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The Lean Startup isn’t just about how to create a more successful entrepreneurial business. it’s about what we can learn from those businesses to improve virtually everything we do. I imagine Lean Startup principles applied to government programs, to healthcare, and to solving the world’s great problems. It’s ultimately an answer to the question ‘How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn’t? Tim O’Reilly CEO O’Reilly Media
Lean Startup Case Studies
Dropbox revolutionized file-sharing by making an extremely easy-to-use, seamless application. Learn More
Wealthfront is democratizing access to outstanding investment managers. Learn More
Grockit was founded in 2007 to enable social learning, specifically test preparation (SAT, LSAT, etc). Learn More
Founded in 2004, IMVU is the world’s largest 3D chat and dress-up community. Learn More
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Aardvark, a company subsequently acquired by Google, developed a social search engine. Learn More
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Enterprises That Offer Only Corporate-Liable Programs Will Soon Be the Exception
As enterprise bring your own device (BYOD) programs continue to become more commonplace, 38 percent of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, Inc.’s Executive Programs
“BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades,” said David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs.”
Gartner defines a BYOD strategy as an alternative strategy that allows employees, business partners and other users to use a personally selected and purchased client device to execute enterprise applications and access data. It typically spans smartphones and tablets, but the strategy may also be used for PCs. It may or may not include a subsidy.
BYOD drives innovation for CIOs and the business by increasing the number of mobile application users in the workforce. Rolling out applications throughout the workforce presents myriad new opportunities beyond traditional mobile email and communications. Applications such as time sheets, punch lists, site check-in/check-out, and employee self-service HR applications are just a few examples. Expanding access and driving innovation will ultimately be the legacy of the BYOD phenomenon.
“However, the business case for BYOD needs to be better evaluated,” said Mr. Willis. “Most leaders do not understand the benefits, and only 22 percent believe they have made a strong business case. Like other elements of the Nexus of Forces (cloud, mobile, social and information), mobile initiatives are often exploratory and may not have a clearly defined and quantifiable goal, making IT planners uncomfortable. If you are offering BYOD, take advantage of the opportunity to show the rest of the organization the benefits it will bring to them and to the business.”
While BYOD is occurring in companies and governments of all sizes, it is most prevalent in midsize and large organizations ($500 million to $5 billion in revenue, with 2,500 to 5,000 employees). BYOD also permits smaller companies to go mobile without a huge device and service investment. Adoption varies widely across the globe. Companies in the United States are twice as likely to allow BYOD as those in Europe, where BYOD has the lowest adoption of all the regions. In contrast, employees in India, China and Brazil are most likely to be using a personal device, typically a standard mobile phone, at work.
How a well-managed BYOD program subsidizes the use of a personal device is critical, and can dramatically change the economics. Today, roughly half of BYOD programs provide a partial reimbursement, and full reimbursement for all costs will become rare. Gartner believes that coupling the effect of mass market adoption with the steady declines in carrier fees, employers will gradually reduce their subsidies and as the number of workers using mobile devices expands, those who receive no subsidy whatsoever will grow.
“The enterprise should subsidize only the service plan on a smartphone,” said Mr. Willis. “What happens if you buy a device for an employee and they leave the job a month later? How are you going to settle up? Better to keep it simple. The employee owns the device, and the company helps to cover usage costs.
BYOD does increase risks and changes expectations for CIOs. Unsurprisingly, security is the top concern for BYOD. The risk of data leakage on mobile platforms is particularly acute. Some mobile devices are designed to share data in the cloud and have no general purpose file system for applications to share, increasing the potential for data to be easily duplicated between applications and moved between applications and the cloud.
However, in general, IT is catching up to the phenomenon of BYOD. More than half of organizations rate themselves high in security of corporate data for enterprise-owned mobile devices. This new confidence in the security posture to support BYOD is a reflection of more-mature tools and processes that address myriad needs in the security area.
“We’re finally reaching the point where IT officially recognizes what has always been going on: People use their business device for nonwork purposes,” said Mr. Willis. “They often use a personal device in business. Once you realize that, you’ll understand you need to protect data in another way besides locking down the full device. It is essential that IT specify which platforms will be supported and how; what service levels a user should expect; what the user’s own responsibilities and risks are; who qualifies; and that IT provides guidelines for employees purchasing a personal device for use at work, such as minimum requirements for operating systems.”
More detailed analysis is available in the report “Bring Your Own Device: The Facts and the Future.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=2422315.
Mr. Willis will provide additional analysis during the Gartner webinar, “Bring Your Own Device Program Best Practices (BYOD) on May 2 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. EDT. To register for this complimentary webinar, please visit http://my.gartner.com/portal/server.pt?open=512 objID=202 mode=2 PageID=5553 ref=webinar-rss resId=2392315 srcId=1-2994690285.
- Rob van der Meulen
- [email protected]
- Janessa Rivera
- [email protected]
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company. The company helps business leaders across all major functions in every industry and enterprise size with the objective insights they need to make the right decisions. Gartner’s comprehensive suite of services delivers strategic advice and proven best practices to help clients succeed in their mission-critical priorities. Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has more than 13,000 associates serving clients in 11,000 enterprises in 100 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an “as-is” basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.
Facebook introduces new video service
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Social media giant Facebook has made a move into dedicated video, pitting it against YouTube and TV networks.
Users will soon see a new Watch tab that will offer a range of shows, some of which have been funded by the social network
Watch will be personalised so that users can discover new shows, based on what their friends are watching.
Viewers will also be able to see comments and connect with friends and dedicated groups for shows.
“Watching a show doesn’t have to be passive,” said the company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post.
“It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things.”
Video has been available on Facebook for some time, but until now, it has mostly been dominated by amateur clips or short segments from news organisations.
The world’s largest social network added a video tab last year, and has hinted for some time that it might make the move to producing original content.
Watch could open up new revenue potential for both Facebook and programme makers, while users can expect to see targeted advertising before and during the shows.
Analysis by Leo Kelion, Technology desk editor
Facebook says it hopes its selection of shows will address both niche and broad interests.
If the choice at launch is anything to go by, its focus will be factual entertainment – cookery, fitness and travel-themed programmes that play well on a smartphone screen, rather than flagship dramas like House of Cards or Game of Thrones, which are both more expensive to produce and better suited for playback on TVs.
Product director Daniel Danker – an ex-BBC iPlayer executive – told me that his goal was for anyone to be able to make shows for Watch.
For now, only a small set of approved publishers can include ad breaks, but he said the list would broaden over time, although it was too soon to say if it would extend to all.
That could prove critical to wooing content-makers away from YouTube.
For the moment, Google’s video streaming site still offers an easier way for popular vloggers and others outside the mainstream media industry to make money from their efforts.
But Mr Danker signalled that Facebook is willing to take its time exploring what works on Watch and would not even commit to it being rolled out beyond the US before the end of the year.
Facebook is entering an increasingly complex and crowded market, and will face competition from traditional TV networks as well as other online services like YouTube and Netflix.
Disney yesterday announced that from 2019, it will scrap its existing deal with Netflix and create its own direct-to-consumer streaming-video services.
It will also set up a sports-themed ESPN streaming service next year.
Facebook already has content lined up, including Major League Baseball, Women’s basketball, parenting shows and a safari show from National Geographic.
According to Reuters news agency, it has also inked deals with millennial-oriented media groups Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to produce shows.
Watch will have a limited release in the US before it is rolled out more broadly.
Grants for starting a business: What small business grants are available?
If you’re a small business owner or thinking of starting a business, finance is probably your biggest concern. You may be wondering if there is any funding available for start-ups.
The simple answer is yes, but getting your hands on it can be a complicated and rather stressful process. There are countless schemes, each with their own set of criteria, which you can apply for when you’re on the verge of starting a business.
Start-up funding is out there to be claimed, yet every year we receive stories of piles of cash sitting in accounts and not being invested. It’s not because you don’t need the cash, but it’s because navigating through the grants jungle can leave you wishing you were still employed.
Types of business support
All publicly funded schemes are designed to encourage new and growing businesses, to bring wealth and ultimately create jobs. To help achieve this the government makes available a portion of taxpayers’ money to help and encourage enterprise through small business grants.
This cash gets distributed through a variety of ministries, departments, agencies and quangos on a national and local basis. Most businesses are eligible at any one time to apply for a number of different business start-up grants and support schemes which are distributed in a wide variety of forms.
Government grant resource the business finance support finder is a great tool to help those starting a business find relevant funding to suit their needs and you are able to customise your search by your business location, size, and type of business activity.
Want to read more on grants?
We’d love to hear your insight:
What organisations provide small business grants?
The three main sources of grants for start-ups and small businesses come from:
- The government
- The European Union
- The local authority
Government grants for small businesses
Government grants for small businesses are available from the UK government, the Scottish Parliament, and the Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies. There are over 100 different government bodies which will offer different forms of funding based on specific criteria and objectives. There are often over 3,000 grant schemes running for UK start-ups at any one time, so it can be a confusing process for business owners to decide which organisations to contact.
Here are the main government organisations who offer grants to small businesses:
European Union grants for small businesses
Despite Brexit, UK start-ups and small businesses can still apply for and receive funding from the European Commission until the UK officially leaves the EU. The EU, via the European Commission, administers a number of schemes through structural funds made up of:
This EU Access to finance tool should help you to see if your start-up qualifies for any EU-backed funding.
Local authority business grants
As well government and European funding, a number of locally-based organisations can also provide your start-up with capital.
Specifically to support and encourage enterprise at a local level, there are currently 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) across England.
Similarly, the government-backed £3.2bn Regional Growth Fund supports projects and programmes that are already in the process of raising private investment.
Click here to view a map of all 38 LEPs and here for more information on the Regional Growth Fund.
Type of government business grants available
This is a cash award, which is usually given out for activities such as training, employment, export development, recruitment and capital investment projects. With a direct grant most schemes usually require the company involved to put up around 50% of the cost.
The government s ‘business finance support finder’ directory has over 300 direct grants agencies listed such as UK business “innovation” organisation the Technology Strategy Board. The directory also features various local grants providers which are facilitated by the government’s £3.2bn Regional Growth Fund, such as Catalyst for Growth which has direct grants of £5,000 to £500,000 available for chemical start-ups launching in the North West of England.
A soft loan is a special type of grant where the terms and conditions of repayment are more generous (or softer) than they would be under normal financial circumstances. So, for example, the interest rates may be less, or there may be no interest to pay at all, and the repayment terms could also be for a longer period.
There are hundreds of organisations that offer soft loans and guarantees but the most notable is government-funded scheme Start Up Loans which offers new businesses loans of up to £25,000 for 6% interest with a 12 month repayment “holiday”.
To date it has helped to fund thousands of start-ups with over £250m invested; see if you are eligible on the Start Up Loans website here.
If you’re starting a social enterprise or charity there are organisations such as Big Issue Invest, the investment arm of the Big Issue, which has soft loans from £50,000 to £1m available for positive impact, socially-driven entrepreneurs and also operates ‘participation loans’ where repayment is linked to future performance of the enterprise.
For young entrepreneurs aged between 18-30, The Prince s Trust provides soft loans of up to £4,000, as well as support for your business idea, with interest capped at 3% and repayments spread over a period of two to five years.
With equity finance a capital sum is injected into the business and the provider of the funds takes an equity share of the enterprise. When the value of the firm increases the stake can then be returned. However, unlike venture capitalists, the expectations and requirements of the providers of public funds are usually less demanding.
It is also worth noting the government Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) which help companies raise finance by providing tax relief to investors who buy a share in your business.
Free or subsidised consultancy
Start-ups can often find themselves in the situation where they are lacking a particular set of skills and there are some specially run schemes which provide this knowledge either for free or at subsidised rates. For instance, the Welsh government runs a business support service offering free, independent advice on starting a business and operates an instant hotline for business queries.
Access to resources
As with a lack of skills, it can be the case that start-ups do not possess the physical resources or facilities they need in order to develop particular projects. In the same way there are a number of initiatives, particularly incubator and accelerator schemes, that can help overcome these concerns by providing access to publicly owned facilities. One such initiative is the department for business, innovation and skills’ (DBIS) GrowthAccelerator which provides advice and coaching to fast-growth businesses with fewer than 250 employees.
Technology and Best Practice transfer
The transfer of technological advances and new best practice initiatives can often take a long time filtering down to smaller businesses. The government has set up schemes which aim to overcome this through business support networks and there is now a number of well-established best practice initiatives such as Investors in People (IIP), which specialises in business tools and resources.
When it comes to research and development, the costs involved can prevent small firms from taking part. However, by sharing the costs with other businesses, and then sharing the expertise, this problem can be avoided.
To find out more about grants for starting a business, visit our dedicated small business grants channel here.
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Small Business Grants – How to Find Them and How to Qualify
Small business grants are financial assistance programs available to entrepreneurs and business owners in the United States who have fewer than 500 employees. The funding can come from a government agency, a non-profit organization, or another for-profit company. Awards typically range from $500 to up to $100,000.
Eligibility varies, and can depend on your location, your income, your ethnicity, your gender, your experience in business, as well as your longetivity in business. Some small business grants can even require that you participate in a competition or write an essay to demonstrate your talents or need.
Here are 5 great ways to find what opportunities are available to you:
1) Check With Your Local Government Agencies. Many cities, counties, and states give away money to local businesses. Why? Because they want you to create jobs and more tax revenue. Many times they won’t highly publicize these opportunities, but it’s in your best interest to give them a call and/or search their web sites.
2) Check With Federal Government Agencies. The federal government doesn’t give grants directly to businesses, but they do give money to foundations who in turn can give money to small businesses. The federal agency in charge of this is the Grants Program Management Office, and all of their opportunities are listed publicly online.
3) Check With Major Corporations. Nearly every major corporation in this country has a foundation that gives away grants to enhance communities, and many of these are grants to start or expand a business. Start by checking first with big companies that are headquarted in our city or state.
4) Search The Internet. Use Google, Yahoo and Bing to conduct a search using the term business grants . You can even throw in the name of your city, county, state, etc. Carefully review the results, and look for web sites that other web sites are linked to. Doing so, will help you to find opportunities that may be casually listed on a blog or some type of directory. You may even come across a recent news article about a new opportunity.
5) Ask Around. When attending professional networking functions and social mixers, never hesitate to ask people that you meet about new opportunities. Many times, small business grants are given away to people who happen to be in the right place at the right time. Never underestimate the importance of creating a relationship with a power player and his/her associates.
6) Visit Your Local Library. Contrary to popular belief, libraries are still an excellent resource and store a lot of information that is not accessible in other places. Go to your library as soon possible; look for grant books and directories and ask specific questions to your librarian. You’ll be surprised what you can find.
#1 – Caleb Brown Community Business Grant Program
Provides access to “seed money” and grants to assist urban professionals with starting businesses and rebuilding the community.
#2 – DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Offers grant funding to provide training and other services to minority-owned and women-owned businesses to help them compete for highway contracts.
Allows business owners and entrepreneurs to register and submit their business story and photos, get voted for, and be considered among the top 100 finalists and the winners.
Allows fans, including customers, vendors, employees, and the community, determine who deserves some love – in the form of financial assistance for their business.
#5 – Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Grants
Every year, the MBDA organizes various angel investors with the primary objective of supporting minority businesses with mezzanine and second round financing.
#6 – Miller Lite Tap the FutureВ® Business Plan Competition
Annual competition for minority entrepreneurs that gives away business grants to applicants who submit the best business plans. (Formally called MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series).
#7 – National Association For The Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants
Business owners can apply for a $5,000 grant useful for financing a particular small business need.
#8 – Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program
P rovides grants to finance the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas, to be used for land acquisition, etc.
The SBA and it’s various initiatives award $2 billion in grant funding and loans to small high-tech businesses annually.
#10 – Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants
The SBA and it’s various initiatives award $2 billion in grant funding and loans to small high-tech businesses annually.
Provides veterans who own franchises with financial grants for business development, education, training, and/or technical assistance.
Provides technical assistance to women entrepreneurs, both new and established, in the areas of finance, management, and marketing, and other areas.
How to Start a Rice Dealership Business
Rice is an important primary staple food in many Asian countries especially in the Philippines. Indicating the high demand for this commodity, planning to put up a rice dealership business in your area is a wise choice. There is already an assurance that this business will succeed because buyers are already there. Of course, in any kind of business, conducting a feasibility study is always a crucial step to take. This will assess the economic viability of your proposed business.
Here are some important questions to consider before plunging into this kind of business.
1. Do you have enough capital or budget for your rice dealership business? With at least P60,000 to P100,000 as a starting capital.
2. Do you want to operate as sole proprietorship or corporation? Business registration guide here.
3. Do you have a big and safe storage room for the sacks of rice that will be delivered to you?
4. Do you have a good location for your rice dealership business? Research the area of your target market, the flow of traffic and their buying habits.
5. Do you have lists of rice suppliers in your area? Make sure you have a lists of several suppliers and make a good relationship with them.
6. Do you have necessary equipments like calibrated weighing scales, rice sacks etc., and a service delivery (optional).
7. What varieties of rice do you intend to sell? Make sure to have several varieties of rice, so that your customers will have several options.
8. How will you market your business? This is also an important aspect especially you are new in this kind of business. Make a good marketing strategy and make your business known to your customers. Make a good deal with restaurant owners, hotels, resorts and small carenderias in your place to be their rice supplier.
Here are Some NFA Rice Dealership FAQ
Q: Who are required to secure license from NFA?
A: All persons, natural or juridical, that are engaging or intending to engage in the rice and/or corn business whether commercial or NFA rice/corn.
A: Before the start in any of the business activity enumerated above, the proprietor or operator should first secure a license from NFA. For those already license, businessmen should renew their annual license on any day within their scheduled month allotted by the NFA
A: Application may be filed at the NFA office that has jurisdiction over the location of the principal business of the applicant.
Q: In case we have more than one (1) store/establishment for Rice/Corn business, should all be licensed?
A: Yes, owner/operator should file a license for all outlets at the NFA office where his principal place of business is located. Additional outlets are treated as branches.
A: For new applicants, follow these procedures:
secure application form from the licensing officer upon payment of application fee;
accomplish and file application with complete requirements to the licensing officer who in turn checks the documents and determines corresponding license fee;
pay license fee to the cashier and get copy of official receipt;
prepare the facilities/equipment requirements for inspection by NFA Investigators;
after inspection of establishments, present notice of inspection to licensing officer, official receipt and proof of compliance with deficiencies, if any;
licensing officer issues license if application is found to be in order;
applicants display license in their establishments.
Procedures for renewal applicants:
secure application from licensing officer upon payment of application fee;
accomplish and file application with complete requirements together with previous year s license to the licensing officer;
licensing officer checks completeness of requirements and determines license fee to be paid;
pay license fee to the cashier and present the official receipt to licensing officer;
licensing officer issues renewal sticker and stick it to appropriate portion of the license if application is found to be in order;
applicants display licensing conspicuous place in their establishments.
Q: For New Applicants, how long do we have to wait for the Approval of our License Application?
A: The establishments and facility requirements of new applicants are inspected by NFA Investigators within 20 working days after the filling of their applications. Those inspected are given inspection notices stating the date when they can return to the NFA to show compliance with any deficiency, if any. Otherwise, their notices state the date they can get their license. In all these cases, it should not exceed 20 working days after inspection.
A: Application fee is P50.00 for a single line activity and P100.00 for two activities or more. License fees depend upon capacity of the post harvest equipment used.
A: Documentary and facility requirements depend upon the business activity.
Q: Does the NFA requires only Licensing on Rice/Corn Business Activities?
A: The NFA also require the registration of the following facilities aside from the license on the activities mentioned earlier list.
motor vehicles used or intended to be used in transport/hauling of palay/ rice/corn whether for exclusive use or for hire except public utility vehicles franchised by proper government agencies not principally used for transporting rice/palay/corn;
warehouses,threshers and sellers for own produce;
mechanical dryers for owner s/operators exclusive use;
packaging machines for owner s/operators exclusive use;
institutions/establishments securing their rice/corn requirements from the NFA;
poultry and hog raisers securing byproducts from the NFA;
manufacturers/importers/dealers and distributors of rice/corn post-harvest facilities;
non-operating mills and other post-harvest facilities. In this case, registration is done only once.
Registration is done at the office of the NFA that has jurisdiction over the location of the principal business of the applicant.
Registration fees see separate from that of the license fees.
Q: In the event that I discontinue my business, what should I do with my License/Registration Certificate?
A: Surrender your license/registration certificate to the NFA office that issued it together with a written notice of discontinuance.
Otherwise, in case you reapply, you would be charged with the fees for the entire period that you have not applied for renewal.
Q: What do you mean by Bonded Activities?
A: Bonded activities mean third party stocks are deposited in your facilities, for storage, milling, threshing, corn shelling or mechanical drying. Operators/owners of facilities accepting third party stocks are required to post a bond as well as fire insurance to safeguard the stocks of the third party.