Information for the Innovative, Enterprising and Brave 
May 2012

Spotlight on Crowdfunding

Last month, the president signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups bill into law. The JOBS Act will give small businesses more access to capital by allowing your online fans, friends and followers to become stockholders in your company. The way online crowdfunding currently works, you have to give gifts or "rewards" to donors. The JOBS Act will allow you to offer stock in your business in exchange for investment. Read more.

People You Should Know 

This month: Debi Roder

Looking for that connection to help you advance your business, or just answer that pressing question? Start with Entrepreneurship Manager Debi Roder from the Loudoun Virginia Department of Economic Development. We put Debi on the hot seat this month with these questions:


Most importantly, how can you help Loudoun's entrepreneurs?

"Entrepreneurs should know I'm here as their advocate. Whether they need high-level business information, help with business locations, or strategic introductions, they can contact me."


What's your background?

"I've helped entrepreneurs from several angles. At NASA's Washington, D.C. office I worked to help small businesses earn contracts at the Office of Small Business Programs. At the Loudoun Small Business Development Center, I counseled clients one-on-one on issues like business plans and licenses. Now I combine all that experience at Loudoun Economic Development."


What's your top advice for entrepreneurs?

"Check on zoning requirements before you sign a lease. Use a broker to assist you with site negotiation -- their services are often free for tenants. Above all make sure you do a basic business plan and break-even analysis before signing anything. The worst thing you can do is commit to a lease without understanding how much it will take to cover the rent."

Here to Help You

Here's a short list of key Loudoun resources for your business:

  • Loudoun Small Business Development Center: Business assistance by business professionals - the place to go for start-your-business seminars and training workshops, free counseling by business volunteers, and access to online resources.
  • Mason Enterprise Center: A full-service business incubator offering private offices with shared services, technology entrepreneurship programs, and specialized counseling.
  • Loudoun Virginia Department of Economic Development: Business development staff are on hand to guide you through county processes and help you make the right connections.

Read It and Reap

Read "Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days" and meet the author this month. On May 23, the coauthor of the book will be live and in person at a Loudoun Small Business Week event to answer questions about marketing your business. "Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days" promises to help you expand your client base and boost profits. The book gives a simple, clear overview of marketing strategies and tactics, from advertising to trade shows. You can check it out for free from the Loudoun County Public Library.


You're invited to the Exporter Forum on Friday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Loudoun County Public School Administration Building in Ashburn. Learn how to find new markets and customers through foreign sales. Free; registration required.


Small Business Week: Did you know that 87 percent of Loudoun businesses have fewer than 20 employees? The Loudoun Virginia Department of Economic Development and our partners are celebrating small businesses May 20-26. Please join us at the following events designed to help your business grow.

Be a Winner

Be the 5th reader to correctly answer this question and we will send you a genuine leather business card holder. Only one guess per reader; email your answer to [email protected]Here goes:


Loudoun offers competitive lease rates in a diverse array of commercial buildings. What is the current range of lease rates for commercial office space? [Hint, you can find the answer on our website.]
Gut-Check From a Guru
"The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It's as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer." -- Nolan Bushnell


Pay It Forward

This monthly email newsletter is published by the Loudoun Virginia Department of Economic Development to inform and connect Loudoun's thriving entrepreneurial community. As a leader with influence, please help our community by forwarding this newsletter to your business colleagues. Thanks!

Quick Links





Debi Roder   
Loudoun Virginia
Economic Development Entrepreneurship
Manager Debi Roder

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