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The First NFT Billionaires, Daymond John’s Latest Mission And More For Small Business Owners

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!

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are sweeping the globe. Used to track ownership of unique digital assets like music and art, many entrepreneurs have profited off them. Two have even become billionaires.

Meet Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, the cofounders of New York City-based blockchain startup OpenSea and the world’s first NFT billionaires. Users of their peer-to-peer platform can create, buy and sell NFTs, while OpenSea takes a 2.5% cut of each sale. A recent funding round values the company at $13.3 billion—up from $1.5 billion just six months ago. Forbes estimates that the founders, who both have an 18.5% stake in the company, are worth about $2.2 billion a piece.

Kiat Lim, the son of Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, has also gotten swept up in the NFT mania. Lim teamed up with Elroy Cheo—a scion of the family that owns edible oils firm Mewah International—to launch a private digital community called ARC. The app, which counts Asian entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, Web3 developers, cryptocurrency experts and social influencers among its members, uses NFTs to authenticate memberships.

What will be the next big thing in the NFT world? Only time will tell, but the possibilities are wide open for startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Story Spotlight

FUBU CEO and Shark Tank TV personality Daymond John has been a seller throughout his career. His main product, his brand, is inspiration, and he’s on a mission to channel its efforts to support Black entrepreneurship.

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Key quote: “I take a good portion of my day to pray, and I say an extra prayer when I go onstage. I’ve got to bust my ass to inspire people.” — Daymond John, CEO, FUBU

Must-Reads Across Forbes

The past two years have been difficult for many, but especially for small business owners struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. Some 42% of small business owners have recently experienced burnout, according to a Capital One Business survey. The recent omicron surge, as well as rising inflation, the Great Resignation and poor work-life balance, have left many exhausted. Even so, 63% of small business owners expect business conditions in their industry to improve in 2022.

Small business loan approval rates are climbing at a slow pace, writes Forbes Contributor Rohit Arora. Small business loan approval percentages at big banks rose from 14.2% in November to 14.3% in December, while during the same period small banks’ approvals increased from 19.9% to 20.1%, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index. Loan approval rates remain below pre-Covid approval levels just two years ago.

The funding challenges that Main Street faced during the pandemic have made clear the importance of finding new paths to capital. Small business banking platform Novo recently raised $90 million in funding to help small businesses with their cash flow by allowing them to access funds faster than before. Here’s more small business tech news you should know.

Experts predict that by 2025, cybercrime will cost the world more than $10.5 trillion annually, putting entrepreneurs and business owners at risk. Protect your business by using two-factor authentication and training staff on cybersecurity threats. To mark Data Privacy Day on January 28, here are some security practices to adopt in 2022 to bolster your online security.

Imagine running a business while relaxing in a beach chair in the Caribbean or while exploring the cobblestone streets of Rome with gelato. Becoming a location independent entrepreneur or digital nomad allows a person the freedom to work whenever and wherever. Here, 10 entrepreneurs share their advice on running a location independent business.


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