Amy’s Kitchen in the Small Business Spotlight

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Amy’s Kitchen started in 1987 as one of the first frozen food companies for vegetarians. Naming the company after their daughter, Amy, Rachel and Andy Berliner worked as a team and started the company on a shoestring budget. Their first product, vegetable pot pie, has now led to over 88 frozen meals and in 1999,… Read more »

Ever Thought About Operating A Franchise?

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Tired of not getting paid what you’re worth (or not paid at all) and want to start your own, already-proven business? That’s what is intriguing about franchising. Pick a brand, pay your money, take your chances, and then you’re an entrepreneur. Running day-to-day operations and turning a profit is another matter, of course. However, success… Read more »

The Cost of Sweet Music

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Manuel Rodriguez III owns the century-old family business of the same name, heir to a tradition of guitar manufacturers which dates back to 1905 when his grandfather gave up fishing in Cadiz to dedicate his life to his musical passion. Now the Spanish guitar factory is looking beyond Europe to keep the company competitive. Questions:… Read more »

More Job Cuts

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Citigroup Inc is cutting 4,500 jobs worldwide, Chief Executive Vikram Pandit said on Tuesday, becoming the latest large bank to trim staff. Pandit said the cuts would be completed over “the next few quarters” and would come from a range of businesses. Questions: 1. What is the $400 million charge for? 2. How will this… Read more »

Kenya Life Companies

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Many countries are making a mint from commodities such as oil, copper and gold thanks to sky-high prices. But is that enough to give Africa a permanent boost? Probably not, because commodity markets are notoriously fickle and revenues can quickly be squandered. According to a report by the African Development Bank, a third of Africans… Read more »

PPM: What does it stand for when funding is involved?

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The abbreviation PPM stands for many things, including parts per million. But what does PPM stand for if you are an entrepeneur that is interested gaining funding for your business? When a company is looking to raise funds without an initial public offering, a private placement memorandum (PPM) is one of the best ways to… Read more »

Accounting Error or Change in Estimate?

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On November 21, 2011, independent research firm, Gradient Analytics issued a report that questioned whether j2 Global appropriately treated the measurement of annual contacts with eFax customers as a change in estimate. Based on its examination of the j2 Global’s financial disclosures, applicable accounting rules, and limited feedback from the company, Gradient reported that “…the… Read more »

Pharma Bribery Settlements

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Pfizer Inc. will pay at least $60 million to settle allegations by the U.S. government that the drugmaker paid bribes to win overseas business, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper, citing “people familiar with the matter,” said in an article published to its website Sunday that settlements are expected to be made public… Read more »

New Estimates Out on the Cost of Having Children

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According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is now a breathtaking $226,920. The cost of raising a child has risen over $60K since 2000. As a result, families squeezed by the economy are opting to wait to have children, but also tell Christine Romans… Read more »

Shadow Work: How does it affect the Economy?

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Shadow work is a term coined 30 years ago by the Austrian philosopher and social critic Ivan Illich. For Dr. Illich, shadow work was all the unpaid labor — including, for example, housework — done in a wage-based economy. The conventional wisdom is that America has become a “service economy,” but actually, in many sectors,… Read more »