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  • Bitwalking: Share The Belief And Benefits Of A New, Equal, Global Economy For All: See Latest Commments

    Bitwalking: Share The Belief And Benefits Of A New, Equal, Global Economy For All: See Latest Commments

    Recently a totally new concept was launched in some countries, including the UK, based on the exciting digital or crypto currency innovations of recent years, that could actually empower individuals to convert their daily steps into digital money that they can spend, save or whatever, just like our existing currencies. ‘Bitwalking’, as it has been named, could effectively give everyone the freedom and opportunity simply to make money by walking!

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  • The Future of Housing

    The Future of Housing

    Housing that is not only high quality but also affordable can be hard to come by these days, so where do eco houses fit in when it comes to both developed and developing markets? 

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  • Online Privacy

    Online Privacy

    Online privacy concerns have been gaining increasing attention over the past decade. Despite the fact that individuals had many privacy concerns even before the world wide web emerged, it seems their worries have substantially increased ever since. Importantly, the hype seems to be justified, as getting our identity stolen over the internet is much more likely and common, than it was in the old times, as there are around 3.5 billion users who prey on you online today, which is quite a substantial number in comparison to the few thousand people who you came across during a lifetime before occurrence of Internet.

                    One of the concerns which is present in the minds of most online users is related to the extensive use of cookies, which are utilized by the majority of popular websites in order to track customers’ movement on their page. Even more concerning is the fact that despite the widespread use of cookies, webpages seldom post any privacy-related notices and even less of them have incorporated a formal privacy policy into their website. It is also necessary to stress that the online world has made it increasingly effortless to amass large amounts of user related information, which makes consumers’ frustration even greater.

                    Interestingly enough, even though the privacy concerns are discussed a lot in the media, the number of complaints on breaching peoples’ privacy online remains low. A few reasons for this trend might be the privacy policies which companies already have in place, collection of information without analysing them, meaning that the privacy breaches remain hidden and also the consumer related unawareness of the privacy legislation and their rights. Despite the recent proliferation of big data, many companies also don’t know how to utilize the vast amount of information they accumulate, however, with improvement of new web based technologies and increased familiarity with the science behind big data, it is assumed that companies are going to catch up and start using all the data, they have saved on their servers. One of the concerns here is that hackers might access such stored information even before companies figure out how to use them and if hackers go through all the trouble of accessing the information, they probably also know how to use it.

                    The greatest issue with all this is not the data collection itself, but companies’ non-transparent ways of going about it, i.e., many websites don’t tell their visitors which data is being collected and how this data is going to be used. On the positive note however, most professional websites are starting to pay more attention to this issue and developing comprehensive privacy policies. One of the initiatives which is contributing to these efforts is the requirement of European Union that all websites contain a pop-up cookie collection statement, which usually also contains a direct link to websites’ privacy policy.


                    One of the consequences of online privacy breach can be identity theft. If you want to learn more about it or on how to protect yourself from it, read our “Identity Theft” article and make your presence online more secure. 

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  • 5 Best Strategies To Increase The Growth And Profitability Of Your Business

    5 Best Strategies To Increase The Growth And Profitability Of Your Business

    Success depends on growth and development, and as long as we fight for success, most of us entrepreneurs have a very small increase in their business. With the right strategy and plan development, you can increase profitability and business growth. Here are five tips that will help you weigh and customize your business.

    1. Products And Services Of  Your Main Competitors:

    Identify your unique selling proposition and use it in full force. Your USP is what differentiates your product or service from the products and services of your main competitors. Do you lower the price? Do you offer a quality product? What do you suggest this, which is not in your direct competitors? Once you determine your USP, use it for their own purposes. Make it a focal center of your marketing goals and make sure that your target customers are aware that what makes your product or service better.

    2. Loyalty Program For Regular Customer:

    Increase revenue from the existing customer base. Most businesses and companies focused solely on attracting new customers and forget about their existing customer base, which they can use and which may bring them income. Creating an effective loyalty program for regular customers, develop a program to bring to the interaction of existing customers, or launch an affiliate program will help you to properly use your customer base to generate additional income.

    Innovation and empowering customers to increase sales and profit growth, while focusing on improving the efficiency and cost control allow you to put the record income.
    5 Best Strategies To Increase The Growth And Profitability Of Your Business
    5 Best Strategies To Increase The Growth And Profitability Of Your Business 1

    3. About Expanding The Business:

    Work through all the mistakes and shortcomings, before you start thinking about expanding the business. We have business there is always a vision of a "complete picture" of our business, we are trying to implement. It is very important in this case is not "run ahead of the engine," especially when it comes to expansion. Discovering new places locations and entry into a new market sounds great and has the potential to be equated with a huge growth, but if you do it too early, as a result of this can lead to total collapse.
    5 Best Tips And Techniques To Target Your Customers Have Grow Business

    Make sure that your business is no "holes" in the form of errors and shortcomings that should be improved, before thinking about expanding. Create a successful company and then duplicating it in other markets or locations much easier than to force the expansion of the company with numerous shortcomings that could cost you your success. Remember, even the smallest hole can sink a great ship.


    4. Do not be afraid to "get dirty":

    Do not be afraid to "get dirty". Have you ever noticed this "fashion" among companies of failed? The owner is usually "goes missing" and no effort. Most entrepreneurs think that, with the inscription of the owner, founder or CEO on business cards automatically means that they can relax, throw your feet on the table and give instructions and orders.

    But remember, there is no one in your company who knows your product or service better than you. In order for your business to grow and develop, you should always guide your team in the right direction. Help them and not be afraid "to get dirty"regular job. Show them how to do things right, and you will not only earn the respect and get more productive and well-motivated team.

    5. Investment In Your Business:

    Invest back into your business. The growth involves capital, so violently rising wages and wasteful expenditures of the company are to be suspended and reinvested back into the business. Companies will always need funding and spend it completely, because they support the big payouts and unnecessary costs, then again attempts to provide more funding to pull itself out of the hole they dug themselves. Be modest in relation to the company's money and reinvest every dollar in its growth and development.

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  • Financial Literacy - Is It Dangerous or Essential?

    Financial Literacy - Is It Dangerous or Essential?

     "It's a year since financial education became a compulsory part of the curriculum for England's 11 to 16 year olds. But do you know the answers to some of the questions in their lessons?"

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  • How to Master the Art of Social Selling

    How to Master the Art of Social Selling

    Sales are like great employees: every business can use more of them.

    Unfortunately, though, I'm a pretty poor salesman. (Okay, really poor.) That's why, when I write about sales strategies and techniques, I turn to experts for information and input.

    Like Mike Derezin, Vice President of LinkedIn Sales Solutions. Recently we talked about Social Selling, the process of building stronger relationships with potential customers based on truly understanding their needs and problems -- in short, better knowing the people you hope to do business with.

    Every salesperson dreams about living in a world without cold calls and enjoying a network built solely on referrals.

    Those dreams are actually closer to reality than you might think.

    And that's a good thing, because cold selling lacks personalization and relevance--the fundamental tactics that establish good business relationships and lead to more sales.

    In today's B2B business environment, savvy salespeople use cold calls as a last resort. Instead they use social networking to strategically ask for personal introductions and network with prospects and customers--otherwise known as Social Selling.

    By building a strong personal brand and leveraging existing networks, anyone --regardless of industry -- can master the art of Social Selling to drive referrals.

    Here are five ideas for getting started:

    1. Connect with people you actually know.

    While this might seem obvious, a strong network built on real world connections will allow people to vouch for you. It will also strengthen your referral universe by opening up the possibility to form relationships with people that your connections know.

    At LinkedIn our research shows that buyers are five times more likely to engage if the contact is made through a mutual connection, so be sure your offline contacts are reflected in your online world.

    2. Leverage your company's network.

    Have you ever made a cold call only to later find out that your co-worker knows your prospect? The power of social networks minimizes the chances of this happening because it provides a quick and easy view into your network.

    In the world of social networking and big data, having intel on the people you want to engage, and a path to connecting with them, has never been easier. According to LinkedIn research, 88% of buyers will engage in discussion if introduced through someone in their existing network.

    Remember, no one likes a canned approach. Be thoughtful enough to customize your message. It will go a long way in making a good first impression.

    3. Find connections based on shared interests.

    Online alumni networks and professional networking groups are just a few places to connect through shared interests. Think of these as your "digital water cooler "--a place to engage in conversation with information that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

    Engaging with prospects through common interests will give you more visibility, making it more acceptable to proactively ask for a referral rather than reaching out cold.

    4. Build your professional brand beyond just a resume.

    Think beyond the resume and approach your online presence as a key marketing tool.

    50% of B2B buyers say they won't work with sales professionals with incomplete social profiles, so make sure you put your best foot forward by tailoring the content to reflect your expertise and personal brand. Experiment with videos, slideshows and images by embedding them into your profile.

    The saying "a picture is worth a 1000 words" has never been more true than on social media.

    5. Be vocal.

    Beyond completing your profile, liking and sharing content can increase the likelihood that your network will engage with the information, and pave the way for new referrals.

    We know that 92% of B2B buyers will listen to sellers who are known as industry thought leaders. Consider sharing articles or blogging on relevant industry topics to establish a regular cadence of content. Have a point of view and take risks in your answers.

    It's okay to share information about your company's products and services, but only occasionally, and as appropriate. This will distinguish you among a sea of salespeople and position you as a smart resource.

    And lastly, stay on top of what's important to your key contacts by paying attention to the content they share, and chime in when you have meaningful insights.

    Social Selling offers salespeople massive opportunities to significantly enhance their efforts to make new contacts, establish their online reputation, and build a sales pipeline. Together, these activities lead to an increased network of referrals, at scale, which is easier to achieve than ever before.

    Building revenue through referrals is a dream of every sales person.

    Source: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/5-ways-to-dramatically-increase-leads-and-referrals-through-social-selling.html 

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  • Social Franchising (Part 3)

    Social Franchising (Part 3)

    As we have seen in the previous two parts of this copy, social franchising can considerably contribute to reducing poverty by providing employment to vast amounts people and spreading socioeconomic awareness. Thus, if you want to make a huge positive impact upon the society, opening a social enterprise would be a good idea and starting a social franchise or becoming a franchisee of an already existing one might be even better and more importantly, much easier to implement. The following paragraphs will give you an opportunity to meet some of our favourite companies which have already embarked on the journey. If you find one you really like, you could perhaps ask them for feedback on your big idea to change the world, or you might even find one which you can strongly relate to and contact them about a franchise opportunity with them or perhaps even for volunteering and helping their cause in that way. We are certain that any social enterprise would be excited to get a helping hand, as that would enable them to help even more people, which is the main goal majority of them have. The information on opportunities and examples of social franchises we will provide, will differ on case by case basis, as the amount of information we could access on each one of them differs significantly. Despite that, we hope you will find the information you are looking for or at least interesting.

    First of all, we would like to mention The Trussell Trust, which is a company with the aim of eliminating hunger from the United Kingdom (UK). As we all know, UK is one of the most affluent countries in the world, however, data shows that nearly thirteen million hungry people live there and the number is increasing each day due to several reasons, spanning from unexpected expenses which need to be urgently handled to delays of receiving benefits. If the data for UK is so striking, you can only imagine, how high the numbers are in less affluent countries, especially in the developing ones. The Trussell Trusts’ network of 400 food bank franchisees, has decided to tackle this big issue by providing people in need with a minimum of three-day emergency food support packages. In this way, their support has reached over 1.000.000 house British households in 2015 and the beginning of 2016. If you decide to become their franchisee, they will provide you with full training and operating manual, ongoing support, a content management system template for your future franchisee website, branding artwork, national and regional conferences, etc. Your initial contribution to become their franchisee will sum up to 1500 pounds the first year and 360 each consecutive, which doesn’t seem overly high for a noble cause they are after. If you wish to help them with eliminating hunger in UK, visit their webpage and get in contact with them, but even more importantly, if you wish to spread their amazing cause abroad, you should probably get in contact with them as well, as we are certain they would be delighted in helping you on your journey with their valuable experience. You can find more information on The Trussell Trust on their webpage https://www.trusselltrust.org/ .

    The second company we want to introduce is “Care And Share Associates” abbreviated to CASA, which is another company operating in the UK. Their three core values are “people before profit”, “actions speak louder than words” and “commitment to local communities”. What the company actually does is overseeing a large group of adult social care providers, by empowering them through giving them an opportunity of owning their own company and enabling them to bring high quality care and support to people who really need it. The things CASA will help you with when building your social franchise are writing a business plan, registration at the “Care Quality Commission”, “Criminal Record Bureau” checks, securing the funding to start the company, marketing and contracting, and much more. Just as importantly, they offer you an inclusion in their franchise network, which is famous for the mutual support of the members, as well as cross-fertilization of members’ knowledge on improving the world. If you want to know more about CASA and how to help the elderly in your community, we encourage you to contact them, but first visit their website, where you’ll be able to learn more about the company and its cause. You can reach them on the following webpage http://www.casaltd.com/ .

    The third social franchise whose cause in a way relates to the one of “The Trussell Trust” and again operates in the UK is the “FoodCycle” company, which exists since 2008, meaning they have been helping people for quite some time. If you read the second part of our article, you know that this track record is quite important, especially if you are interested in becoming their franchisee. What “FoodCycle” does is help people who are at risk of hunger and social exclusion, by organising weekly communal meals, which enable those people to socialize and fill up their tummies in a warm appealing environment. For the past few years, they have been especially focused on developing and refining their franchise model in order to make it even better and help even more people help other people. They do this through several initiatives among which is support in securing the funding for your franchise. It is also worth to note that “FoodCycle” is the largest franchise group of that type in UK, meaning they probably possess vast amounts of knowledge and could give you a lot of information on working with them, success of their previous franchisees as well as information about requirements to open some other type of social franchise by yourself. You can find more information about “FoodCycle” franchise on http://foodcycle.org.uk/ .

    As you can see, it would be too lengthy to go further and present more remarkable companies within a single article. Because of that we are going to refer you to a few more social franchises by listing the links to their websites. You can find “Child and Family Wellness Clinics” on http://www.cfwshops.org/ , PSI which is a global organisation devoted to improving health of people in the developing world at http://www.psi.org/ and the franchise format called “Basic Needs, Basic Rights”, which is devoted to improving international mental health, can be found on http://www.basicneeds.org/ . If you wish to explore other social franchising opportunities around the world, we suggest that you visit the “European Social Franchising Network’s” member directory through http://www.socialfranchising.coop/members-directory . Either way, we sincerely hope you are going to find a social franchise you like and perhaps start changing the world for the better by cooperating with or supporting at least one of them.


    We encourage you to share this article among your social network and perhaps some of your friends will jump on the train of changing the world for the better as well. We wish you all a beautiful and cheerful day.

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  • Social Franchising (Part 2)

    Social Franchising (Part 2)

    According to Mr. Berelowitz, the chief executive officer and the co-founder of International Center for Social Franchising (ICSF) in London, one of the important characteristics of social franchising is its’ adoption of successful practices originating in commercial franchising. Namely, the key to a successful franchise is always recording and specifying key operating processes of a business and then transferring them onto other entrepreneurs, which can then follow your established routine and succeed in running a business of their own, by using the company’s name and the know-how. In exchange, the franchisee then pays royalty fees, marketing fees and other pre-agreed upon expenses. However, social franchises define success differently than their commercial sister. Namely, rather than putting emphasis on the retained earnings or profits, they focus on the extent of positive impact their economic activity leaves on the society. Regardless, it also needs to be noted, that even social enterprises need capital in order to survive and sustain the ability to deliver the target social impact. Thus, financial resources which are at disposal must be scrutinized at all times.

    Social franchise can be financed from several sources, spanning from different governmental or European initiatives, to personal finance, contributions from family and friends, or as our “entrepreneurial business models” professor always said, the triple FFF, where his third F stands for fools. Sometimes financing can be also gained through crowdfunding or more traditional ways like bank loans. According to Berelowitz, financing can be extremely important, which is especially true when the company wants to expand the capacity of its’ operation or when the franchisor needs to train many new franchisee’s, or when franchisees need to employ staff. In Berlowitz’s words, it’s sometimes even necessary that social franchises switch their business model to full business format franchising, in order to remain capable of delivering high quality and quantity of service even more rapidly. In such situations, it needs to be kept in mind that the franchise still exists with a social cause, so we can remain including it under the umbrella term social enterprise, despite a slightly higher focus on monetization.

    Furthermore, Berelowitz speaks about the necessary preconditions or things to keep in mind when thinking about boarding a social franchise train, whichever side of it you are boarding. The initial and most important point is that a potential franchisee as well as franchisors pay significant attention to the chosen project, i.e., the potential franchisee needs to make sure that the idea they pursue has a proven track record in social impact as well as financial sustainability, whereas the franchisors must pay more attention to forecasting and thinking about the things that could go wrong, the knowledge they must urgently transfer to their franchisees, which knowledge should be only kept by the franchisor, etc. Furthermore, it is important that potential social franchisors pay significant attention to who they choose as franchisees. Sadly, franchisors have to sometimes also find a good balance between quality of the service they provide and the quantity they can provide at the specified quality. More specifically they need to decide when to sacrifice the quality in order to be able to deliver its’ necessary quantity. Either way, franchising and its’ social counterpart are highly recommended to companies and social enterprises which see a high potential to growth, so if you have an idea that you are certain could change the world for the better and you’re nearly certain it would succeed, you should certainly look into social franchising in more depth.

    The following and the last part of the article will include a few examples of social franchises, so you can perhaps explore them a bit more and see in which way they operate and learn more about their contribution to our society.

    (to be continued…)


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  • Social Franchising (Part 1)

    Social Franchising (Part 1)

    Let us begin by sharing a few words about franchising in general. Franchising is becoming increasingly important all over the world. One part of information which attests to it is that according to a report produced by “Global Industry Analysts” in 2012, franchises all over the world will soon surpass €3.5 trillion in yearly revenues. Even more importantly, investing in franchises has been shown to contain much less risk and can be much more rewarding than starting a business from scratch, which is why franchising is starting to become increasingly interesting for social entrepreneurs and investors as well. However, since social franchising is just beginning to gain friction, there are still many hurdles and uncertainties in the way. Thus, the aim of this article is to cover some of those and bring social franchising closer to you, our reader and perhaps help you embark on the journey towards opening an “impact” franchise yourself.

    Franchising Facts & Figures

    First of all, let us look at a few more facts and figures related to franchising, as you will probably agree that the number €3.5 trillion is not very meaningful or informative, as we are normally not used to operating with such big numbers. First, it will make the amount slightly more comprehensive, if we compare it too United States yearly federal budget, which nearly the same (source: Wikipedia), i.e., approaching €3.5 trillion in 2015. Other than that, International Franchise Association has reported that franchise businesses create jobs faster than any other type of business and even all other types of business combined, leading by at least 2% each year since 2007 till 2015. In addition, the nominal output of franchising organisations has been increasing by at least 4% a year as well. The most popular franchising business are within the personal services sector, quick service restaurants, real estate and retail products and services. In addition, restaurant franchise businesses also employ the highest proportion of workers within the industry. Another very interesting piece of information is that according to International Franchise Associations’ research (which is admittedly slightly or even very outdated, as it originates in the year 2000), 86% of franchises which opened in the past 5 years are still operated by the same owner, and 97% of them were still in business. This information is highly significant, especially in comparison to the high drop-off rate when looking at other types of start-ups. According to Forbes report in 2015, 90% of start-ups fail within the first year of operation, meaning that opening a franchise in order to introduce yourself to the entrepreneurial waters is probably a wise choice. 

    As you can see, social franchising is yet nowhere to be seen, i.e., social franchises have not gained popularity yet. However, franchising does seem to have a high impact upon the economy, thus we assume that social franchising itself will soon gain reputation as well, one of the reasons for it being the high sensitivity to socially sustainable economic activity by the generation Y, i.e., the millennials, which was reported by Nielsen in the middle of 2011.

    (to be continued...)

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  • Warkawater wants to harvest water from the air

    Warkawater wants to harvest water from the air

    Inspired by insects of the desert, who get water by harvesting night dew between their legs, and by fog nets in Chili, an Italian designer invented water towers to harvest water from the air.

    The first prototypes of Warkawater towers have been built in Ethiopia. Now, there is a crowdfunding campaign launched on crowdfunding platform GoFundMe: http://www.gofundme.com/warkawater. This campaign will also explain you in detail how this miracle works.


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  • Power to the people

    Power to the people

    Wind power is reported to have generated enough energy to supply 1.9 million homes in Scotland or 35.9% (April 2016). This is great news for those in favour of new ecological and sustainable power supplies. Together with solar power, ecologically generated power is really starting to make a dent on overall supplies, contrary to those who have been sceptical in the past. 

    This was also one of those are unusually positive weeks in the climate change area and sometimes those ‘good weeks’ are few and far between. However the Paris deal was signed by the key players in New York and climate change moved to centre stage in the Australian federal election also. The historic agreement on climate change marked a major milestone with a record 175 countries signing on to it on the opening day. But world leaders made clear more action is needed, and quickly, to fight the relentless rise in global temperatures.


    Follow, discuss and help keep up the momentum on Finance Eco Money See also https://www.finance-eco-money.org/fempower/crowdfunding/item/empowering-and-financing-solar-powered-desalination 

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  • Bitwalking: Share The Belief And Benefits Of A New, Equal, Global Economy For All: See Latest Commments

    Bitwalking: Share The Belief And Benefits Of A New, Equal, Global Economy For All: See Latest Commments

    Recently a totally new concept was launched in some countries, including the UK, based on the exciting digital or crypto currency innovations of recent years, that could actually empower individuals to convert their daily steps into digital money that they can spend, save or whatever, just like our existing currencies. ‘Bitwalking’, as it has been named, could effectively give everyone the freedom and opportunity simply to make money by walking!

    Read more

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