Business

Dubai, an economic powerhouse that’s just getting started

Many a story abounds about the rapid emergence of Dubai as an economic powerhouse. In just 35 years, the country has morphed from a trading outpost to a unique duty-free shopping destination, from a beach holiday resort to one of the world’s busiest ports and dry docks, from a gold exchange to the premier financial…

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Corporate social responsibility, does it work?

By Kim Polley What is in it for businesses and why should they invest in improving the environment and alleviating poverty? Companies in the private sector say they just want to do “the right thing” and “give something back” to the community. The sceptics on the other hand believe businesses are using these investments as…

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What makes accountants so special anyway?

I wish I was an accountant. Really. If I were an accountant, I’d be like my cousin, who’s younger than me and drives a top-end Mercedes. He’s just bought a R3.5 million house, and that’s without having to sell the one he already owns. All because he did a BCom and became a CA. Speaking of…

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Africa still perfectly poised for a golden age

By Sanjeev Gupta UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently stated: “It is not just Wall Street or Main Street that is hurting; people with no streets are suffering too.” And amid all the turbulence that has engulfed the world of high commerce and haunted the major global economies, one can be forgiven for asking whether the…

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Meet Al Caphone, capo de tutti capi of SA’s telecommunications cartel

In the past six months Vodacom made more than R14 billion, 12.2% better than it performed previously. While millions of South Africans suffer the very worst of the global economic crisis, it seems counter-intuitive that a telecommunications company can bask in that kind of profitability. This should spark great admiration. Until you come face to face…

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BS baffles brains — why using jargon makes you look like an idiot

Ask the average business executive or key government official precisely what their company or department does and their brains fall out of their head and jargon springs to their lips. Frothy meaningless terms might be fine when you fall in love or during strong economic growth but they impede growth during economic downturns. And what…

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Fear and loathing in the Age of Aquarius

By Bevan Jones Two thousand odd years (give or take) is a long time to wait for things to change. Were the 60s the tipping point or are we now only entering this supposed golden age with the cracks in capitalism starting to appear? If we don’t hurry up even the hippies are going to…

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Broccoli project scoops two prizes

The Broccoli Project, the rewards programme for the poor that I wrote about recently, walked away with the 2nd prize in Hit Barcelona’s Global Entrepreneurship Competition this past week. Spanish company Bmat won first prize. The Broccoli Project also won the award for “best social value” walking away with total prize money of 25 000 euros…

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Vitality and Voyager-like rewards for the poor

The Broccoli Project, an innovative scheme created by Marc Anthony Zimmerman, offers rewards to the poor in exchange for socially beneficial behaviour. Zimmerman, a successful social entrepreneur was inspired by CK Prahalad’s book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. He explains that while the rich are offered numerous incentives through reward schemes, there…

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How to unravel a Ponzi scheme: Follow the money

There seems to be a deliberate pattern emerging in the approach being taken by the Frankel Investment Scheme suspects to the unfolding story of what appears to be South Africa’s largest Ponzi scheme. It appears to be to a deny everything strategy that puts the onus on investors (or victims) to prove their claims and…

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