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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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The cultural shift to get more women into boardrooms must begin at start-up level

Category : Business

Just 7% of executive directors in FTSE 100 companies are female. For the situation to improve, more women need to engage with businesses at start-up and SME level

The UK has many great examples of female entrepreneurs, just look at Karren Brady, Annabel Karmel and JK Rowling to name a few. These highly successful women operate in a range of industries and have pushed through a number of boundaries to get where they are.

Many people’s first management experiences occur while they are in small or start-up companies (SMEs). However, there are fewer women than men in the UK creating small businesses. The country has a strong, high-performing SME sector, with 99.9% of all businesses falling into this category. SMEs employ an estimated 13.8 million people, accounting for 58.5% of the total private sector workforce. Small business activity is a key driver of economic success, with SMEs contributing almost as much as large businesses to UK output (48.3% of gross value added) and turnover (48.8%). The shift towards getting more women into UK boardrooms starts here.

Women are much less likely than men to be involved in the setting up and running of businesses according to Office for National Statistics self-employment data. Of the 4.2 million people in the UK who report that they were self-employed, 71% were men and 29% women. However, this is still an improvement on the percentage of women who sit on Britain’s boards.

The lack of women in boardrooms is self-perpetuating, which is why we must change our business ethos at start-up level. Often, chief executives seek out people like themselves to be their colleagues and therefore their future replacements: this is only human nature. It is no coincidence that women are far better represented on the boards of companies that have been founded by women.

Interestingly, I’ve noticed that women approach business differently to their male counter-parts. They’re known to be a lot more cautious and intuitive, and I find that this can add a new dynamic to a business. Personally, I look forward to working with female entrepreneurs – their approach and professionalism has been instrumental to the success of many businesses.

Anyone, no matter the gender, can be an entrepreneur if they have the right idea, the right plan for execution and passion. The idea alone is not what makes an entrepreneur; it’s what you do with the idea and how you execute it that really sets you apart. If more start-ups that are created by women this will result in an increase in the number of women in the boardroom. We must start by inspiring young people to aim for the very top, no matter their gender.

The Start-Up Loans Company, of which I am the chairman, was created last year to help young people bring their business dreams to life. Every young entrepreneur who receives a loan is also provided with a business mentor and access to discounted resources.

Of the first 2000 loans that have been awarded, 65.7% have gone to male and 34.3% to female applicants. This is already a considerable improvement on national self-employment statistics, which I hope will continue to increase.

Credit Suisse published a report in 2012 entitled: ‘Gender diversity and corporate performance’, that looked at nearly 2,400 American companies with and without female board members between 2005 and 2012. Their report discovered that the stock of companies with at least one female member on the board outperformed the stocks of companies with all male boards by 26% during that period.

With this in mind, can the UK afford to deny ourselves similar growth?

James Caan is an entrepreneur and chairman of the Start-Up Loans Company

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Clearer phone charges ‘on the way’

Category : World News

Customers who use phone numbers beginning with 08, 09 or 118 should in future have a much clearer idea of how much their calls will cost, Ofcom says.

Read this article: Clearer phone charges ‘on the way’

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Small businesses should innovate the way they use social media

Category : Business

With so much noise in the social media space, it can be hard for smaller brands to get their message across. Here are some top tips to make your presence count

Social media platforms have huge potential to foster innovation in businesses of any size. They offer a space in which companies and individuals can benefit from having access to creative clusters of professionals who are willing to share their ideas.

However, this creative stock of ideas is very difficult to properly exploit, because there is also a huge level of fragmentation: the conversations are going on everywhere, all the time, and it can seem that you need significant resources to explore these virtual spaces properly.

However, small businesses can adopt some strategies learned from large corporations, in order to benefit from social media innovation.

Be in the right places

Big companies have the resources to invest in having a broad presence in the social media sphere. SMEs start from the opposite perspective, of working with fewer resources.

The best strategy in this case is to focus your attention on the social media spaces in which interesting content is more likely to appear, either from current and potential customers, or from other conversations. Instead of trying to be everywhere, an SME should start with cultivating a community in one or two social media channels at the most.

The company should investigate where its current and potential customers are, and design a strategy to reach them. A company which sell services to other companies, or small consultancies and professional firms, for instance, may find it is easier to connect using LinkedIn as the main social network.

The company should focus on matters that interest audiences. Big companies have realised social media is a space for marketing, but people become very tired of marketing-only interactions. Time is a scarce resource on social media: there are so many things to be seen and read, so people become selective about the conversations they wish to engage in. The only way of really engaging people is to start conversations which are in their interest. High quality, relevant content, from the perspective of a particular audience, is necessary to attract people to the virtual space, in order then to encourage their participation and for innovative ideas to emerge. People need to perceive a direct benefit of being connected to that particular space.

Cultivate customer communities

In addition to sharing interesting content, it is necessary to go a step further to benefit from the innovative ideas given by customers and potential customers.

Ideas come organically in any healthy community. In addition, companies may encourage the generation of ideas, for instance, by posting questions about the areas they believe it is possible to foster development. A simple question to the community may trigger an interesting discussion, bringing innovative ideas to the fore.

People give contributions when they believe their opinion matters, and when they believe their ideas will benefit themselves or others in some way. Translating these aspects into action, companies should keep up the dialogue with contributors. When a suggestion comes, the company always should give feedback, motivating the same people and others to participate.

Competitions and polls are also interesting ways of benefiting from the engagement with virtual communities. Polls are a more straightforward method for discovering particular opinions when the company already has an idea about the options to be tested with customers. In general, a poll offers a closed set of questions, thus it only works when the company wants to ask specific questions.

Competitions are more open, mostly starting from a problem to be solved, which allow contributors to bring a larger variety of ideas, from different perspectives. For instance, an SME may open a competition to choose a new logo or a new slogan for the company.

Additionally, companies should give a sort of reward to those customers who have given useful ideas. A straightforward gift (money, products or services) may be an easy solution, but is not always appropriate or possible. Especially in competitions, a gift reward may be the best option. In any case, the contributor should be praised publicly for the benefit the idea has brought to the company – and even better to the whole community – improving the quality of a product or a service. Some big companies even keep track of the best contributors, and regularly call them to networking gatherings. This is a good idea: invite the best contributors to an event, to share ideas and feedback with the company and other contributors.

Be prepared for the downside

Big companies know very well that social media can also damage their reputation. This may also happen with SMEs. Any space of interaction can bring great ideas for innovation, which may be utilised. It may also bring to light strong criticisms. Thus companies should be prepared to cope with both, with a high level of professionalism. In addition, companies need to be very diplomatic in coping in a sensible and sensitive way with those vocal contributors who have not much to say.

Magda David Hercheui is senior lecturer in project management at Westminster Business School, editor of New Media Knowledge

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Kings Ford Inc. Helps Make-A-Wish Foundation to Successfully Raise Money Through Their Local Golf Tournament to Help Children’s Dreams Come True

Category : Stocks, World News

CINCINNATI, OH–(Marketwired – Apr 5, 2013) – At the Kings Ford Dealership in Cincinnati, OH, it isn’t all about just selling new and used cars in Cincinnati. It’s about community and helping others. Back in 2009, Bob Creed Jr., Director of Innovations & Technology at Kings Ford, took a simple idea and ran with it by turning it into an opportunity to make the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses come true. With the aid of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Bob and the rest of the team at Kings Ford were able to do just that. After brainstorming with family, friends, clients and coworkers, Bob landed upon the idea of gathering together everyone he knew personally and in his customer database that played golf to coordinate a sponsored event to benefit these kids and their families to make their wishes come true by putting together a charity event golf tournament. The outing has grown substantially year after year with a lot more individual donations and golfers, thanks to the help of volunteers and the support of Fairfield Green Golf Course, and to date they have raised over $43,000 and will be sponsoring two children in 2013.

The rest is here: Kings Ford Inc. Helps Make-A-Wish Foundation to Successfully Raise Money Through Their Local Golf Tournament to Help Children’s Dreams Come True

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Advanced Marketing Professionals Debuts

Category : World News

KENNESAW, GA–(Marketwire – Mar 29, 2013) – Advanced Marketing Professionals, Inc. (www.amp-inc.net) announced today that they will be opening in Kennesaw, Georgia. After experiencing a tidal wave of growth in the in-store marketing field, Jack Pittman, President, has decided to expand into new territories for future development. With the opening of this company, Advanced Marketing Professionals plans to increase productivity and also cover new grounds in 2013. Mr. Pittman said, “This upcoming year is going to be very exciting, not only with future expansions taking place but also with direction in which the company plans on representing new clients.” In an age where e-commerce and online marketing practices are incredibly popular, the idea of face-to-face marketing may seem outdated. However, Advanced Marketing Professionals believes that some of the best sales are made through direct contact. Face-to-face marketing is the technique that delivers the highest results for the company and keeps clients satisfied.

Continue reading here: Advanced Marketing Professionals Debuts

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Americans still doubtful about stocks, economy

Category : Business

Survey shows majority think investing in stocks is a bad idea, and that those who think economy is poor outnumber those who think it’s good by more than two-to-one.

Original post: Americans still doubtful about stocks, economy

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This column will change your life: running your family like a business

Category : Business

‘Is the idea of a “productive” family, or a “productive” romantic relationship, inherently absurd? Not necessarily’

You can probably imagine my initial reaction upon seeing the Wall Street Journal headline Run Your Family Like A Business. But, as it happens, you don’t need to: an artist happened to be passing and captured my expression in a

Pre-Marketing: Geithner’s exit

Category : Business

The genius behind the $1 trillion coin idea

Read more: Pre-Marketing: Geithner’s exit

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Pre-Marketing: Insider trading enablers

Category : Stocks

Also: The sneaky idea that could end the fiscal cliff. And the new era of cleantech investing.

Original post: Pre-Marketing: Insider trading enablers

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Opinion: HP must be broken up

Category : Business, Stocks

The idea of spinning off HP’s PC business is one of the few decisions former CEO Leo Apotheker got right.

Original post: Opinion: HP must be broken up

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