Man Crush Monday: Afterburner CEO Jim Murphy

It's Man Crush Monday on This week, our spotlight is on Jim Murphy, Founder and CEO of Afterburner, an International consulting firm with offices in the United States and  Australia. Murphy launched Afterburner, Inc. in 1996, bringing his dreams of running a successful small business to life. As a former F-15 Instructor Pilot for the United States Airforce, Jim Murphy is an inspiring role model for veterans returning to the business world.

Based in Atlanta, GA, Afterburner is now one of Forbes' top 25 Best Small Companies and generates around $8.5 million in revenue every year. The company is run by former US military that served in elite combat units, such as Navy SEALs and Green Berets, and specializes in "teaching clients how to define and execute a business strategy with a military-inspired approach to teamwork" (Forbes). Afterburner offers a variety of services such as consulting and workshops, training and team building, and inspirational keynote programs. 

Regardless of the extensive size of clientele, events and programs, Afterburner is a small business created and owned by a multi-talented veteran who hatched an idea and carried it through to the end. We congratulate you, Jim Murphy, and wish you 20 more years of immense success.

Transitions: A Field Guide for Military Professionals and Veterans Seeking Leadership Positions in the Business World

Transitions: A Field Guide for Military Professionals and Veterans Seeking Leadership Positions in the Business World

Are you or someone you know a veteran interested in starting a small business? Browse the grant listings on to discover funding opportunities that will help you achieve your goals!  

Grants for Veterans

In-Kind Services to Greater New Orleans, Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurs for Business Development

In-kind business development services to Greater New Orleans, Louisiana individual entrepreneurs who have served (or are currently serving) in the USA armed forces. 

Deadline: Ongoing 

Intensive Business Course and Mentoring Program for USA Family Members of Military Veterans

An intensive business course opportunity is available to USA family members of post-911 military veterans with disabilities.

Deadline: Ongoing

Grants for Small Business 

Grants to Corporations, Business Organizations, and Agencies for the Development of Wind Energy Projects

Grants to Massachusetts business organizations, corporations, limited liability companies, and federal, state, and local agencies for the development of wind energy projects. Funding is intended to promote the State's goals of developing a robust economy and clean environment. 

Deadline: Ongoing

Grants to New York City Businesses for Employee Training Programs

Grants starting at $10,000 to New York City businesses to provide employees with training programs. Interested businesses must submit a pre-application prior to submitting a full application.

Deadline: 12/15/17

New grants for veterans and small business are posted every day on 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for small business news, grant announcements and features!

About the Author: Staff Writer for


Make the Most of Small Business Week

Happy Small Business Week, America! MWBEzone applauds the hard work and courageous accomplishments of America's small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups. This week, as proclaimed by the president of the United States in 1963, we recognize the critical contributions of small businesses across America. Small Business Week also creates valuable opportunities for networking promotions and partnerships among entrepreneurs. 

Small Business Week honors and acknowledge the positive impact of small businesses and entrepreneurs from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Events across the nation will focus on increasing awareness of the positive impact small businesses have on both local communities and the national economy. 

The 51st annual National Small Business Week swings into gear with national events planned in Washington, D.C, New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas and Fresno, California. Events throughout the week will be live-streamed on SBA's website at

American citizens owe a great deal of gratitude to small business. Over 50% of Americans either own or work for a small business. Small businesses are responsible for the creation of about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. The SBA reports that 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales, and produce 16 times more patents per employee than large firms. 

"Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness."  -SBA

If you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner, take advantage of the many opportunities for growth Small Business Week brings!

Leverage Local Media

"Local media outlets are likely to publish roundups, schedules, and calendars for the events happening around you, so make use of them! If you’re running a sale or promotion, or hosting an event, see if you can get your business added to their lists." –ThriveHive

Reach Out to Micro-influencers.

"Your community isn’t just limited to your geographical area. It can also refer to your digital spheres as well, such as smaller social media groups that are specific to your niche. Within these niches are bloggers and micro-influencers who have a strong, highly specific, and loyal following who are trusted among your target audience. See if they’d be willing to include you in one of their blog or social media posts, to write a guest post on your blog, or to let you contribute a post to their blog." -ThriveHive

Update Your Listings

"The last thing you want is a person learning about a promotion you’re running, but being unable to locate your business or get the information they need for making a purchase."-ThriveHive

Make sure ALL of your listings are up to date. This includes your Facebook Page, Google listing, Website and all social media platforms. 

Run Small Business Week Promotions 

If you operate a small business, this week is an opportune time to launch a promotion. Reward your return customers with loyalty incentives or offer a seasonal discount in celebration of the week's focus. Take advantage of the national spotlight shining on small businesses! 

Partner Up 

Small Business Week is the best possible time to promote your small business, form partnerships and participate in events that will build your brand value. 

Are you a female entrepreneur? Use this time to connect with other women in small business, building your professional networks through cross promotion. 

Spark & Hustle :  Launch and Grow Your Small Business Now

Participate in Local Small Business Week Events 

The SBA dedicates this week to the efforts and accomplishments of small businesses with awards to entrepreneurs and small businesses, events, speaking engagements and seminars. Be proactive and use this opportunity to further the reach of your small business, build brand recognition and discover the opportunities for growth that are available to you.  

"Attend webinars and join in on social media conversations. To learn about SBA events of interest to you, visit, or find your regional SBA office at"


Browse MWBEzone for small business grants, grants for women and workforce grants.

Grants to New York City Businesses for Employee Training Programs

Grants starting at $10,000 to New York City businesses to provide employees with training programs. Interested businesses must submit a pre-application prior to submitting a full application. Businesses will identify the training needs for staff members.

Deadline: 12/15/17

Grants to USA and Canada Women Entrepreneurs to Start a Business or Grow an Existing Business

Conf. Date: 3/14/18

Deadline: Ongoing – One grant is awarded each month

Grants to USA Nonprofits for Economic Literacy Projects for Youth and the General Public

Grants starting at $3,500 to USA nonprofit organizations for projects that will raise national awareness of the need for economic education. 

Deadline: 02/15/18




Follow MWBEzone on FacebookMWBEzone on Twitter and MWBEzone on LinkedIn for more Small Business Week news!



About the Author: Staff Writer


What I Really Want for My Birthday

With my birthday but a day away, I realize and lament that I have been too busy for dating websites, too caught up redesigning (for a sneak peek go to, to have even the possibility of a date. The majority of my male interaction is a daily Skype share screen web development session from 3 a.m.. to noon, marking up changes with my stylus pen. 

If you are shaking your head as you read this, you probably understand all too well. 

So, with no date for my birthday and nothing at all on the horizon, I started to wonder…

Am I all alone or are other women CEOs experiencing the same? I am the founder & CEO of and other grants and crowdfunding website companies. I work nonstop, to the point of being dangerously close to a mandatory work-a-holic workshop.  

Recently, my daughter Lani linked me up with a business consultant (to figure out how to work less) who basically told me I am doing the impossible – but really it's not just me, I have a great staff.

Now my staff, they have lives – outside of the office. Maybe I live vicariously. It appears that I need the perfect match to virtually drop in my lap! 

I find dating sites to be like those initial interviews searching for my next sales, writer or social media specialist. 

The man I would enjoy spending what little time of my day I have with, probably wouldn't have the time to play on them, either. 

Since LinkedIn and Facebook are my current spaces (publishing articles about grants, grant writers or crowdfunding daily for nonprofits or small businesses),

I am "BIGLY" wondering if a late 50s to early 60s, widowed or divorced, available and eligible, educated, smart, healthy, somewhat observant Jewish man, psychologically and financially sound – who lives or is able to relocate to south Florida, would reach out to connect with me… and then drop directly into my inbox? 

Could it really work that way? Maybe LinkedIn is the dating website for overworked CEOs.

You tell me.

Check out my FB photos and if you're so inclined, send a quick Facebook poke!

My daughter asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told her I want to go to the beach. It's about five minutes away and getting there for just one hour in my work day would be heaven. 

BUT- What I truly want and what I do not have the time or energy to find is that special person who respects my work and has their own, and at the time of day when I finally call it a day – that there be someone of value to eat dinner with, see a movie or just decompress from all the daily decisions. 

So LinkedIn followers and Facebook friends, if you know someone of like mind, let me know.  

Libby Hikind

CEO and Founder

About the Author: Libby Hikind is the Founder & CEO of,,, and You can reach Libby through

Is there a Recipe for Success in Business Crowdfunding?

Many times, there are grants available to support inventive endeavors of small business. We list hundreds of grants on and encourage you to research opportunities in funding within our grant listings. What happens if you have a million dollar idea, something groundbreaking that you're certain would be embraced and simply haven't yet found a qualifying grant to support the endeavor? Crowdfunding

The highest income producing business crowdfunding campaigns have been in tech, travel, and entertainment industries. Can you guess what those were and why? Use these crowdfunding lessons below to make to make your business campaign a success. Be sure to follow our Uhelpfund crowdfunding campaigns on Twitter.

Tech Industry: The Smart Watch

In first place is obviously the Pebble Smartwatch, crowdfunding $10,266,845, which pre-ordered more than a quarter million watches and now graces the shelves of Best Buy and other retailers. –Crowdfund Insider

The Smart Watch, originally called the Pebble, was introduced as a crowdfunding campaign and operated on one of the most universal measurements of life itself, time. Not only did it measure time, it unified time, your phone, and your email in one place that the eye is automatically drawn. The invention has certainly taken off, but not in the way that many investors thought that it might –  simply because, we are not all watch people. However, a large percentage of individuals cannot live without their watches. Similarly, large populations cannot live without access to their phones. Combine those two technologies and there is a high percentage that you will find investors for your fund.

Lesson 1: Your crowdfunding idea, if it is an invention, must be both natural to human behaviors and innovative, combining technologies that are not completely foreign.

Travel Industry: FaceCradle Neck Pillow

FaceCradleFaceCradle is the brainchild of Australian entrepreneurs David Scrimshaw and Roz Ruwhiu, who have both experienced first hand the difficulty of sleeping on an airplane. With the FaceCradle, the user has five different options for positioning his or her head. This gives the FaceCradle versatility that doesn’t exist with any other travel pillow on the market.

19,611 backers pledged AU $1,479,231 to help bring this project to life.-Huffington Post

Many generations find the neck pillow to be, quite frankly, a bizarre accessory to the millennial traveler. However, it has made the perils of coach class travel much less taxing. This pillow allows the head to rest on either side of the pillow, alleviating neck strain that results from prolonged stretching on one side or the other. Many could not think of traveling without it. The FaceCradle is a new development in the world of neck pillows, bringing "smart" technology and versatility that doesn’t exist with any other travel pillow on the market. With the FaceCradle, the user has five different options for positioning his or her head: dozing, snoozing, table nap, deep sleep side and deep sleep side. 

Lesson 2: Innovative comfort will inevitably succeed. Adding smart technology to a revolutionary design is a winning combination.

Entertainment Industry: Mystery Science Theater 3000

The original $2 million campaign goal would fund three full-length episodes, and $5.5 million would fund a season of 12 episodes. By the end of the funding round, the project secured $5,764,229 from 48,270 backers. –Crowdfund Insider

Mystery Science Theater 3000, otherwise known as MST3K, premiered on local TV in Minneapolis in 1988. Created by writer and comedian Joel Hodgson, the beloved Emmy-nominated cult series starred Hodgson as a janitor that was trapped on the Satellite of Love by mad scientists who spends his time making fun of terrible movies with a bunch of wisecracking robots. The rebooted series will be comprised of 14 new episodes including a holiday special and will star comedian and Nerdist Podcast co-host Jonah Ray, genre favorite Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire SlayerSupernatural) and comedian Patton Oswalt. Some perks for campaign donors included personalized voicemail greetings from favorite characters, invitations to the premieres in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, dinner with the cast and a chance to appear in an episode. 

Lesson 3: Never underestimate the power of nostalgia. A fresh spin on a retired classic can yield incredible results.

Have you designed a convenient, yet innovative invention?

Do you have a great idea for a compact size travel companion or a fun twist on traditional entertainment? 

Launch a crowdfunding campaign on today!

Have you successfully used a crowdfunding campaign to bring your invention to life?

Has crowdfunding empowered you to support the launch of a small business?

Share your story with us, comment below!

About the Author: Martha Greenlee is a crowdfunding mentor at with a degree in cultural anthropology.


Grants Empowering Women

Are you a female entrepreneur or a woman who runs a small business? According to The Women’s Economic Opportunities Index: Rankings by region, the country of Sweeden ranked highest (in specific attributes of the environment) for women employees and entrepreneurs in 113 economies. and are proud to be playing an active role in women empowerment.

Another key factor identified on the study is that:

Many women face greater barriers than men in setting up businesses. Women’s enterprises are often particularly small and concentrated in the retail or services sectors. This calls for training programs in management to provide the skills needed to run a successful business.

We list grants dedicated to securing a future of opportunity and success for women in small business. Our grants for women also support the female leaders who are paying it forward by making a positive impact with other women or girls in their communities. Grants for women also fund education and training programs that provide girls with the knowledge, social skills and confidence necessary to grow as empowered business leaders.

Award to an Arkansas Woman for Her Positive Impact on Girls and Women in Society

Deadline: 4/7/2017

Grants to Kentucky Individuals and Groups to Advance the Workforce Potential of Women

Deadline: 4/30/17

Search grants for women in other states here. supports women empowerment Recognition is broadening for women in business. Startups with female leaders are proving to be more succesful than those run by men only.

First Round Capital recently reported 63 percent better performance by its companies with women leaders than those with all-male leadership teams. – has new grants for women posted each week. You can also discover grants for women on, each supporting a variety of initiatives for women empowerment. Don’t miss out on available opportunities that have the power to help you achieve your goals, grow your business or advance positive influences on girls and young women in your community.

Consider launching a crowdfunding campaign if you have a specific mission that will benefit women in business, unite women for a positive cause or fund a dream start-up company that caters to future female leaders. Inform your friends, family, online networks and website visitors of your goal to gain support and exposure. As those closest to you show their support, the confidence will permeate throughout your extended network and their connections. Crowdfunding is a space that women are experiencing particularly great success in.

We are seeing massive growth of crowdfunding venues, including women-focused ones. According to CircleUp, a private equity platform for consumer businesses, female found­ers are nine times more successful in crowdfunding than in raising capital with traditional banks, and five times more successful than with Venture Capitolists.

Raise Money on Uhelpfund for Nonprofits, Female Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses and Start-ups throughout the USA, Canada, and International Communities.

About the Author: Staff Writer for MWBEzone and Affiliate Sites


Small Screen, Big Impact







If you are a small business with a blog, you should consider the needs of smartphone users. This is because they approach reading on the internet differently than large-screen users. For grants for improving your internet presence, check out under the technology category. You can also crowdfund for your needs on

Smartphone users tend to focus on the center of the screen while large-screen users begin reading from the top left. This may seem odd but I’m sure we’ve caught ourselves doing this on our smartphones.

There are a few things you could practice to engage a smartphone using audience.

1. Create short titles

A long title for a blog entry could take up the entire screen. This is off-putting. You want a title that is both attention-grabbing and easy to comprehend.

2. Short paragraph headers

This could make it easier for a reader to sift through your writing for information most relevant to them. Think of them as cliff notes for your article. They should summarize the point of each paragraph in a very succinct manner.

3. Put your best foot forward

Start your blog entry with your strongest point. This would make it more likely for the reader to continue with your story. Because your readers are on their phone, this usually means they are out of their house or away from their office. So, they want to get to the best parts of your writing early on.

4. Write in brief paragraphs

What appears to be a short paragraph of 5 sentences on a large screen may end up looking like a barrage of words on a smartphone. So, keep your paragraphs short. No more than 3-4 concise sentences.

5. Stay focused

Don’t fill your article with fluff. Remember, your readers are on-the-go. So, they just need the essentials. Fluff maybe an irrelevant quote or digressions.

Now you know how to write for an audience that reads on smartphones. A strong blog can go a long way for SEO. If you want to make improvements upon your internet presence, look at grants for technology on

About the Author: Sabeen is Master in Public Health. She currently writes for and its affiliated websites.


Starting a Business in the New Year?







Happy New Year, everyone! Was your New Year’s resolution to improve or start a new business and look for funding? MWBEzone suggests you write a comprehensive business plan and provides you with some pre-writing tips below. Follow these 3 guidelines before beginning your business plan. can also help you develop your business plan. Keep in mind that a business plan is a living document. You will want it in a format that you can modify and tweak as your business goals change.

1. Be verbal.

Talk to people about what you want to accomplish. This is important because it helps you articulate your ideas. Try to get it down to 30 seconds. You’ll find yourself refining your ideas and deciding what stays and what goes. Another good thing about talking to people is feedback. Were they excited about the idea? Did they seem genuinely interested? In addition, talking allows you to network! Now is a great time to find like-minded entrepreneurs, advisors, investors, etc. who will be pivotal as you move forward. Uhelpfund, a crowdfunding website that offers great customer service may be just the right place to start a campaign that gives the people you know an opportunity to help you with start-up funds.

2. Take a step back.

Don’t rush! Don’t expect to quit your job, buy a storefront or domain name and bring in business all in one day. Only quit when you’re comfortable and put thought into where you will be located or what your business name will be. Remember to research this and possibly even consult on it. Take one thing at a time.

3. Compile all necessary paperwork.

Make sure your partners and co-founders are all on the same page about how you want to run the business. Get a lawyer and prepare all legal work. Even if you are going into business alone, you want to set up what is called a separate legal business entity. This is a safeguard should there be disagreements between yourself and a customer. And when shopping for a lawyer, we suggest to get a lawyer who specializes in start-ups. This is because they may defer their fees to give you time to launch your business.

Now that you know 3 things to do BEFORE finalizing your business plan, you can work on making your new year’s resolution to start a business come true! And while you approach this undertaking, look for funding at MWBEzone. Not every business starts with a loan.

Buzz Around Your Business

As a small business owner, you want to create hype and excitement around your product(s), service(s) or store front. has grants for small business and technology to help your business grow.

So, if you ever find a news-story related to your business, try to piggy-back on it. If the latest news is Elmo is a hot seller this Holiday Season and you carry Elmo dolls, publicize it!

There are three things you should do to generate buzz around your business: specify opportunities, take to the internet and reach out to the press.

1. Specify Opportunities

First, to specify opportunities, scour alert systems like Google alerts, Talkwalker or Mention for keywords related to your business, products or services. This way, you’ll be alerted when someone publishes news that relates to you.

Then, take the opportunity to acquaint yourself with the media that breaks these news stories. Learn about the TV stations, newspapers, magazines, or periodicals that post stories most in line with what you do. Reach out to specific writers, reporters or personalities via Twitter and comment on their stories. Offline, attend media events like conferences or forums.

2. Take to the Internet

You’ve already acquainted yourself with Twitter to reach out to writers, reporters and personalities, so take the time now to make an internet presence for yourself. Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtags. If you don’t know what hashtags are, they are phrases that come after the # sign and are used on social media as indexes. Anyone using the same hashtag will show up on a unique indexed page for that hashtag. For instance, if you post about carrying the Elmo doll then include the hashtag #Elmo in your post!

Then, blog about your business, products or services. Talk about problems you face as a small business owner, and possible solutions you've invented. Or, talk about how a certain product brought a challenge to you. Talk about what relates to you and your work. Make sure you post links to your articles on your Twitter and other social media accounts – with hashtags!

3. Reach out to the Press

In step 1, you introduced yourself to the media. You familiarized yourself with who writes about stories that relate to you and how to contact them. Now, it’s time to talk to them about writing about you. Per Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., the best way to get local media interested in you is to provide a local angle to a national story. Once again, Elmo as a seasonal hot seller closes the deal. You can provide a press release on a local story that is aligned with national news.

Consider reaching out to national media, itself, if you think your story can draw national attention. Perhaps you are selling Elmo dolls for less than anywhere in the nation, for a limited time only. Or maybe you’re donating them to a national nonprofit serving children. If you have a story worth national news, get out there and pitch it through press releases to national news carriers.

So, if you’re looking for funding to advance your business, go to and search for grants for small business or technology.  And remember to follow the 3 steps outlined above to generate excitement around your business, products, or services.