Winter's featured article

USPTO and Minority Business Development Agency employees at a webinar for small and medium-sized businesses.

Learning Valuable Tenets about Business Financial Literacy

Dennis Forbes, Office of Innovation Development

To remain competitive, business owners must be knowledgeable about a variety of topics ranging from protecting intellectual property to shipping and hiring vendors. There’s much to do and a lot to know. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, inventor, investor, or a seasoned business owner, you must keep up with new tools, trends, and resources that can provide the competitive advantage you need to compete effectively in the marketplace.

In December 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) co-hosted an instructive, informative, and inspiring webinar targeted at small and medium-sized business owners. Specifically, the webinar covered the benefits of being well-grounded in business financial literacy while operating a business or actively engaging in the startup of a business endeavor. Additionally, the webinar also touched on how the audience members can leverage federal government resources to gain better insight on how to protect one’s intellectual property, how to protect and secure one’s data and the laws and policies that guide investing. General resources pertaining to consumer education from a federal and local government perspective were also covered.

The panelists for the December 2017 webinar included Acting Deputy Chief Economist Amanda F. Myers from the USPTO; Attorney Lisa Schifferle, Division of Consumer and Business Education from the Federal Trade Commission; Attorney-Adviser OlaWale Oriola, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy from the Securities and Exchange Commission; and Program Manager Kate Mereand from the District of Columbia Office of Innovation & Equitable Development. The webinar’s moderator was Julius Maina, a policy and inclusive innovation specialist from MBDA.

This unique financial literacy webinar series continued on February 7 and focused on the utilization of smart technology to enhance business practices. 

The webinar touched on the benefits of using disruptive smart technology such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, educational webinars to scale up, grow or simply streamline one’s business practices and more. Additional topics included new approaches of acquiring business capital such as crowdfunding and how to protect your business from scams, phishing and identity theft while making this leap into the new digital age.

Panel speakers for the webinar included Chief Data Strategist Thomas A. Beach and Portfolio Manager from the USPTO; Principal Consultant Isioma Orewa from Calculated Market Inc.; Special Counsel Jennifer Riegel from the Office of Small Business Policy, Division of Corporation Finance, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and  CEO Maureen Murat of Crowdie Advisors, LLC.

The next webinar series will be titled Embracing Online Smart Technology to Grow Your Business.

To find out information about future webinars cohosted by the Office of Innovation Development and the Minority Business Development Agency, please check the USPTO events calendar.

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The USPTO gives you useful information and non-legal advice in the areas of patents and trademarks. The patent and trademark statutes and regulations should be consulted before attempting to apply for a patent or register a trademark. These laws and the application process can be complicated. If you have intellectual property that could be patented or registered as a trademark, the use of an attorney or agent who is qualified to represent you in the USPTO is advised.