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Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Ayudas para el emprendedor

En el caso del emprendedor y empresario español, la promoción económica, comercial y empresarial que tiene el Estado, se basa en una línea de ayudas que permite ahorrar costes y tiempo. Las ayudas relacionadas con el asesoramiento, la información y la formación son las que más beneficios ofrecen al empresario. Barcelona Emprenedoria y Madrid Emprende, son dos ejemplos con una amplia oferta de programas existentes en el territorio español.

En el caso de tener un proyecto concreto entre manos, por ejemplo, del sector turístico en el territorio español, sería recomendable consultar los diversos tipos de ayuda que publica la Administración Central: Gobierno de España – Ministerio de Industria, Energía y Turismo – Secretaría de Estado de Turismo. Y también las publicaciones de la Administración Autonómica. En Catalunya, Generalitat de Catalunya – Departament d’Empresa i Ocupació – Turisme.

Sin embargo, al tratarse de compañías de capital-riesgo, los emprendedores tienen que tener en cuenta distintas condiciones de su entorno y de proyección futura, así como estrategias que permitan que sus innovadores negocios pongan barreras de entrada a la potencial competencia. Por lo tanto, es muy importante que el vínculo que se cree entre emprendedor y inversionista esté basado en la confianza, y fluya el diálogo entre ambos para potenciar una relación de sinceridad y respeto.

Post escrito por Carmen Rafecas.

Mission statement

Mission statement captures in a few sentences the essence of the business’s goals and the philosophies underlying them. Once we have designed the target market it is recommended create it, to reflect every facet of the business: the range and nature of the products offered, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth potential, use of technology, and the relationships with customers, employees, suppliers, competitors and the community.

To make this concept more understandable, business professionals start a project through a vision or a strategic perspective, which enables to locate a business opportunity or anticipate a demand, and evaluate it through a feasibility study of the target market, that guarantees as far as possible, is adopted a sensible decision based on rigorous data. Then, business opportunities are detailed in an operational plan that allow to see a profitable vision.

An example of a remarcable mission statement is the Directorate General contribution to EU goals in the digital age: human advancement, fairness, jobs and growth, fostering innovation, creativity, culture, excellent research and competitive markets as well as trustable, accessible and positive digital experience for every European citizen. Progress on each priority can be measured via indicators which draw on a reliable data, and the work of DG can be tracked over time.

Link of interest:

Communications Networks, Content and Technology. European Commission Directorate General.

Post written by Carmen Rafecas.

Business ethics and CSR

In Business ethics and CSR, is necessary to differentiate negotiation and dialogue. The two positions are fair and the decision to adopt one or the other is free, not imposed by law, although denote very different ethical positions. The negotiation values the respective interests, and strength that have each one to coerce other. Unlike, the dialogue values the reasons for each one to defender their position, reasons that others can understand and accept in a reasoned manner.

For building a code of business conduct, is essential to consider the legal and economic framework, and the “corporate culture” of the region in which it is operate. From this view, it is highly recommended keeping the Declaration of Human Rights constantly in mind, also in business. Is a reference, moral, supreme, and common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, which born of consensus in difficult times for humanity development.

On the other hand, there may arise a conflict of interest between companies and some of its stakeholders (employees, suppliers, customers, competitors, public administration, geographic and human environment). Therefore, it must set up mechanisms to resolve such conflicts regularly. The EU promotes the corporate social responsibility understood as economic, social and environmental, which goes beyond legal requirements, providing a fair treatment of stakeholders, dialoguing with them.

Sources of information:

(PDF) Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(PDF) Green Paper_EU

Post written by Carmen Rafecas.

La interconexión entre clústers

En esencia, tanto el rol de los emprendedores como el de las iniciativas clúster, es demostrar continuamente que el saber convencional está equivocado. Los clústers actúan como un ecosistema donde las personas, empresas e instituciones diversas interaccionan en clave innovación, compartiendo riesgo y explorando nuevos horizontes mediante acciones conjuntas. Por lo tanto, la calidad de una empresa no depende únicamente de su estrategia individual sino de la calidad del entorno dónde compite.

Asimismo, los clústers actúan como tejido conector tanto entre las empresas y la Administración Pública, como entre los agentes del entorno (universidades, centros tecnológicos o centros de formación), permitiendo establecer un diálogo competitivo entre dicha Administración y las empresas, enfocado a explotar oportunidades y con el objetivo de generar riqueza y puestos de trabajo cualificados. Por esta razón, los clústers deben actuar con el magnetismo necesario para atraer y retener el talento sobre el que construir la propuesta de futuro.

La interconexión entre clústers hay que elevarla al concierto internacional. Dentro del marco de su estrategia, los clústers deben contar con alianzas puntuales o estables con otros clústers de referencia y mantener el músculo intelectual, por ejemplo, mediante el intercambio de conocimiento sobre la evolución del negocio a nivel internacional: tendencias, tecnologías y mercados, o incidiendo en las políticas con impacto impulsadas por organismos internacionales, como la Comisión Europea o las Naciones Unidas, entre otros.

Fuente de información:

Martí Estévez, Joan. Clústers. Estrategias ganadoras y trabajo en equipo.

Enlace de interés:

Red Internacional de clústers: The Competiveness Institute – (TCI).

Post escrito por Carmen Rafecas.

Intellectual property

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), intellectual property refers to creations of the mind. The organization administers the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performance and Phonogram Treaty (often know together as the “Internet Treaties”), and set up international norms aimed at preventing unauthorized access to and use of creative works on the Internet or other digital networks.

WIPO IP divided into two categories: industrial property, which includes patents for inventions, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications. And copyright, which includes literacy works such as novels, poems, plays, reference works, newspapers, and computer programs; databases; films, musical compositions, and choreography; artistic work such as paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculpture; architecture; and advertisements, maps, and technical drawings.

To protect an innovation at the international level, the creators should assess which option wants, depending on different criteria: geographic location where protection required, the language where are performing the processing and which cost is capable of assuming, or terms on which wants to obtain the patent. On the other hand, copyright itself does not depend on official procedures. The original creators of works hold the exclusive right to use or authorize others to use the work on agreed terms.

According to international laws, it is illegal to remove, change or get around Digital Rights Management of a work. Copyright infringement take place when a copyrighted work is used (reproduced, translated, adapted, exhibited or performed in public, distributed, broadcast, or communicated to the public) without the permission of the right holders or under a limitation to copyright. This is usually determined by a court, which compares the original work and the work accused of infringement.

Finally it is important to highlight that technological innovation is one of the most valuable ways to produce innovations. The ability of technology and knowledge, well managed, produce differentiation and competitive advantages in the medium and long term, through the creation of added value, difficult to imitate. There is a difference between innovate and invent. Inventing is to create something new that not exist before, while innovation is the practical application of inventions.

Sources of information:

World Intellectual Property Organization

(PDF) What is copyright?. WIPO Publication Nº L450CR/E.

(PDF) The arts and copyright. World Intellectual Property Organization, 2007.

Post written by Carmen Rafecas.

Claves para la redacción de textos

En el mundo empresarial, es importante dominar la redacción de todo tipo de textos: actas, cartas, correos electrónicos, informes, manuales, instrucciones y procedimientos, notas de prensa, memorias, folletos, presentaciones, páginas web. Si el receptor no comprende un mensaje o lo malinterpreta, seguramente se debe a la falta de claridad por parte del emisor. Por consiguiente, el reto más importante para cualquier redactor es captar la atención del lector.

Claves para la redacción de textos

Antes de escribir es necesario planificar nuestro escrito. La planificación de un documento es tan importante como su redacción y revisión final. Emplearemos un 50% del tiempo en planificar, un 25% en redactar, y otro 25% en corregir. La redacción de un texto exige que reflexionemos antes de escribir. Asimismo, es fundamental orientar el escrito a las necesidades del lector, tanto en la estructura del mensaje como en la selección de las palabras.

Un escrito bien estructurado facilita la localización de la información y la comprensión de los contenidos. Cuanto más reducida sea la información, más eficaz será la comunicación. Una vez configurada la estructura del documento, lo más adecuado es fragmentar los contenidos en unidades o bloques para facilitar al lector la asimilación del escrito. Según diversos estudios sobre el tema, procesamos y recordamos de cinco a nueve unidades de información.

No obstante, independientemente de su estructura, todo documento deberá percibirse como una unidad textual. Cualquier escrito profesional debe tener puntos clave, estructura lógica y presentación El lector necesita distinguir muy claramente, en el mínimo tiempo y con el menor esfuerzo posible, cuál es la idea principal y cuales son las secundarias. Para la presentación, debemos tener en cuenta todos los aspectos tipográficos que intervienen en su composición.

En cuanto a la selección de palabras, en general, lo mejor es emplear frases cortas que no superen las 20-25 palabras, y párrafos breves que no sobrepasen las seis líneas. La claridad de un mensaje escrito consiste en no dejar duda alguna sobre su significado. Conseguir una comunicación clara supone utilizar palabras con propiedad, evitando los términos ambiguos y utilizar frases con una construcción sintáctica sencilla (sujeto, verbo y complementos).

La revisión final de un texto desempeña un papel fundamental en el proceso de cualquier escrito. Es conveniente dejarlo reposar una vez finalizado, antes de comenzar a la corrección. Asimismo se recomienda hacer una lectura global del documento antes de corregir cada una de sus partes. Por último, el corrector de los procesadores de textos y la lectura de alguien que no haya intervenido en la redacción, contribuyen en gran medida a mejorar su calidad.

Fuente de información:

Gironella, Natalia. Portocarrero, Felipe. La escritura rentable.

Post escrito por Carmen Rafecas.

EU regional policy

Regional policy is a strategic investment policy targeting all EU regions and cities in order to improve the quality of life of EU citizens, to create jobs and to promote research, development and innovation. It is also an expression of solidarity, focusing support on the less developed regions. In line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, there are four key investment priorities: research and innovation, the digital agenda, support for SMEs and the low carbon economy.

Five main Funds work together to support economic development across all EU countries: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF), Cohesion Fund (CF), European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Every EU region may benefit from the ERDF and ESF. However, only the less developed regions receive support from the CF.

Through clear and measurable targets for regional policy investments, EU countries and regions can demonstrate their contribution to achieving the Europe 2020 objectives. Public bodies, some private sector organisations (especially small business), universities, associations, NGO’s and voluntary organisations, can apply for regional funding submitted to the national or regional authority managing the relevant programme and covering a particular project.

Hundreds of thousands of projects throughout the EU have benefited from investment through EU regional policy programmes over the years. It is possible to check some examples of the wide range of projects which have received support, with the regional policy database. For example, related to my industry with the following filters: Innovation, Research and Technological Development, Spain, Catalonia, I found search results of my interest.

Source of information:

(PDF) The European Union explained: Regional Policy. (European Union, 2014).

Post written by Carmen Rafecas.

Negotiation

There are basically three types of negotiation: day-to-day , which focus on daily issues and labor relations between employees. Commercials between the company and an outside firm, and legals that corresponding to formal negotiations and legally binding. When starting & open the negotiation it is advisable just watch and observe. It will be necessary the negotiation checklist because there are questions that must be answered before to start like these:

“What is the best we can get? What is the worst we can accept? What are the different points to treat? What is the best order to discuss these points? What do we want and what concessions can we give? Who is the responsible for the different stages of the negation? What special skills/ knowledge do individual members of the team have? How we going to maintain positive communication? Who will write the contract? What potential pressures do the members of the other team have?”

During negotiations there is always someone who sets the tone of the negotiations by presenting the principal points to address, the agenda. Keep in mind that new suggestions & proposals will emerge along the conversation and we must address them at the time with a positive, negative or neutral response. Also we can make a concession that consists in offer something to reach an agreement. There are different tactics and not always are used in an honest way.

If we want to make sure that we understood all points treated either we want to ask a clarification, it is advisable a checking understanding through questions like these: Are you saying that…?. Could you explain in in more detail?. Could you be a little more specific?”And finally we must summarizing & closing the negotiation with sections as: mark the close, progress of negotiation, summary of the main points, confirmation of agreements and call for a new meeting.

Right

  • Listen carefully.
  • Imply flexibility.
  • Make conditional offers such as “if you do this, we’ll do that”.
  • Feel free to reject the other side’s first offer.
  • Probe with questions like, “What would you think if we…”.
  • Be prepared to talk away.
  • Aim high.
  • Do your research on the other party before the meeting.

Wrong

  • Make too many concessions at the beginning.
  • Make your opening offer very rigid.
  • Make the other party look stupid.
  • Say “never”.
  • Answer questions simply with a “yes” or “no”.
  • Take things personally.
  • Assume everybody will remember the assigned responsibilities.

Source of information:

Judge, Jeff. The job is yours.

Post written by Carmen Rafecas.

Junior managers

Junior managers who get a promotion often face many problems when they have more authority and responsibility. This is partly because everyone expects them to perform to extremely high standards. In addition, many of their superiors and colleagues are always ready to criticize any serious mistake they may make. As advice to them, they should have confidence in their own skills and abilities. They should also evaluate themselves ambitious goals so that through hard work and commitment. That is how they can achieve both personal and professional success.

On the other hand, most of the staff are clearly dissatisfied with the way management listens to their suggestions. On the positive side, almost everybody is satisfied with the way their manager communicates information. Basically, the rules for writing business are: be clear, be polite, and do not write more than you have to. Clarity of layout is still important. Grammar and spelling need to be accurate if you want to make a good impression on your business partners. Even the best spellchecker cannot find all the mistakes you make, so always check your e-mails carefully.

To negotiate, many people say that negotiation behavior varies from one culture to another. For example, americans, they say, are usually open, sociable and informal, while spaniards are spontaneous and do not mind interrupting each other. There is probably some truth in such generalizations, but we should be very careful with cultural stereotypes. More importantly, we should remember that each negotiator has a unique personality. We notice this more quickly when doing business with people from the same country as us.

To move abroad and set up your own business, you should plan your move well in advance. Firstly, it is good idea to make several visits to the area where you intend relocate. This will allow you to research your customer base, to assess local competition, and to make useful business contacts. Secondly, you could begin to learn the language of the country where you want to go. As the way people do business varies from one country to another, you also need to learn about the culture, about local customs and business etiquette.

Recommendations:

  • Adopt a more sympathetic attitude towards our employees.
  • Remember to praise our employees for their good work.
  • Delegate tasks to other people.
  • Deal with problems as soon as you can.
  • Invest in courses and seminars for employees.
  • Your staff needs a manager that they can strongly believe in.
  • Good answers don’t always come quickly, so don’t be too impatient.
  • Don’t be tough all the time.
  • Don’t get angry too quickly, try to stay calm.
  • Keep the same attitude towards others, be consistent.

Source of information:

Rogers, John. Market Leader.

Post written by Carmen Rafecas