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Archive for August, 2012

Economic Perspectives Guests Discuss The African American Chambers of Commerce Convention and The World’s Most Powerful Women

Posted by HH on August 26, 2012

The guests on Monday evening’s edition of Economic Perspectives are Jim Wyatt, president of the Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce and Moira Forbes, publisher of ForbesWoman.  Listen live on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX or online at

Wyatt will discuss the upcoming TAAACC Annual Convention being held September 13-15 in Austin, Texas.  More information on the convention is available at

Moira Forbes will discuss ForbesWoman’s Annual List of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. The list this year is topped by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Following Merkel, the top 5 include Secretary of State Hilary Clinton (2), Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff (3). Melinda Gates (4), co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Jill Abramson (5), executive editor of The New York Times. For a complete list click here:

Other notable members of the list include First Lady Michelle Obama (7), Sheryl Sandberg (10), COO of Facebook; media mogul Oprah Winfrey (11), singer Lady Gaga (14), and Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox.

Moira Forbes is publisher of ForbesWoman, a multi-media platform serving successful women in business and leadership. Representing four generations of publishers, Moira joined Forbes in 2001 in its London office. She graduated from Princeton University.

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Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: Traits for Success in Business

Posted by HH on August 26, 2012

What are the defining traits crucial for a leader to build a business?  According to the research conducted by venture capitalist Anthony Tjan and his co-authors Richard Harrington and Tsun-Yan Hsieh,  heart, smarts, guts and luck are the attributes that all successful business leaders share. Tjian shares these insights and others on the Monday morning edition of Economic Perspectives at 7:30 a.m. CT on KAZI 88.7 FM.  Listen live online at

Tony Tjan with music legend Quincy Jones

Anthony K. Tjan (Tony) is the co-author of Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business.  Tjan is Managing Partner of Cue Ball, a venture capital firm based in Boston. Most recently, Tony was Senior Partner at The Parthenon Group, a leading strategic advisory firm where he continues as its Vice Chairman. He spent seven years as a special strategic advisor to The Thomson Corporation, and its then CEO, Richard Harrington (now his Partner at Cue Ball). At Thomson, he played a key role working alongside the CEO on its transformational growth strategy. In 1996, Tony founded and was CEO of the Internet services firm ZEFER, a pioneer in early commercial web initiatives. Tony started his career with McKinsey & Company and holds his AB and MBA degrees from Harvard University. He was also a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Tony sits on several boards, is a contributor to Harvard Business Review, and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of MIT Tech Review.

Posted in Books, Business, Entrepreneurship, Interview, Radio, small business | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PODCAST: Listen to Interview About Obtaining Small Business Loans at BCL of Texas

Posted by HH on August 18, 2012

Rosa Rios-Valdez

Small business lending was the topic of discussion on the August 13 Monday Morning Edition of Economic Perspectives. Rosa Rios-Valdez talked about how to get a small business loan from the community development financial institution she founded, BCL of Texas.  To listen to the interview with her click here: Rosa Rios Valdez Interview.

BCL of Texas (formally CEN-TEX CDC) was formed in 1990 at the invitation of the SBA San Antonio District office to make commercial real estate loans for established central Texas businesses. Our first loan was to Juan Portillo, who purchased an office building for his business, Tramex Travel. Sixteen years later Tramex Travel continues to grow. To meet customer requests, BCL has expanded its products and services. BCL became a statewide organization in 2004 and filed our dba (doing business as) Business & Community Lenders of Texas.

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BCL of Texas Business Counseling Helps Austin Firm Obtain Funding and Overcome Obstacles

Posted by HH on August 10, 2012

Travis Benford, CEO of Blue Light Integrated Services

Peter Drucker once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” If that statement is true, then Travis Benford just might just be the next Nostradamus. He is building a future to fit his vision. Moreover, he is building a future full of hope and opportunity for his team and his community.

Travis was a car salesman for the 14 years prior to opening Blue Light Integrated Services. He recalled the salesman experience fondly, but remarked that the hours kept him from his family for too long at times. The rewards were good, but there weren’t many opportunities for long term development. Travis knew he wanted to be his own boss someday. He wanted to do something that would allow more time to spend with his family and provide unlimited potential for growth.

Blue Light Integrated Services, a sales call center handling everything from Dish Network to security systems to home repair services, didn’t just spring up from nowhere. Travis worked hard to turn his dream into a reality. A turning point in this process came when he sought out a business coach at Business & Community Lenders (BCL) of Texas. Travis said that at first it was difficult to find time to go to the meetings and classes while working. “It was really tough to make all of those obligations work together, but I knew I had to go,” he said. To be a successful entrepreneur, Travis noted, you have to surround yourself with like-minded individuals. At a Biz Aid orientation class Travis met one such like-minded individual named Carlos Vasquez. Carlos is the Business Development Analyst for BCL of Texas. Carlos is there to help people like Travis transition from traditional employee to successful entrepreneur. He and Travis started speaking and found that there were a lot of ways that Carlos could help.

Travis was beginning to get frustrated with the process of starting a business. Finding financing and office space, hiring people, getting the appropriate legal documents: all of these prerequisites to getting a new business off the ground seemed hidden behind unreasonable expectations.

“The banks couldn’t understand that I was going to start this business and work full time there,” Travis said when asked about this aspect of the process. “I was concentrating all of my effort to make that work. I had a little seed funding from my family, but the banks wanted us to show that there was no chance of default by offering my family’s income as collateral. It was just unreasonable.”

Carlos was able to help Travis overcome most of his major obstacles. Carlos and Travis worked together to get funding and find an office space that worked. As of now, Blue Light Integrated Services is well above the sales goals that they set out in Travis’s business plan. The business operates out of a great office location that also houses their call center. In less than 6 months since beginning this venture, Mr. Benford has hired thirteen other staff members to keep up with all the demand coming through the 7703 N. Lamar Blvd office.

“We are doing great. Right now we are expanding our products and services. We sell commercial TVs now to meet small businesses needs all across the nation,” Travis said. “We have almost outgrown our current space! We are one of a very small group that Dish has approved to sell nationwide. Sometimes the hours are still very long, but I couldn’t be happier.”

For a free business counseling session from BCL of Texas call (512)912-9191.

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Listen to Joah Spearman Interview with Ericka Herod on EP

Posted by HH on August 5, 2012

Ericka Heard aka DJ I Wanna Be Her

On EQ, the new segment on Economic Perspectives, Joah Spearman interviews Ericka

Joah Spearman

Herod aka DJ I Wanna Be Her about pursuing your passions.  Ericka is a designer, DJ, and fasion maven in Austin, Texas.  Listen to Joah’s interview at 5:50 p.m. CT on Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM or live online at

Joah Spearman is the co-founder and executive producer of Style X, SXSW’s official style showcase

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