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TheStreet Open House

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Oct. 15

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Small-business owners consider themselves cybersecure. About 77% of respondents in a survey deemed their small businesses safe from cyber threats such as hackers, viruses, malware or a cybersecurity breach, yet 83% say they have no formal security plan.

The findings are from a survey released Monday of 1,015 U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Symantec (SYMC).

The annual survey is being released in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a coordinated national effort focused on improving online safety and security for all Americans. The survey findings reveal some disparities, such as the need for establishing Internet security policies and practices, handling and responding to data breaches, and providing consistent IT/security management at their businesses. Although small businesses increasingly rely on the Internet for daily operations, they are not taking the necessary measures to keep their businesses safe and secure.

"We want U.S. small businesses to understand they cannot completely remain safe from cyber threats if they do not take the necessary precautions," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. "A data breach or hacking incident can really harm small businesses and lead to a lack of trust from consumers, partners and suppliers. Small businesses must make plans to protect their businesses from cyber threats and help employees stay safe online."

2. Global Entrepreneurship Week announces "GEW 50." As part of this year's Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation on Monday announced the " GEW 50" -- a list of the 50 most innovative new companies competing in the Startup Open, an annual competition that recognizes startups with high-growth potential.

The companies will now vie for the grand prize -- an all-expenses-paid trip to Rio de Janeiro to serve as an official delegate to one of the world's largest gatherings of startup champions, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in March 2013.

Selected out of nearly 400 applicants, the GEW 50 represent a range of industry sectors -- from cleantech and life sciences to agriculture and transportation -- and come from 17 countries. The 50 were judged on concept, growth projections and knowledge of their industry, a Kauffman release says.

"These new startups serve as models and inspirations to aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide who hope to unleash their ideas and start new companies," said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. "Young companies need encouragement and recognition at the earliest stages. They are emerging heroes who will eventually generate jobs and economic growth for their communities."

During one week each November, Global Entrepreneurship Week, which kicks off Nov. 12, features thousands of events and competitions around the world to inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. In four years, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to 125 countries -- empowering nearly 20 million people through 95,000 activities.

3. Google launches credit card for small businesses. U.S. and U.K. small businesses will soon be able to get a Google (GOOG) credit card, according to Mashable.

The search-engine giant began rolling out credit cards specifically for its AdWords tool to small businesses in the U.K. on Sunday and will offer credit cards in the U.S. later this month, the article says.

Google's credit card is based on a successful pilot program it launched earlier this year to make it easier for businesses to pay and track spending for their AdWords campaigns.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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