Monday, March 4, 2019

small scale business

small scale business

SMEDAN earmarks N103.5 m as grants for small scale business owners in Sokoto - WorldStage

Posted: 04 Mar 2019 06:52 AM PST

WorldStage NewsOnline—-In a bid to enhance the SMEs and ensure their survival, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has earmarked N103.5 million as grants for 2,070 small scale business owners in Sokoto State.
The Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Umar-Radda, said this on Monday in Sokoto that 2,070 at the flag-off of the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) for beneficiaries in 23 local government areas of the state.
He said 90 people were selected in each of the local government areas, adding that SMEDAN would train the beneficiaries, facilitate their business registration and disburse the funds directly into their bank accounts.
The SMEDAN D-G said that a survey conducted recently revealed that 37 million Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) engaged 59.7 million people, and represented 96 per cent of business activities in the county.
Umar-Radda said that the figure of those employed represented 84.2 per cent of the country's labour force, contributing 7.27 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to him, 90 per cent of the micro enterprises are informal and populated by people at the bottom of the pyramid, hence the introduction of Condition Grant Scheme (CGS) for micro enterprises in Nigeria.
He said that the process would enable informal enterprises metamorphosis into formal sector, industrialise the nation, develop the rural economy, stem youth restiveness and unemployment as well as create sustainable economic growth and development.
The D-G said that the present move would target capacity building and post intervention support services such as access to finance, markets, workspace and technology, among others.
He recalled that the scheme was first introduced in 2017 in 145 Local Government Areas of Katsina, Gombe, Ebonyi, Oyo, Akwa Ibom and Benue States.
According to him, 13,000 enterprises in those areas benefited from entrepreneurship training, registration of businesses, provision of insurance and access to finance through grant of N50,000.
Umar-Radda said that the agency had decided to extend the scheme to Lagos, Bauchi and Sokoto states, targeting 6,000 beneficiaries, to encourage job creation, business formalization, improved productivity and capacity enhancement of the operators.
"The scheme would move the micro enterprises from the earlier informal to formal, create jobs, wealth and alleviate poverty in the society.
"Others are enhancing competition of these enterprises towards meeting national, regional and global standards as well as improving internally generated revenue to reduce dependence on oil revenue," he said.

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US, S. Korea begin small-scale military drills - Business Standard

Posted: 04 Mar 2019 02:16 AM PST

and the US on Monday began a series of military exercises on a reduced scale in order to keep dialogue with open despite the poor results of the summit in

The new exercises, called ("Alliance"), are a modification of the annual Key Resolve drills, which have been cancelled, reports news.

- a war game based on computer - will last only one week until March 12, unlike the Key Resolve drills, which lasted about two weeks.

South Korea's and US agreed by telephone on Sunday to cancel the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle (a combined field training exercise) drills and replace them with a new format to support diplomacy surrounding the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, news agency reported.

The reduction in the scale of the Foal Eagle and Key Resolve drills is in line with last year when the US announced the postponement of the allied drills amid the rapprochement process between North and

The spring and summer joint manoeuvres of the allies started in 1976 - the year in which two US officers died at the hands of North Korean soldiers, triggering tension on the peninsula on a scale unprecedented since the Korean War (1950-1953).

The drills had previously only been suspended between 1992 and 1996, during the first negotiations between and US to dismantle the-then incipient nuclear programme.

The Foal Eagle exercises, which are composed of field manoeuvres and usually take place around April, have been reorganized into several series of low-profile training activities that will be carried out throughout the year.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 04 2019. 15:46 IST

The Sharing Economy Is Still Growing, And Businesses Should Take Note - Forbes

Posted: 04 Mar 2019 05:00 AM PST


In all-too-recent times, buying a house, owning a car and the concept of allocating possessions was the pinnacle of "making it" in life. But with sweeping changes in technology, a less-is-more, collaborative standpoint has gained ground and is leaving ownership behind.

Underutilized assets are abundantly available in a world with too many people that have too many things. As smart folks have begun to figure out, sharing lonesome assets kindles economic growth, turns stale resources into money and relieves cost burdens of ownership while chaperoning sustainability. Emancipation from owning is becoming an increasingly freeing notion, and sharing is fostering seeds of community -- sharing is caring, right?

The sharing economy is projected to grow from $15 billion in 2014 to $335 billion in 2025. Quicker than ever, we're shifting to the world of a shared economy.

What Is A Shared Economy?

A shared or sharing economy is an economic system in which assets or services are shared between peers or businesses for free or for a fee. The concept is to enhance the usability of assets, making their lifespan more worthwhile.

Sharing isn't quite a new way of life. Rentable or shared goods have been around for ages, but technology and ease of connections through the digital world have boosted accessibility and convenience to users who now have a better ability to seek things out — often through apps — and obtain them easily.

Who's Involved (And How You Can Join Them)

Need a cheap, fast way to get around town? Bird Scooter's got your wheels. Ride-hail with Uber, or rent someone's extra bedroom or temporarily available apartment space on Airbnb for cheaper than a hotel. Get professional cameras gear to shoot your next indie film from Rent Apple computers for your newly hired team of designers to finish a month-long project -- no need to buy.

There are thousands of companies and individuals with assets waiting to be used. I believe entrepreneurs should start looking at alternative ways their clients could access and use the products they are currently selling. For example, if you sell high-priced luxury goods, maybe you want to consider a rental/subscription option.

Another tip would be to examine current assets where the usage rate is low. For instance, if you run a video production company but only use your camera gear five months out of the year, you could use services like to rent out and make revenue with your underutilized cameras.

That's exactly how I got started renting high-performance computer systems. Creatives that wanted them couldn't afford to buy them, and the rental model really stood out to me as the ideal solution. Especially because in the entertainment industry, most projects scale up and down very fast; investing in specialized hardware for a short time doesn't make sense for a lot of companies.

Is there a similar need in your industry? If you're not convinced yet, here are several reasons your business should consider the potential of joining the shared economy:

Cost-Saving Incentives 

Most cars sit idle 95% of the time. For some, owning a car that comes with interest, fees and insurance can become a more significant cost burden than utilizing ride-hailing networks, public transportation and the occasional rental fee. Travel prices may be reduced and often come with a better experience when you tap opportunities like Airbnb, home-swapping networks and ride-hailing methods. And, as I've learned from building our business, expensive equipment is usually not worth the price of ownership — but many companies make it readily available through a quick and cheap rental. Low-cost shared-economy options save consumers and companies money while contributing significantly to individuals on the other end.

Many of us have a lot of things that we don't need -- according to one estimate, 80% of items in our home are used less than once a month, and yet self-storage rates are rising. Furthermore, things have a shelf life and become outdated quickly. When we share among ourselves for a small fee or rent from businesses or individuals, equipment or assets actually get used, more people can enjoy them, and there is money to be made.

Sharing May Be 'Greener,' Too

Sustainability has become a prime focus of the quickly emerging sharing economy. One hundred scooters that sit in a garage for a year aren't getting a fraction of use (or monetary income) of a single scooter that companies like Bird are providing, and ride-hailing is removing thousands of cars from the street and curbing emissions to boot. It has upsides for businesses too: If you are purchasing computers for your company based on growth forecasts that don't pan out, you may be sitting with many idle computers. It makes much more sense to rent these computers as you scale up; this strategy will ensure your projects are profitable and you will also significantly reduce the amount of e-waste that will later end up in landfills.

Why Sharing? The Millennial Answer

Millennials, who are driving most of the growth in the sharing economy, have adopted new values. Efficiency is the utmost priority, material yearnings are starting to fade, and accessibility to experiences (like eating out at restaurants with friends, not spending money on possessions like expensive jewelry or new furniture) takes precedence over ownership.

With many millennials going to college or just exiting school during a severe recession, resourcefulness surfaced — it wasn't necessary or even feasible for some to own a car anymore, and material possessions increasingly took on an air of unimportance. For this generation, ownership is more of a burden than a source of pride — not suffering under the weight of a car payment, sharing Netflix accounts, cooking food for each other or acting in different ways that chaperone more community is the foundation of the average millennial mentality. Right behind them is Generation Z, which already has the collective spending power of $44 billion and will soon surpass millennials.

With 75% of the workforce estimated to be comprised of millennials by 2025, there's going to be a major shift in purchasing decisions. As the newer generations take over the consumer and business world, their needs and values must be met; otherwise, your business may suffer the fate of companies like Blockbuster and Toys "R" Us. The sharing economy is taking flight, and consumers have made it clear that significant and small-scale sharing operations are here to stay.

FedEx offers more than $200000 in Small Business Grant Contest - Qcity metro

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 09:19 PM PST

The seventh annual FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is now open, and it's looking for small businesses with unique stories to tell.

This year, the contest offers grants and services to 10 small businesses based in the U.S. Additionally, winners will receive store credit for use toward FedEx Office services, as well as packages designed to help them with website optimization, design thinking, social media, and print expertise.

"We know it's difficult for even the most promising of small businesses to grow and scale, especially at the beginning of their life cycle," said Scott Harkins, senior vice president of customer channel marketing at FedEx.

Harkins says beyond the funds, winners will receive "much-needed expertise and advice on some of the most fundamental and critical aspects of building a viable and sustainable business." Experts will stay with the businesses as advisers.

The contest entry period is open through March 25. Fans can vote for their favorite business through April 1. Winners will be announced on April 29.

What are the prizes?

  • One (1) winner will receive $50,000, plus $7,500 in FedEx Office print and business services.
  • One (1) winner will receive $30,000, plus $5,000 in FedEx Office print and business services.
  • Eight (8) winners will receive $15,000, plus $1,000 in FedEx Office print and business services.

How do I qualify?

Participants must:

  • be based in the U.S.
  • be a for-profit business
  • have less than 99 employees
  • have been operating for six months or more

How do I enter?

  • visit and complete a contest profile
  • write a short profile about your business
  • upload four photos of your business or product, including your logo
  • (optional) submit a 90-second "elevator speech" video

Last year's contest attracted more than 7,800 small businesses from across the country, with the winning business hailing from Chicago.

The Entrepreneur Journey Is More Predictable Than Most People Think - Forbes

Posted: 04 Mar 2019 06:33 AM PST

The entrepreneur journey is mostly struggle and stress unless you can build a lifestyle boutique or a performance business.Dent Global

I run a global business accelerator and from 2010–2018, our team interviewed over 6,000 entrepreneurs and leaders in the UK, USA, Australia and Singapore. We discovered a common journey that businesses go through time and time again. When we looked at the data, it was clear that this was happening across the economy.

Out of 5.7Million businesses in the UK, Over 4.3Million of them have no employees. Despite making up 76% of businesses, these early-stage businesses account for just 7% of business revenue. Conversely, there are just 40,000 companies in the UK with over 50 employees and these businesses account for over 60% of business revenue.

Over 75% of the businesses make a total of just 7% of the revenue.BIS UK Gov

The beginning of the journey is hard and unrewarding and we need to plot a course for becoming the type of business that delivers results. I've observed that there are two outcomes to aim for on the entrepreneur journey - a lifestyle boutique (3-12 employees) or a performance business (40-150 employees).

Here are the stages in the Entrepreneur Journey: 

1. Startup. Every business began as a concept in someone's mind, with excitement and nervousness in anticipation of launch. Working with ideas, plans, prototypes and skill sets, someone created a vision, expecting rewards of money, more meaningful work and increased freedom. It was brilliant in their mind and so they began.

2. Wilderness (1–2 founders). After launching, most businesses end up in survival mode with the founders working alone. There's no team to help with making sales, delivering the service or day-to-day operations. The owner is left with little spare time, money or freedom. They swing between stress and boredom, often feeling lost and unable to see a way to break the cycle. In the UK, USA and Australia, 75% of all businesses do not reach a point where they can employ anyone.

3. Struggling boutique (3–12 people with low revenue-per-person). A small team begins to form and the roles become more focused. The struggling boutique is able to pay basic wages but it's not very profitable. It defines itself by geography (e.g. Brighton Pizza Shop, Tampa Bay Printing) and fails to develop many assets mostly trading time for money.

4. Lifestyle boutique (3–12 people with high revenue per person). A small, dynamic team with relatively low overheads but a high-energy culture forms. The team self-organises, has fun developing digital assets that reach people globally and the business looks much bigger than it is. The owner receives better income than they could get at a corporate job with more freedom, greater impact and less stress. This type of business often centres on a 'Key Person of Influence' who's known, liked and trusted in their industry.

5. The desert (13–40 people). During this scaling phase, the business is too big to be a small boutique and too small to be a big business. The overheads increase with additional staff and investment into growth. The business requires leaders, managers and technicians but can't afford these roles. Although the fundamental business is sound, it becomes unprofitable, and investing in long-term projects kills cash flow. Culture is damaged as it is pulled in two directions – the flat structure of the past vs the professional culture of the future. It needs to either grow or shrink fast before it runs out of cash.

6. The factory (40+ people with low revenue per person). Adding a high headcount without improving revenue per person creates a stressful business known as a factory. The business is always on the edge of a financial cliff as payroll ticks over month by month. There's no money to reward the high-performers and they leave, and there's no money for research and development so things stagnate. The business begins a cycle of cutting back overheads and eroding the few assets it once had.

7. Performance (40–150 people with high revenue per person). This is a dynamic team of professionals working with high-quality business assets. The business is almost unrecognisable from the lifestyle boutique it once was. The culture, brand, systems and products have all shifted up a gear and the business now serves more markets and territories. There's healthy profit from well-developed strategic assets (mostly digital or intangible). The business owners can either hold on and enjoy the profit or exit for a life-changing amount of money.

8. Unicorn (250+ people with ultra-high revenue per person). This is a performance team that was in the right place at the right time with the right opportunity and access to lots of funding - like Facebook, Uber, Tesla and LinkedIn. They receive a lot of attention and achieve soaring valuations in a short timeframe. These businesses are almost impossible to replicate, although thousands of copycats try.

9. The corporation (250+ employees and established in the market). This big, established, bureaucratic beast has lots of assets and many people working to sweat or improve them. Corporations used to enjoy a gilded position because not much could dethrone a business with global scale and strength. More recently, every corporation has needed to think like an entrepreneurial team or risk being disrupted by a fast growth performer or unexpected unicorn. The money flowing around corporations is now fair game for ambitious entrepreneurial teams.

Knowing these predictable phases can guide you towards the business you want. If you are an entrepreneur with a level head, your real choice is to focus on either a lifestyle or a performance business. Unicorns require so much in the way of luck and deep pockets that it's impossible to plan them and no one want's to be alone in the wilderness or sweating it out in the desert.

The entrepreneurial journey is more predictable than most people think. Here's the stages:

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