ICSB Proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses!

ICSB Proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses!

ICSB proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses – If we continue to think small in terms of solutions, we will be stuck in small and incremental changes

Sunday, March, 22, 2020

ICSB proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses – If we continue to think small in terms of solutions, we will be stuck in small and incremental changes

Sunday, March, 22, 2020

An Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses – All small businesses below 50 employees become tax-exempt as not-for-profits for 10 years.

“The world isn’t getting better, but technology is,” words spoken not by leaders but by an astute 9-year-old. The truth of that is like a thunderclap. Business innovation makes constant advancements, but oftentimes it’s at the sacrifice of humane practices. The very things that improve the quality of life for some come at a high “people” cost for very many others. Business innovation improves while humanity is removed. And that is when things are going relatively well.

The expression “desperate times call for desperate measures” may have sounded overused or laughingly cliche a few months ago, but those words have come to life around the world in just a few short months. The world, as we know it, is changing in front of our very eyes, and the aftermath of crisis will require more change, especially when we see the fractured economic crisis we are left with.

We think of economies and businesses as inanimate entities, but they are born, raised, and die on the backs of living, breathing people. They are inextricably linked, so when businesses go into crisis, so do the people who work for them. Particularly vulnerable during this time are small businesses that cannot afford to give employees extended paid leave and employees who depend on a weekly paycheck. Now is the time for large-scale measures to protect vulnerable businesses and workers, particularly seniors who face greater risks to their health and well-being.

If we continue to think small in terms of solutions, we will be stuck in small and incremental changes will only affect incremental improvements. But circumstances prove that the status quo is not enough. These desperate times, they call for, let’s not say “desperate” measures, but a well-thought-out plan. An audacious plan implemented on a global scale. What would that plan look like?

The Audacious Plan asks for the following 5 Guiding Principles:

1. All small businesses below 50 employees become tax-exempt as not-for-profits for 10 years. Small businesses are the lifeblood of their communities. Aside from selling necessary products or services, they provide social and community cohesion as well as jobs. Times of crisis like these hurt small businesses the most, which in turn harms society on a human level. When bars, restaurants, and other places for recreation suffer, socializing goes down. It should be considered a higher civic duty to make sure small businesses can survive. Countries can figure out ways to make money that don’t put a strain on small businesses. Big box stores in an area often beat up small businesses, and many of those wounds lead to their death. Giving small businesses tax exemption helps balance out the disadvantage, keep and create jobs, and generally give the local economy a much needed shot in the arm.

2. All countries establish standards for online education for a national education program for K-12 education in partnership with global IT firms. In this age of digital and virtual technology, pandemic or other disasters shouldn’t have to grind education to a halt. Citizens pay taxes for public education, but in many cases, it is not paying for alternatives in cases such as these. But even many affluent neighborhoods have schools without the ability to conduct education online, making it not solely an economic issue. The attitudes of educators need to be adjusted to view educated children as their civic duty under any circumstances where it is possible.

3. All public teachers and nurses get tax free benefits and free graduate education like veteran benefits. Teachers and nurses are a new breed of modern-day and all too often unsung heroes that should be given the benefits of such. Teachers are on the front lines trying to keep order, educate, inspire, and protect our children, whether the classroom is online or in real life. They often the first line of defense for children. Nurses help heal, comfort, and care for patients in close contact, putting their own health and well-being on the line daily. They fight a different war but a war; nonetheless, one that requires self-sacrifice. They should have the benefits of someone who serves and sacrifices for their community, including free tuition, tax-exemption, and healthcare benefits.

4. Free internet funded by local governments. Once a novel technological luxury, the internet can be very nearly regarded as a necessity in this era. Like many necessities, not all can afford it. The mindset towards internet access needs to change from being considered a private luxury to a public good. When citizens pay taxes for public services, the internet should be one of them. Internet for all.

5. A Global Small Business Congress to held on June 27 at the United Nations. For any of these guidelines to be enacted, there needs to be a meeting of minds; a summit for the people and by the people—organizations without government affiliation–to meet to discuss these plans. June 27 is the United Nations International Day for Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs Day). The day was proposed by ICSB and presented by Argentina to the UN General Assembly. This day is our meeting point.

We need to move swiftly forward with the Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses.

Article written by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
ICSB Executive Director
Deputy Chair and Professor at George Washington University School of Business

Alternative Finance Landscape: Roboadvising

Alternative Finance Landscape: Roboadvising

Alternative Finance Landscape: Roboadvising

Monday, December 6, 2021, by Dr. Mariya Yesseleva-Pionka, PhD

At various stages in their personal lives, many entrepreneurs choose to seek the advice of a finance professional to assess risks and recommend financial solutions that could help in the financial decision-making process. Historically, professional advisers or financial planners could be found among lawyers, tax and insurance agents, credit providers, stockbrokers and other financial service providers. As such, it is necessary always to check if all the licenses and registrations are in place before you pay for the services and rely on the advice provided by a chosen financial adviser. A complete financial advice from a selected financial planner typically encompasses information and advice that makes it easier for you to manage investment options, tax implications, insurance policies, education needs, retirement plans and various loans and provides an interconnected financial plan.

 

As the widespread adoption of digital banking continues to increase it is evident that customers will continue to expect more personalised banking services. The myriad banking options shared with customers through their banking applications are making it more challenging to make well-informed financial decisions. Access to professional financial advice has always been associated with a fee payment which gave you access to personalised advice on a diverse range of financial matters. Clearly, for a significant number of people, the fees were considered to be quite high and as a result, not many people could access professional financial advice services. 

 

In today’s digitalised world roboadvising has gained popularity due to lower costs, at scale personalisation, greater accessibility, efficiency and overall, financially inclusive approach. In general lower fees charged by roboadvisors made their service more accessible in comparison to their traditional financial advisors. The process is relatively straightforward, which involves completing an online questionnaire that contains a large set of questions connected with your financial plans, age, risk tolerance level, investment horizons, the amount you are planning to invest, among other granular questions. Upon successful completion of the questionnaire, a roboadvisor will ask you to link your bank account with the roboadvisor’s platform for a more seamless investment experience.

 

There are many online platforms that rely on mathematical computer algorithms to provide recommendations and financial advice to customers with varied financial profiles. Even in the presence of so many benefits, it is essential to be aware of the limitations associated with roboadvising. For many clients, having no face-to-face meetings or conversations could be considered a major hurdle. Roboadvising is still a new landscape, so it is necessary to compare fees and services offered by various roboadvisors.  For instance, check how accessible is the customer support team (e.g., chatbots, emails, phone contact with human advisors), level of management and investment fees charged, types of investment options in order to gauge the level of portfolio diversification, educational material they have on offer, minimum investment amounts, level of customers’ ratings, opportunities to minimise tax exposures, trading costs associated with buying and selling various investments and potential conflicts of interest when it comes to the types of investment products recommended by roboadvisors. Remember, every single outcome in your financial success story is defined by the financial decisions you make.

Author

Dr Mariya Yesseleva-Pionka is Global Certificates Manager at ICSB, a Higher Degree by Research Supervisor at Excelsia College and Adjunct Academic at the University of Technology  Sydney, Australia. Dr Yesseleva-Pionka held teaching and senior academic management positions in Central Asia (Kazakhstan) and Australia. She specialised in general investments, personal and corporate superannuation investments while working for Westpac Banking Corporation and BT Financial Group in Australia. She was invited to join The Housing Connection, a not-for-profit organisation in Sydney, Australia as Treasurer and Board Member from November 2019. Her research interests include entrepreneurial finance, traditional and alternative ways to finance small and medium enterprises (SMEs), corporate finance, policies for the small business sector, innovation and SMEs, FinTechs and Blockchain. Dr Yesseleva-Pionka is the Associate Editor for the Journal of the International Council for Small Business (JICSB). 

So You Say You Want An Entrepreneurial Revolution

So You Say You Want An Entrepreneurial Revolution

So You Say You Want An Entrepreneurial Revolution

Monday, December 6, 2021, by Dr. Norris Krueger

Is it Kepler Time?

So you say you want a revolution; well, you know, we all want to change the world.[i] [ii]

 

2022 is ICSB’s Year of Revolution. We have been witness to no less than four Copernican revolutions in how to develop entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. In each case, we have already had our Copernican moments. But would Copernicus be Copernicus without those like Kepler who fought to prove their essential value?  As a field, the time has now come to find and support our Keplers.

Copernicus proved what many had already suspected: The earth travels around the sun, not vice-versa, despite our evident lived experience. A great triumph for science, yes, but his insights did not change the world until Kepler figured out how to make it actionable by demonstrating the regularity of planet orbits.

Entrepreneurship has already had our Copernican moments; the time has come to empower a generation of Keplers. Everywhere we look, we see “entrepreneurs” and “entrepreneurship” – yet in reality, the quantity of entrepreneurial activity has been in decline for decades.

TESLA for our time: Taking Entrepreneurship Seriously by Losing Assumptions[iii]

Our own lived experience about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship is often as wrong it is about celestial mechanics. Entrepreneurship is both a consequence and driver of complex dynamic adaptive systems where simple linearities are rare. To use an apt analogy, local economies are far more like a messy rain forest than a tidy, organized farm.[iv] Too often, our experiences lead us in the wrong directions. Just as the persistent myths and misconceptions about entrepreneurship resonate too often with our intuitions, the critical leverage points for growing entrepreneurs can be maddeningly counter-intuitive. That means letting go of well-entrenched assumptions about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. Losing our most cherished beliefs is never easy, but the rewards will be brilliant.

There are no less than four Copernican revolutions in how to grow healthy entrepreneurs and healthy entrepreneurship. Yet entrepreneurship is lionized but not embraced. Each month I will take a deeper look at these:

            1) Entrepreneurial education and learning

            2) Lean startup, design thinking, etc.

            3) Bottom-up, outside-in entrepreneurial ecosystems

            4) Social and sustainable entrepreneurship

We need to embrace all four if we are to realize the entrepreneurial potential of our communities – all of our communities. That we need to embrace if we are to realize the entrepreneurial potential of our citizens – all of our citizens.

We will likely have to storm a few barricades for the entrepreneurial revolution to succeed. Will you join ICSB and friends? Then, we will give John Lennon the final word: Don’t you know it’s going to be all right?

 

ICSB Entrepreneurship Revolution series continues with Dr. Norris Krueger.

[i]     Lennon, J & McCartney, P (1968) “Revolution”. Sony Music Publishing (with apologies for the liberties).

[ii]    Stay tuned for a “Keplerian” entrepreneurial update of this Beatles classic…

[iii]    ICSB CEO Ayman El-Tarabishy has dubbed me the “Tesla of entrepreneurship”; it seems only appropriate to leverage the meme

[iv]    e.g, Hwang & Horowitt’s seminal 2012 book, The Rainforest; also Brett’s 2020 Admired Disorder)

Why Corporate Entrepreneurship And Why Now?

Why Corporate Entrepreneurship And Why Now?

Why Corporate Entrepreneurship And Why Now?

Monday, December 6, 2021, by Dr. Alex F. DeNoble

While conversing with a colleague recently, we somehow segued into a discussion about the concept of “punctuated equilibrium” (PE).  He is an educator, and he was talking about the need to adapt our approaches to providing meaningful and impactful learning experiences for our students.   Afterward, I began to dig deeper into the concept of punctuated equilibrium.  I learned that the term evolved from paleontological literature. Scientists use this term to make sense of how a sudden exogenous factor can change the status quo of an entire ecosystem. In paleontology, they refer to dinosaur life before and after the sudden interruption caused by an asteroid striking the earth.  Alas, some life forms went extinct because they could not adapt, while others flourished as they adapted to the new status quo. 

 

Today, as a global society, we are faced with our form of punctuated equilibrium event brought on by a confluence of exogenous forces led by the COVID-19 pandemic and enhanced by intensified global concerns about the environment and climate change and demands for social justice through meaningful diversity equity and inclusion. 

 

As I thought about it more, I began to divide the world into three distinct periods: 1) conceptually life before COVID-19; 2) life during COVID-19; and 3) an emerging “new normal” life as we learn to live with COVID and its many new variants. This new normal will profoundly affect how we will live, work and play in the near term future. 

 

Like the dinosaurs, many companies went extinct during COVID -19 because the impact was too sudden and they could not react fast enough to survive.  But for those companies and entrepreneurs who were able to hold on during quarantines, social distancing, and institutional closures, the challenge is not over. It has only just begun. 

 

Now companies, both large and small, are anxiously trying to figure out what their own new normal will look like. No longer can they rely on the adage of “If it worked for us in the past, it would work for us in the future.” Instead, companies need to rethink their business models, processes, and traditional customer markets.  What is needed now, more than ever, is the corporate entrepreneur, the innovator, the maverick initiator of change in an organization. 

 

In this introductory article, I underscore the urgency for individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset and drive to reimagine our work environment and the markets that companies currently serve.  Because Corporate Entrepreneurship is a complex process, it requires individuals who can draw on their confidence in their abilities to navigate the organization’s hierarchies and roadblocks.  In addition, such individuals will need to develop effective social skills to overcome the obstacles that can impede their progress towards introducing new business and process ideas.  In the months ahead, I will offer short articles on insights I have gained about Corporate Entrepreneurship through my research and interviews with many amazing people who have successfully navigated the corporate maze to bring their ideas to life. I hope you will enjoy the ride as much as I want to share my thoughts with you on this most critical topic. Until next time……

Industria 4.0 y Pymes manufactureras en Latinoamérica Entrega 1

Industria 4.0 y Pymes manufactureras en Latinoamérica Entrega 1

Industria 4.0 y Pymes manufactureras en Latinoamérica Entrega 1 –

Entrepreneurial Revolution Series

Monday, November 22, 2021, de Dr. Rubén Ascúa

El nivel de difusión de las nuevas tecnologías involucradas en la llamada Industria 4.0 (I40) es aún incipiente en América Latina y en particular en pymes manufactureras. La I40 presenta dos dimensiones, por un lado, la política descendente en la que los gobiernos incentivan al sistema productivo a adoptar los motores de esta revolución tecnológica y, por otro, la dimensión empresarial impulsada por las grandes empresas transnacionales y la red de participantes pymes en sus cadenas de valor. Este artículo encuentra que las principales motivaciones de las PYMES analizadas que la introducción de estas nuevas tecnologías está vinculada a la necesidad de encontrar soluciones, en términos de mejora de la eficiencia en los procesos, mayor calidad de los productos y servicios a los clientes y proveedores. Por otro lado, el cambio que supone la digitalización, plantea un salto cualitativo para las PYMES lo que les obliga a replantear su funcionamiento y en el que es imprescindible la interconexión y actualización dinámica de las competencias de sus recursos humanos.

 

Desde fines del siglo XX y comienzos del siglo XXI, en un marco de fuerte globalización y reconfiguración de la fisonomía del capitalismo de base industrial imperante en las décadas precedentes, se aprecia la transición hacia una etapa donde el uso masivo y difusión de nuevas tecnologías impacta fuertemente en la dinámica social y económica. Esta transformación en los escenarios productivos es conocida recientemente como “Cuarta Revolución Industrial”, o Industria 4.0, en tanto cuarta mega etapa de la evolución técnica-económica de la humanidad desde el inicio de la Primera Revolución Industrial.

 

El concepto “Industria 4.0” surge en Alemania a comienzos de la década pasada como emergente de la iniciativa del gobierno federal alemán de diseñar un programa de mejora de la productividad de la industria manufacturera del país. El término Industria 4.0 fue presentado por primera vez en la Feria de Hannover de 2011.  Desde la academia se ha comenzado a prestar atención a la I40 de manera reciente y como reacción a la dinámica impuesta por las dos dimensiones antes señaladas. En particular se destacan los informes de consultoras como McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte, entre otras que a nivel global y desde la consultoría han comenzado en los últimos diez años a seguir básicamente la cadena de decisiones e inversiones en tecnologías I40 por parte de las más importantes corporaciones del mundo.

 

El término industria 4.0 se refiere a un nuevo modelo de organización de los procesos productivos y de control de la cadena de valor con eje en las tecnologías de la información y dispositivos comunicados de manera autónoma. Se parte de la posibilidad de la configuración de fábricas “inteligentes” que integran lo físico con lo virtual, lo que supone la articulación de sistemas computacionales y procesos manufactureros, el despliegue de decisiones descentralizadas y mecanismos de optimización “auto organizativos” (European Parliament, 2016).

Autor

Dr. Rubén Andrés Ascúa – Rector de Universidad Nacional de Rafaela

 

PERFIL

. CONTADOR PÚBLICO NACIONAL – Universidad Nacional del Litoral – Argentina.

. LICENCIADO EN ECONOMÍA – Universidad Nacional de Rosario – Argentina.

. Magister y Doctor (PhD) en Economía – PW University San Diego – California – EEUU.

 

Actual:  Profesor en las Universidades Tecnológica Nacional, de General Sarmiento y del Litoral en Argentina; y en la de Ciencias Aplicadas de Kaiserslautern, en Alemania. Presidente de la Asociación Civil Red Pymes MERCOSUR. President of  International Council for Small Business (ICSB 2014-2015). Director de A&M Ciencias Económicas.

 

Behavioural Finance and Generation Z

Behavioural Finance and Generation Z

Behavioural Finance and Generation Z

Tuesday, October 26, 2021, by Dr. Mariya Yesseleva-Pionka, PhD

The global online connectivity has soared from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as the world was forced to rely on technology to maintain communication and the exchange of information. The business models of the existing and new businesses had to be re-evaluated to factor in the importance of having an online presence. Moving forward, entrepreneurs and MSME owner-managers and the corporate sector have to assess the benefits of the hybrid business models and hybrid work arrangements for their staff members. Generation Z represents a significant group of the current workforce globally and they also actively seek various investment options. Members of Generation Z were born between 1995 to 2010 and, according to a report published by Mckinsey Consulting Company,[1] this is a “hypercognitive generation”, which is searching for “truth” and “individual expression”. Every generation has unique identifying characteristics and approaches to personal finance and investments.

 

A new research study results by Barclays Smart Investor[2] demonstrated that Generation Z looks at the short-term investments that promise high returns. One quarter (25%) of Generation Z investors are checking the performance of their investment portfolio, and 17% are trading on a frequent basis which is not surprising, due to the easy access to smart mobile devices. Most importantly, 16% of the respondents are engaged in speculative investments. This could have a detrimental effect on their future lifestyle if the risk exposure is not minimised. High-risk investment strategies are not suitable for everyone. There is also a common misconception that Generation Z could try to take on higher risk just because of their young age, as they have more time to make up for the potential losses. It is vital to comprehend the overall impact on investors’ lifestyle, financial and mental health, requirements to work harder and longer hours, and unnecessary stress and wellbeing.

 

It is vital to understand the importance of diversification and the creation of a well-balanced investment portfolio. When assessing any investment portfolio, it is crucial to take into account two broad types of risk: systematic risk and unsystematic risk. The systematic risk refers to the economy-wide risk, and all investors in the market are exposed to it. Thus, it is essential to assess current economic conditions and how they might affect your investment choices. The unsystematic risk is also known as a firm-specific risk as it directly relates to the firms investors monitoring for the potential investment. Changes in management, product and brand reputation, the introduction of the new project could represent some of the examples of the effect on the firm performance. Generation Z was introduced to technology and investment opportunities at their fingertips from a young age, due to the rapid developments in finance and technology, which was not the case for older generations. The ease of use and accessibility of the online investment options should not cancel detailed research and assessment of the potential risk involved in the investment options and the long-term effect on financial wellbeing.

 

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/true-gen-generation-z-and-its-implications-for-companies

[2] https://www.barclays.co.uk/smart-investor/news-and-research/investing-insights/rise-of-the-gen-z-investor/

Author

Dr Mariya Yesseleva-Pionka is Global Certificates Manager at ICSB, a Higher Degree by Research Supervisor at Excelsia College and Adjunct Academic at the University of Technology  Sydney, Australia. Dr Yesseleva-Pionka held teaching and senior academic management positions in Central Asia (Kazakhstan) and Australia. She specialised in general investments, personal and corporate superannuation investments while working for Westpac Banking Corporation and BT Financial Group in Australia. She was invited to join The Housing Connection, a not-for-profit organisation in Sydney, Australia as Treasurer and Board Member from November 2019. Her research interests include entrepreneurial finance, traditional and alternative ways to finance small and medium enterprises (SMEs), corporate finance, policies for the small business sector, innovation and SMEs, FinTechs and Blockchain. Dr Yesseleva-Pionka is the Associate Editor for the Journal of the International Council for Small Business (JICSB). 

4th Industry and Humane Entrepreneurship

4th Industry and Humane Entrepreneurship

4th Industry and Humane Entrepreneurship

Sunday, September 26, 2021, by Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy

As our society moves through Industry 4.0 and acclimates to manufacturing automation, this 4th Industrial Revolution is throwing our world into uncharted waters where cold, uncompromising technology meets the warmth and unpredictability of the human experience.

 
Within the context of humane entrepreneurship, we understand that each entity has its histories, values, and cultures that inform how they do business and interact with their peers. However, any time we approach a different way of operating, there are new questions that arise. Chief among them, we must ask ourselves what the role is of humane entrepreneurship at this unfamiliar intersection of technology vs. the human experience and how we can consider the lessons we have learned from the past to embody the society we want to be in the future.


According to academic and researcher Ivea ZeBryte, we must keep sight of the human element in all that we do. ZeBryte says, “When teaching entrepreneurs, we should be working through a matrix where empathy is understood as the ability to put oneself into the place of another, to identify and be sensitive to others that we recognize as different from us.” Therefore, it is precisely the differences that challenge us to come together for the greater good. To move forward together into the next realm of entrepreneurship, ZeBryte lays out the road map to follow: reevaluate, or delineate what we value as humanity; reimagine, or work out the plurality of futures ahead of us; and reset, or build a new system of value creation and exchange based on these agreed-upon ideas.


Meanwhile, taking a more micro-level view, we must also consider what influences entrepreneurs and their decision-making processes, both internal and external. Psychological factors include personality, mindset, and level of cognition, while non-psychological elements encompass affiliation to a group, religion, culture, and friends and family. Additionally, one could underscore three main orientations: entrepreneurial, emphasizing innovation; human resource, regarding empowerment; or sustainability, highlighting environment. “When taking all of these factors cumulatively, it creates a multi-dimensional construct that is humane entrepreneurship,” says Indu Khurana, Assistant Professor at Hampden-Sydney College. Without consideration for the individual and the society, including the influences behind our decisions, we lose the value of humane entrepreneurship.


In the meantime, it is essential to reconcile these humane concepts with new technology that is rapidly advancing this current industrial revolution. Take, for example, the travel industry. With tourism contributing USD 8.9 trillion to global GDP, it is closely linked to countries’ social, economic, and environmental well-being. The opportunities to make it even more innovative and efficient through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are endless. Still, it is essential to consider what cost they may come, particularly for these citizens for whom so much is at stake. As Dr. Jugho Suh, Assistant Professor at George Washington University School of Business, warns, “AI-based off of Big Data is not a panacea for all problems…AI can read patterns and behavior, but it cannot read attitude, values, or underlying motives for action.” Therefore, while it is essential to lift the travel industry in this current age of technology, we must not do so at the expense of human lives.


At its core, technological advances have brought us to the current era and given countless opportunities to those living today. However, we are experiencing an important crossroads right now, one with immense ramifications for future generations, and it is up to us the future we choose to orient ourselves toward. Although there will always be significant differences across cultures, we must find common values to move into the future that we desire together.


Watch the session below for more on the impacts of colonialism on Chile, religion in India, and AI technology on the travel industry.

Investment Choices and The Power of Gold Shield

Investment Choices and The Power of Gold Shield

Investment Choices and The Power of Gold Shield

Tuesday, September 21, 2021, by Dr. Mariya Yesseleva-Pionka, PhD

The Bretton Woods system of monetary management was created to establish an international currency regime. The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference took place in 1944 at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. At that time, the delegates from 44 countries established two significant institutions – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, now known as the World Bank Group. It took a long time and only in 1958, the Bretton Woods system was in full operation. The responsibility of the United States was to keep the price of gold fixed at USD 35 an ounce and make sure the supply of dollars was at adequate levels to maintain future gold convertibility, as the gold was the basis for the U.S. dollar. Participating nations were required to settle international balances in dollars. The Bretton-Woods system did not last long and officially ended in 1971 when President Nixon confirmed that the United States would not continue exchanging gold for the United States Dollar, mainly due to the fact that at that time, the U.S. balance-of-payments deficits contributed to the level of dollars in circulation surpassing the level of U.S. gold stock[1].


Is gold still an attractive investment 50 years later? How has the price of gold been fluctuating over the years? The price of gold is affected by three important factors- supply, demand conditions and investors sentiments. Gold is one of the precious metals that has been a subject of great attraction for investors worldwide. For many, the gold represents a treasured investment and demand for gold is exceptionally high during times of economic and financial crises, such as the Great Depression, Global Financial Crisis and the most recent COVID-19 global pandemic. The supply of gold also has an impact on the price of gold. Gold mining has been continuing for centuries and one could assume that, if there is a higher supply, the price should be lower. This is not always the case as the increasing demand for gold is explained by the growing number of jewellery items, the higher level of gold added by central banks to their reserves and gold investments in commodity markets, with many investors choosing to have gold in their investment portfolios as a shield from unstable economic circumstances.


In 2020, during COVID-19 global pandemic, the price of gold was driven to new heights, reaching above USD 2,000 per ounce. Due to volatile economic conditions worldwide, investors rushed to choose gold and other precious metals as a reliable and recession-proof store of value, further driving up the price of gold. Another contributing factor to the surging price of gold was the severe disruption in the gold supply chains worldwide, due to the pandemic restrictions with the decreased production levels, deliveries and suspension of work in refineries. Nevertheless, to this day, gold is a well-known investment choice for diversifying investment portfolios and it is used it as a shield from uncertain economic conditions.



[1] www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/bretton-woods-created

Author

Dr Mariya Yesseleva-Pionka is Global Certificates Manager at ICSB, a Higher Degree by Research Supervisor at Excelsia College and Adjunct Academic at the University of Technology  Sydney, Australia. Dr Yesseleva-Pionka held teaching and senior academic management positions in Central Asia (Kazakhstan) and Australia. She specialised in general investments, personal and corporate superannuation investments while working for Westpac Banking Corporation and BT Financial Group in Australia. She was invited to join The Housing Connection, a not-for-profit organisation in Sydney, Australia as Treasurer and Board Member from November 2019. Her research interests include entrepreneurial finance, traditional and alternative ways to finance small and medium enterprises (SMEs), corporate finance, policies for the small business sector, innovation and SMEs, FinTechs and Blockchain. Dr Yesseleva-Pionka is the Associate Editor for the Journal of the International Council for Small Business (JICSB). 

The Entrepreneurial Journey Part 5 – Can You Execute?

The Entrepreneurial Journey Part 5 – Can You Execute?

The Entrepreneurial Journey Part 5 – Can You Execute?

Tuesday, September 7, 2021, by Dr. Frederick Crane

Go-to-market strategies for most new ventures are usually fatally flawed. And, they are usually fatally flawed because they are not grounded by voice of customer (VOC) research. You cannot execute successfully without truly vetting the elements of your go-to-market strategy. This is where the rubber hits the road. Planning is nothing without execution! And, executing based on assumptions and guesswork is folly. So, your execution must be validated by your customer.

 

First, determine your suite of offerings for your addressable market. Find out exactly what the customer wants In terms of a product/service suite. Single offerings are considered one-trick ponies to investors. They want to see a portfolio of offerings to different types of customers with different use cases. Yes, your starting point is a beach-head with a core customer and a core use case. But, you have to plan for adjacency plays – new customers, new applications etc. So, determine what will be your first offerings to the first customers and then build out from there.

 

Second, determine you pricing strategy using VOC. Do not use cost-plus pricing or competitive-based pricing, instead use demand-based pricing. In other words, back into your pricing using customer input. Find out exactly what your customers are willing and able to pay. In essence, do not say “our costs are X therefore are price should be Y.” Or, “our competitors are priced at ABC, therefore we should price accordingly.” No, allow your customer to set your price ceiling. They will tell you the value that they attach to your product/service.

 

Third, determine your channels of distribution using VOC. Engage your potential customers and determine where they currently shop for solutions like yours. And, are they happy with where they have to shop for them? You need to gain market access to your customers so find the right channels and then slot your products/services in those channels. Also, be mindful that most investors want a venture that has planned on multiple channels of distribution. Multi-channel is actually a must today so forget your notion of a single D2C channel – your own website only. Pure-plays such as this limit your access to customers; cost a lot of money re: customer acquisition; and scare investors!

 

Fourth, determine your marketing communications strategy by using VOC. This execution element is perhaps the most critical. The wrong media mean missed opportunities. Remember, no one knows you, your venture or your brand. You need to reach your customers. So, you need to determine exactly what media your addressable market consumes – what they read, listen to, and watch. You will not have enough budget to shotgun this. So, narrow-cast – focus – and hit your customer directly. If you know precisely the type of customers that are part of your addressable market, talk with them and ascertain their media habits. If they say, “we watch Oprah”, then, you better advertise on Oprah. If they say, I learn about product/services like this on Instagram”, then you better be on Instagram!\

 

A cohesive, integrated execution strategy is a must if you are going to have a successful entrepreneurial journey. And, it is possible. Just do the work and enjoy your success!

Author

Frederick Crane serves as a Senior Project Manager for the International Council for Small Business (ICSB).

Dr. Crane is an Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the College of Business at Northeastern University; Former Editor of the Journal of the Academy of Business Education; and co-founder of Ceilidh Insights LLC – an innovation management training, intellectual property consulting
and consumer insight company. He was formerly a professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at the University of New Hampshire and a Chair and Full professor at Dalhousie University.

At Northeastern, he developed the graduate new venture creation course; the undergraduate innovation course – which is now taught campus-wide; and developed the online MBA course on innovation and enterprise growth. He also serves as the Faculty Advisor for the Private Equity and Venture Capital Club. Every semester at least one of his teams from his new venture creation course goes on to commercialize a business.

Citation of Article:

Crane, F. (2021, September 7). The Entrepreneurial Journey Part 5 – Can You Execute?  The International Council for Small Business, Small Business Gazette. https://icsb.org/the-entrepreneurial-journey-part-5-can-you-execute/

Education and Humane Entrepreneurship

Education and Humane Entrepreneurship

Education and Humane Entrepreneurship

Sunday, September 5, 2021 by Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy

Education sits as the cornerstone of creating socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs. When we imagine the future of humane entrepreneurship, it includes empowered employees and well-educated entrepreneurs making intelligent decisions to heal the environment and benefit the world. To enable entrepreneurs to make these changes we envision, we must educate them on the issues that truly matter, such as integrating social entrepreneurship with sustainable entrepreneurship and employing business practices that protect our planet, communities, and future generations.

 

First, we must consider the significance of climate change and the role that government officials and entrepreneurs play in preventing further damage to the planet. Although governments are making changes to reduce negative impacts on the environment, we are still concerned about whether profitability and sustainability can coexist. We must educate all stakeholders about climate risk and their duty to promote sustainability in response to this. As observed by Dr. Mariya Yesseleva-Pionka, Global Certificates Manager for ICSB and adjunct professor at University of Technology Sydney, “With every new business venture comes a great responsibility for making climate-friendly decisions.” Therefore, we need to continue developing and supporting eco-friendly solutions such as green start-ups, fin-techs, and sustainability reporting and educate entrepreneurs on how to implement SDGs and sustainable business practices properly. It is imperative to note that long-term profits will not matter if the planet deteriorates due to climate change.

 

This sustainability education is inherently tied to education about social entrepreneurship, as both of these entrepreneurial approaches target issues on a human and environmental level. Although there exists an increasing amount of research on social entrepreneurial intention (SEI), or the motivation of entrepreneurs to build new social enterprises, we still lack knowledge about different SEI antecedents, such as personality, cognition, and experience, as well as variables moderating antecedent-SEI relationships, including economic and social influences. According to Dr. Phillipp Kruse, a scientific staff member at the Dresden University of Technology, the solution to these research issues lies in examining SEI in countries with different cultures and economic situations and developing a validated instrument with which to measure SEI. Additionally, social entrepreneurship educators must include more psychological input in university courses to strengthen participants’ motivational ties to social entrepreneurship.

 

With the amount of power entrepreneurial learners possess to change the future of business and the environment, we owe them the best education, educators, research, and settings. We must listen inclusively to the voices of these learners and new and small businesses alike. As stated by Dr. Norris Krueger, Senior Research Fellow at the College of Doctoral Studies, UOPX & Entrepreneurship Northwest, “Students are our secret weapon. In terms of learning and educating, and especially in terms of the ecosystem.” To provide entrepreneurial learners with the best resources, we must shift from top-down systems to bottom-up, from institutions to people, and from hierarchies to networks. Inclusivity and active listening are the keys to discovering what our entrepreneurial students need to flourish, improve their communities, and shape the future of humane entrepreneurship. In educating entrepreneurs and stakeholders on their sustainable responsibilities, increasing students’ ties to social entrepreneurship at the university level, and providing high quality, comprehensive education, we grant entrepreneurs the tools necessary to implement safer business practices and create long-term, positive change for our environment, communities, and ways of life.

For more on the importance of entrepreneurial education, watch the session below.