June, 2018

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Qiqqa Entrepreneur Wins 5k

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James Jardine from the University of Cambridge in the UK won third prize in the post-graduate category of the Santander University Entrepreneurship Awards.

He scooped 5,000 for his company Qiqqa.com a company that provides free software which helps students and researchers manage information.

The awards aim to support and encourage university students to pursue their business ideas and are open to students from all 58 universities within the Santander programme.

To mark the fifth anniversary of Santander Universities in the UK, Santander chief executive, Ana Botn, announced an additional 1.5m of funding to UK universities, taking its total investment to 7 million during 2012, as well as 100 new mobility grants of 2,500 available to UK students to study abroad.

She also extended the banks support for small businesses with the launch of a new programme to place graduates from the countrys top universities on internships with SMEs across the UK.

The programme to encourage entrepreneurialism amongst graduates is a collaboration between Santander and its university partners and aims to promote the benefits of working for a SME to third-year or recently graduated students, while providing smaller businesses with an injection of talent not always easy to obtain by companies with limited administration resources.

Santander will work with its partner universities to find students and companies who will benefit most from the scheme and will help with placement and administration, including project management, as well as part-funding a basic salary for the students.

Ana Botn said: Youth unemployment and particularly graduate unemployment is one of the most pressing issues for the UK economy. We hope our new programme offering 500 student internships to SMEs can help provide our talented graduate community with the opportunity to gain vital experience in the work place, whilst opening their eyes to the benefits of working for smaller companies.

SMEs have not typically attempted to compete with the graduate recruitment schemes of the big FTSE players and we hope that this initiative will give a wider range of companies the benefit of fresh, young talent.

As the engines of progress and invention, universities have an important role to play in incubating the enterprises of tomorrow. Santander is proud to be supporting and recognising the entrepreneurial skills demonstrated by students through our Entrepreneurship Awards, as well as announcing an additional 1.5 million of funding to support British universities, taking our total investment to 7 million in the UK and 120 million globally, this year.
Photograph:James Jardine receiving his prize from Santander chief executive, Ana Botn

Hedge Funds – How To Make The Right Investment Choices

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After the 2008 world economic crisis, finding the right investment vehicles seems much harder and trickier. Worldwide currency, which everyone believed in, has shown its face value and, overall people have lost their confidence in the popular investment means available on the global market. However, one of the post crisis positive effects is that individuals became more aware and cautious about the significance of managing their resources appropriately and securing their assets.

Although the present day market openings sets forth an apparently endless variety of choices, making the right investment is all about selecting that alternative apposite for your means, objectives and goals on short, medium and long term. Resorting to professionals is one of the best ways to drive your worth to the right target as long as you manage to find some trustworthy, skilled, and dependable experts.

In nowadays context, the hedge fund is fairly set at the higher end of the investment opportunities scale. Working as a private pool of capital, little known to the wide public, such funds rather address the sophisticated investor that can afford hefty net investments in the prospect of likewise gains. Unlike most types of funds, a hedge fund gathers capital from a fairly limited number of individuals and, naturally the investment amounts are significantly greater, being typically believed to range between one million and six million dollars. Nevertheless, there is no investment maximal threshold regulation in place.

The hedge fund is actively run by a manager, who is in charge with all financial strategies and decisions. Once in, the investors can not set a veto on his decisions. Drawing back the capital ahead of a predetermined time span usually calls upon considerable penalties, which remain in the fund and are finally split between the remaining investors. The hedge fund manager takes up an operational commission and a performance brokerage.

In comparison with other type of investments, the hedge fund primarily differs through a wider range of investment strategies it can adopt and a more regulatory-free area of action, including short selling and hilt leveraging. No such fund is risk free, yet primarily depending on the objects of ventures, the manager can draw in high gains with relatively small risks. For instance, precious metal investments have proved to be such nest eggs. Although, one needs to be no expert to know that investing in gold – the ultimate safe heaven of all seasons- is the right investment choice for all kinds of financial portfolios, the profits of a hedge fund may considerably overrun those achievable from independent investments.

Great Small Business Event Marketing

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For more going on fifteen years, I have been helping business owners and organizations hold events. The events ranged from races, to fairs, to concerts and dinners. Though the attendance varied greatly between them, the goals of management were often met and exceeded.

Events are the best way to:

get prospects to visit your store for the first time

build upon existing relationships with customers and vendors

grow existing lines of revenue

rally and motivate workforce and volunteers

expand branding

grow online presence and position

have a great time!

Events are very community oriented, and driven by the same. Bringing people together creates buzz.

There are three major areas of an event: event marketing (getting the brand out), event management (making sure the day is planned well and executed successfully), and event planning (getting all the details together to meet the event vision). Working together, these three items, thought out and coordinated, make great events.

I am often asked questions related to any of these three items. The questions I hear range from band and entertainment to how to use Facebook. Small businesses can do a lot with a little encouragement and direction. They can go really far with a little help from someone in the event industry. Small businesses and Organizations have a lot of gusto. They are ready to go all the time. And when they can see that something will get them further, they often grab the opportunity.

Small businesses are flexible. They can have a simple, low cost event marketing schedule coordinated with other ongoing marketing. Pairing an event with current expenditures creates broad public awareness. With current promotions are paired with a chance to experience a business or product, customers have incentive to participate.

I have often seen this occur. In one case, a restaurant advertised their foods as well as an evening with live music. Some monies from the night would be donated to the city fireworks fund. This night brought some business and money for community fireworks. The result was the night of the fireworks show, the restaurant was full to the brim. They had one of their best nights ever.

The power of small business event marketing is understated. Giving customers a reason to experience a small business in the form of a party invitation has leverage. As a small business owner, having an event can be fun, rewarding, and valuable to sales overall.

What is USDA Organic and Trade Certified Coffee New York

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What is USDA Organic and Trade Certified Coffee

USDA Organic coffee does not include chemical materials that are artificial. This is because a few of those materials that reveal up in non-organic coffee include specific kinds of herbicides and chemicals.

USDA Organic Coffee

Approving coffee as natural needs the ranch the coffee was fed at is a completely natural ranch. Long before coffee can officially be identified natural, a USDA broker need to assess the site where the coffee was generated. There are nationwide specifications that the coffee has to satisfy prior to being taken into consideration natural. The nationwide specifications explain that the coffee ought to be expanded on a ranch that asks planters not to make use of chemicals on their plants within the last 3 years. Exemptions are frequently made to this criterion and there is no assurance that any type of coffee identified USDA Organic is entirely devoid of deposit from chemicals.

Kinds of natural fertilizer that are frequently used to increase coffee grains include general compost, chick manure, bocachi, and coffee pulps. If it is determined coffee grains were expanded utilizing phosphate or man-made nitrogen the USDA will rule out them to be natural.

After coffee grains have actually been selected, the Organic Meals Manufacturing Act oversees the production of the coffee and moderates the chemicals that can be used to create it. These policies are not always followed. The Organic Specification Board of the Usa has actually stated that identifying coffee as natural does not make it any type of healthier than coffee that is not taken into consideration natural. Trade Certified Coffee

Trade Certified Coffee is coffee that supports the suggestion of family members who run farms having much better lives. This is completed by charging customers fair prices for coffee. It likewise involves the advancement of farming communities and sustaining stewardships of an environmental nature. A balance of trade planter is one who functions directly with the companies that supply items to supermarket, restaurants and coffeehouse around the nation. These are frequently international customers that can aid planters obtain their coffee into shops all around the globe.

Because of the reality that planters increase grains to create trade certified coffee, they can better assist their family members and spend for the college education and learnings of their youngsters. They likewise aid to make international trades more popular and more successful for planters far and wide as well as protect the atmosphere by maintaining the globe’s resources and dramatically lowering ecological contamination.

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An Exchange Server Alternative For Small Business

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For the business user, the main advantages to working in a company that has an exchange server are:

1. File sharing
2. Access to email from any configured computer
3. Contacts access
4. calendar syncrhonized and shared between all employees

Essentially it means the office worker can use any configured computer to access his or her files, emails and calendar. The company will often configure a laptop and provide remote access so the member of staff can also work from home or while travelling and still have complete access.

The problem with this kind of product when it comes to a small or mid sized company, is that it requires someone to manage it and there is a huge cost, in terms of both initial cost and ongoing expenses.

So if you manage a small business and you want your employees to have a high level of flexibility i.e. to be able to telework or while travelling, or even to hotdesk at the office, you will need an exchange substitute.

There are two alternatives which will offer you many of the features of Exchange without the expenditure.

The first is a hosted exchange server. The second is the Easy-Email synchronization solution plus file synchronization software.

A Hosted Exchange server is a great solution. You get almost all the advantages but you are spared the resource cost and management time. You simply pay according to the number of users. This allows for quick expansion so as the business grows you just increase a user.

Easy-Email is a fabulous alternative for small firms.
Its an email sync answer set out in the form of a series of guides that you, or an IT professional you hire, can follow. It will sync a users mail and contacts on their desktop, laptop, home computer, pda or netbook. In addition it will allow them to manage their email from any other computer via Gmail.

The Easy-Email solution is incredibly good value compared to any other alternative solutions It’s just $67 US for the Advanced Guide to Outlook and you can get all of your staff set up for this fee!
The disadvantage in comparison with exchange is that there is at present no shared calendar so you will need to use a google calendar or similar.

And in terms of shared files and folders its really simple. Set up Dropbox. Dropbox provides you with a system of shared folders that are all automatically sync’d via the internet but they are also stored on the computer so you dont have to be online to access the files. You can select which people have access to which folders and the first 2GB of storage space is free (and it’s very reasonable after that).

Commercial Mortgage Modification

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In todays crumbling, commercial real estate market, both borrowers and lenders find themselves in quite a precarious predicament. Borrowers struggle to make their commercial mortgage payments, while lenders are crippled by the increasing number of defaults on commercial property. Right now the best solution to this problem is commercial mortgage modification.

Commercial mortgage modification is the process of renegotiating the terms of a commercial loan. This is done typically by reducing the interest rate or monthly payment on the loan. Other benefits to the borrower may include an extension of the loan term, a forbearance or moratorium on payments, and of course an alternative to foreclosure.

A commercial mortgage modification is about risk to the lender. A lender will only consider a modification if a borrower is in default or at risk of defaulting. The most important thing the lender will look at in determining whether or not to modify a commercial note is cash flow. One very important calculation used in determining cash flow is called the DCR or Debt Coverage Ratio. This ratio is used by the underwriters to determine if a modification can be approved. If a property is breaking even, meaning the income generated is equal to the operating expenses, the DCR would be equal to 1. If commercial property has a positive cash flow, meaning the income the property generates is more than sufficient to cover the mortgage payment and all of the operating expenses, the DCR is greater than 1. If the property is losing money, the DCR would be less than 1. A lender will most likely not modify the commercial note, if the property already has a DCR greater than 1. Commercial lenders writing new commercial loans will most likely require a DCR of 1.25 or greater.

The most common form of payment reduction seen in a commercial mortgage modification is when the lender converts a principal and interest payment to an interest only payment. A lender may consider this form of commercial loan modification to help the borrower improve their cash flow. By only paying the interest on the loan, as opposed to principal and interest, the payment becomes more affordable for the borrower.

However, in extreme circumstances, reducing the mortgage payment to interest only is just not enough for a commercial property owner. If a lender sees that the borrower will still have negative cash flow even after reducing the payment to interest only, they may consider a reduction in the interest rate. Although the interest rate reduction may be temporary, it will help the borrower free up capital and maintain the mortgage payment on time. Although uncommon, lenders have lowered interest rates to as low as 1% even, to avoid an even more costly foreclosure.

Icici Bank Sells Terminals Of Card Payment

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ICICI Bank has concluded the sale of its network of electronic point of sales (PoS) terminals that accept Credit Card and Debit Card payments to First Data Corporation (FDC). The bank has hived off its network of over 1.5 lakh electronic swipe machines to a separate company ICICI Merchant Services. First Data has bought an 81% stake in the company which has been valued at a little over $90 million.

When contacted, ICICI Bank refused to comment on the transaction. The bank has, however, communicated to merchants having ICICI Bank terminals that the PoS network has been transferred to ICICI Merchant Services. First Data, along with partner banks, is keen to proliferate payment transactions not just at top retailers but also through small cities or towns in India, said Amrish Rau, country manager, First Data Corporation.

Referring to the transaction with ICICI Bank, Mr Rau said an announcement would be made in due course. Mr Rau, who represents First Data in the country, is likely to head the new payments company. First Data is a US-based company that has been created after banks farmed out their back office processing systems into a separate company. FDC is presently owned by private equity giant KKR.

The Reserve Bank of India has already given clearance for the deal. According to banking sources, the deal value has gone up after RBI said that merchant establishments, including grocery stores and supermarkets, could swipe customer cards and offer them cash.

In addition to unlocking value, ICICI Bank expects that the specialised company will bring down transactions costs and also grow the payment network more efficiently. This is the first time that an Indian bank has hived off its PoS terminal network.

So far it has been foreign banks that have outsourced these functions but their network is of much smaller scale.

ICICI Merchant Services will earn a fee every time a credit cards or debit cards transaction is processed through the point of sale network. The fee is usually borne by the merchant and a large part of it goes to the card issuing bank. This is in lieu of the credit that the issuing bank extends to the cardholder until the end of the billing cycle. A smaller part of the commission goes to the bank owning the PoS terminal (acquiring bank) and smaller portion to the payment company Mastercard or Visa.

Incidentally, State Bank of India has for some time expressed its intention to set up a network of half a million point of sales terminals. To build this network the bank had earlier sought partners. However, the project was shelved as the bank decided to take a more holistic approach of its payments business.

Philippine Banking Industry Outlook Positive Despite Recession

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The Philippine banking industry seems to be unaffected by the global financial crisis. And despite the liquidity crunch in various developed and emerging economies, the Philippine banking industry has been able to sustain the growth level.

According to a research analyst at RNCOS, -The banks in Philippines have benefitted from a series of reforms undertaken in past and intervention by the regulator to increase the capital base and to have better risk management strategies in place. The multipoint policy adopted by the industry during the last quarter of 2008 has resulted in minimum risk exposure to the banks in Philippines. Restricting dollar sales only for outward investment, enabling active lending between banks and low level of investments in foreign assets has resulted in positive outlook of the industry in current economic turbulence. Banks in Philippines have limited their investment in local blue chip companies because of the high yield from the Philippine Stock Exchange.-

Banks in Philippines are opting for high degree of penetration, mergers and acquisitions, and high credit growth rate at a time when banks in other developed and emerging economies are writing off assets base and slowing down credit disbursal rate. However, according to -Philippines Banking Sector Analysis-, a research report from RNCOS, the sector will manage to book a CAGR growth of 10% in its asset base through 2010.

-Philippines Banking Sector Analysis- contains comprehensive research and rational analysis on various segments, like assets size, income level and number of cardholders, in the Philippines banking industry. It also analyzes the current performance and growth opportunities in the sector, and helps clients to understand various products available in the market and their future scope. It also discusses the role of technology in the Filipino banking industry.

The report gives future outlook of different aspects of the banking industry such as financial cards, mobile banking, bancassurance, industry assets, mutual fund assets under management, number of credit cards, IT spending by banking industry, microfinance and life insurance product sales etc. The future projections are made after analyzing the current market scenario, past trends and regulations laid by the central bank.

For FREE SAMPLE of this report visit:

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About RNCOS:

RNCOS, incorporated in the year 2002, is an industry research firm. We are a team of industry experts who analyze data collected from credible sources. We provide industry insights and analysis that helps corporations to take timely and accurate business decision in today’s globally competitive environment.

Ally Bank Online Bank Rates

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Ally Bank is a business unit of Ally Financial the leaders in automotive financial services worldwide. Ally financial services is officially preferred source of financing for General Motors, Chrysler, Saab, and Thor Industries

This is an Ally Bank rates update for February 2011. While they do not handle mortgage loans, they do offer their customers CDs, savings, and checking accounts. For those that are unaware of it, this is the new name for the old GMAC Bank.

The current bank rates on the certificates of deposit include the special Raise Your Rate CD that is a 2 year term. The APY is currently at 1.50%, and can be increased once during the term of the CD.

There is also the No Penalty CD that is earning an APY of 1.20% for an 11 month term.

The online Savings Account is currently earning an APY of 1.09%. The Money Market Account is also earning an APY of 1.09%

The Interest Checking Account is earning an APY of 0.50% on balances below $15,000. On balances above $15,000, the APY is 1.05%

The standard CD rates include the 3 month CD that is earning an APY of 0.64%. The 6 month CD is earning an APY of 1.04%. The 9 month CD is earning an APY of 1.00%. The 1 year CD is earning an APY of 1.29%. The 18 month CD is earning an APY of 1.35%. The 3 year CD is earning an APY of 1.84%. The 4 year CD is earning an APY of 2.05%. The 5 year CD is earning an APY of 2.39%.

There are no minimum balances to open an account, but you must make a deposit in order to earn an APY. All of these Ally Bank rates were posted on February 1, 2011 and are still current as of February 18, 2011, but are subject to change without notice.

We strive to bring you the latest and most accurate data possible from the home sites of the financial institutions we name. Always remember, the bigger the risk, the larger the reward or loss. Invest with caution.

For additional resources involving financial help, please view PNC Online Banking, best bank savings rates,SunTrust CD Rates, Westpac Online Banking and Online Banks at

Tips On How To Start An Investment Club

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Investment club is formed by a group of people who pool their money for joint investments. If you are a new to investing in stock market and have limited funds, starting an investment club is a great way to learn from other investors and get hands on experience in investing.

Here are some tips to starting an investment club.

1. Make sure all members understand the risks of investing. Many people who invest think they are going to be very successful, and are not prepared to lose all of their money. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees when it comes to the stock market. No one should invest money they are not willing to lose.

2. Find the right people who share the same investment objectives and goals. It is easier to get along with right minded people and learn from each other.

3. Make sure all club members agree to the partnership agreement and any other rules.

4. Join the National Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC) that provides support, information and tools on starting an investment club and investing, and publishes a monthly investor-learning magazine.

5. All members must agree to make a monthly contribution. The typical range of contribution is $20 to $100 a month. Members who contribute more than the required contribution are allowed greater share of profits.

6. Decide on how to meet and the frequency of meetings. For the initial setting up of the club, it may be best for everyone to meet in person. If all meetings are held online, it may be good to meet in person once or twice a year for social interaction. To keep up to date, it is recommended to meet 1-2 times a month.

7. Start with a small number of people. It is easier to come to an agreement when there are fewer members. When the club is established and all formal procedures are in place, new members can be invited to join.

8. Education is the main goal of an investment club. An investment club made up of educated investors will be more successful and cohesive than an investment club which is solely focused on making a profit.

9. Every investment club must have a well-defined investment style or investment philosophy. There must be clear selection criteria such as what type of stocks to invest, the acceptable risk tolerance level and rate of return. All club members should be aware of and agree to the investment style of the club.

Starting and running an investment club is an invaluable learning experience, where you can leverage on the expertise and knowledge of other investors. Investment clubs facilitate the exchange of ideas and collective decisions that are likely to produce sustainable returns.