Here is this week’s biweekly edition of The Pursuit newsletter, which brings the latest news and commentary about small business and entrepreneurs straight to your inbox on Wednesday mornings. Click here to get on the newsletter list!
If you’re a small business owner, chances are supply-chain disruptions are wreaking havoc on your company. Some 86% of small and midsize business supply chains have been (or expect to be) affected by Russia’s war on Ukraine, according to a survey by Software Advice, and as Catherine Erdly writes in a recent piece for Forbes, it’s likely the resurgence of omicron in China will only worsen the situation.
Now is the time to adapt. Discuss with your suppliers the challenges you face, and collaborate on solutions. And when, according to Software Advice’s survey, 46% of small and midsize business retailers have had at least one vendor drop them for reasons related to being a smaller enterprise, it’s crucial to diversify your vendors and have backups in place. Network with other small business owners to find creative solutions to address shortages and delays.
Key quote: “The problem with people trying to leave companies and choose their own destiny is that there’s nothing out there to support them. Fiverr and Upwork are great if you want to get an extra income on the side, but it’s certainly not the path of self-actualization for the highly skilled, high-wage professional.” —Raphael Ouzan, founder and CEO of A.Team
Must-Reads Across Forbes
Bestselling author, producer and philanthropist Bethenny Frankel shares the truth behind her unconventional rise from reality TV star to self-made serial entrepreneur, along with hard-won wisdom in building a business empire from her new book Business Is Personal. In a conversation with Moira Forbes, Frankel discusses how to bounce back from the inevitable setbacks that entrepreneurs face, as well as how to handle criticism.
Mental health startup Kintsugi Mindful Wellness’ AI software analyzes the human voice to detect depression and anxiety, offering clinicians “a more well-rounded, 360-view of the patient” that sometimes gets lost in virtual care. The Bay Area-based company’s voice biomarker software is being integrated into clinical call centers, telehealth services and remote monitoring apps. It’s this ingenuity that landed the company a spot on Forbes’ fourth annual AI 50 list.
Startup founders have gotten used to receiving love from venture investors, who seemed to climb over one another to secure deals. Now that’s changed: There have been more firings in the first two weeks of May than in any full month since January 2021, and more than half the companies in an internal poll of Andreessen Horowitz’s portfolio say they’re pulling back on 2022 hiring. Here’s why these layoffs may foretell a slow summer for venture investing.
As Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, Marty Walsh leads efforts to engage with businesses and workers. In a conversation with Rhett Buttle, a contributor to Forbes, the former Massachusetts state representative and mayor of Boston discusses the steps the DOL has taken to support small businesses, as well as workers’ health and well-being.
Less than seven months after Parker Conrad’s HR startup, Rippling, reached a $6.5 billion valuation in October, the San Francisco-based firm upped that figure by more than 70% to $11.25 billion. The new lofty valuation comes as the firm raised another $250 million—bringing its total investment to $700 million—led by Kleiner Perkins and Bedrock Capital. “It’s always fun as an entrepreneur to get these moments of validation,” Conrad tells Forbes.