Xero | January 15, 2022
Xero, the global small business platform, today announced the "Xero Beautiful Business" Contest, giving US small business owners the chance to win a $15,000 office refresh by celebrated stylist and interior designer Estee Stanley.To help kick off 2022, Xero will award one small business with an office makeover, providing them with a fresh workspace that can help motivate and inspire. "Our mission is to make lives better for small businesses and their communities," said Ben Richmond, US Country Manager at Xero. "It's been a challenging few years, and we're thrilled to team with Estee to help a small business jump start the year on a bright note."
There are two ways small business owners, or employees of a small business with 50 employees or less, can enter the online contest:
Instagram: Snap a photo or video of your office and post to your Instagram feed, along with the hashtag #XeroBeautifulBusiness, and a caption describing why your office deserves a makeover. Please make sure your profile is public so your entry can be tracked.
E-mail: If Instagram isn't your forte, you can email your submission to XeroBeautifulBusiness@xero.com. To qualify, you must include a photo or video of your office and a description of why your office deserves a makeover.
The winner will receive a 30-minute virtual design consultation with Estee Stanley, a design recommendation, and a $15,000 design budget courtesy of Xero to complete the space facelift.
"I'm thrilled to partner with Xero on this fun project to help transform a deserving company's office. I look forward to seeing all the creative entries and working with the winner to create their dream workspace that's not only functional, but stylish and inspirational."
Entries will be reviewed by a panel of Xero employees and judged based on the most compelling story, creativity of entry, and need. The contest is open until 5:00 pm MST on February 15, 2022, and the winner will be notified on or around February 25, 2022, by a direct or private message using the method of entry by which the entry is received by Xero. See official contest rules and regulations here.*
*No purchase necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Xero is a cloud-based accounting software platform for small businesses with over 3 million subscribers globally. Through Xero, small business owners and their advisors have access to real-time financial data anytime, anywhere and on any device. Xero offers an ecosystem of over 1,000 third-party apps and 300 plus connections to banks and other financial partners. In 2021, Xero was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), powered by the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment. In 2020 and 2021, Xero was included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index and in 2020, Xero was recognized by IDC MarketScape as a leader in its worldwide SaaS and cloud-enabled small business finance and accounting applications vendor assessment.
About Estee Stanley
For over 20 years as a celebrated fashion stylist, Estee Stanley created some of the most stylish looks in Hollywood and around the world, counting A-List fashion icons as her clients. In recent years, Estee has become as well known for her interiors, having designed homes for Patrick Dempsey, Chris Evans, Ellen Pompeo, Justin Timberlake and wife Jessica Biel, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Estee's work in the commercial space includes chef Ludo Lefebvre's Petit Trois restaurant and Estee's own family-friendly restaurant Au Fudge. In 2020, Estee founded The Eye, a first-of-its-kind agency that is disrupting the traditional business model within the interior design and architecture industries. Founded in 2020, The Eye recognizes the opportunity for rising voices of interior designers and architects to build strong brands around their expanding profiles and manage them as individual talent.
Lenovo | February 09, 2022
Today, Lenovo announced the ten Ontario-based recipients of its Evolve Small grant program aimed at providing relief to Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour-owned (BIPOC) small businesses navigating the challenges and impact of COVID-19. Issued in partnership with the Toronto Region Board of Trade (TRBOT), each small business will be awarded a CAD $10,000 grant. In addition, Lenovo is providing educational programming to all TRBOT member businesses, to help accelerate their digital adoption.
Throughout the two-month application window, TRBOT received a total of 203 small business applicants that met eligibility requirements. All applications were reviewed by a panel of experts from TRBOT and grant recipients were selected based on their ability to demonstrate their business’s equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives and their completion of one or more of TRBOT’s Recovery Activation Program (RAP) streams, an online support and education program designed to help businesses adapt to a more digital world during and after the pandemic.
TRBOT launched its Recovery Activation Program (RAP) to help Canadian small businesses adapt to the increasing need for digital adoption that was accelerated by COVID-19. By focusing on attracting customers, improving supply-chain efficiencies, managing workforces virtually, and streamlining costs, RAP provides a comprehensive toolkit to support the long-term success of Toronto’s small business community
“As the pandemic continues to impact us all, we recognize that small businesses, and especially minority-owned small businesses, have been hit the hardest and need support to survive and thrive. We hope that the funding provided through the grant program with the Toronto Region Board of Trade will provide relief to some of the businesses who have been impacted the most, and we look forward to seeing how these funds are used to innovate and build for the future.”
Colin McIsaac, Vice President and General Manager, Lenovo Canada
“The submissions we received show a remarkable range of engaged, passionate women and BIPOC entrepreneurs,” said Leigh Smout, President of the World Trade Centre Toronto. “Each of these grants, which Lenovo has made possible, will allow the recipients to grow their business and, in turn, their already-significant contributions to our regional economy and communities. We are proud to be associated with Lenovo and these amazing business leaders.”
Lenovo is a US$60 billion revenue Fortune Global 500 company serving customers in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that power (through devices and infrastructure) and empower (through solutions, services and software) millions of customers every day and together create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society for everyone, everywhere.
About Toronto Region Board of Trade
The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential chambers of commerce in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic growth agenda. Backed by more than 13,500 members, we pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region, and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships, and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.
OneConnect | January 10, 2022
OneConnect Financial Technology Co., Ltd. ("OneConnect"), a leading technology-as-a-service platform for financial institutions has today announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Chengfang Financial Technology Co. Ltd., (abbreviated as "Chengfang Financial Technology"), a financial technology company established by the People's Bank of China ("PBOC"). Working with shared principles of equal collaboration, joint development, honesty and trustworthiness, both parties will work together to address common pain points in the financial industry, deliver technological innovations, and enhance data processing and governance.
Under the agreement, OneConnect and Chengfang Financial Technology will harness cutting-edge technologies -- including AI, cloud computing and big data -- to explore new applications for data privacy technology in bank surveillance systems, promote the introduction and sharing of new data standards, and identify the financial data collaboration and circulation models needed by businesses to meet the requirements for secure cloud computing. In addition, the two parties will carry out research and development in areas such as secure computing technology, blockchain, and graph data; as well as nurture and cultivate new FinTech talents for the future.
"This partnership with Chengfang Financial Technology is a significant step forward for OneConnect. China's digital banking sector has continuously remained at the forefront of digital transformation, and technology is at the core of its integrity and innovation. As a FinTech B2B business, OneConnect upholds its responsibility to promote the development of the financial services sector. Together with Chengfang Financial Technology, we will continue to adhere to our ongoing mission: to develop and empower the industry with our unique combination of professional expertise and technology, in order to build a new way forward for digital banking."
Wangchun Ye, Chairman of OneConnect
A subsidiary of PBOC, Chengfang Financial Technology is entrusted with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the digital banking system for China's central bank. The company performs resource scheduling and operation management for PBOC's network and data centers, and operates its data transfer management platform to provide the entire system with services ranging from network communications and infrastructure to systems maintenance and data transfer. Its partnership with OneConnect promises to accelerate the digitalization of China's banking sector, and cements OneConnect's position as a leader in digital financial development.
As the world's leading technology-as-a-service platform for financial institutions, OneConnect harnesses cutting-edge technologies to improve efficiency and services for banks, government agencies and exchanges, while also reducing costs and minimizing risk. OneConnect helps providers accelerate digital transformation across four key pillars: the construction of a digital ecosystem, the cultivation of green finance, the integration of the Greater Bay Area, and the continued development of the FinTech sector.
In addition to its partnership with Chengfang Financial Technology, OneConnect has established strategic alliances with the China Securities Regulatory Commission's Technology Supervisory Bureau, Insurance Asset Management Association of China, and China Insurance Asset Registration and Trading System Co., Ltd. The company has also successfully implemented major FinTech projects around the world, including the Hong Kong Stock Exchange's FINI IPO settlement platform, Singapore Stock Exchange's ESG platform, a corporate financing platform for small to medium-sized enterprises in the Guangdong province, Hong Kong's trade finance linkage platform, Guangxi Province's cross-border digital finance platform, the Hainan Provincial Financial Supervisory Bureau's smart integrated financial services platform, and more.
OneConnect has also been aggressively exploring and leading the development of privacy computing in recent years, leveraging its advantages in privacy computing technology and cooperation practices. The company has won China Merchants Bank's bid for the "Privacy Computing Platform Interoperability" project, and the two companies will begin working together closely to build China's first multi-party cross-heterogeneous privacy computing platform. The project will be applied to financial scenarios such as financial risk control, anti-fraud, and blacklist query. By collaborating on this platform, both parties will jointly activate the full potential of big data and boost customer business value on the basis of meeting regulatory data privacy protection regulations.
Looking ahead, OneConnect plans to continue exploring new partnerships with domestic and foreign organizations, government agencies and financial exchanges; strengthen its technological innovation and IP protection; and improve its R&D capabilities in technology in order to accelerate the digitalization of the global financial services sector.
LegalShield | February 23, 2022
The entrepreneurial spirit is stronger than it has been in decades as more people have decided to create their own business during the pandemic. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021, surpassing the 2020 record of 4.4 million. At the same time, small business formation requires a significant amount of legal paperwork which can be difficult to navigate alone. Those seeking to start a small business can greatly benefit from a service that’s affordable and provides personal legal support to help to manage every step of the process.
To provide a solution, LegalShield, the leading provider of membership-based legal services and identity theft protection plans, has enhanced its Launch by LegalShield service to simplify the business formation process. From launch phase to growth phase and beyond, professional lawyers seamlessly support and assist aspiring entrepreneurs with all their legal needs.
“Starting a business can be stressful and complicated, especially if you’re doing it alone or relying on a DIY solution. LegalShield supports founders every step of the way with a dedicated law firm as they form their business. Let us take care of all the legal details in launching your business, and then support you with a personal and business legal plan for 90 days so you can focus on making your dreams become a reality.”
Jeff Bell, CEO of PPLSI
Launch by LegalShield’s network of provider lawyers and law firms acts as a concierge service and brings value and support to critical business steps including:
Entity formation to review and complete the paperwork needed to successfully form an LLC or corporation including protecting personal assets, opening bank accounts, completing contracts, hiring employees, and securing business licenses and permits. Additionally, to understand how the business will be taxed and advise of any legal liabilities that could result in financial ramifications.
Business name check to ensure the chosen business name is legally available and doesn’t infringe on other business registrations.
Business startup consultation to discuss business goals and form the LLC.
Tax ID/Employer Identification Number (EIN) that allows the IRS to recognize the business for tax reporting. An EIN enables access to open bank accounts and apply for credit under the business’ name.
Worry-free filing through the designated lawyer who will prepare, review, approve, and submit all necessary paperwork to form the LLC.
Registered agent services are available for purchase to those who need to focus on growing the business and need a trusted source to act as the Registered Agent for the business.
A trailblazer in the democratization of affordable access to legal advice, counsel, protection, and representation, LegalShield is the world's largest platform for legal, identity, and reputation management services protecting individuals and businesses across North America. Founded in 1972, LegalShield, and its privacy management company, IDShield, has provided individuals, families, businesses, and employers with tools and services needed to affordably live a just and secure life. Through technology and innovation, LegalShield is disrupting the traditional legal system and transforming how and where people receive legal guidance and services, with access to thousands of qualified, trusted attorneys and law firms.
A champion of equal access to justice and security, PPLSI has provided individuals, families, businesses, and employers with the tools and services needed to live a just and secure life for 50 years. Under PPLSI, our consumer brand, LegalShield, is disrupting the legal services industry by giving everyone the resources and tools to affordably find their justice. We are transforming the traditional way of receiving legal guidance and services and providing qualified, trusted attorneys and law firms in the palm of your hands. Our security brand, IDShield, specializes in privacy and reputation management and protects your online data and information.