March 1, 2013

The revival of American manufacturing is often cited as a clear indicator of the economy’s slow but sure recovery. After all, manufacturers added half a million new jobs since 2009, marking one of the few positives in this relatively sluggish upturn. But that statistic doesn’t tell the whole story: none of the workers who landed those manufacturing jobs are in a union. In fact, the number of union factory workers dropped by four percent from 2010 to 2012, just as Continue reading

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February 15, 2013

Even in this increasingly web-based world, the old saying, “Location, location, location,” still means something. As many long-dormant urban areas become revitalized, companies are squaring off to snap up space. Developers in Washington, D.C., have figured out a way to harness social media to determine the tenants of these valuable new properties. Called Popularise, this new startup allows citizens to vote online for the businesses they’d like to see in their community.

According to Popularise founders Ben and Dan Miller, Continue reading

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February 15, 2013

This video about Welch’s beginnings serves as a companion to an abstract in this month’s Newsletter about cooperative corporations.

Questions:

  1. What major advantages does Welch’s provide to their grape growers?
  1. Have other products shifted from their original purpose and found success?

From CNN Money

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February 10, 2013

When it comes to running a business, you can never know too much. That’s why many national chains are sending potential franchisees to school before they get the keys to a store. Although classroom lectures figure in to many of these programs, the main goal is to educate the franchisee-to-be on as many aspects of the business as possible. This can include everything from working the grill and mopping floors to employee management and media relations.

At Culvers, for instance, Continue reading

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February 5, 2013

Although franchising has many benefits, it doesn’t provide much freedom to the franchisees. After all, their primary job is to maintain the brand’s image, which just so happens to be whatever their corporate bosses say it is. They can also fall victim to larger trends that have affected their parent company. For instance, an entrepreneur named Jerry Merrill lost his Baskin-Robbins franchise in 1999, along with 600 other franchisees the company could not afford to keep. Merrill and 34 other Continue reading

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February 1, 2013

For years socially conscious entrepreneurs have been trying to find ways to help people in third world countries without giving them outright charity. While microfinancers help many ambitious poor people start small businesses, there are many people who are not ready to assume the risk of starting a business. That’s why a new group of activists is focusing their efforts on “impact sourcing” by providing simple but integral work to citizens of impoverished communities.

Outsourcing jobs to emerging nations is Continue reading

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