, Kittredge is getting back into the candle business, launching a new business called Kringle Candle Co., with his 20-year-old son serving as president. The article discusses Kittredge's motivation for getting back into the candle business. While he doesn't regret selling his company, he does have some issues with what has become of Yankee Candle. As he says, "There's no art in it. I never wanted to see it become a commodity, but it did."
Donating change to charity with each swipe of your card. TechCrunch has a write-up today on SwipeGood, a start-up that lets people donate money to charity with each swipe of a debit or credit card. The idea is pretty straightforward: users enroll in SwipeGood with their credit card info (only American Express currently) and then the service rounds each purchase the customer makes going forward to the nearest dollar, donating the remainder (minus a 5 percent fee) to charity. SwipeGood's service currently supports just one charity--DonorsChoose.org--but the company says it plans to roll out new charities every few weeks.
The billionaire swagger. It's all about the hustle, says billionaire entrepreneur Darwin Deason. Deason, who made his fortune with a data sourcing company he built from the ground up in 1988, recently answered 10 questions for Forbes. Asked what the key to his success has been, Darwin responded, "It's a combination of hustle and discipline. While these are personality traits, they are also deeply held personal philosophies of mine." Earlier this year, Xerox acquired Deason's company in a deal that was valued at about $6.4 billion, solidifying his status among America's wealthiest people. Money hasn't changed the entrepreneur within him, though. He tells Forbes, "The concept of not just 'going to work' and instead being who you are and who you want to be has always made a lot of sense to me."
Lamebook suing Facebook over trademark infringement. Really? Techcrunch poses this puzzling headline about the site, which lets users submit funny Facebook status updates, only to shrug and say, "no, not really." What had happened was: "Facebook threatened to sue Lamebook over trademark infringement, so now the tiny company is suing them first in order to get a preemptive decision from the court that there is, in fact, no wrongdoing. Most probably, Lamebook is doing this to keep the lawsuit in Texas." Our verdict? Meh.
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