The First NFT Billionaires, Daymond John’s Last Mission, and More for Small Business Owners

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NOTon-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are sweeping the world. Used to track ownership of unique digital assets like music and art, many entrepreneurs have taken advantage of it. Two even became billionaires.

Meet Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, the co-founders of New York-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% discount on 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 around $2.2 billion each.

Kiat Lim, the son of Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, has also been swept up in the NFT madness. Lim has teamed up with Elroy Cheo, a scion of the family that owns edible oil company 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.

Spotlight on History

CEO of FUBU and shark tank TV personality Daymond John has been a salesman throughout his career. His core product, his brand, is inspiration, and he’s on a mission to channel his efforts to support black entrepreneurship.

Key quote: “I take a good part of my day to pray, and I say an extra prayer when I go on stage. I have to work my ass off to inspire people. —Daymond John, CEO, FUBU

Forbes Must-Reads

The past two years have been tough for many, but especially for small business owners struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. According to a Capital One Business survey, some 42% of small business owners have recently experienced burnout. The recent omicron surge, along with rising inflation, the Great Resignation, and poor work-life balance, have left many people exhausted. Still, 63% of small business owners expect business conditions in their sector to improve in 2022.

Small business loan approval rates are slowly rising, writes Forbes Contributor Rohit Arora. Small business loan approval percentages at large banks rose from 14.2% in November to 14.3% in December, while over the same period small bank approvals rose 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 Main Street has faced during the pandemic have made clear the importance of finding new routes to capital. Small business banking platform Novo recently raised $90 million in funding to help small businesses manage their cash flow by giving them access to funds faster than before. Here are more small business tech news you should know about.

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

Imagine running a business while relaxing on a lounge chair in the Caribbean or exploring the cobblestone streets of Rome with an ice cream. Becoming an independent contractor or digital nomad gives a person the freedom to work anytime and anywhere. Here, 10 entrepreneurs share their advice on running a freelance business.

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