Thursday, 31 October 2013

Wingham Rowan: A new kind of job market

Plenty of people need jobs with very flexible hours -- but it's difficult for those people to connect with the employers who need them. Wingham Rowan is working on that. He explains how the same technology that powers modern financial markets can help employers book workers for slivers of time.

Wingham Rowan is the founder of social business Slivers-of-Time, which runs online markets for microworking and micro-volunteering

Why you should listen to him:     

Wingham Rowan is the Project Director of Slivers-of-Time Working, a UK government-funded initiative that uses advanced (but easy to use) trading technology to help individuals who need to work (on their own terms and at times of their choosing) connect with employers who need their labor. Employers expanding their workforce in this new way include local authorities, housing associations, NHS Primary Care Trusts, retailers and caterers.

Rowan is the former producer and presenter of the UK’s longest running television series about the Internet,, and the presenter of the children’s TV program Rowan’s Report. He's is the author of two books about the social potential of online markets.

Markets have changed beyond recognition in the last 20 years, but only for organizations at the top of the economy.” - Wingham Rowan

7 African Women Who Founded Amazing Companies

Divine NdhlukulaVENTURES AFRICA – Leadership, passion and vision no longer wear a purely masculine face and scores of African women are now counted among the founders of the amazing companies that are contributing to Africa’s development. Their countenance and demeanour, confidence and wisdom; there’s always something about a strong, influential woman. African women that wield the power to make important decisions are becoming with increasing frequency, the norm rather than the exception in everyday business and society across the continent. In no respective order, Ventures Africa lists 7 African women, who founded remarkable companies, chosen for their innovativeness, courage, and contribution to economic development and commitment to integrity despite incredible odds:

Divine Ndhlukula, Securico Services, Zimbabwe
One of Africa’s most successful female entrepreneurs, Divine Ndhlukula is the Director of Security Operations (Pvt) Limited, one of Zimbabwe’s largest security groups. Always a businesswoman, Divine did everything from selling clothes to renting out high-capacity vehicles to farming. After a few small successes and one near-fatal failure, she began Securico Services, now a subsidiary of the group, in her small cottage with four employees. By taking advantage of a huge quality gap in the securities industry, she began providing customised quality security services to businesses and steadily, the business grew. Over the next 12 years, she grew the company from 4 to over 3,500 employees. The firm has since become the largest employer of women – having close to 1000 women on the work force – many of them single mothers. Although Divine’s ‘no bribe’ policy cut her off from many government opportunities, her business has grown consistently as has her reputation. She is a recipient of numerous national and international awards including the prestigious Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship in 2011.

The Richest Black Woman In The World, Folorunsho Alakija

Left; Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan. Right; Folorunsho AlakijaVENTURES AFRICA/Africa’s Secret Millionaires – Move over, Oprah – there is a new richest black woman in the world. And she’s Nigerian.
Meet Folorunsho Alakija, a Nigerian billionaire oil tycoon, Fashion designer and philanthropist who is worth at least $3.3 billion- contrary to a recent Forbes Magazine ranking which pegs her net worth at only $600 million.
Alakija, 61, was born into a wealthy, polygamous Nigerian family. She started out her professional career in the mid 70s as a secretary at the now defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria, one of the country’s earliest investment banks. In the early 80s, Alakija quit her job and went on to study Fashion design in England, returning to Nigeria shortly afterwards to start Supreme Stitches, a premium Nigerian fashion label which catered exclusively to upscale clientele.
The business thrived, and Alakija quickly made a tidy fortune selling high-end Nigerian clothing to fashionable wives of military bigwigs and society women.

CBN: FG Generated N10.6 Trillion in 2012

2410N.Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweala.jpg - 2410N.Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweala.jpg
Ngozi  Okonjo Iweala, Finance Minister
The federal government generated a total of N10.655 trillion in 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)  has disclosed.

The amount, according to the central bank, exceeded the N9.7 trillion target for the fiscal year by 9.9 per cent.
The CBN made this known in its annual report for 2012 posted on its website.

The development was attributed to the favourable receipts from both oil and non-oil revenue sources.
An analysis of the receipts indicated that the gross oil revenue accounted for N8.026 trillion (19.8 per cent of GDP) and represented 75.3 per cent of the total.

At that level, it also surpassed the 2012 budget benchmark of N6.636 trillion by 20.9 per cent, but was below the 2011 receipts by 9.6 per cent.
However, the report showed the computed capital adequacy ratio (CAR) for Nigerian banks indicated the industry average stood at 18.3 per cent, compared to the computed average of 17.7 per cent at end-December 2011.

Dangote Cement 9-Month Profit Gains on Increased Nigeria Sales

Dangote Cement Plc (DANGCEM), Africa’s biggest producer of the building material, said nine-month profit increased 46 percent on higher Nigerian sales even as gas supplies were disrupted at its largest plant.
After-tax income for the nine months through September advanced to 154.9 billion naira ($974 million) from 105.5 billion naira a year earlier, the Lagos-based company said in a statement posted on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange today. Revenue rose 29 percent to 288.9 billion naira, as cement sales in Nigeria gained 30 percent to 9.95 million metric tons.
Dangote Cement, controlled by billionaire Chairman Aliko Dangote, has production capacity of 20.3 million metric tons in Nigeria. The company has three plants in Africa’s second largest economy and plans to expand into 13 other nations on the continent, bringing total capacity to more than 50 million tons by 2016.
“Demand for cement remains strong in Nigeria and with our sales nearly 30 percent higher than last year, Dangote Cement has grown at twice the market’s rate of growth,” Chief Executive Officer Devakumar Edwin said in an e-mailed statement today. “As we predicted in July, the gas supply to Obajana was lower than desired during the third quarter and we are looking for additional sources of gas and other fuels such as coal to keep us fully supplied in the coming years.”

Nigeria looks to IDB for infrastructure upgrades

After agreeing to help finance a $150m overhaul of the Lekki seaport in Lagos State, the Islamic Development Bank is quickly becoming Nigeria’s top financier for infrastructure developments

The IDB has expanded its interests in Nigeria after agreeing to invest $150m in the Lekki seaport project. The $1.55bn undertaking, which has been scheduled for completion in 2015, will be Nigeria’s first deepwater port. Its free trade status is expected to heavily increase trade with countries like China, and it should bring in an estimated $200bn in annual revenues. It is hoped the 90HA port will also produce around 163,000 new jobs throughout Lagos State.
In a bid to capitalise on the deal’s momentum, Nigeria’s vice president, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, has already started lobbying for even more financing from the Saudi Arabian-based IDB. Sambo, who is currently on a pilgrimage to Mecca, issued a statement yesterday imploring the IDB to commit another $450m in infrastructural improvements. Sambo has said Nigeria desperately needs to expand its electricity capacity by another 20,000 megawatts.

Ecobank Chair to step down

Ecobank Chair, Kolapo Lawson
The Chairperson of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Kolapo Lawson is to step down with immediate effect.

The move is to restore confidence in the bank which has been rocked by governance issues.

Ecobank has seen its image take a hit from allegations by suspended head of finance over assertions that she was asked to misstate 2012 results and that assets were being unnecessarily sold at a loss.

Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating the allegations.

But the bank has denied any wrongdoing.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) first made news in April this year when Nigeria's central bank notified it of Lawson's failure to repay 1.4 billion Naira in debts sold to AMCON and a further 1.6 billion naira owed to Ecobank by businesses associated with him.

Ecobank has since said Lawson has repaid the debts owed it and no company rules were broken.

Early on, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria hinted to Citi Business News, a special college of supervisors will soon be setup to specifically regulate the bank.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido told Citi Business News, the setting up of the college of supervisors will also increase supervision and improve on information flow among regulators.

Source: CitiFM Online

Successful Entrepreneurs Offer Advice from Hard-Won Business Lessons

Sheila Brooks, founder and CEO of
SRB Communications.
Although Sheila Brooks has never stepped foot on a battlefield, she knows the sting of corporate warfare.
Brooks, founder and CEO of SRB Communications, said keeping her clients happy—from the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando to merchandiser Target to telecommunications giant Verizon – as a public relations executive means a daily battle to sustain companies’ images and brands.
But while others in her field have folded, the African American PR veteran has prospered enough for two decades as a corporate communicator to have amassed tips for would-be entrepreneurs.
“As women and African American business owners- you have to work for people to take you seriously. It’s serious when you get into business. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to persevere,” Brooks told the AFRO.
“There’s also the fear of taking a risk- saying ‘I’m going to go out there and become a business owner, ’” she said.
Brooks began her own career working for free at a Seattle, Wash., news station as an intern four months before graduating from the University of Washington in 1978.
She moved through the ranks with her degree in broadcast journalism and then earned a degree in political science at Howard University.
It didn’t take long to attract attention- NBC, CBS, and Fox all were pleased with her writing and keen eye for news. But 13 years into an award-winning career that ranged from news reporting and writing to broadcast news producer and anchor, Brooks decided she needed a change.
The year was 1990.