Richard Branson offers a new set of start up business principles with a given emphasis on developing a business model which make guide you to your personal entrepreneurial adventure. At the same time world economic leaders in Davos are discussing global economy trapped between effective decision-making and the lack of proper economic action to handle current and threatening world economic problems:
Richard Branson on 5 Vital Startup Basics
Q: I’m a high school student in Sydney. I’ve been selling key rings and other collectibles on eBay for over a year. I’ve found that I love doing business, and would like to continue this in the future – I’d like to own a company myself. I would like to expand my business to selling clothing and other items, but a large amount of homework and a lack of money is holding me back. What do you think I should do? – Felix Yim, Australia Felix, I really admire your enterprising instincts and ambition to expand your business. Running this startup will allow you to learn a lot about entrepreneurship, and with limited financial risk. You’ve made some great choices so far. Your business does not involve growing or manufacturing a product, and the only office you need is likely your room at home. Through eBay you can distribute your goods to markets far and wide, reaching customers instantly and without a marketing budget. These are all tremendous pluses for any business, and especially for a young person without much access to funds.
More importantly, now a businessman turns to be considered successful just after hitting his first billion, rather than the former step of his “old fashioned” first million. But, in today’s economy it is not an easy thing to obtain millions or billions:
It used to be the first million. Now, you only turn heads when you hit a billion. Warren Buffett, the iconic chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is worth $53.5 billion. He wasn’t always. But Buffett started early. When the “Sage of Omaha” was in high school, he spent $25 on a pinball machine that he put in a barbershop. With an eye for a good investment, Buffett ended up selling the pinball machine for $1,200, according to this infographic compiled by eBay Deals. He bought his first stock at age 11 and started at the Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania at age 17. Meanwhile, Elon Musk, the inventor behind Tesla Motors, was born in South Africa and taught himself to program computers as a kid. He had programmed and sold a video game by the time he was 12.
On the other hand, in the World Economic Forum this year, there are discussions on how economic leaders, organizations and multinational businesses could move forward by advancing the wider interests of people and planet?
As the World Economic forum kicks off, business leaders are calling for companies to respond to the ‘planetary emergency’. They lack neither influence, nor the ability to use it. But there is one asset that business leaders at the World Economic Forum this week could usefully exploit further: the power to advance the wider interests of people and planet. With UN climate change negotiations under way and as the UN designs its flagship Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, business needs to engage.Indeed, broadening its agenda could help secure its status in the long term. Faced with the ever-widening gap between rich and poor, widespread degradation of the natural world and runaway climate change, business has played a dual role, as chief instigator and seemingly disinterested observer. But some businesses have already shown that, despite scepticism among some governments, they can be a driving force in development, helping to achieve social and environmental ends that governments and community groups are unable to deliver alone. When the UN decided on its Millennium Development Goals, aiming to reduce poverty and improve quality of life in developing countries, businesses were not at the table. Today their contribution to some of the initiative’s successes is widely recognised. As foreign direct investment in developing countries leapt from 25% to 60% of the global total, millions of new jobs were created, lifting many more out of poverty and helping finance new government programmes. With growing interests in these economies, some companies adopted policies specifically designed to support the UN goals and worked with governments and community organisations to deliver them, in particular in energy, healthcare, infrastructure and water.
Finally, it is becoming clear that the global economy needs new business start ups, entrepreneurial innovation, and human sensitivity for overcoming the current economic crisis. Richard Branson is here…
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- BBC News - Davos 2014: The World Economic Forum in pictures