While the tech industry leads the world in innovation and represents an enormous portion of the developed world’s economic potential, it lags far behind when it comes to social progress. In an Australian survey by the Human Rights Commission, 29 per cent of women over the age of 15 reported being sexually harassed at work. While that number is high overall, this general figure stands in stark contrast to the rate of sexual harassment in the tech industry.
All posts by Will Roffé
Moving into the coming decade, developed countries around the world, from Australia and New Zealand to the US, Canada and the UK and Ireland are facing a growing skills shortage. Compounding this, it’s important to note that some major developing countries are also affected. In the past, developed countries could compensate for skills shortages through immigration, by importing skilled workers from countries such as China and India. However, these countries are today facing their own growing skills shortages due to their own rapidly growing economies and demographic changes.
Michelle Phan wanted to disrupt the beauty industry, but had no resources, no entrepreneurial experience, and no clear business model. What she did know, though, was that Youtube was the global television of the future, or at least the 2010s.
Many business owners leverage personal real estate equity to come up with funds that they can inject into their business. Because traditional business loans take a long time to approve, and are often not accessible to small or relatively new businesses without much of a business credit profile, personal equity is an easier to way to get funds to drive growth, deal with cash flow issues, or launch the business in the first place.
In an increasingly globalised environment, businesses in many industries need to operate internationally to take advantage of foreign labour and resources that allow them to remain competitive at home. Despite the many free trade relationships these businesses can take advantage of, many face major difficulties when it comes to establishing those international relationships. That’s because the major barrier they need to overcome isn’t regulatory, but financial.
Fifo Capital International CEO Nigel Thomson met a young 14-year old Liam and his family a few years ago, through a car club event day at Pukekohe Racetrack, New Zealand. At this event, kids were welcome to get in and zoom around the track along with cars owner-driver. As luck would have it, Liam happened to get in Thomson’s car, who, to his surprise, quickly found the promising race car champion telling him the correct lines to take on the track. Impressed, and very surprised, Thomson decided to begin helping him to fund his passion for racing. Today, just a few years later, he’s a Fifo Capital sponsored racer with a growing international profile.
When business owners think about growth, the first thing that often comes to mind is revenues, financing, and client retention. While growth often certainly feels like a numbers game, though, entrepreneurs quickly learn that it’s about people and relationships. That means finding and building strong relationships with the right investors and lenders, but it also means finding ways to recruit the right employees.
Late or non-payment is one of the trickiest issues that entrepreneurs are commonly forced to learn to deal with. How good business owners are at dealing with clients who don’t pay, or who pay late, is strongly indicative of how successful their business will be both in the short and long run.
Due to an internal political struggle, the United States government has suspended all “non-essential” government workers, including 88 per cent of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) workers. President Trump has publicly warned that the shutdown could drag on for many months, which could lead to serious disruptions for businesses both in and outside the United States. Australian, UK, and Irish businesses who operate and pay taxes in the country, for example, could experience major delays in the processing of their tax returns. Additionally, the shutdown is threatening to disrupt air travel in the US, potentially causing delays, or eventually even forcing airports to shut down.
Employee retention is a difficult issue for all small businesses, but it can become a particularly serious challenge for SMEs who are dealing with cash flow difficulties. Tight budgets can make it impossible to offer the benefits and pay that larger established competitors provide, and startups often don’t have the funds to financially reward employee excellence through bonuses or raises.