“If the United Nations was fully funded why would we need the Arc or social enterprise?”





“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” this famous quote is a perfect illustration as to why even if the United Nations was fully funded why there would still be a need for the Arc Initiative and other Social enterprises. Funding is but one piece of the puzzle to make a positive and lasting change in third world countries. While the United Nations is a one of the most influential unions of countries that delegates and help solve problems that involve peace, security, development of third world countries, human rights, humanitarian affairs and international law, it is more successful solving large conflicts like that of the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956, and United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone which put an end to the Sierra Leonean civil war. However for smaller issues which are more widespread like those which the ARC Initiative deals with, I think the United Nations would not be successful.

The Arc Initiative, takes a different approach to solving problems, they work jointly with community organizations to collaboratively build programming such as internships, workshops and mentoring activities for young entrepreneurs fostering an environment of shared ideas and knowledge. I think this is a great way to tackle the problems facing the communities within which the Arc works in, as it is sustainable and nurturing.

Effects Of Netflix On The Consumer

Rachael Thain in a recent blog post  , talked about the way which Netflix has revolutionized the the way consumers watch tv shows and movies. It was not that long ago that netflix did not exist and consumers had to either watch their tv shows on cable, or wait for the show to come onto DVD to watch it in the comfort of their own home. Rachael Thain sighted two major advantages to Netflix over Cable TV, the fact that it is cheaper and that it is not regulated by CRTC. The effects of this are very positive of the consumer. For many years, the cable companies have had close to a monopoly over in home entertainment. I think this new competition is great for the industry as I believe competition, and possible loss of profit is the greatest motivator for companies to become more efficient. I think Cable TV has been too comfortable in their industry without the proper motivation to drive innovation choosing to increase prices and decrease service (adding more ads). The addition of Netflix is the much needed “kick in the but” for Cable TV to come up with new ways to draw consumers in. I think there is enough room in the industry for both netflix, and Cable TV however as both go for the top spot in the industry I think it will be the consumers who will benefit.

Corporate Social Responsability

Companies and firms today all focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), however many of them do it for the wrong reasons, with companies like Walmart which donates lots of money to social causes but only when it suites the companies bottom line and use it as a smokescreen to hide problems within their own companies. Its as if companies like those think they can buy customers by donating money to charity. One company however which has CSR and positive social values at their CORE! Lush Cosmetics! I agree with Juliana Phan who commented on Lush’s marketing technique against animal testing.

I think companies like lush should be commended not only for standing up for their beliefs and values but their unique marketing techniques choosing to educated the public and hoping that the sales come from that. I think this is the right way to do CSR rather than focusing first on how to maximise sales then helping the community based on that. I feel like companies who do that are missing the boat completely and are why consumers are always so cynical about businesses motives. While a company’s responsibility is to the shareholders and to make profit if a company does choose to participate in CSR it should be for the right reasons.


McDonalds is a classic American Fast Food brand which has been ingrained into the american culture. Just as ingrained in American culture is their iconic slogan “I’m Lovin’ It”. After its great success one would think that McDonalds would not want to change their slogan however they have recently proposed to do just change just that changing the slogan from “I’m Lovin’ It” to  “Lovin’ Beats Hatin'”

Personally I agree with public opinion that this is a horrible decision by McDonald’s marketing team! Whats worse, is this idea could not have come at a worse time, as the multinational company reported its sales in the U.S. dropped three per cent in the third quarter. I think McDonalds decision to change their logo is being made with a lack of adequate time and effort which could have catastrophic implications of the company especially if it is debuted in a Super Bowl Commercial. I think the basis of this new slogan is Taylor Swift’s new hit single “Shake it Off”, where she says “Haters gonna hate (hate hate hate hate hate)”. What Mcdonalds doesn’t realize, is that this song will quickly loose popularity and McDonalds will be left with a slogan with lots of haters!


The $5 Challenge!

What would you do if you were given $5, and tasked to make the most money in 2 hours? While this may sound like a game show it isn’t. Rather it was an assignment by Dr. Tina Seelig to her class at Stanford University, as part of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. She asked her students what would they do to earn money if all they had was five dollars and two hours and asked them to make a presentation to the class on what they did and how much they made. Some teams bought a lottery ticket, others bet it in Las Vegas. However the most profitable team didnt use the $5 at all. Instead they decided to use their most precious resource not the money but the three minute presentation time. They decided to sell it to a company that wanted to recruit the students in the class.


Upon reading this blog I asked myself what would I do if I received this challenge? I realized to be successful in this challenge, I would need to go “outside” the assumed parameters of the experiment. Experimenting and trying things out along the way you can learn many things you will never learn from a book or in classroom. This lesson is not only applicable for social experiments like this, but also in my school assignments here at Sauder as well. Through this I have also learnt that I don’t need a million dollars to create a successful business, but I have resources that are much larger and more valuable than money. It would be very interesting to try a similar experiment in Comm 101.


Music Industry Today

Today it is easier than ever to illegally download music, in some cases being even easier than purchasing it legally. While many do choose to forsake their ethics and download music illegally, there are many people in society today who choose not to do so and choose instead to support the artist. One of the easiest ways to support the artist is the stream their music on legal streaming applications or on the radio. One popular music streaming application is Spotify with both paid and free services the application appeals to a very large audience. However what many people do not know is that on Spotify, artists earn on average less than one cent per play, between $0.006 and $0.0084 while on the radio the going rate is $0.08 per song.


This came to my attention when I read an article about why Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify. What was most appalling, what the fact that this is a common trend amongst most popular music streaming applications including Pandora. While this low price still allows popular artists to generate a modest income (~$425,000 per month in royalties) what I dislike most is the negative trend in society. As society appreciates good music but is unwilling to pay for it appropriately. I worry that this downward trend in royalty revenue will deter new artists from entering the industry which will cause a loss of musical diversity.


External Factors in Business

Politics have a huge effect on business. Within Canada one such area of politics effecting business especially regarding natural resources and the environment in the north would be disputes between the government and the First Nations people. One project which is greatly affected by this is the Northern Gateway Pipeline which is a project to construct twin pipeline from Bruderheim, Alberta, to Kitimat, British Columbia.



What makes this such an issue for some Aboriginal groups is that BC’s north is a very delicate ecosystem and any disruptions especially a spill from the pipeline could cause irreparable damages and the Aboriginals would be left to live with it once the government mandated cleanup would be completed. For other Aboriginal tribes, like the Wet’suwet’en, about 140 km of Gateway would be built on their territory, and they believe the environmental approval process for the pipeline will infringe on their constitutional rights as set out in the Rights of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada, since it does not include a mandate to look into aboriginal rights and title.



I think, the Northern Gateway Pipeline is a good idea of the economy of Canada however it is easy for me to say that as if a spill did occur, I would not be the one left to live with the consequences, and I am not the one who’s rights are allegedly being infringed on. Looking from the outside it may be easy to make a judgment however digging deeper into the topic and looking at the issue in different perspectives it is easy to see the challenges associated with such a big project which deals with people of different cultures and backgrounds.

Industry Revolution or Simply a Fantasy?

When you think of Eco-Friendly automobiles, the first cars which come to your minds are probably the Nissan Leaf, or Tesla’s Model S which at the moment are leading the market of fully electric automobiles. However both these cars have one thing in common, they both run on electricity and while they are more environmentally friendly then modern day combustible engines they do come with their fair share of problems including their long charging times. Well you may be able to add another car to this list in the near future The Quant e-Sportlimousine. With similar Point of Parity with it’s competitors in the electric car market, one Point of difference is that it runs on Salt Water rather than electricity. Not only that but NanoFlowcell Quant e-Sportlimousine’s manufacturer claims: that their car go for 370 miles on a single charge, it takes 2.8 seconds to go from 0 to 62 miles per hour (the Tesla Model S takes 4.2 seconds to do the same), it has a top speed of 218 mph (almost 100 mph faster than the Tesla S); and peaks at 920 horsepower (compared to 416 for the Tesla S). While this sounds amazing it is important to note that no road tests have been performed on The Quant e-Sportlimousine to confirm this data. As well, before we usher in a new era of electric cars running on salt water, it should be noted that The Quant e-Sportlimousine is estimated to have a price point of making Tesla’s Model S luxury electric car look like a bargain at $70000 – $95000.


In all, at present The Quant e-Sportlimousine is simply a fantasy especially for the average consumer considering it’s price tag which is equivalent to a luxury home. However, with its most recent success receiving European approval for use on public roads brings it one step closer to production and revolutionizing the industry. Only time will tell what impact The Quant e-Sportlimousine will have on the future.




Lego Shortage

For many parents of young children Lego is a go to christmas gift which almost all kids enjoy. However this Christmas season this staple gift is going to be much harder to find as Lego has decided to stop shipping their products to independent Canadian retailers until 2015 due to a shortage of Lego. This is extremely worrying for many Small Business toy store owners as for many Lego sales account for at least 30% of their total sales. This is the first time Lego has ever done this, and while owners dont know what to expect, majority are bracing for the worst! Already some businesses have had to cancel orders which they had made based on incoming shipments.




While Lego is blaming the shortage of Lego on the wildly popular Lego movie, I feel as though this could not happen to such a large and experienced company like Lego, and therefore this is simply a marketing ploy by Lego choosing to reduce supply in hopes of increasing demand for their products. Whether or not this will work is impossible to predict, however what is possible to predict is the fact that during this holiday season many Canadian Toy Store owners will be struggling without new inventory from Lego.



Target Canada Making a Comeback

Target’s entrance into the Canadian market has been anything but easy! Their problems began after after only 2 week of launching in Canada being unable to keep its shelves stocked, but that was the least of their problems! Last year Target suffered an operating loss of almost $1-billion (U.S.), and in its first quarter of 2014 Target lost another $211-million. Their problems in Canada stemmed from the fact that Canadian Shoppers expected Target Canada’s prices to be on par with Target stores in USA. With this not being the case many shoppers turned away from Target Canada all together. targetcanada

Recently however target has been making strides in improving their stores in hopes of recapturing the Canadian Market. Their most recent success has come in a recent study conducted last month by consultancy Kantar Retail of Boston which showed the prices at Target Canada were 3.9 per cent lower than those at Wal-Mart Canada. I feel like this is a major achievement which will slowly cause a shift in customer behavior in Canada. However this will not be enough to be successful in the Canadian Market. In addition to lowering prices I would suggest closing down some Target Canada locations to let Target focus their time, finances and energy on a few stores to make them great instead of having a lot of stores which are sub par (like they are now). 

In conclusion, Target Canada is now back on the road to success however it will take time and cost the company much more money. I do commend Target’s tenacious spirit continuing to stay in Canada regardless of their many setbacks.


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