Importance of Competitor Analysis
In any business operation strategy, it is wise to keep into account the strategies of the company’s competitors. Strategic management is all about being able to gain and maintain competitive advantage over any other company. Competitive analysis is an exceptional process of analytically comparing a company, products and services against the substantial competitors within an industry.
Through competitive analysis, it becomes easy to establish a company’s goals, tactics and strategies that will make it stand out among competitors. There are notable elements that make up a competitive analysis. Firstly, you have to define the core competitors. Some companies will offer products and services that similar to what you entirely offer while others will only dispense one or two of your core products and services. Secondly, analyze competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
To enjoy a great competitive advantage in the market, look at the reasons behind the success of a company and areas that it has failed. Thirdly, analyze the main customer’s needs and requirements. Learning about the central wants of clients in an imperative part of competitive analysis. This makes customers’ priorities company’s main concerns. At last, an entrepreneur should build a strategic plan to improve the position of the company.
These strategic plans should cover areas of business operation from production, distribution, pricing to marketing of goods and services. With the key elements that make up a competitive analysis in mind, it is a brilliant idea to look at the key reasons as to why competition analysis is an important tool. Here are the core benefits of conducting a competitive analysis;
- It makes it easy to develop matrixes for ascertaining unserved and underserved gaps in the competitive markets. It reveals more on where a company fits in terms of prices, quality and customization.
- Provides a strategy to undertake towards product development. With great technology, direct competitors are able to engage in a persistent rivalry to develop new products and gain advantage by also learning what their probable competitors are offering. It also becomes easy to know what main competitors are up to or improving for future release.
- Offers a better way to understand the market trends and gain a competitive edge over any other company. Coming up with a new business idea offers a better way lure a number of loyal clients and build a new market. Customers will also be attracted to new business ideas.
- Todays, make is all about placing a lot of energy on benefits and value rather than selling products and services. Competitive analysis reveals more on what customers think they are buying than what they may be really buying. Hence, for an entrepreneur it becomes easy to know what clients thing of competitors brands.
It is not easy to stand out in an overcrowded marketplace. Success in a given market is all about good timing and following the best strategies. An improved ability to predict your competitors’ behaviors and influence offers a better way to know how to move your company to another competitive level. Do not just get on with your business plans and ignore competition. It is a great strategy to analysis competition, but do not get obsessed.
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Advantages of a Well-Prepared Business Plan
Success in the business industry is not that easily achieved. Many of the successful entrepreneurs that you come across have gone through a lot in life to reach certain competitive levels. Fortunately, coming up with or relying on a well-prepared business plan is one of the great business strategies that has worked miracles. A business plan is a well-written piece that describes more on a business, the market it operates, strategies to embrace and achieve set objectives.
Diving instantly into a business without coming up with a workable plan has never been a successful move. There are two great business plans to embrace prior to investing certain amount into a business of choice. You can use a prepared business plan or design your own brand new and unique business plan.
Any of the two strategies can work exceptionally well whenever starting out your business of choice. A business plan should not just be a well-prepared and written piece about a business, but an effective tool that comes with matchless merits. These unparalleled advantages of a well-prepared business plan include;
- Provides a business with a direction
There is a lot of research and preparations undertaken while developing a business plan and this helps broaden entrepreneurs understanding of the business and day to day undertaking in the industry of choice. It becomes easy to compare business expenses against your customer demands and competition. Hence, it becomes easy to develop incredible strategies to improve or develop your business.
- Provides a broad picture of the business details
A business plan offers a great way to monitor the progress of the venture. The business plan acts as a clear and precise portrait of a business and offers details and any possible forecasts. Benchmarking makes it easy to keep a business in a straight line with the marketplace standards.
- Provides a convenient way to seek finance and funds
If you are ready to increase your funding opportunities, then a well-prepared business plan will carry the day. You need a good business plan when seeking outside funding or top win investors’ confidence. Government grants and procurement opportunities are made available via a well-prepared business plan as it supports all financial
documents that may be needed.
- Offers an easy way to negotiate for contracts
To complete contract negotiations, it is easy to prove your business ideas and projections with a well-prepared business plan.
- Saves money and time
A well-prepared business plan especially if written by a professional will save money and time. It has complete and well-organize flow that any businessman, investor or funder will easily fathom and get clue of what your business is all about.
Many novices and even successful businessmen fail when it comes to writing business plans. For many it is not easy to execute their business ideas in a precise and comprehensive manner. Fortunately, there are professional out there who can offer writing services regardless of the bulkiness of the assignment. A well-prepared and written business plan will easily help your connect with investors, reduce time and money and meet the set goals.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of SWOT Analysis
In the business sector, every entrepreneur focuses on providing goods and services that will meet clients’ needs and stand out when compared to what competitors in the same industry will offer. It is wise to define business objectives and address any challenges in the business in the most suitable manner. Such decisions are supported by SWOT analysis or well-structured brainstorming.
SWOT analysis is a tool used to structure a certain brainstorming process and makes it easy to gain collection of ideas on an issue. The popularity of SWOT [Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats] analysis is down to its flexibility and straightforwardness. This analysis tool can be applied in many projects and take care of any internal or external factors necessary in meeting certain objectives. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages that come with SWOT analysis.
Advantages of SWOT analysis
- Flexibility- SWOT analysis is versatile and companies can embrace them in many ways. For instance, this analysis can help in exploring the impact of introducing new services and products, easy application of new business processes and functions. This analysis is also useful in assessing efficiency of technologies, markets and vendors.
- Smooth application- A SWOT analysis is consistent regardless of the aim of the brainstorming session a business many be conducting. Whether it is use for strategic planning, competitive rivalry analysis or any other study, it is easy to pick out the core environmental factors that are either positive or negative for a business.
- No money needed- You do not have to training in order to learn how to conduct SWOT analysis. More so, you do not need external consultant to fathom how effectively this analysis tool is embraced.
- Multi-level analysis- Through SWOT analysis, it is easy to tackle different elements on an issue of choice and come up with possible solutions. You not only have to look at the factors that make a company shine or fail, but also easy to utilize opportunities and probable threats.
- Data integration- SWOT analysis involves combination of quantitative and qualitative data from different sources. This help improves decision making easy and makes coordination of operations smoother.
Disadvantages of SWOT analysis
- Weighty items- The SWOT analysis generates a lot of issue to be tackled and this list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats may be used inappropriately and fail to deliver the message. The analysis conducted may not provide relevant information on what an organization offers. There may be more threats than strengths in an issue of discussion.
- Ambiguity- SWOT analysis fails to allow easy prioritization. One issue may offer a lot of strengths, but be weighted the same way as the core dangers causing a lot of problems.
- Poor planning- SWOT analysis s ineffective when it comes to figuring out whether a company is making conscious decisions or not. It is wise to rely on tools such as statistical surveys, test-market strategy or focus group forums to tackle an issue of choice.
- Does not offer key solutions- SWOT analysis may be limited because it does not provide key solutions to the issues that may be affecting a company. A few things are tackled may it hard to research on and evaluate other related issues. Hence, most of the information obtained is not useful.
SWOT analysis is a great tool to embrace in the business world. It helps recognized the internal strengths and weaknesses of a company and the core external opportunities and threats. For entrepreneurs who value this analysis tool, it is wise to keep in mind its central advantages and disadvantages in mind.
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Porter’s 5 Forces Analysis of Toyota
Toyota Motor Corporation is one of the highly reputed companies that have dominated the automobile industries greatly. It is a Japanese company that is greatly involved in design, manufacture, assembling and sales of cars, commercial vehicles, minivans and related products since its formation in 1937. It has been dominating the automobile industry for long and it is annual revenue as of 2013 was about $213 billion and it has employed approximately 330000 people.
The automobile industry has been competitive ever since and Toyota has worked hard to overcome most of its rivals. Despite increased competitive rivalry, the automobile industry has also faced skyrocketing fuel prices and day to day growing environmental concerns. These two factors have impacted consumer predilections away from pick-up trucks that consumer a lot of fuel to smaller and fuel-efficient cars.
A lot of changes have been experienced in the industry and Toyota has been adapted extremely well with car and vehicle sales increasing on daily basis. For any green investors trying to make a mark in the industry, conducting Porter’s 5 analysis of Toyota has been a great strategy to learn from the market. By conducting Porter’s five analyses, it is easy to access where power or great opportunities lie in an industry. There are five essential forces that have made Toyota a reckoning force in the automobile industry. This includes;
- Power of suppliers- The bargaining power of suppliers in the automobile industry is low. Majority of suppliers in the industry offer cooling system, braking system, fuel supply system and electrical systems globally. Unfortunately, these suppliers do not have the power to rule the market as Toyota and other vehicle manufacturers own many compatible suppliers and can also produce their own automobile products.
- Threat of new entrants- It is not easy to enter and dominate the automobile industry. Companies like Toyota and others have used a lot of money to maintain their status and reach those ranks. Toyota also has been able to cut costs than its competitors on used cars and core automobiles, and so, it is not easy for new companies to enjoy such privileges.
- Power of buyers- There many buyers in the automobile industry and their bargaining power has been great. Information on vehicles has been abundant thanks to internet and more buyers can learn more about their vehicles tastes as well as compare prices. Buyers can also find out more on fuel-efficient cars that Toyota has made available and compare them with what other manufacturers are offering.
- Threat of substitutes- With the ever-changing trends in the automobile industry, customers still rely on used cars that Toyota is widely known for. The demand for these cars has risen rapidly and Toyota has utilized these opportunities immensely.
- Competitive rivalry- There has been high or prevalent competition for market share in the automobile industry. This has fueled consumers’ demands and anticipation for lower prices on automobile products. Despite Toyota having a strong cut cost plan, it has experienced pressures on its products costs.
Like any company that wants to enjoy great profits margins, Toyota has continued with its efforts to strengthen its management platform and raise its corporate worth. It has also focused on developing and manufacturing environmental conscious products that also gratifies consumers’ needs easily. In essence, Toyota has outperformed the industry over years and gained matchless market share and there is more to come from the automaker.
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Porter’s 5 Forces Analysis of Kodak Company
The photographic film industry has experienced great transformations. Kodak is one of the great companies that have impact the industry in great ways. Kodak also known as the Eastman Kodak Company is an American technology company founded by George Eastman in 1888 and focuses on imaging solutions and services. On top of this, it Kodak provides packing, functional printing, graphic communication and professional services globally.
It has dominated the photographic film sector for many years, but like any other company, it has also experienced a number of challenges over years. Kodak has tried to intensify its impact in the photographic business, but it has nose-dived as a result of decline in sales in US. It has also experienced a huge competition from companies in the industry for better market share. Surprisingly, competitors like Canon, HP and Sony have posed vast threats that have impacted Kodak’s operations in the film industry.
Today, most of its products span across digital cameras, inkjet printers, sensors, software, retail kiosks, and paper processing chemical and professional photographic films services among others. Mergers with companies such as AOL online, Cinelabs Ltd and Sanofi have helped Kodak enjoy a great market share. Porter’s five forces have also impacted Kodak hugely and it has founded better ways to compete with its rivals in the photographic film industry. These forces include;
- Threat of new entry- From the Porter’s 5 forces analysis, it is clear that the impact of new entry to Kodak is moderate. A lot of capital is required to join the photographic film industry. Most of the new entrants have not been able to cope with Kodak due to lack of experience and knowledge in core areas like digital imaging and photography.
- Power of consumers- The number of buyers in the hunt for electronic products and services is high. Companies like Kodak, Sony and others have always presents clients with an opportunity to enjoy wide range of film products. Consumers have always expect the best from the industry.
- Power of suppliers- In the photographic film industry, the power of suppliers is low. Majority of the suppliers in the hunt out for film products and services are locked out both locally and internationally. Kodak has supplier’s contracts that run for one to three years and it is cautious when it comes to third party suppliers as they reduce industry profitability.
- Threat of substitute products and services- Threat of substitute’s products and services is high in the film industry. Companies in the sector work hard to match their specifications, pricing and other characteristics of the industry. There are less switching costs between substitutes as consumers can change the photographic film products based on their preferences.
- Competitive rivalry- Kodak has been facing huge competition from Sony, Canon, Nikon, HP and Fuji Photo Film among other companies. Competitive pricing and increase of prices on related products and services has impacted its operations in the industry.
Kodak has worked hard to reach a wide market and it has developed new competences for future developments. It has also strategically transformed its entire business operations to utilize the new opportunities in the industry despite a number of challenges it has faced.
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Porter’s 5 Forces Analysis of Facebook
Facebook is one of the greatest social networking services that have been creating a lot of hullabaloo everywhere. Facebook wad founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and college roommates at Harvard University. Facebook has gone through a lot of transformation to satisfy the needs of many users. Facebook has impacted media through marketing and developing brand promotions. It has also impacted social life and activities of many people globally. However competition from other online social networking services has been the core issues impacting its operations.
Social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Bing and many others have played a lot of roles in the growth and development of Facebook. Porter’s five forces analysis is a tool that has helped learn more about the impact of Facebook in the online market. There are detailed Porter five forces to look at and learn more on their impact on Facebook. These are;
Bargaining power of customers
Facebook has control over its customers when it comes to negotiating for online deals and this has made it easy to increase the average advertising rates and this has led to inability to add new users or lose existing customers. Hence, it has become hard to maintain its user number and this has increased customers bargaining power.
Power of suppliers
Facebook does not have any cost-entry blockade for suppliers, but it has been experiencing complications adding more users. Some of the users have opted for other social networking services, and so bargaining power for suppliers as remained medium.
Competitive rivalry within the social networking world
Facebook has to face competition from huge rivals like Google. Google has introduced services like Google+, a new social networking service that has been making news amongst internet users. Facebook also faces stiff competition when it comes to retaining users as there is a high rivalry for huge market share.
Threat of substitutes
Services like WhatsApp, iMessage and Skype are a threat to Facebook. Most of these services involve internet based short messaging services that make it easy for customers to use their phonebook and send short messages. Facebook users have also opted for video calling services as they can use their PCs and mobile phones. Hence, Facebook has been pushed to work together with these services in order to cancel out the threat of substitute products.
Threat of new entrants
Mobile journal path is a huge threat to Facebook as it has been gaining popularity rapidly. It is a mobile social networking has added millions of users over a short period of time. As millions of users who should be relying on Facebook opt for new social networking services, this is a vast threat due to new and unexploited user experience.
Facebook’s huge resource and asset is its information database on millions of users and it has paid much attention on how to gain a bigger number of users and satisfy their needs. It has introduced a functionality strategy that will easily push in merchant websites with its like button. This has given Facebook a competitive advantage over new entrants and competitors, hence its ever-increasing number of users and revenues.
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Competitive Rivalry in Fast Food Industry
The food industry has grown to become the best source of income and revenue. It has played great roles in the economic development on a global platform. Fast-food or quick service restaurants have become the in-thing for many people and this has projected the growth of the industry. There are several fast food giants that have been holding up very well more than any other in the restaurant sector. These companies include McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway, Wendy’s international and Dairy Queen among others. The biggest challenge in the fast food industry has been immense competition.
Many entrepreneurs who have tried their luck in the industry have experienced a lot of challenges that have pushed many to withdraw their focus. Competitive rivalry has been one of the key challenges in the fast food industry as there are many companies competing for the same dollar and profits in the industry. Every fast food company wants to make fast money by selling large amounts of food at lower rates. Majority of these companies compare the profit margins although it is not as a high as many new investors in the industry may anticipate. Notoriety when it comes to paying wages is the other issues affecting the industry and most of the large companies capitalize on this issue.
For any entrepreneur trying his or her lack in the fast food industry conducting rivalry analysis has been one of the most effective strategies to count on. The Porter’s 5 forces has been the de facto context for analyzing the fast food sector. Competitive rivalry in the fast food sector has affected even the giant restaurants that have dominated the industry for many years. Rivalry among the existing companies has been heightened by increased service and products improvement, increased innovation in the sector, better advertising and tumbling pressure on prices.
Competition in the fast food industry as not only hit the restaurants styles, but also their widespread target markets. Every giant or green restaurant has been working hard to grasp a bigger market share. There are a number of factors that have intensified competitive rivalry in the industry and they include;
- There is increased competition for same customers and product resources due to the large number of firms anticipating to dominate the market.
- The industry has reached maturity stage and this has slowed it growth. many of the companies have been competing to gain a better market share and gain more profits.
- High storage cost have pushed competition has every giant fast food provider want to gain more profits and spend less.
- There has been high exits barriers and this has increased rivalry has most of the companies want to dominate the market for long.
Fast food companies need to work together and especially with franchises that are on new initiatives. They also have to adapt to new changes in the market and satisfy clients’ needs without any qualms. If they keep in mind that competitive rivalry results to pressure on prices and margins, they will be able to easily help the industry to overcome other rapidly developing and profitable industries.
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Socio Cultural Factors Affecting Business
Socio cultural factors have important influences in businesses today. These factors are about the attitudes and beliefs of consumers based on their preferences, environment, and social systems. Entrepreneurs must learn to closely monitor these socio cultural factors because they have a major impact on consumption of services and products. The following are some of the main socio cultural factors that affect businesses today:
Customs and religion
Some products may not be permissible in certain cultures. This may be because of religious beliefs and traditions that have been imbedded in a community’s culture for a long time. For instance in India consumption of beef and beef products is forbidden due to strong religious beliefs. Companies such as Macdonald’s have had to alter their menus and consider this socio cultural aspect when venturing into India.
The world is always evolving and trends in different businesses always change. This can be as a result of new trends, changes in technology and mindset. Ultimately changes in consumer’s tastes have an impact on businesses. If businesses do not keep up with and incorporate these changing preferences into their services, they risk losing important clients.
The communication and technology market is one of the ever changing businesses. Companies like Nokia have had to change some of their products to march trending applications and designs. Although such changes in preferences may cost a company a lot of money, it helps in retention of clients and can also attract new ones.
Demographics are all about the population and this influences businesses in the sense that it determines the market size and profits that companies make. A huge population provides a larger market for companies that want to venture into certain locations or countries.
In the recent past, countries like India and China have been popular destinations for investors. This is because they have billions of citizens who provide consumers for different products and services.
Marketing and advertisement
Marketing and advertisement is one of the essential aspects of every business. This is the only way a business can reach out to its clients. It is thus important for entrepreneurs to put a lot of effort into impressing the clients through advertisements.
Most companies prefer to have a healthy budget for advertisement and spend a lot of money to hire brand ambassadors who can come up with perfect advertisement ideas. Advertisement must be customized to suit the client age, preference and meet the company’s targets.
Moral and personal values
Many businesses have to make sure that their products are aligned to the moral and personal values of their clients. This may require setting high standards for employees and ensuring that those who manufacture products are well taken care of. A company like Mary Kay cosmetics has gotten good client reviews because of how staffs are treated. On the other hand some American companies have irked their clients by using child labour in their foreign franchises. Exercising moral values that appeal to the clients can help in retention of customers.
The Main Socio Economic Factors Affecting Education Across The World
Education is one of the most valued investments in the world. Parents and governments prepare children and youth to begin their own lives and settle into good careers that can them high incomes by offering them quality education. Access of education is however influenced by many factors. Additionally, the quality of education can also be affected by the same factors. This paper examines the socio economic factors that affect education across the world.
Level of family incomes
The level of income disposable to a family is pertinent factor that affects both the access and quality of education. In fact, research shows that children from low income family backgrounds tend to face more obstacles in accessing quality education.
On the other hand, families with high incomes are able to afford quality educational opportunities for their children. These families can also invest in supplementary educational materials such as books and other gadgets as well as pay for tutors to help the children enhance their learning skills. Nevertheless there are children who have come out from poor backgrounds and used this to fuel their ambitions and get out of poverty.
The education level of parents
When parents are well educated they tend to desire the same for their children. This is because they can relate to the opportunities that high quality education brings. Such parents tend to invest heavily in the education of their children. They can go to great extents to ensure that these children get the best education.
In addition to providing learning opportunities, well educated parents are also stricter about educational activities. These parents are always keen to follow up on homework and guide their young ones on how to go about school work. In the long run, such parents keep their children focused on education and help them define appropriate educational and career goals.
Parents who are less educated may have a different perspective of education. Apart from being unable to provide their children with proper learning opportunities, these parents may also be less involved in their children’s educational activities. Despite these linkages, research has shown that parents who may have good education but struggled in academic activities may not offer much educational guidance to their children.
In most countries gender has had a major influence on both access and the quality of education. In the olden days, female learners were almost nonexistent and those who were there had a different curriculum from their male counterparts. The female learners were supposed to be home makers and were thus taught subjects that would mould them into fitting in these roles. On their part, males were supposed to embrace tougher subjects to match their high place in society. This has changed with time and many societies now provide equal opportunities for both boys and girls.
Gender prejudices still occur in the education sector and are more prevalent towards girls than boys. However, there have been cases of gender prejudices against males in certain rare cases. For instance in Lesotho the literacy rates of girls is much higher than that of boys because the males are forced to look after cattle while females go to school.
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Defining Important Socio Economic Factors Affecting Businesses Today
Socio economic factors are important characteristics which mostly influence consumers. These factors are associated with the quality of life and determine the behaviors, tastes, preferences, attitudes and lifestyles of people living within a society.
Socio economic factors have a high impact on businesses, whether big or small. This is because the consumers are often at the heart of businesses and tend to affect growth of all ventures. There are many socio economic factors that business persons need to look out for in order to excel and compete effectively in an ever changing market.
Income capacity of consumers determines how much they can spend on certain products. If citizens in a country have access to high incomes from employment and personal business ventures, then they are more likely to spend on luxurious products. This is because they can easily afford the products and also have a taste for good things. On the other hand, low income earners may not be able to afford basic commodities, let alone the luxurious products. The struggle to meet their basic needs may blind these consumers from purchasing luxurious products.
It is thus essential for a business person to consider the income capacities of the consumers before setting up the business. This factor should affect where the entrepreneur sets up shop and the target clients he chooses. For high end products, an entrepreneur should look for a shop in an up market area with access to high income earners. For basic commodities, an entrepreneur should look for cheap suppliers and set up shop near the low income earners.
The occupation of consumers is largely related to the income they earn. Low skilled laborers who work in menial jobs cannot earn the same as corporate managers. The differences in occupations more often than not determine the income gaps of the consumers.
As an entrepreneur you must carry out research on the occupations of your consumers. This should influence your decision to venture into certain businesses with a specific target at consumers who have good occupations or lowly jobs.
Education levels influence the type of occupation a person can get and ultimately their income level. Consumers with higher education tend to be skilled and also have better jobs and incomes as compared to those without education. Education is determined by the opportunities presented to the consumers and can influence how much a consumer can afford.
In addition to this, the educated consumers have different tastes for products as compared to the uneducated ones. The educated consumers are not only more conscious about the contents of products but may also come off as demanding as compared to the less educated ones. An entrepreneur may have to work harder to fulfill the demands of these consumers as compared to when dealing with less educated folk who are less demanding.
Economic growth and development of a country can also have an impact on the social status of its citizens. Emerging economies such as China and India have proved that if a country experiences high economic growth then the citizens may have better access to incomes and also the middle class and upper class may grow. This may also attract more investors into the country and increase employment rates. Inevitably positive economic growth rates will increase spending and help businesses to grow.
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Essential Economic Factors Affecting Growth and Development
Growth and development of an economy is always a matter of high importance. Every country works hard to ensure that its economy achieves growth and development. There are many factors that affect growth and development. These may range from social, political and economic amongst other things. This paper examines the main economic factors that may affect the growth and development in a country.
Interest rate is usually determined by market trends and governments. Banks cannot just change interest rates on their own intuit because they have to abide by a country’s policies and stick to the margins of interest rates given. This economic factor is very important when considering the aspect of growth and development.
When interest rates are high, the investors do not have access to easy capital. Those who own businesses may also hesitate to borrow money for expansion projects and also cut down on innovations and production. This ultimately affects business growth rate in the country and has a ripple effect on the economic growth and development.
Low interest rates tend to be more favorable to borrowers and they open a myriad of opportunities to citizens of a country. This often results in high business activity due to easy access to capital and also more cases of expansion. In the long run low interest rates may have a positive impact on employment rates in a country because more businesses will require more employees.
Foreign exchange rate
There are certain currencies which are held in high value and can greatly influence the economic growth and development of every country across the world. The major currency which is carefully monitored across the world is the United States Dollar. Other currencies that may have an impact on economic growth and development include:
- The European Euro
- The Japanese yen
- The British Pound
- The Chinese Yuan
These currencies are monitored because of their economic power and potential effect they may have in the world economic market. When the value of the dollar falls, exports from US to foreign economies become cheaper while imports from these economies into the US become more expensive. This may increase demand for the US products abroad.
The GDP growth rate of any country always impacts on its economic growth and development. A positive growth in GDP tends to have positive impact on the economy because it attracts investors into the country. This in turn increases employment rates in the country and also consumption rate of local citizens. A fall in the GDP levels of a country may not only impact on investment but also reduces spending capacity of the citizens.
The economic policies that a government undertakes can also affect the growth and development rates of a country. If a country chooses to implement sound macroeconomic policies it can experience rapid economic growth. Microeconomic policies have been known to create bureaucracies and create room for corruption and rent seeking. Ultimately, a country has to carry out research and tailor its policies to the economic needs it faces. There must be in place monitoring and evaluation institutions to ensure that the chosen policies are implemented successfully.
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Transition economies refer to economies which are changing from a centrally planned economy to one of market economy. Since communism collapse in the late 1980s countries of former Soviet Union as well as all satellite states such as Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland sought to embrace capitalism and they abandoned central planning.
Transition economies often undergo structural transformations which are intended to assist in the development of institutions that are market based. Some of these include economic liberation where market forces are used to set prices rather than by central planning organizations.
Trade barriers are also removed in transition economies as there is a push to:
- Privatize resources and enterprises that are privately owned
- Restructure collectively and state run enterprises as businesses
- Create a financial sector to facilitate macroeconomic stabilization as well as movement of private capital.
Transition economies have been applied in China, Eastern bloc countries of Europe, some Third World countries, and former Soviet Union. There is also detailed work which has been undertaken on the social and economic effects of such transition.
Transition is often characterized by change and creation of institutions especially private enterprises, change in state role which fundamentally create different government institutions and promote enterprises that are privately owned.
Main ingredients needed in transition economies include the following:
- Institutional and legal reforms-There should be a redefining of state role in such economies in order to establish rule of law and also introduce appropriate competition policies.
- Privatization and restructuring- Creation of a financial sector that is viable and reforming enterprises that already exist in the economies undergoing a transition in order to render them capable of production of goods that can be sold in free markets. This also aids in transferring ownership into private hands.
- Liberalization-Transition process allows most of the prices to be established in free markets and lowers trade barriers that shut off contacts
- Macroeconomic stabilization- Brings inflation under control and lowers it over certain duration especially after the initial burst of inflation which is followed by liberalization and pent up demand.
There are certain problems which arise as a result of transition economies and some of these include increasing unemployment, rising inflation, lack of infrastructure, corruption, lack of entrepreneurship, moral hazards, inequality and lack of sophisticated legal systems. It is ideal to note that most of the transition economies often face severe short term difficulties as well as long term constraints especially on development.
There are different transition processes that are characterized by creating and changing of institutions especially private enterprises. Because of the different initial conditions that need to be followed during the emerging transition process, it has to be planned and different countries use varying transition models.
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Irish Potato famine
The Irish potato famine started mysteriously in September 1845 with the leaves of the plant suddenly turning black and curled then rotting. It was seemingly as a result of a fog wafting across the Ireland fields. However, the actual cause was an airborne fungus (pytophthora infestans) transported in the hold of ships that were traveling from North America to England.
The virus was carried by winds from southern England to the Ireland countryside around Dublin. The spread of the blight was so fast and it rapidly spread through the entire fields in the form of fungal spores that settled on the leaves of potato plants that were healthy.
The spores multiplied then they were carried in millions by the cool breezes that surrounded the plants. Under moist ideal conditions, single infected potato plants infected thousands more within a couple of days. The plants attacked fermented while providing the fungus with the nourishment it needed in order to survive.
As the plants blackened, the emitted a nauseous stench then withered leaving the Irish farmers disbelieving. Note that previously, the farmers had experienced crop failures as a result of poor weather and other diseases.
However, the new failure was strange and unlike anything they had ever seen. Potatoes that were dug from the ground looked as if they were edible at first but then, they would shrivel and rot in a matter of days. By October 1845, the news of the blight had spread to London and the British Prime
Minister then, Sir Robert Peel established a scientific commission to look into the problem. After looking at the situation for a while, the commission issues a gloomy report which indicated that half of the potato crop in Ireland might go to waste as a result of ‘wet rot’
Famine fever, dysentery, typhus, dysentery, cholera and scurvy as well as infestations of lice spread throughout the entire Irish countryside. Observers made reports of children crying because of pain and resembling skeletons because their features were already sharpened as a result of hunger. Observers also reported that the limbs of such children were wasted with little left but their bones.
In the next 10 years after outbreak of the Irish potato famine over 750,000 Irish people die while another two million left their home for the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Within 5 years of the famine, the population reduced by a quarter.
The famine was not a simple natural disaster bit a result of social causes. The Irish Potato Famine left in its wake, a legacy of lasting and deep feelings of distrust and bitterness towards the British. The Irish were convinced the famine was as the direct result of British colonial policies outgrowth.
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Role of NGOs in Municipal Solid waste Management
Huge amounts of municipal solid waste create massive challenges for all Asian cities across the economic spectrum. The issues and characteristics of Municipal solid waste vary as such the techniques used to manage solid waste should vary in accordance to local conditions as this is the only way to maintain sustainability.
Most of the Asian cities are home to over 1 million billion people and by 2025, it is expected it will be inhabited by over 4 billion people. Half of this population is found in cities and is expected to produce over 180 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. Waste managed by municipalities includes waste from offices, small businesses, restaurants and households.
However, in other countries especially those that have limited waste legislation, it might include waste from some of the small industrial plants. NGOs play an important role in municipal solid waste management in these countries. Some of these include the following:
- They provide prominent support to waste workers in the informal sector and enterprises so they can organize themselves to improve working facilities and conditions, increase earnings and also extend access to some of the important social services like schooling for children and healthcare.
- When NGOs come into the picture, privatization means there will be transfer of ownership and management from the public to private sector. While this is the case, it has proven to be a reliable and powerful technique of improving waste management services like haulage, disposal and collection.
- By operating in different partnership forms with public sector, NGOs also provide management, organization capacity capital, technical skills and labor.
NGOs are also mainly involved with collection of waste from different sources of generation suc as hotels, houses, restaurants and markets. After collecting waste, they dispose it in the nearest SDSs. However, it is important to note that most of the NGOs don’t handle composting of the organic waste as well as medical waste. This is especially true in cities such as Khulna.
What is more, NGOs also set up collection systems. This means that waste collection from the generation sources is carried out by the NGOs and some even transfer the waste to compost plants. More importantly, some of the NGOs also collect waste from some of the households and they receive payment in small amounts from dwellers.
For NGOs to play their role in municipal solid waste efficiently, they need to collection facilities as well. As such, most of them have vans used for collection and manpower in order to increase efficiency. It is because of all these reasons and more that NGOs are an important part of municipal solid waste management.
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Role of NGOs in Development of Rural Entrepreneurship
Starting an entrepreneurship in the rural areas is not an easy task. There are several aspects that need to be factored in such as where to get capital, how to attract and retain customers as well as the practices to follow. Precisely for this reason, NGOs play an important role in development of rural entrepreneurship.
Unemployment of underemployment in the rural areas leads to an influx of people in the cities as they look for new jobs. NGOs committed to rural development act as catalyst and offer then locals opportunities that increase or guarantee chances of growth.
Whenever someone thinks of starting a business, the first thing they have to think about is whether they will get the appropriate market. This is the only way to construct a business that is operational and functional while at the same time taking into account the financial requirements of the business.
In rural businesses, creating third party alliances is crucially important though most often, entrepreneurs are afraid of venturing into such opportunities because of the risks involved. NGOs however, serve as great opportunities for such individuals to create their own ideas.
Whenever a business idea is innovative or it involves adaptation of new technology, very few people are interested in it. This is regardless of the fact that your technology has already been tested. NGOs on the other hand don’t shy away from such investments. Rather, they are often ready to facilitate such technology.
As a matter of fact, many NGOs will manage relations with several potential entrepreneurs to set up educational chats. In addition to this, NGOs also help through instillation of confidence in technology through transfer of experience and knowledge which is enhanced extensions into other countries as well.
Also, through NGOs, entrepreneurs get background training on how they are supposed to handle their work and how they can make profits. They are taught some of the strategies to use in order to attract customers as well as some of the things they need to overlook or overcome.
In addition to this, NGOs make it easy for rural entrepreneurs to learn about sustenance management. Running an enterprise requires plans and goals that conform to the target of the business and entrepreneurs are taught how to get such aspects into harmony with their goals by the NGOs.
They are taught how to pay attention to all aspects of the business and how they can handle quality control in order to attract and keep clients interested in the services or products they have to follow. More importantly, NGOs assist in development of rural entrepreneurship by helping entrepreneurs learn some of the pitfalls they ought to avoid.
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