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Deborah Lee Fong Plays Lead Role as Part of the Urban World Film Festival Live Screenplay Readings



Veteran Actor/Dancer in Theater and on Television Brought Her Unique Talents to the Heart of New York for Special Performances at the 23rd Annual Festival

(New York, NY) — Renowned Actress and Dancer Deborah Lee Fong recently appeared as Agnes in the production of “Secret Santa” during the Live Screenplay Readings as part of this year’s Urban World Film Festival. The event was presented by BET in partnership with the Writers Guild of America East.

Known for her starring and supporting roles in “Footsteps” and “Footsteps 2” on PBS, the film “You and Your Decisions”, and countless national Theater productions, the energetic bilingual Panamanian American performer has been acting and dancing in theater/television for over 30 years. Versatile and engaging, she can seemingly play any character and also specializes in Salsa and pole dancing. Deborah was thrilled to be involved in this year’s festival as Agnes in “Secret Santa”.

The Urbanworld Film Festival, founded in 1997 by Stacy Spikes, is one of the largest internationally competitive festivals of its kind. Each year, they curate a slate of films representing the broadest lens of diversity across stories, characters, themes, and cultures. Urbanworld is a five-day festival, anchored in film, showcasing narrative and documentary features, short films, spotlight screenings and conversations, and live staged screenplay readings.

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Startup Accelerator and Incubators: Benefits and Drawbacks




pros and cons of startup accelerators

Launching a startup is no easy feat. It requires hard work, planning and resources which often leads founders and their team to look for external support. Whether you’re just developing an idea or looking for outside funding, an accelerator or incubator program may be the answer. 

While partnering with an accelerator or incubator program can be pivotal in pushing your startup to that “next level”, it’s important to keep in mind there are both benefits and drawbacks. Whether you decide to apply for a program will depend on what’s important to your startup, its unique needs and growth roadmap. Each accelerator program is unique in its offerings and timeline. Let’s outline the pros and cons below. 

Accelerator or Incubator Benefits:

  • Funding Opportunities: Funding can range from seed funding to angel investors or venture capitalists who assist with fundraising. Amounts range from anywhere from $10,000 to half a million dollars. 
  • Free Office Space: Typically looks like a co-working space with a conference room, which is important because it can limit recurring expenses and encourage collaboration with your team.
  • Mentorship: This aspect is crucial for a lot of founders, since every startup will face roadblocks or make mistakes. A network allows you to connect with other entrepreneurs and understand how they overcame hurdles.
  • Resources: Resources range from intellectual property to legal advice. There can also be discounted programs or products. 

Accelerator or Incubator Drawbacks:

  • Giving Up Equity: Many accelerator programs require that you give up some form of equity. When new investors join the table, you should consider how they will benefit or contribute to the startup over its lifetime. Consider the team equity, ability to raise future funding, or your return on investment after the program is over. 
  • Not Enough Time or Funding: It’s also important to note that accelerator programs often have limited timelines. These can range from three months to six or more months. Meaning, if you don’t have enough funding or time, you can leave the program with little progress or growth. 

Wherever you are in the growth stage, it’s helpful to weigh your options by checking out different programs. Check out an interactive table Embroker compiled over 160 accelerators and incubators around the world. Sort by factors such as location, mentorship, office space, or demo day to find the unique program for your startup. The program you ultimately choose should depend on where you need support and if the program is a natural fit with your team and goals.


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In this Interview, Marcus Parker talks about the Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Business and about his Emotional Healing Toolbox



Wouldn’t it be great if schools taught students how to control emotions better? Sadly, traditional schools fail to impart key life lessons to students. Marcus Parker is the Founder of MPositive and he is on a mission to fill this gap. In this interview, he shares emotions in general and how his ‘Emotional Healing Toolbox’ is helping people have better control over their emotions.

Marcus, Thank you for talking with us. Tell us more about your journey as an entrepreneur so far.

As an entrepreneur, my journey has been difficult, many more downs than ups. I didn’t know many entrepreneurs growing up so I had to learn a lot On the job. I started with a book in 2004 called “The Product”, which I would place on consignment at stores and promote it. From there I made motivational rap CDs, and just kept building my product base.

How important it is to have control over your emotions in business?

It is very important to have control over your emotions because in business there will always be problems. You can’t let every problem charge your emotions negatively. It is ok to feel low sometimes but what is more important is how quickly you overcome your emotions.

Running a business is not that easy and you have to deal with the ups and downs on a regular basis. How can business owners have better control over their emotional state during challenging times?

Business owners can make better emotional decisions by self-evaluating which triggers affect their emotions. Getting to the root of your triggers is paramount. More often than not, a thorough introspection will help you analyse the root cause of the issues affection your emotional balance.

Traditional teaching methodologies do not focus on key skills that help us live an emotionally fulfilled life. What is your opinion on the current state of affairs? How can we bring upon positive changes?

All our lives we were not taught emotional intelligence which allows us to understand ourselves and others. We have inbreed biases and triggers which control us to a certain extent.

If we look at ourselves in the mirror, we will understand that we are really driven by biases that may have been created in our lives through false narratives from the past.

Tell us more about your “Emotional Healing Toolbox”. How does it help individuals overcome emotional issues?

The emotional healing toolbox contains over 15 years of hard work in motivation and emotional intelligence. It contains ebooks, training classes, videos, motivational music, and lessons.

It is great for parents and teachers who are usually tasked with handling their own emotions on top of their families and emotions of their classes as well. I am a parent of 4 and I know how hard it is to take time for yourself when others constantly need you.

I think that we can bring a positive change if everyone started to look inside and fix themselves instead of pointing fingers and blaming others. I once read a quote that said” An unhealed person will take offense to everything others do. A healed person understands that the actions of others have nothing to do with them. ” Can’t remember who said that but I thought it was profound.

The toolbox can help individuals by teaching them the root of their triggers and biases and help them to begin the healing process. There is a lot of FREE info inside. For further value addition, there are in-app purchases as well.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has thrown unforeseen challenges for businesses. Being in a right emotional state is important more than ever. What suggestion would you give to business owners so that they can overcome this challenge better?

This pandemic is making emotional intelligence and healing more and more important. To overcome the stresses of day to day life we need to be able to get over so much that before the pandemic it was easier to ignore. Now we are seeing relationship problems, problems with parents communicating with their teens etc. We should all take this time to self-reflect and I believe that the Emotional Healing toolbox can help immensely.

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Great Ways to Reduce Staffing Industry Risk



Ways to Reduce Staffing Industry Risk

One thing stays constant in business and that is risk. This is especially true in the staffing and recruiting industry because of the number of problems the industry as a whole has to deal with. But what exactly are the options available to you to minimize the risk involved when working in the staffing and recruiting industry?

The Root Of Staffing Industry Risk

 Before we tackle the ways you can cover yourself and minimize the risk involved, we first have to take a look at the root of the problem. Staffing and recruiting industry risk stems from the fact that they offer a service where candidates are presented to clients and they are paid for the service. There are certainly times when the process goes smoothly, but more often than not, the staffing company will run into a problem called backdoor hiring.

Backdoor hires happen when a client hires a candidate without notifying the staffing company. This causes them to lose out on the fees and practically work for free.

What Can Be Done to Reduce Staffing Industry Risk?

There are a number of ways you can tackle the risk involved in the staffing industry and backdoor recruitment processes. We’ve explained them below to help you be able to make the right decisions to reduce the chance that you have to deal with this problem and be able to quickly recover in case you do have to tackle it head on.

Ensure That You Have a Signed Contract That Covers You Legally

There is nothing more important in the staffing industry than making sure that you have a contract. A contract is a legally binding document that ensures that you are protected. However, it wouldn’t do much if the provisions in the contract end up voiding you out of your own contract. Yes, we’ve had a client that had a provision that voided them out of their own contract. Make sure that you constantly check your contracts and revise as necessary to avoid being in the same situation.

You should also ensure that you have a written and signed contract. This is due to verbal contracts only being valid within twelve months of the interaction. They can also use the fact that there was no signed contract as a defence in court. This makes it easier for your client to avoid paying you your owed fee.

Consider a Personal Guarantee

One of the worst things that could happen to a company is to declare bankruptcy and close their doors. However, it is also a problem for every single company that they owe. If you’re one of them then you might just be out of luck. However, a great way to make sure that a company pays you even if they’ve declared bankruptcy is to have a personal guarantee signed.

You may be wondering how a personal guarantee can help you collect. The main reason why a personal guarantee helps you collect on backdoor placement fees is because it ties liability to the individual running the business and not the company. This means that even if the company, which is it’s own entity, closes, the debt is still owed by the individual running it.

Improve Relationships With Both Clients and Candidates

As a staffing and recruiting company, you have to understand that you are providing a service that will be paid at a later date. This opens up the possibility of you providing that service and your client simply running away with the fruits of your labor without paying you anything in return. This is why having good relations with both your clients and candidates.

It takes both of them to agree to the hiring for it to turn into a backdoor hire. If your candidate trusts you more than the client, it will be rare for them to agree with the backdoor hiring proposition of the client because they have nothing to gain and everything to lose from it. The candidate may even warn you of the client’s plan to backdoor hire them and you can stop a problem before it even happens.

Have an Audit Trail To Follow

A valuable tool for reducing staffing industry risk is to have a paper trail for each of your clients. This lets you track everything that you need to make sure that you can minimize your staffing industry risk while also making it easier for you to track any backdoor recruitment processes that might have gone unfound. You should ensure that the audit trail you’re following has all the info that you need to create a solid case in case it comes to that point. This includes any agreements, both verbal and signed, information regarding the fees owed and the candidate himself.

We’ve had a case where the lawyer of the debtor defended the case by saying that the candidate that they hired wasn’t the same person as the one that was presented to them several months back. The audit trail of our client proved it otherwise and the case was deflated in an instant.

Use Technology To Your Advantage

The staffing and recruiting industry, like many other industries, has evolved over the years. Not only are the styles that used to work in the past less effective, but they are slowly becoming outdated by today’s standards. However, the great part about the progress of the industry is that there are many great tools that you can use to improve your odds of success and reduce the amount of staffing industry risk you have to deal with.

An example is the online service provided by Back Door Hire Solutions that lets you credit check any company for free. This opens up a number of possibilities for you while also closing the door on the risk.

Have a Team of Lawyers or Professional Collections Company Available

An essential part of dealing with problems in most businesses is to make sure that you have the contact details of a third party that can help you. Tackling the problem yourself could make the problem worse at times. We’ve had many clients that have gone and ruined their case because they opted to directly interact with the offending debtor instead of having a third party handle it for them.

These third parties can either be your lawyer, or a professional collections company that can deal with the problems while you focus on providing your services for your more loyal clients. Regardless of who you utilize in these situations, what matters is that you have to make sure that you’re covered legally by those qualified by those to do so.

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