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Small Businesses - We need You.

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In her September 22nd Triple Pundit piece, Gerri Stengel makes a passionate case for the ability of small businesses to foster communities and social connections, arguing that by supporting local small businesses, we can prevent economic downturns and create jobs. Thriving small business not only help to build communities but they also help to solve problems - even global problems such as poverty and social inequality. For the InVenture team, we're focused on allowing small businesses around the world to grow and succeed by providing working capital, financial tracking tools, and supportive and customized guidance to high-potential micro-entrepreneurs. And while are currently working in India, Mexico and West Africa, we are now finding new ways to expand that scope to the same Santa Monica community where we live and work.

According to the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Top 10 Reasons to Love Small Businesses , US small businesses make up more than 50% of our GDP. The value of small businesses to our communities is a no-brainer and has been emphasized in both public policy and private corporate action. Bobby Shriver, a member of Santa Monica's city council, maintains that small businesses are crucial to helping communities survive: "Whether here in Santa Monica or abroad - small business is the life blood of a thriving local economy."

The idea is simple - it goes back to human connections and thriving communities. If we do this correctly, anyone can have a hand in really changing the course of our own local economies. Good capital can grow businesses, and good businesses can grow communities. Business owners can be both the economic and ideological center of any solution, and by bringing individuals together we can be agents of our own lasting change.

Ground-up solutions are possible and necessary, especially when socially responsible businesses are leading the effort. For example, Tony, the owner of One Life Natural Foods on Main Street in Santa Monica has been running his family business for the past 26 years and is now struggling. In addition to creating jobs, he sees his business as not just a profit-generating engine but he really sees it as a way to provide a healthy place for residents of the community to visit and buy their produce.

Seeing this universal need for a vibrant small business sector InVenture has launched its Fostering Social Economies campaign to bringing together local Santa Monica based businesses like Tony's and the micro-businesses on our site. By providing exclusive discounts to InVestors who visit one of the participating local businesses, we're creating a cascade of good deeds - helping business owners like Ms. Selvi in India while also helping Tony. Its our way of supporting small business and building communities no matter where in the world we are.

For more on the campaign - visit: http://bit.ly/fosteringSM