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Example of Investors Striving to Improve Worldwide Education:

Safanad and Ron Packard, Founder of K12 Inc., Launch Pansophic Learning and Acquire Assets from K12 to Pursue Global Education Opportunities

 

MCLEAN, Va., June 13, 2014, Safanad Limited, a global principal investment firm, and Ron Packard, K12 Inc. founder and former CEO, today announced the launch of Pansophic Learning, a new company whose mission will be to provide access to a high quality education for every student worldwide.

Pansophic Learning immediately acquired from K12 Inc. several assets including an international brick and mortar private school, a higher education platform business and the K12 business in the Middle East. Additionally, Pansophic Learning acquired licenses to curriculum and technology. The management and staff of these acquired companies, operating out of three continents, will join Pansophic Learning upon the closing of this transaction. Pansophic Learning will expand and integrate these businesses with other targeted investments in educational products, services and schools from pre-K to college.

Pansophic Learning and its holding company, Safanad Education, a subsidiary of Safanad Limited, plan to make additional strategic and substantial education investments both in the United States and globally. Pansophic Learning will consider investments not only in the K-12 market, but also in post-secondary and early childhood education.

Packard will lead the company, based in Mclean, Virginia, as Chief Executive Officer and will be joined by Maria Szalay, as COO, and a select management team with a strong track record of building a large education company. Pansophic Learning intends to achieve the same success by investing capital as well as providing strategic and operating expertise to education related enterprises.

Kamal Bahamdan, CEO of Safanad, said, “Pansophic Learning exemplifies Safanad’s commitment to visionary and high-value investments in education that help improve the lives of children and students globally. We feel fortunate to be able to back Ron and his team who have proven entrepreneurial and leadership skills in the sector to embark on such an important mission.”

Packard stated, “Pansophic Learning is inspired by the promise that everyone should have access to a high-quality individualized education regardless of location or economic circumstances, both here in the United States and globally. We believe there are tremendous opportunities in both technology-based education and also in businesses that aren’t currently based around technology.”

Packard commented further, “We are fortunate to partner with Safanad, who shares our vision, and I am excited to return to my entrepreneurial roots with this new venture. Safanad’s extensive resources will allow us to pursue opportunities of all sizes.”

About Safanad Limited:

Safanad is a global principal investment firm that invests in real estate, private equity and public markets.  As principal investors, Safanad preserves and grows wealth through carefully selected investments with aligned industry partners. With offices in New York, Dubai, London and Geneva, the firm seeks to identify global investment opportunities poised to deliver consistently attractive returns, where the firm’s capital and investment expertise support value creation.  Safanad’s investment focus is primarily within the healthcare, education, financial services and retail sectors. The firm’s investment expertise is enhanced by its relationship with the Bahamdan Group, Safanad’s founding shareholder, which has over 60 years of experience in global principal investing and building strategic partnerships.

For more information visit www.safanad.com & PansophicLearning.com

Press Contacts:

Pansophic Learning: Regina Lewis, 703-728 -0327 rlewis@pansophiclearning.com

Safanad: Annette Bronkesh, 973-778-8648 abronkesh@safanad.com

Source:

Pansophic Learning

http://pansophiclearning.com/

 

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World’s Largest Gathering of Angel Investors to Converge on Washington, DC

On the Docket: How Best to Deploy a Collective $23 Billion and Remain a Vital Source of Capital to Startups

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 27, 2014, Dramatic change in angel investing means both threats and opportunities for the angel investment community and the tens of thousands of entrepreneurs they support, according to the Angel Capital Association (ACA), the world’s leading professional association for angel investors. The global angel investing community will debate and assess this new environment at the 2014 ACA Summit, “Angel Impact: Entrepreneurial and Economic Success,” March 26-28, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. angel investors – individuals who support startup companies with passion, experience and funding – in 2012 invested nearly $23 billion in about 67,000 ventures, according to estimates by the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire. Their impact on the economy is huge, as the kinds of innovative startups angels invest in create all of the net new jobs in the country, according to reports by the Census Bureau and Kauffman Foundation.

“This is the place to be for both experienced and (especially) new angels who want to share great ideas, to learn unique investment practices from each other, and don’t want to be left unaware of how the seed stage investment landscape is changing – particularly from a regulatory perspective,” said David Verrill, ACA’s chairman.  “We are hosting this meeting in Washington, D.C. for a reason – the Securities and Exchange Commission is not only assessing the underlying definition of who can be an accredited investor, but is also reviewing significant rules around the JOBS Act involving general solicitation and online crowdfunding platforms. Now more than ever is the time to join with angel colleagues to learn about, to shape, and to nurture this powerful economic engine.”

This ACA Summit is the world’s largest annual gathering of accredited angel investors. More than 700 angel investors, including those among the most active, sophisticated and successful in the world, will share expert advice and ideas. The Innovation Showcase, a related event at the Summit, will show angels in action when dozens of promising startups will receive invaluable advice and feedback from angels.

Discussions will include:

  • New and proposed federal rule changes, including a potential change to the definition of an “accredited investor,” which could dramatically reduce capital available to startups and eliminate as many as 60 percent of the current accredited investor population, dramatically affecting the economy and job creation.
  • Congressional leaders, including Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), will discuss how they support angel investing and its vital role in innovation and the American economy.
  • Insight into tactics angels deploy to identify the best investment opportunities in top industries including life sciences and medical devices, information technology and internet, cleantech and cyber security.
  • 2013 angel group deal trends, collected from more than 200 angel groups, will be shared by Rob Wiltbank, VP of research at the Angel Resource Institute (ARI), with the live release of the 2013 Halo Report, by ARI and Silicon Valley Bank, with data powered by CB Insights.
  • Compelling stories, including from Blackboard co-founder Michael Chasen, who will recount how he took his learning management system company from angel backing to IPO.
  • New accredited online platforms are disrupting the angel investing market. Leading platform companies including premier sponsor FundersClub will lead the discussion.
  • Which are the most angel-friendly countries in the world — and how is angel investing helping spur their economies?

To attend the ACA 2014 Summit, register here. Registration is open to ACA members and accredited individual investors from around the world, as well as accelerator and incubator leaders, university innovation professionals, economic development leaders, and public policy makers.

About Angel Capital Association (ACA)

The Angel Capital Association is the leading professional and trade association focused on fueling the success of accredited angel investors and portfolio companies in high-growth, early-stage ventures. ACA is the voice of the angel industry, providing comprehensive services in support of members working in angel groups, through portals and individually. ACA provides professional development, public policy advocacy and significant benefits and resources to its membership of 220 angel groups and more than 12,000 individual accredited investors. www.angelcapitalassociation.org; @ACAAngelCapital.

Contact:
Cynthia Flash
Media Relations for Angel Capital Association
425-603-9520
Email

Cheryl Isen
Media Relations for Angel Capital Association
425-222-0779
Email

Read more news from Angel Capital Association.

SOURCE:

Angel Capital Association

 

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Stars Align and 2013 Proves to be Hottest U.S. IPO Market Since 2004 — Momentum Continues in 2014

— PE-backed IPOs dominate with most active year since 2007

— 2013: year of the healthcare IPO

— “Blurring” of technology and other industries lead to interesting implications for IPOs

NEW YORK, Dec. 10, 2013, The market environment delivered all of the right signals in 2013, presenting a long-awaited window of opportunity for IPOs.  With a calmer economic climate, companies looking to go public were seemingly unphased by the 4th quarter government shutdown. This, combined with low volatility and a huge backlog of PE-backed IPOs seeking an exit, brought IPOs back with a bang: 222 IPOs in total will go effective in 2013 raising proceeds of $59.7 billion[1], with 76 deals in the public pipeline at the end of Q4. Activity and momentum in 2014 are only expected to continue.

“Investors have had the opportunity to engage with a variety of companies in the pipeline and their appetite for risk has returned,” said Jackie Kelley, for the global EY organization. “Unlike five years ago when, for the most part, tech companies were the only ones getting out, we now see pockets of activity in multiple sectors. This was a standout year for healthcare, for example. VC-backed companies came back to market and PE-backed IPOs will continue to push into 2014.”

Year over year, the number of IPOs increased 67%, from 133 in 2012 to 222 in 2013.  Proceeds increased 28%. Quarter over quarter, there were 67 IPOs in Q4 2013 compared with 33 in Q4 2012, an increase of 103%, with proceeds up 171%; additionally, the number of IPOs in Q4 increased by 12%, and proceeds increased by 96% when compared with Q3 2013.

IPOs from around the world
The US continues to attract IPOs from around the world as companies seek to capitalize on the momentum of the US capital markets. For example, 36 out of 222 US IPOs were cross-border IPOs, ie 16% of US exchanges IPOs by deal number and 11% by capital raised (US$6.7b raised) were from foreign private issuers. This compares to 9% of US IPOs by deal number and 12% by capital raised in 2012.

The IPO market surge in the US, positive investor sentiment for this asset class and appetite for global investment makes the US attractive and much more competitive than their domestic markets.

PE-backed IPOs Dominate:
PE activity provided a key source of IPO-related exits this year. As an indicator of the volume, in 2007, the peak year for PE-backed IPOs, there were 94 deals with proceeds of $20.3 billion. In 2013, by contrast, of the 222 IPOs, 94 were PE-backed and valued at $32.8 billion. An impressive 42% of all US IPOs were from PE backed companies.

Large offerings in the oil and gas sector drove the trend, collectively raising $5.8 billion. And despite relatively robust levels of exit activity over the last two years, there remains a significant backlog of PE exits that will continue to spur IPO activity into 2014. Multiple PE firms raised upwards of $10 billion in 2013, a sign of optimism for future deal making. While the increased interest in IPOs is a positive development for PE exits, an uptick in M&A will ultimately be required to fully liquidate the current PE portfolio.

Healthcare on Top:
After being sidelined for almost 10 years, the healthcare sector came back to market in a big way in 2013. Most of the healthcare companies in the pipeline were smaller IPOs that really benefitted from the JOBS Act, legislation put in place over a year ago easing the IPO path for companies with post-IPO market cap size of less than $1 billion.

However, investors, chasing healthcare IPOs for their great performance and the substantive products they are developing, may not stick around if market volatility heats up again. Other sectors rounding out the top five include: Technology, Energy and Power, Real Estate and Financial Services.

Emerging IPO Companies Will Blur Distinctions Between Sectors:
The growing convergence between technology companies and other industries is creating new opportunities for companies to add shareholder value via the capital markets. “We expect to see more blurring of tech and other industries — including consumer products, media, real estate, financial services,” said Kelley. “Companies in these “blurred” industries, meaning they can cross over into two different sectors, are coming to market. They will have a choice under which sector to list and it’s likely that valuation will be a key driver.”

As more consumers utilize mobile and cloud technology to get what they want and faster, emerging IPO companies coming to market will be more focused on creating direct touch points with consumers, eliminating  the middle man to bring suppliers and customers closer together, according to Kelley. She suggests we can expect to see more companies offering personalized products or a more personal user experience, such as making personal and business transactions faster, simpler and more secure; building customer trust; and delivering quality content and insight for users.

2014 Looking Ahead:
As 2014 rides the performance wave of 2013, the future looks bright for the IPO pipeline. Investors will look to the IPO market to drive portfolio growth. Inbound interest has piqued, with companies in Europe, the Middle East and South America looking to list on the U.S. markets –driven by the high valuations companies have garnered and good post-IPO performances over the past year.

“IPOs in 2014 will be a combination of household names, as well as disruptive, innovative companies. The backlog of PE-backed IPOs will continue to push into 2014 and companies blurred by sector convergence will drive market activity, all making for another exciting year,” concluded Kelley.

Notes to editors
All Data sourced from Dealogic.

About EY’s IPO offerings

EY firms are leaders in helping to take companies public worldwide. With decades of experience our global network is dedicated to serving market leaders and helping businesses evaluate the pros and cons of an IPO. We demystify the process by offering IPO readiness assessments, IPO preparation, project management and execution services, all of which help prepare you for life in the public spotlight. Our EY Global IPO Center of Excellence is a virtual hub which provides access to our IPO knowledge, tools, thought leadership and contacts from around the world in one easy-to-use source.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

[1] Data are completed IPOs through December 5, 2013 and projected IPOs in December, 2013

 

SOURCE:

EY

http://www.ey.com

 

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Noticeable Drop in Credit Risk Levels for Corporates; though Some Companies Still a Concern, says New S&P Capital IQ Report

Credit Market Pulse leverages S&P Capital IQ Data and Analytics to enhance Financial Professionals’ Understanding of Credit Risk

NEW YORK and LONDON, Nov. 20, 2013, In a new, bi-monthly research publication aimed at credit risk professionals and launched today, S&P Capital IQ confirms that risk levels as a whole have dropped off in the last year, although certain industries and regions remain higher risk areas.  These and other findings may be found in Credit Market Pulse, a six-page research note designed for credit risk analysts, investment managers and others concerned with credit exposures, seeking deeper understanding of the risks and opportunities underlying their investment or lending decisions, or looking to compare how their portfolios perform against the market.  To view a copy of Credit Market Pulse’s inaugural issue, please click here or visit www.spcapitaliq-credit.com/credit-market-pulse-november-2013.

Each issue of Credit Market Pulse offers a broad overview of the health and credit trends within the global capital markets, leveraging the extensive analytical intelligence and depth of S&P Capital IQ. The current issue, for example, also illustrates how several companies and industries with significant risk profiles are topping the charts for highest probability of default (PD) and credit deteriorations.

“Industry and country benchmarks for credit risk are sought after by the entire credit risk community and everybody knows that existing credit indices, that are based on CDS data, do not reflect the whole market sentiment and are often just the tip of the iceberg,” says Marcel Heinrichs, Director, Market Development, S&P Capital IQ. “We hope Credit Market Pulse, which leverages credit risk indicators from 30 times more companies than exist in the liquid CDS market, will become an important new benchmark for credit risk officers, investment managers, the debt capital market community, corporations and others looking to bring additional credit risk metrics and forecasting capabilities into their financial decision making.”

Thomas Yagel, Director, Credit Market Development, S&P Capital IQ adds, “S&P Capital IQ is uniquely suited to produce in-depth credit analysis that looks at global and local trends. With our world-renowned S&P Capital IQ fundamentals data, cutting-edge analytical risk models and in-depth sources for news, research and key developments we are especially able to meet this requirement.”

At the core of Credit Market Pulse is S&P Capital IQ’s proprietary probability of default (PD) model, ‘Market Signals’, a unique analytical model which provides daily changing forward looking PDs of publicly listed companies based on a cutting-edge econometric framework.  In addition, this model generates more than 37,000 company-specific PDs every day, covering more than 99% of global market capitalization across developed economies, frontier and emerging markets.

The first issue of Credit Market Pulse has three sections, providing different views of credit risk. These include the quarterly evolution of the median PD of companies aggregated in different geographical regions; monthly evolution of the credit risk for constituents of the S&P 500 equity index and its various industry sub-indices and, finally, PD tables of individual companies that merit special attention.  Customized searches similar to those presented in the report can be run for interested media using the data in Credit Market Pulse.

To subscribe to Credit Market Pulse, visit www.spcapitaliq-credit.com/creditmarketpulse.

Media Contacts:

Michael Privitera
S&P Capital IQ Communications
+1 212-438-6679
michael.privitera@spcapitaliq.com

Eleanor Childs
S&P Capital IQ Communications
+44 (0)20 7176 6754
eleanor.childs@spcapitaliq.com

About S&P Capital IQ

S&P Capital IQ, a part of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), is a leading provider of multi-asset class and real time data, research and analytics to institutional investors, investment and commercial banks, investment advisors and wealth managers, corporations and universities  around the world. S&P Capital IQ provides a broad suite of capabilities designed to help track performance, generate alpha, and identify new trading and investment ideas, and perform risk analysis and mitigation strategies. Through leading desktop solutions such as the S&P Capital IQ, Global Credit Portal and MarketScope Advisor desktops; enterprise solutions such as S&P Capital IQ Valuations; and research offerings, including Leveraged Commentary & Data, Global Markets Intelligence, and company and funds research, S&P Capital IQ sharpens financial intelligence into the wisdom today’s investors need. For more information visit: www.spcapitaliq.com.

S&P Capital IQ, as well as its affiliates, directors, officers shareholders, employees or agents (S&P Capital IQ) are not responsible for any errors or omissions (negligent or otherwise), regardless of the cause, for any results obtained from the use of the Content described herein, or for the security or maintenance of any data input by the user. The Content is provided on an “as is” basis. S&P Capital IQ and its affiliates DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, FREEDOM FROM BUGS, SOFTWARE ERRORS OR DEFECTS, THAT THE CONTENT’S FUNCTIONING WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR THAT THE CONTENT WILL OPERATE WITH ANY SOFTWARE OR HARDWARE CONFIGURATION. In no event shall S&P Parties be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, incidental, exemplary, compensatory, punitive, special or consequential damages, costs, expenses, legal fees, or losses (including, without limitation, lost income or lost profits and opportunity costs or losses caused by negligence) in connection with any use of the Content even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

SOURCE:

S&P Capital IQ

 

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Small Businesses Up the Ante this Holiday Season: Offer Discounts and Invest in Advertising to Get More Out of Small Business Saturday, According to NFIB/American Express Research

Number of business owners who say they’ll rely primarily on paid advertising to promote Small Business Saturday doubles; 67% will offer discounts to drive consumers to ‘Shop Small’ on November 30

Washington, D.C. – November 6, 2013 – With five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many small business owners say they’ll be pulling out all of the stops to get customers into stores during the critical holiday shopping season. According to the second annual Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, released today by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express, more independent merchants will feel the Christmas creep as they start their promotional activity earlier than last year.

For many of the small business owners who are aware of Small Business Saturday, the day will be a part of their promotional calendar. Of those small business owners incorporating Small Business Saturday into their holiday plans, 70% say Small Business Saturday will be helpful in attracting new customers.

Small Business Saturday has become an important fixture on the business calendar for merchants and an increasing number are investing more money and providing additional incentives to reach customers.  Even as social media and word of mouth remain the top methods for business owners to reach customers with their Small Business Saturday offerings, the number of business owners who say they’ll rely primarily on paid advertising (TV, radio and newspaper) to promote Small Business Saturday has doubled (18% vs. 9% in 2012).  Discounts continue to be the top incentive used to encourage consumers to Shop Small, but more business owners are planning to reward customers by offering them a free gift with  purchase (33%, up from 20% in 2012).

The busy holiday season often demands a more robust workforce; a large number of business owners are looking to their local communities to hire the help they need to meet consumer demand this holiday season. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of local small business owners aware of Small Business Saturday said they make it a point to hire employees from their neighborhood.

Small Business Saturday, now in its fourth year, falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and serves as the traditional kick off to the holiday season for independent retailers and restaurateurs. The day was created in response to small business owners’ most pressing need, more customers, and has since grown into an annual celebration of the independent businesses that help boost our local economies.

“Small-business owners are always looking for new ways to creatively promote their products and services—especially in a tough economy,” said NFIB president and CEO Dan Danner. “Small Business Saturday is a reminder of how important the small-business sector is to our economy and why it’s so important to Shop Small all year around.”

Findings from the survey also uncover the lengths to which small businesses are ready to go to promote their activities on Small Business Saturday. Among those that plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday into their holiday promotions:

•    75% say the day would be more effective if communities participated together by hosting events;
•    39% are planning to collaborate with other small businesses in a community event to promote Small Business Saturday; and
•    33% rely on social media most to promote Small Business Saturday to their customers.

The Small Business Saturday Insights Survey was created to provide a window into holiday planning for small business owners. Other key survey findings relating to Small Business Saturday activities include:

•    67% will offer discounts on specific items or general discounts on the day;
•    36% will offer coupons for future offers or discounts;
•    32% are starting their holiday promotions earlier than last year; and
•    21% are planning to increase the number of employees working on Small Business Saturday.

Communities Come Together To Take Small Business Saturday to the Next Level
American Express has created a Neighborhood Champions program, working with business organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., the Latino Coalition and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) to organize Small Business Saturday events in communities throughout the country. To date over 1,000 Neighborhood Champions have signed up to rally businesses in their municipalities to partake in local activities leading up to and on the day.

“In 2012, small businesses took ownership of the day by offering great deals and amazing experiences for their customers,” said Susan Sobbott, president, American Express OPEN. “This year, with more than 1,000 ‘Neighborhood Champions’ rallying communities, the country will be blanketed with Small Business Saturday events that can undoubtedly help keep the registers ringing.”

Tools for Making the Day Their Own
For the past three years, small business owners have embraced the day and developed creative and effective ways to promote their businesses.  American Express is again helping to amplify those efforts with free digital and in-store marketing tools to help small business owners expand their local footprint on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season.

The Small Business Saturday Marketing Toolkit provides businesses with turnkey, personalized assets and materials to better promote their efforts.  These tools are available at ShopSmall.com and include:

•    Printable signage and decals to print and display in a business
•    Logos and imagery for business websites, custom materials, and social media pages
•    Suggested social media and email templates to get the word out to customers on the Web

American Express has also rallied organizations from across the country to lend a hand in providing resources to mobilize businesses and consumers for the day. Premier partners include:

FedEx Office
A longstanding supporter of Small Business Saturday, this year, FedEx Office is offering two copies of the free 11” x 17” printed poster that small business owners can create as part of their customized marketing campaign on ShopSmall.com.  In addition, FedEx Office will offer a special discount to small businesses that take advantage of the free printing offer. FedEx will also promote Small Business Saturday to small businesses and consumers through their marketing channels. Offer terms apply and are available http://local.fedex.com/?promo=sbs2013.

Foursquare
New this year, Foursquare and American Express are offering small businesses $250,000 in free credits to use on the recently launched Foursquare Ads for Small Business platform. The credits will enable businesses to create local campaigns that can help drive new customers into their stores based on where they are, or what they are searching for. Additionally, Foursquare will highlight millions of small businesses in their app to help drive foot traffic to local merchants on Small Business Saturday. Offer terms apply and are available at http://business.foursquare.com/shopsmall.

Twitter
Twitter is offering one million dollars in free advertising to small business owners who have not advertised with Twitter previously, to help drive customer engagement and increase sales on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season.  Business owners can also get ready for the big day with an educational toolkit containing helpful tips on gaining more followers and launching exclusive promotions. Offer terms apply and are available at https://business.twitter.com/shop-malsl.

United States Postal Service (USPS)
As a Premier Partner of Small Business Saturday, USPS is providing shipping of Shop Small branded merchandise orders placed on ShopSmall.com as well as Neighborhood Champion Activation Kits.  In a move to help drum up support and activity on Small Business Saturday, USPS will also distribute a consumer mailer and place signage at approximately 1,500 Post Offices to emphasize the importance of supporting their neighborhood business and to help motivate consumers to go out and Shop Small on the day.

Consumer Incentives to Shop Small
Again this year, American Express will give Card Members a special offer for shopping on Small Business Saturday. Card Members who register an eligible American Express® Card will get a one-time $10 statement credit when they use their registered Card to spend $10 or more on November 30, 2013, in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location that appears on the Small Business Saturday Map. Enrollment is limited and opens on November 24th at ShopSmall.com. Offer terms apply and are available at ShopSmall.com/offerterms.

About the Survey
The Small Business Saturday Insights survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 500 owners/managers of retail establishments with physical storefronts, kiosks, and restaurants/bars/pubs that are not part of a franchise.  In order to qualify, all establishments had to have fewer than 100 employees.  No quotas were established for this criterion, in order to allow for a natural representation of retailers.  The average number of employees of all establishments in the survey was 6 (with the vast majority falling in the 0-5 range).  The study was conducted anonymously via telephone by Redshift Research from October 4 to October 16, 2013.

About Small Business Saturday

November 30th marks the fourth annual Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers.

About NFIB
NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 states. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at www.NFIB.com/newsroom or NFIB.com/shopsmall.

About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

SOURCE:

NFIB

 

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Deloitte Annual Holiday Survey: More Consumers Shopping Mobile and Local

Smartphone ownership rises to 61 percent of consumers; Two-thirds of Americans plan to shop small businesses or independent retailers

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2013, Increasing smartphone ownership is taking more consumers down the digital shopping route, while many shoppers plan to frequent local small businesses when visiting stores this holiday season, according to Deloitte’s 28th annual survey of holiday spending intentions and trends.

Overall, smartphone ownership has risen to 61 percent of respondents from 42 percent just two years ago.  Women, younger generations and households earning less than $100,000 annually showed the most significant leaps in smartphone ownership, expanding the base of shoppers that retailers can access via mobile devices. For example, nearly six in 10 (59 percent) of women surveyed own smartphones, up from 46 percent last year, and 79 percent of consumers ages 18-24 own a smartphone.

Among smartphone owners, nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) plan to use their devices for holiday shopping.  These consumers will primarily use smartphones to search for store locations (56 percent), check and compare prices (54 percent) and obtain product information (47 percent).

Consumers that use smartphones to assist in holiday shopping will likely help retailers’ registers jingle this year, as these shoppers plan to spend 27 percent more on holiday gifts than non-smartphone owners.

The survey also found a significant number of consumers expecting to shop using their tablets.  Among the 38 percent of respondents that own tablets, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of these owners indicate they plan to use it for holiday shopping this year, with “shop or browse online” ranking as the No. 1 activity.

“Tablets are a two-way street for retailers,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and retail & distribution sector leader.  “They have opened up an entirely new consumer touchpoint, where shoppers can view multiple retailers’ products regardless of their location – from their couch to the point of purchase.  Retailers can also put tablets to work in their stores, providing both their sales team and customers with a broader lens into merchandise selection.  Now that the majority of consumers also own smartphones, these two devices have altered the way they interact with a brand, while also yielding a higher spend per customer.”

Shoppers stay close to home

This year, two-thirds (66 percent) of shoppers plan to shop locally at small businesses, independent retailers or boutique shops which are not part of national chains.

The survey indicates that one-third (34 percent) of consumers’ budgets will be spent at local stores. Among the reasons for shopping locally, consumers cite desire to support the local economy (60 percent), to find one-of-a-kind gifts (53 percent) and because it is more convenient (44 percent). Nearly one-third (30 percent) report having greater loyalty for the local store over national chains.

Stores still make consumers’ spirits bright

While the Internet ranks as the top shopping destination for the 2013 holiday season, 37 percent of respondents still prefer shopping in a physical store rather than online for holiday products. Service levels continue to influence respondents’ willingness to give a retailer their business.

More than half (54 percent) of shoppers say that knowledgeable store associates will lead them to making an in-store purchase, and 32 percent of shoppers feel store associates can provide customers a better shopping experience when equipped with the latest mobile technologies.  Yet, nearly six in 10 (59 percent) shoppers feel they are better connected to consumer information, including coupons, competitive pricing and product availability, than store associates.

“In the store, retail associates can be engaged to drive loyalty rather than just complete a transaction,” continued Paul. “The most successful retailers are empowering their associates to become devoted brand advocates who are knowledgeable, connected online, have the authority to price match and are aware of products available through other channels.”

Retailers also benefit from providing shoppers with self-help technology in the store. Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) of shoppers will use self-help technologies – the most common being price checkers (60 percent) and self-checkout payment lanes (57 percent).

About the Survey
The Holiday Survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research organization between September 13 and 23, 2013. The survey polled a national sample of 5,018 consumers and has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus one percentage point.

About Deloitte’s Retail & Distribution Practice
Deloitte is a leading presence in the retail and distribution industry, providing audit, consulting, risk management, financial advisory and tax services to nearly 75 percent of the Fortune 500 retailers.  With more than 1,400 professionals, Deloitte’s retail & distribution practice provides insights, services and solutions assisting retailers across major subsectors including apparel, grocery, food and drug, wholesale and distribution and online. For more information about Deloitte’s retail & distribution sector, please visit www.deloitte.com/us/retail-distribution.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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Deloitte
http://www.deloitte.com/us

 

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Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club Introduces ‘Business in a Box’ Exclusively at Toys”R”Us®

Business Kit Teaches Kids Financial Literacy Through Included DVD, Activities and More

Secret Millionaires Club Brand Continues to Expand with Additional DVDs, Books and New Episodes on the Hub Network

 

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 15, 2013, Warren Buffett’s popular television and online series, Secret Millionaires Club, continues to expand with the introduction of Business in a Box, an all-new product from A Squared Entertainment that teaches kids the fundamentals of financial literacy through interactive play. The kit includes toys, activities and DVDs, and is now available for preorder exclusively at Toysrus.com and will be rolling into stores later this month.

 

Business in a Box, created in partnership with toy company TCG, will launch at Toys”R”Us with two kit options, which provide children with everything they need to create a lemonade stand or a car wash, including a DVD with episodes from the animated Secret Millionaires Club series, as well as a booklet with business tips from Mr. Buffett himself.

Following the success of its first home entertainment release, Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment introduced Secret Millionaires Club: Volume 2 on DVD September 10. The animated series teaches kids how to invest in themselves with realistic life lessons about earning and saving. Secret Millionaires Club: Volume 2 DVD includes six episodes plus six webisodes as added Bonus Material for the suggested retail price of $14.93. All 26 episodes of Season 1 are currently available digitally everywhere.

The announcement of Business in a Box and the Secret Millionaires Club: Volume 2 DVD follows recent news of the new book, “Secret Millionaires Club: Warren Buffett’s 26 Secrets to Success in the Business of Life” by co-Authors and co-Executive Producers on the animated series, Amy Heyward and Andy Heyward. The book, published by Wiley, features all of the same lessons featured in the animated series. Chapters include, “Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes;” “Love What You Do;” “Protect Your Reputation;” “If You Fail, Try Again;” “Confidence Comes With Understanding;” and many other lessons from Mr. Buffett, which he credits his own success in life. Available at Amazon.com

“We created Secret Millionaires Club with Warren Buffett to help prepare kids to live happy, successful lives,” says A Squared Entertainment CEO, Andy Heyward. “We’ve found ways to make it fun for kids to understand business and to build the confidence to think like entrepreneurs while learning valuable life lessons that can be key to future success.”

Secret Millionaires Club, created in partnership with and starring an animated Warren Buffett, features a group of kids who have adventures in business. Secret Millionaires Club empowers kids by helping them understand the world they live in, teaching them about the impact their decisions have on their own lives…and teaching them to have the confidence to be the best they can be. The series airs on the Hub Network. Tune in on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 9 a.m. EST/6 a.m. PST for a new episode of Secret Millionaires Club titled “The Final Financial Frontier.” The episode will encore on Monday, Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. EST/8 a.m. PST.

About A Squared Entertainment

A Squared Entertainment creates, produces and distributes original “content with a purpose” for kids, meaning entertainment that is as enriching as it is entertaining. In addition to Secret Millionaires Club, the company is creating Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab to encourage kids in math and science. It also created Martha & Friends with Martha Stewart to inspire creativity, through crafting and cooking; and Gisele & the Green Team with Gisele Bündchen to enlighten kids about the environment. The company also has an exclusive partnership with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment and Archie Comics. Together, they have created Stan Lee Comics and have four new superhero series in development. The first, Stan Lee’s Mighty 7, debuts early next year with a trilogy of original films and comic books.

About TCG

TCG is a privately held toy company headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The company began in 1998 with a focus on quality puzzles and games with the well known SURE-LOX® brand. As a manufacturer, TCG offers a variety of products for the whole family including puzzles, games, activities, and room décor – “THE BEST IN FUN.”  Most recently, TCG was granted the license to bring iconic Fisher-Price® games back to the market with innovative game play and technology, TCG utilizes a consumer driven approach to innovation along with the best materials and processes to offer outstanding product quality at great prices in over 30 countries.

About Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment

Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment is a leading producer, distributor and marketer of entertainment and lifestyle media.  With a diversified distribution network that spans more than 60,000 retail doors as well as an extensive digital platform, the company dominates the health and fitness category and ranks among the top three providers of non-theatrical programming. With content focused on film, fitness, sports and family programming, Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment provides sales, marketing and distribution services to many of the home entertainment industry’s most prestigious brands, including Discovery Communications, Jillian Michaels, NFL Films, National Geographic, Marvel Animation, Shout Factory, Televisa, and World Wrestling Entertainment.  For more information about Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment, call 1.800.869.3603.

About the Hub Network

The Hub Network is a multi-platform joint venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro, Inc., with a goal of entertaining, enlightening, empowering and educating children and their families. The cable and satellite television network features original programming as well as content from Discovery’s library of award-winning children’s educational programming; from Hasbro’s rich portfolio of entertainment and educational properties built during the past 90 years; and from leading third-party producers worldwide. The Hub Network’s lineup includes animated and live-action series, as well as specials, game shows, and family- favorite movies. The network extends its content through a robust and engaging online presence at www.hubworld.com. The Hub Network rebranded from Discovery Kids on October 10, 2010, and is available in over 73 million U.S. households. The Hub Network logo and name are trademarks of Hub Television Networks, LLC. All rights reserved.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global provider of content-enabled solutions that improve outcomes in research, education, and professional practice. Our core businesses produce scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising; professional books, subscription products, certification and training services and online applications; and education content and services including integrated online teaching and learning resources for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. 

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace. Wiley’s global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company’s website can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.

For Media Inquiries, Please Contact:
Michelle Orsi or Carol Holdsworth
Three.Sixty Marketing + Communications
Email
310.418.6430

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A Squared Entertainment

 

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