X1 Card is a credit card based on your income, not your credit score

There are many reasons why you could have a good or a bad credit score. But if you’re just entering the job market, you may end up with reliable income and a low limit on your credit card. X1 Card wants to solve that by setting limits based on your current and future income instead of your credit score.

The company says some customers can expect limits up to five times higher than what they would get from a traditional credit card. And that limit can move up if you get a promotion at your job, for instance.

“The consumer credit card industry has been almost untouched by tech and has relied on the archaic credit score system. Max [Levchin], David [Sacks] and I have similar scores — that makes no sense!” co-founder Deepak Rao told me. “We reimagined the credit card from the ground up to have smarter limits, intelligent features, modern rewards and a new look.”

Depending on your creditworthiness, you’ll get a variable APR of 12.9 to 19.9% and a balance transfer fee of 2%. There’s no annual subscription fee and X1 Card doesn’t change any late fee or foreign transaction fee.

Behind the scene, X1 Card is built by Thrive, the company that created ThriveCash, a loan platform that lets you get a credit line based on offer letters for an upcoming summer internship or your first full-time job after college.

You can then borrow as much as 25% of your total internship salary or 25% of your first three paychecks if it’s a full-time job. There are some fees, but it can be helpful if you’re signing a new lease and you don’t have any money on your bank account, for instance.

Thrive has raised $ 10.25 million in funding from PayPal and Affirm founder Max Levchin, former Twitter COO Adam Bain, Craft Ventures general partner David Sacks and others. Read TechCrunch’s Natasha Mascarenhas’ article on ThriveCash if you want to learn more about that product.

Coming back to X1 Card, the card is a stainless steel Visa card that works with Apple Pay and Google Pay. It helps you track your subscriptions in different ways. First, you can cancel your subscription payments from the app. If you’re trying out a new service and they require you to enter your credit card information to start a free trial, you can also generate an auto-expiring virtual credit card.

If you receive a refund, X1 Card sends you a notification. You can also attach receipts to your transaction in the app.

When it comes to rewards, X1 Card uses points. You get 2x points on all purchases by default — there’s no category or retailers that give you special rewards. If you spend more than $ 15,000 using the card in a year, you get 3X points. If you refer a friend, you get 4X points on your purchases for a month — each new referral adds an extra month with 4X points. Points can be redeemed at retail partners, such as Apple, Airbnb, Delta, Everlane, etc.

In other words, it’s a credit card. But what makes this product more interesting than your average Chase-branded card is that it wants to disrupt the credit score system. It’s going to be interesting to see if people can really get higher limits with that system.

Image credits: X1 Card

Startups – TechCrunch

You Really Should Understand the Difference Between a Balance Sheet and Income Statement

Grasping this important point will take your financial management skills to a whole new level

Entrepreneur's Handbook – Medium

Dental Implants Market Size, Growth Global Industry Share, Future Trends, Growth Key Factors, Demand, Sales and Income, Manufacture Players, Application, Scope, and Opportunities Analysis by Outlook 2026 – StartupNG

Dental Implants Market Size, Growth Global Industry Share, Future Trends, Growth Key Factors, Demand, Sales and Income, Manufacture Players, Application, Scope, and Opportunities Analysis by Outlook 2026  StartupNG
“sweden startups when:7d” – Google News

What’s the best free software to use for creating income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements?

I want to be able to create an income statement, a balance sheet, and a cash flow statement for mobile app startup. What is the best free software to use for this? The only one I know is Excel but I don’t know if there is anything better out there. Also, what other software do recommend for managing your business’s finance?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Income verification startup The Closing Docs helps property managers during economic crisis – GeekWire

Income verification startup The Closing Docs helps property managers during economic crisis  GeekWire
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Spotlight on N. Macedonia: 10% income tax, high business ease and in the heart of the Balkans

How does it sound to start a business or scale up in a country where locals do their best to make you feel at home? If we add here the fact that Skopje is not only home to a close-knit startup community but also ranks first for cost-effectiveness in the Financial Times 2020/21 ‘Tech cities of the future’ ranking, the prospect of starting up in North Macedonia becomes even more inviting. 

In this article I will provide you with local knowledge about the country’s business environment, including the necessary steps for setting up and running a business. 

Macedonian business culture in a nut shell 

The booming startup community nurtures values which speak for empowerment, support, learning, and fast growth. 

Macedonians are warm, polite, and welcoming to foreigners. In their communications, they are usually direct, and don’t hesitate to speak up. At a business meeting, you will be welcomed with a smile and a strong handshake (unless it’s a pandemic). In most circumstances, they are proud of their country and will do their best to represent it in the brightest way. Local partners, collaborators, and employees will usually invest their time and effort not to only deliver high-end services but to show you around and help you immerse in the Macedonian culture. 

Moreover, an increasing number of big companies and startups are seeing the importance of social impact, and Skopje has witnessed an expansion of environmentally and pet-friendly initiatives and apps. Moreover, businesses are becoming more socially responsible than ever before and help vulnerable groups in various innovative ways.

The rise of startups in the country is dictating new trends, where flexible working hours, casual dress code, and working environments with many perks are available. Moreover, working remotely or from the comfort of a co-working space is becoming the new-normal and many founders say that they plan to stay remote even after the pandemic is over. The minimum number of paid vacation days is 20. There are 11 national holidays and a certain number of religious holidays applying to members of different religions.

Speaking of punctuality, Macedonians cannot brag about being punctual like the Germans or the Swiss, although many people are trying to change this. You shouldn’t be surprised if a meeting or an event is 15-20 minutes late. Buses and trains are rarely on time either. Luckily, more and more young people start to rely on bikes and e-scooters.

Team buildings are quite popular among startups and IT companies, which have ‘exploring North Macedonia’ as a task on their to-do list.

Conditions and benefits of opening a company in North Macedonia

Ease of doing business 

In the World Bank’s latest rankings, North Macedonia is ranked 17th in the world for the ease of doing business. This high ranking reflects that the regulatory environment is more conducive to the opening and operation of a local firm. The country scores over 80/100 for trading across borders (93.9), starting a business (88.6), paying taxes (84.7), dealing with construction permits (83.5), protecting minority investors (82), and getting electricity (81). Moreover, for its ease of doing business, North Macedonia holds the best position in the Balkans and exceeds countries such as Estonia (18th place), Finland (20th place), and Germany (22nd place).

Multilingual and highly-skilled affordable talent

Even though North Macedonia is a small country with a population of only 2 million, it has a large pool of educated and highly-skilled professionals, with a satisfactory number in the field of ICT. The country is awash with various learning, networking, and career growth initiatives and events, which only show the aspirations of the country’s talent to keep on track with the most developed European startup communities. Moreover, there is a growing number of private education centres, in addition to the existing universities, which are teaching and training staff on the newest skills required by tech companies and startups. In terms of the English language, North Macedonia is known to have a high rate of English proficiency. If we add to the bargain the fact that there is a great quality-price ratio, it’s no wonder that many foreigners decide to run their businesses from this sunny country.

One of the main challenges though is hiring senior developers. On one hand, there has been a boom of IT outsourcing companies and, on the other,  the trend of brain draining is present. As a result, the companies try to offer as many perks and benefits to the software engineers as possible to attract and keep them. Luckily, the number of students in the field has been enormously increasing and the situation is changing. 

Low cost of living

North Macedonia is extremely attractive to international entrepreneurs due to its low cost of living. Take Skopje, for example; this capital doesn’t lag behind other European cities in terms of the lifestyle and high-quality commodities it offers, and yet, all is affordable for much less than in almost all other European startup hubs. Other cities such as Bitola and Ohrid, which are abound in cultural heritage and natural beauties, are even cheaper. To provide some numbers, you can rent a modern apartment in the Skopje city centre from €250 a month and, as one German visitor once said to me, you can get the “best meal ever” for only €10. 

Supportive startup community

Skopje is the biggest startup hub in the country, with several other cities showing great potential too. However, regardless of whether you are in Skopje or Bitola, the startup community is extremely supportive and moves at a fast speed. New co-working spaces, associations, hubs, and accelerations emerge continually and, most importantly, new founders are welcomed with the warmness of the existing players who clearly understand the importance of empowerment. For entrepreneurs who want to test the waters first, there are programmes such as Entrepreneurs in Residence, which have enabled a number of foreign entrepreneurs to get a first-hand experience of the business climate.

Favourable tax environment

One of the biggest advantages of running a business in North Macedonia is the favourable tax environment. The country has one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in the world which is only 10%. The personal tax is also 10%, while the General Income Tax is 18%. Moreover, the government offers a 10-year tax-free operation for investments made in the Free Economic Zones where highly productive clean manufacturing activities are concentrated and new technologies are developed.

The growth of ICT and its key verticals

ICT is the fastest-growing sector and it plays an important role in the economy as a provider of jobs and generator of exports. Hence, North Macedonia has a solid ground for startupers interested in launching a business and conquering the world from a small but supportive country.

Verticals such as e-commerce, digital media, fintech, gaming, blockchain, IoT, tech in agriculture, and edtech are evermore present in the country.

Favourable geographical location and time zone

As a country located in the heart of the Balkan peninsula, North Macedonia benefits from a strategic geographical position at the crossroads of two main European transport corridors linking Central Europe to the Aegean and the Black Sea. The country has two airports, one in Skopje and other in Ohrid, and it is a 2-hour flight away from most of the European cities. Furthermore, Skopje is just a 2-hour drive from Thessaloniki, which is the main port hub for the Balkans and Southeast Europe and connects Europe with Asia and China. 

North Macedonia falls within the Central European Time zone (GMT + 1) along with cities such as Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. 

A downside here is the lack of good transport infrastructure which often impedes the businesses from networking and distribution of products and makes the travelling less pleasant. 

Leisure opportunities: great travel destinations and outdoor activities

It is not unusual for foreign founders who run businesses in North Macedonia to combine their business trips with some leisure. In addition to the lively nightlife, people don’t miss the opportunity to visit Ohrid, a lake city which once had 365 churches and has been referred to as a “Jerusalem of the Balkans”. Alongside its attractive beaches and medieval heritage, people often jump on different tours such as riding horses in the mountainous village of Lazaropole, paragliding in Krusevo, skiing in Mavrovo, or cave exploring in Makedonski Brod. If you are here for business, don’t hesitate to ask a local to show you around (they will gladly be your guide), or just check this local startup for more ideas. 

Setting up a company in North Macedonia 

Open a company in 1 day

Just like in most European countries, the limited liability company (LLC) is a preferred business structure, especially when it comes to startups. The process requires only one day for completion and you don’t need to be present in the country. All you need is to find an authorised agent. The agent submits the required documents signed by you in the Central Registry and the company is established. A North Macedonia LLC can be entirely foreign-owned, with no restrictions on foreign shareholders. 

One should bear in mind that the minimum share capital for this entity is set at €5K and can be deposited in a Macedonian bank account. 

First steps for registering a company

  • Pick up a name
  • Choose an address – you can use the address of a rented/owned office or you can obtain an address from companies that offer virtual office services 
  • Choose a CEO and split the equity
  • Choose an authorized agent of the Central Trade Registry (attorney at law or accountant) to submit your application
  • Get all necessary documents ready and signed

Before you start any activities with your company you need to apply for a company seal, activate a bank account, register for VAT, and apply for registration of the foreign investment within the Central Registry. Additional administrative activities may be required as well, and it is always a good idea to request a list with all required documents and steps from your agent. Most of the banks offer online banking, so before you make the choice make sure to do your research and see which bank would best fit your requirements. And, finding a good accountant or accounting company is a must.

If you want to get a work or residence permit, the procedure takes up to 15 days and you can consult your agent about all the requested documents. 

Just bear in mind that although the Macedonian government is working on digitalising its services, many of them are still not online. 

Supporting organisations

If you decide to start or expand your business in North Macedonia, these are some of the supporting organisations you may want to check.

Another tip is to search LinkedIn for like-minded professionals based in Skopje – they will undoubtedly give you a heads up.

For more information, check out our article North Macedonia: Skopje’s startup ecosystem at a glance.

EU-Startups

Idea to Income: Your 27-Day Plan to Side Hustle Success

Author, speaker and entrepreneur, Chris Guillebeau, is the host of the Side Hustle School podcast and the author of several bestselling books, including “The $ 100 Startup” and “Born for This.”

In his book, “Side Hustle,” Guillebeau teaches you how to get your side hustle idea out into the world and make a profit in less than 30 days.

The following excerpt is provided exclusively for StartupNation from “Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days” Copyright © 2017 by Chris Guillebeau, Crown Business.

WEEK 1: BUILD AN ARSENAL OF IDEAS

A side hustle has many benefits, but it all starts with the right idea. This first week of hustling will teach you how to generate hustle ideas that actually work.

Day 1: Predict the future

The path from idea to income begins with your answer to an important question: Twenty-seven days from now, what will be different about your life?

Day 2: Learn how money grows on trees

Some hustle ideas are better than others. Learn the three qualities of a great idea and how to find ones with the most potential.

Day 3: Brainstorm, borrow or steal ideas

Using what you’ve learned about high-potential ideas, brainstorm, borrow or steal at least three possibilities for your hustle.

Day 4: Weigh the obstacles and opportunities of each idea

Now that you have several ideas, examine them more closely to understand their pros and cons.

Day 5: Forecast your profit on the back of a napkin

To estimate the profit of your side hustle, you don’t need a finance degree or a scientific calculator. You just need a napkin, a pen and the power of observation.


Related: 10 Steps to Start a Side Hustle (While Working a Full-Time Job)

WEEK 2: SELECT YOUR  BEST IDEA

Once you have multiple ideas, you need to be able to identify the best ones. Learn how to instantly rank and compare ideas so that you’ll have confidence to proceed with the highest possible odds of success.

Day 6: Use the side hustle selector to compare  ideas

Once you start thinking about side hustles, the ideas don’t stop. This tool will show you how to apply “Tinder for Hustling” logic to pick the best one at any given time.

Day 7: Become a detective

As you move forward with an idea, study what other people are doing. Then, do it better or do it differently.

Day 8: Have imaginary coffee with your ideal customer

There’s one person out there who meets your profile as the perfect customer. What can you learn from them?

Day 9: Transform your idea into an offer

Once you have a great idea and a specific idea of who it’s for, you need to transform that idea into an offer. An offer includes a promise, a pitch and a price.

Day 10: Create your origins story

Like a comic book superhero, your side hustle needs a history. Don’t just give ’em the facts; tell them a story.

WEEK 3: PREPARE  FOR LIFTOFF

You’ve settled on your idea, you’ve transformed it into an offer, and you know who your ideal customer is. This week you’ll learn how to help that person understand why they can’t live without your offer, without getting bogged down in unimportant details.

Day 11: Assemble the nuts and bolts

Resourcefulness is your most valuable hustle skill. Get all the logistics out of the way so you can focus on more important things.

Day 12: Decide how to price your offer

Pricing can be a challenge even for experienced hustlers. Use the cost-plus model and follow two easy guidelines for much higher odds of success.

Day 13: Create a side hustle shopping list

Your hustle will require specific tools, resources and deliverables. Learn to find, gather or create everything you’ll need to bring your offer into the world.

Day 14: Set up a way to get paid

You’ve got a lot more than just an idea now—you’re well under way to a real-life side hustle. Before proceeding, make sure you’ve also got a real-life way to get paid for it.

Day 15: Design your first workflow

You’re almost to launch week. By listing out your next steps in an ordered fashion, you’ll prevent mishaps and feel more confident.


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BONUS STEP

Day 16: Spend 10 percent more time on the most important tasks

Many new hustlers get caught up in mundane details. Avoid that trap from the beginning, and keep your focus on just two things.

To read the remaining steps found in days 17 through 27, pick up a copy of “Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days,” available now at fine booksellers and for purchase through StartupNation.com. 

More Chris Guillebeau content from StartupNation:

The post Idea to Income: Your 27-Day Plan to Side Hustle Success appeared first on StartupNation.

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