Posts Tagged “markets”

Leaders are absorbed in designing a master plan, orchestrating the intricacies of that plan and motivating others to help accomplish that plan.

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Lily pads multiply exponentially. They begin growing in the spring with very sparse coverage and by late summer they can look like this. One day you could come to the pond and where you saw gaps yesterday, the whole pond is covered today.

The recession has made living a greener life more fashionable. People are cutting back on driving, exercising more, eating healthier and even taking up gardening to save money –- or just to be current. Making that a more enduring lifestyle is easier than changing the marketplace, but only because of individual initiative. The energy of that initiative could just be the catalyst that propels us into a greener society.

We may be on the cusp of a real paradigm shift that will take us back to organic healthy practices, lift us up to be more responsible citizens and launch us into the creativity of more efficient, greener products that advance us to greater heights of achievement and quality of life.

At the moment less than 20% of our Fortune 500 corporations have really made green strides, even though all companies have at least dabbled in green or have fulfilled the required greener compliance adjustments. What we are beginning to discover, however, is that there is a fresh approach to the marketplace. A common awareness of the problems associated with a non-green mindset and the possibilities that greener products and practices provide is becoming the correctional modifier that engenders spontaneous collaboration of management, workforce and consumers to set new standards and, simultaneously, create real growth in the economy. It would not be the first time that remediation measures resulted in a pressure cooker environment that re-invigorates a fresh approach to a quagmire of repetitious activity and gives birth to a sustained renewal.

Trade shows are mushrooming with green ideas that have been turned into green products and innovative solutions. If you haven’t been to one recently, take my suggestion to attend and make a mental note of all the innovative ideas that are being brought into the marketplace. Yes, there’s much work yet to be done, especially in the US. The average American still consumes twice as much fuel each year as the average European. We’re pretty spoiled. We have large houses and several cars and we use them to make lots of trips to buy any little thing and shop for the next thing that catches our eye.

Not that those things are so bad, but if we could convert some of that energy into personal productivity and consciously seek ways to green up, we could absolutely regain what has been lost in our economy. At the same time we would live longer, healthier, happier lives. What we would find is a new passion for living emerging from within. Creative juices would begin to surprise us with new ideas and innovations. Sensitivity for the burdens of others would cause us to make a real difference in our home, our workplace and our community.

Even now, this can be witnessed to some degree in corporate America. More companies are working on sustainability standards for their own company and then assuming the leadership to show their suppliers how to make greener products, biodegradable packaging, greener, less toxic chemicals and other areas that are still being defined.

A good illustration of this is triple-concentrated laundry detergent. It does a better job cleaning, costs less and is chemically less toxic to the environment than the product it replaced. On the shelf it might look like it costs more, but if you do the math you will see the savings.

Green advancements in lighting is another area where leaps are taking place. LED’s (light emitting diodes) are super-efficient bulbs that use 10 to 30 times less energy than incandescent bulbs. They may seem a bit pricey, but they last for 35,000 hours –- at 3 hours a day average, that’s over 25 years. Incandescent bulbs last only about 1,000 hours. Even if you were to spend $20 for one of these 6-watt bulbs (equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent bulb), you are saving money in just a very short time.

That, my friend, is crossing the rubicon of irreversible green momentum. One green idea sparks another and one day, when you least expect it, economic and environmental recovery becomes a reality.

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A Benefit Corporation maintains its status through sustainable business practices, environmental efforts, participation in community projects and well-being of its employees.

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what you do with your money actually says more about what you believe than what you say

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industries that produce consumables must employ green business practices to assure the continuity of the natural resources that feed their industry.

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Small Loan Programs for Budding Entrepreneurs

microfinance01Repaying loans gives people dignity and confidence. It stimulates goal setting and creativity.  It boosts the integrity of the recipient with a greater chance for responsibility and respectability. Accepting donations makes people feel dependent and powerless. These simple truths have attracted many to get involved in microcredit programs. It is key to the sustainability of thriving communities.

You can see it in the eyes of the borrowers as they complete an application, qualify for and receive a loan, run a small business, repay the lien and apply for another loan. It is a cycle that gives borrowers a strength they could never get from a handout. Microcredit organizations like Grameen Bank, Kiva and Accion are already changing the lives of thousands with these small loans. The initiative of microcredit is capable of establishing the financial health of communities and nations.

We are not far from the day when both small and major investors can have the satisfaction of knowing their money is financing the expansion of sustainable entrepreneurial endeavors as well as paying a return. The International Financial Advisory Group to the Microcredit Industry, which has members with backgrounds in accounting, finance, business and microcredit, is committed to making that possible.

After financing a number of entrepreneurial endeavors the next step is tapping the larger funding sources. Most microcredit organizations depend on donations when they start, but once an organization is a few years old and has documented its ability to recover loans, it can raise money in the financial markets. To do that microcredit organizations must keep meticulous records in accordance with standard accounting practices. A common accounting framework is the CAMEL system, which documents the Capital, Assets, Management, Earnings and Liquidity of an organization.

With accountability in place a relatively small organization with reliable contacts in foreign locations could be financing a multitude of entrepreneurs and revolutionize the economy of targeted regions.

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green-moneyUntil very recently, the overwhelming opinion of the financial world has been that green energy is a great idea but the real money is still to be made in fossil fuels.  That viewpoint is beginning to see the first indicators of change.   Some leaders in financial markets are making bold statements like this:

“For a number of years there has been talk about the importance of sustainable energy, but targets have not been achieved when it comes to creating it. The tide is, however, changing. Government initiatives have an important role to play. We expect renewable energy markets to grow significantly in 2010 and thereafter following the introduction of favorable incentive schemes.”  (6-22-09, Roberto Cominatto, current manager of the Julius Baer Energy Transition Fund.)

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This is my first post.  My zmotion vision is to provide a forum where communities can develop micro economies that will help them compete in local markets, overcome natural challenges and thrive in their region.  I look forward to seeing health, technology, energy, agriculture and business transformations that will achieve sustainable life for more and more people.  I am a follower of Jesus and His Spirit is my constant Guide and Protector on my journey.  Will you go with me?

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