Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship

World’s 10 Toughest Countries To Do Business In


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I was reading a CNBC report lately on the world’s toughest countries to do business in. Based on the World Bank’s report, “Doing Business 2015”, the report ranks 189 countries for ease of doing business using criteria such as ‘getting electricity’ + ‘getting credit’. Here are the 10 worst countries in order:

1. Eritrea

+ GNI of just $490 per capita

+ described by the World Bank as, “one of the least developed countries in the world”

+ roughly two-thirds of Eritreans live in rural areas

+ has been criticized for its alleged extrajudicial killings and torture and lack of openness

+ came joint last for dealing with construction permits, joint last for access to credit, and 176th for registering property

Eritrea
Patrick Horton | Lonely Planet Images | Getty Images

2. Libya

+ three years after the overthrow and death of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, oil and gas-rich Libya is still struggling for stability

+ the country ranked joint-last for handling construction permits, joint-last for registering property and second-last for protecting minority investors

+ rival militia are still engaged in fierce fighting in Libya

+ this summer the security situation deteriorated further

+ the United Nations says that over 100,000 Libyans are displaced as a result of the current fighting

libya
Abdullah Doma | AFP | Getty Images

3. Central African Republic

+ since gaining independence from France in 1960, the Central African Republic (CAR) has struggled with dictatorships, coups and conflict in equal measure

+ the country’s most recent civil war saw thousands die

+ its economy shrunk by a vast 36 per cent in 2013, according to the World Bank

+ the CAR ranks fourth from bottom in terms of access to electricity and third from bottom for ease of starting a business

CAR
Fred Dufour | AFP | Getty Images

4. South Sudan

+ founded in 2011 after a referendum on independence from Sudan, South Sudan is still unstable

+ low ranking—3rd worst in the world—in the cross-border trading category

+ accessing electricity and registering property are also problematic for entrepreneurs, with South Sudan coming respectively 179th and 180th on these counts

+ according to the U.S. Department of State, “Most small South Sudanese businesses operate in the informal economy, where labor laws and regulations are widely ignored”

south sudan
Paula Bronstein | Getty Images

5. Chad

+ one of the world’s poorest countries

+ fifth worst in the world for launching a business

+ eighth worst for cross-border trading

Chad
Phillipe Huguen | AFP | Getty Images

6. DRC / Democratic Republic of Congo

+ DRC has been stricken by years of civil war

+ According to the United Nations, around 2.7 million people are “internally displaced” in the country, due to ongoing armed conflict in its east

+ The DRC remains one of the worst countries in the world to do business, ranking joint worst for resolving insolvency and also scoring poorly for access to electricity and enforcing contracts

DRC
Robert J. Ross | Photolibrary | Getty Images

7. Afghanistan

+ suffering the aftereffects of 13 years of bloody and sustained conflict

+ country ranked surprisingly high (24th) for ease of starting a business

+ rated worst in the world for protecting minority investors

+ scored poorly for cross-border trading and enforcing contracts

+ July 2014 survey by the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries found that, “The most important factor for business development is considered to be security; it is followed by lack of market and demand, poor infrastructure, administrative burdens and lack of access to finance”

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake | Lonely Planet Images | Getty Images
Asanka Brendon Ratnayake | Lonely Planet Images | Getty Images

8. Venezuela

+ gross national income of $12,550

+ Venezuela’s income level is described by the World Bank as “upper middle”

+ socialist country is rich in natural resources including natural gas, gold and diamonds

+ its crude oil reserves are estimated at around 298 billion barrels

venezuela business
Gilles Rigoulet | hemis.fr | Getty Images

9. Angola

+ a former Portuguese colony

+ one of the Africa’s biggest producers of oil

+ one of the poorest countries on the planet

+ gross national income of $5,010

+ life expectancy of just 51

+ difficult for business owners to enforce contracts and access credit

angola business
Kenneth Gerhardt | Gallo Images | Getty Images

10. Haiti

+ devastated by a huge earthquake in Jan 2010

+ one of the world’s poorest countries

+ difficult for business owners to access credit or register property

+ gross national income per capita of $810 (compared with US which is $53, 670)

+ in 2011 the Inter-American Investment Corporation and the Spanish government established a joint development fund designed to increase the availability of loans and reduce borrowing costs for Haitian small- and-medium-sized companies. This is set to run for 12 years

Haiti Business details
Thony Belizaire | AFP | Getty Images
Entrepreneurship

Baby Boomers Flock To Entrepreneurship


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Found this article over here and really thought it was worth a reblog!

Even though they’re nearing retirement age, a large number of baby boomers are looking for an “encore” career as entrepreneurs.

Adults over the age of 50 comprise one of the fastest-growing groups of entrepreneurs in the United States, according to a new Gallup study. Among those people who don’t currently own a business, baby boomers are twice as likely as millennials to say they plan to start a business in the next year.

The majority of those prospective entrepreneurs cite a desire for lifestyle changes as the reason behind their desire to launch a new venture in the later stages of their careers. Specifically, 32 percent of the baby boomers surveyed said they are choosing to start businesses primarily because doing so will allow them to be independent, while 27 percent say it will give them a chance to pursue their interests and passions.

Money is also playing a large role for many. Nearly one-quarter of those surveyed said starting a new business will allow them to increase their income.

“Very few are pursuing an idea for a new product or service that solves a problem or meets an unfulfilled need in the market — the type of business that would typically have immense growth potential,” the study’s authors wrote. “Perhaps for boomer entrepreneurs, these reasons reflect their current stage in life.”

Even though many baby boomers have years of experience working for established organizations, business owners over the age of 50 face many of the same challenges young entrepreneurs face. More than half of those surveyed said information relevant to growing a business and entrepreneurial training and education aren’t readily available in their communities. Additionally, just 44 percent said that the city or area where they reside is a good place to live for entrepreneurs forming new businesses, while just 9 percent said it’s easy for them to obtain a business loan where they live.

The researchers said that communities looking to foster entrepreneurial growth among baby boomers should focus on several key areas, including:

Readiness for the role: It’s critical communities help entrepreneurial-minded baby boomers understand that running a business is very different than working for a company. Unlike working for someone else, business owners have to deal with ambiguity, uncertainty and failure, the study’s authors say.
Local resources: Communities need to help prospective entrepreneurs connect with local resources, like the AARP, Small Business Administration and professional networks, that can help them plan their business.
Good coaching: Despite their years of professional experience, entrepreneurs over the age of 50 can still benefit from working with others who can provide counseling and support, such as coaches, mentors and business advisors. The study’s authors said readily available coaching and mentoring programs should be an essential part of any community trying to develop business leaders.

The researchers said that addressing these challenges and building up the support that is available will not only benefit current baby boomer entrepreneurs, but also help convince those who might be considering starting their own businesses.

“Supporting those over 50 who want to launch and grow businesses is crucial for reversing the trend of American business deaths outnumbering business births, and accelerating sustainable economic development,” the study’s authors wrote.

The study was based on interviews with 1,906 baby boomers, consisting of 229 entrepreneurs and 1,677 nonentrepreneurs.

Creative Inspiration

The Hashtags All The Cool Kids Are Using


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Who knew there was a hashtag for every day of the week? Grow your reach + build your community on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook by using them when you upload your next pic. As long as your profile is public, you’re sure to get discovered + make new friends across the world (not to mention some serious cash if big brands get their paws on you).

Monday

  • #MCM or #ManCrushMonday
  • #MusicMonday
  • #MountainMonday
  • #MeowMonday
  • #ManicMonday (your crazy postweekend work/school schedule)
  • #ManicureMonday
  • #MondayBlues

Tuesday

  • #TransformationTuesday
  • #TravelTuesday
  • #TuesdayBoozeDay
  • #TuesdayTreat

Wednesday

  • #WineWednesday
  • #WellnessWednesday
  • #WomanCrushWednesday
  • #HumpDay
  • #WisdomWednesday
  • #Women2Follow
  • #WayBackWednesday
  • #WaterfallWednesday
  • #HealthyHumpDay
  • #WoofWednesday

Thursday

  • #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday
  • #ThirstyThursday (drinking on Thursday)
  • #Thursdate (for midweek dates)
  • #ThursdayFunDay
  • #ThankfulThursday

Friday

  • #FF or #FollowFriday
  • #FBF or #FlashbackFriday
  • #ShabbatShalom (for the weekly Jewish observance of Shabbat)
  • #FridayFunday
  • #FridayReads
  • #FridayNight

Saturday

  • #Caturday
  • #SexySaturday
  • #SaturdaySwag or #SaturdayShenanigans (for shopping)
  • #SaturdayNight

Sunday

  • #SS or #SelfieSunday
  • #SinDay
  • #SameSexSunday (for recommending people in the LGBT community)
Modelling

Bridal Shoot Modelling


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Behind-The-Scenes Bridal ShootsI modelled at Brenaissance wine estate this past weekend for a bridal editorial with photographer Veronique Millswedding gown designer Elizabeth Stockenstrom + Bijoux JewelleryBrenaissance is any bridal couple’s dream venue. The Bridal suite is beautifully decorated. There’s a white glass fronted chapel that overlooks the vineyards. The venue is a blank canvas and it’s got all the amenities needed for an amazing wedding! If you feel like relaxing at the restaurant on a saturday, they’ve launched their new picnic menu. They also have a brand new wine tasting deck. They offer the most delicious wine paring pizza + lovely cheese cake to top it all off. The shoot was so much fun! I’m confident the images will be pretty awesome. Read more on an article I wrote for aspiring models on how to make magic in front of the camera. I’ve also got more photos of behind-the-scenes on my instagram @misstamikajade.

+ Photography – Veronique Photography

+ Hair – Huidrie Marais

+ Models – Chanel Wessels, Tamika Doubell, Anesia Joseph

+ Make-up – Pipa Cross

+ Venue – Brenaissance Wine Estate

+ Dresses – Elizabeth Stockenstrom

+ Jewellery & Hair pieces – Marnell Nortje {Bijoux Jewellery}

Tamika Doubell Bridal

pink rosesLaceBridal Shoot IdeasBridal Shoot IdeasBridal Shoot IdeasBridal Shoot Ideas pearlsBridal Shoot IdeasBridal Shoot Ideas

Design

How Do You Bounce Back?


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bouncing back while building a brand

I’ve learnt that the best experiences we have are the sum of multiple “wow moments”, not just one. It’s the same feeling as the first time you used a great product. It probably felt like it was designed just for you. Every action you took while using it felt right. Your senses (vision, touch, sound) were in tune with the experience.You might’ve said “wow” while using it. The product touched you on an emotional level and you remember it. You shared it. And you want to use it again.

I felt this type of positive emotion the first time I used Instagram. At first, it may seem like using Instagram would not be that much better than just using any one of the other social networking platforms. But the trick to Instagram’s stickiness is not just one, but multiple “wow moments” that make it substantially better than using other photosharing sites. The first time I used Instagram, there were a few distinct “wow moments”:

1. Will my photos be safe? Instagram gives you a privacy option. You can turn it on anytime.

2. How will my photos be shared? Instagram has one newsfeed where your photos will pop up for friends to see, and visa versa. Only people who follow you will see them, and visa versa.

3. How do I fit into the global community? Instagram introduced hashtags, where your photo is categorized for anyone anywhere in the world to see.

4. Do I have to pay a subscription fee to use this service? Signing up to Instagram is free.

5. How do I upload a photo? Instagram connects to your phone’s camera + galleries, online or offline. You can choose any photo you want from anywhere you like at anytime.

6. How do I make my pictures look less boring? Instagram introduced editing features + filters so you can make your photos look better.

7. Do I have to be on my pc to upload to it? Instagram is only accessible via your phone. So all you need is you, your cellphone + the moments you’re capturing.

The way Instagram baked multiple “wow moments” into their product is one reason why their system is so strong. With each additional “wow moment”, your chances of using the app increases compared to not. Its simplicity is addictive. However, one of the challenges with creating multiple “wow moments” within your product is that they take time to construct. Instagram took over a year to build. You need to be patient and willing to go all-in on a problem to create an experience worthy of multiple “wow moments.” Creating the right experience is risky when you might not have all the signals to say what you’re building is the right thing. But that’s part of the road to building a differentiated product. You won’t have all the answers at the start. You might screw up a couple of times. The trick is persistance; bouncing back after you mess up.

To reduce risk, you can begin by focusing on the main one or two “wow moments”. This may not be good enough to create the full experience you’re after but as you build more and seek to reach that same level of quality of that one “wow moment,” your product will get closer to what you’re after.

Part of bouncing back is streamlining your definition of what you’re building. It’s often best to start by picking out the right problems to focus on + not get too caught up in solutions yet. How you solve each of the problems could be done a thousand different ways. To begin with, getting problems down is the focus. You can define potential solutions later.

Looks like bouncing back while in the process of building your dream product (blog, brand, service, item) could be summarised in a few sentences:

+ “Wowing” your audience

+ Making the experience as simple as possible

+ Defining what you’re building

+ Patience while you build

+ Persistance while you build

+ Learning each time you fall

Blogging

How Do You Keep People Coming Back?


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Building a brand is a funny thing. You want people to get the clearest understanding of who you are, but often you over complicate the process. My experience has taught me it’s really not that hard. Keeping things absolutely simple is key. If your business is online, it’s especially important to make your product easy to use for the user. Successful branding hinges on people coming back for more (products, information, entertainment). This means you need to become a habit for them. A habit is defined as: “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” In his book on building habit-forming products, Nir Eyal (a Stanford lecturer + author) shares a perspective on how to think about building products people want to use. It’s called the Fogg Behavioural Model and was created by Stanford computer scientist, B. J. Fogg:

ImageThe Fogg Behaviour Model illustrates that the best path to get more people using your product is to make your product easier to use. If you make your product simpler, you increase the probability of your customers crossing the “Activation Threshold” + performing the behaviour.

Nir notes,

“Influencing behaviour by reducing the effort required to perform an action is more effective than increasing someone’s desire to do it. Make your product so simple that users already know how to use it, and you’ve got a winner.”

Remember this when you’re working on your next project. Keep it simple + you’re guaranteed to make your product, a habit.

Entrepreneurship

5 Tips For Launching Your Online Etsy Store!


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If one of your goals for 2015 is to start an Etsy shop, I’ve got the guide for you. Etsy has specific rules for shops. If you make handmade goods, crafts, raw supplies, materials or sell vintage items, the marketplace is a good fit for you. If you’re not sure if your shop would be a good fit for Etsy, check out their Guidelines here.

A lot of people ask if it’s “too late” to get started selling on Etsy, because there are so many shops. They wonder if the marketplace is just too saturated to break into. If you’re just starting out as a business + would like an easy way to get started, test the waters + get your systems in place, Etsy is fantastic. It gives you an easy way to:

+ create a shop

+ accept payment

+ reach your customers

It’s perfect for beginners. If you’re already an established shop, Etsy can be a nice channel to make extra sales from. Here are just a few things that contribute to whether or not your shop becomes a business or remains a hobby hustle:

1. Consistency

Consistency is how you build your brand + shop presence on Etsy. It’s also how you make consistent sales. One thing to remember is that the frequency with which you list new items directly correlate to how often sales were rolling in. If you’re listing a handful of items every day, you’ll make a handful of sales every day consistently. If you take a month off from listing new items, even though your shop is still full of stuff, sales will drop off.

2. Photos

On Etsy, photography is EVERYTHING. Product photography is what sells your items. You cannot underestimate this. Your photography needs to stand out from the rest of the shops on Etsy. In order to do this, you need to use a professional photo backdrop. A popular one is white seamless paper roll + 18% grey, which is considered “neutral.” These backdrops allow your items to really pop. Try not to take photos of your items in your backyard, in front of your garage door, or on your kitchen table.

3. Volume

When you’re selling vintage on Etsy like many are, volume can be a big factor in how successful you are. The most successful vintage shops have 500-600 items of inventory for sale at any given time. The reason being is that for every listing you have up, it’s one more chance that someone searching Etsy will stumble into your shop via that listing that caught their eye. So the more items you have up, the more chances you have for people to find you.

4. Tags + Keywords

Use all 13 available tags. Don’t worry if you’ve run out of ideas, just put something there. It will help you get found. Colour, shape, style, era, theme, texture, related keywords, emotions, seasons – it’s all fair game. Describe your item as you would to a person who can’t see it. How does it smell, feel, look, fit, and how much does it weigh? It’s okay to overshare. Pull out any keywords from your main description to use as tags for your item.Give your listings very descriptive, detailed titles – use all the characters allowed if you can. Although titles like “Amber Moon” sound cool, they don’t tell people anything about what the item is. It’s bad for Etsy search and bad for getting found. So be really clear in your titles.

5. Shop Setup

On Etsy, you have very limited “branding” opportunities. The only places you can really brand your shop is with your shop banner and your avatar. In effect, these are extremely important to your shop’s appearance and brand on Etsy. Your banner and avatar should have the same branding – meaning they use the same font, colour palette, and graphic elements. You can make your own shop banner using Photoshop. Since the shop banner is the first visual that many people will see when visiting your shop, make sure it’s eye-catching, clearly legible + evocative of your brand. It should attract your ideal customer at a glance.

❤ Digital, Social Media Marketing + PR

Earn Easy Cash Through Instagram


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Work station stock images

+ Sign up to Twenty20, set your price + sell your photos. You get a 20% cut for each one sold. They sort logistics + shipping worldwide, sending money your way via PayPal every month. They sell your photos on canvas or use them to create phone covers, pillows, ornamental prisms + framed prints. Popular photos are of landscapes + cityscapes. There’s not much on the South African / Cape Town / Joburg / Durban / PE angle (so my readers from here, we can definitely corner the market on this one).

+ Register on Snapfluence + earn serious money through deals with big brands who’ll pay you to promote their products. Become an “Instagram Influencer” + earn up to R17 000 ($1450) to participate in a campaign.

+ Register on Instaprints or SnapMyAd. Sell your photos or get hired to promote products.

Top 10 hashtags on Instagram (in order):

#love

#instagood

#me

#tbt

#girl

#hot

#forsale

#follow

#cute

#photooftheday