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Thinking Tough

Recession? To some, it's just a word for business opportunity

Now is not the time to hunker down. As our columnist Doug Hall loves to point out, it's almost never time to hunker down. Even in a recession—perhaps especially in a recession—entrepreneurs must think big, manage creatively, and move quickly.

The entrepreneurs in our Cover Story, by Staff Writer Amy S. Choi, are doing just that. They know that a lousy economy can provide a great opportunity to buy another company and boost their own growth. Valuations are down, and many owners are ready to negotiate. Larry Browne, who owns a freight forwarding company called Diligent Delivery Systems, has bought nine other companies over the past eight years. He completed his most recent deal in March and is looking forward to more acquisitions in 2009.

For other entrepreneurs, creating jobs and making a profit are just the grubstakes. They're using their mission-based companies to tackle social ills such as pollution, poor nutrition, and poverty. In our photo essay, written by Stacy Perman, we introduce five of these forward-thinking individuals. At our Web site,, you can learn more about these and 20 other social entrepreneurs, then vote for your favorite. We'll post the winners on our Web site on May 2. Maybe one of them will inspire your next big idea.

Return to the BusinessWeek SmallBiz April/May 2009 Table of Contents

Kimberly Weisul is editor of BusinessWeek SmallBiz .

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