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8-YEAR OLD CHANGING THE WORLD THROUGH BEADFORLIFE AND SOCIAL MEDIA

At just 8 years old, Emma Cramer is already changing the world. When she ventured to Fort Wayne and Pennsylvania with her mom to attend BeadforLife events last year, they knew they’d help change lives. What they didn’t know was how much their own lives would change.

Now hundreds of miles traveled and one year later, the dynamic duo has not only raised nearly $5,000 for the organization, they’ve developed a special connection to two Ugandan women who have worked their way out of poverty.

BeadforLife brought Joan Ahimbisibwe and Teddy Namuyiga, two beadmaking graduates and successful entrepreneurs, to the U.S. last spring. Kathy and Emma could not resist experiencing the good of their work firsthand, so they packed up their car and headed to Pittsburgh to meet the women.

“We are honored to support BeadforLife and wear our beads every day,” says Kathy. “Meeting Joan and Teddy and holding their hands made it so real for us. From the moment Teddy grabbed Emma’s hands and said “we will meet again,” Emma’s heart was all in,” she says.

Emma keeps in touch with Teddy and asked for a trip to Africa for her Christmas. While she didn’t receive that gift, she did receive the gift of an email from Teddy in Uganda, her mother said.“Emma just sent another letter for Teddy with a BeadforLife staff member who was traveling to Uganda.” She adds that a trip to Africa is on Emma’s Birthday wishlist.

During the holiday season, she sang a special song via BeadforLife’s Facebook Page to Teddy:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202673309539756&set=o.46826761513&type=2&theater

Here is Teddy watching Emma’s special song in Uganda.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM2MDERGUC4

About BeadforLife:

BeadforLife creates sustainable opportunities for impoverished women to lift themselves out of poverty by creating a circle of connection between women in Uganda and women around the world. Women in Uganda work hard to roll beautiful bead jewelry out of recycled paper and harvest shea nuts to make shea butter. Women worldwide sell these items and educate themselves and others about extreme poverty. The profits return to Uganda and fund health care, housing and business training initiatives. www.beadforlife.org

 

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5 Hottest Niches for New Business Startups

Oklahoma Health Care Authority

Oklahoma Health Care Authority (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The desire to start a business is just the first step in success. Choosing the right business to start can mean the difference between success and failure. For those looking for businesses that are more likely to succeed, it may be helpful to look in these high demand sectors for startup ideas:

 

1. New Tech Trends

 

The face of the Tech industry is changing rapidly. New trends are moving toward iPhone apps and online services, rather than boxed software and game specific hardware. Sales of console games have been steadily declining while phone gaming apps and social networks have gone viral. Even office software suites are now online as a service and not installed on computers. Printing has changed as well. New 3D printers are selling well as print quality increases to a whole other level.

 

Best Tech Ventures

 

  • iPhone Apps
  • Software as a Service
  • Online Gaming Platforms
  • Social Network Gaming Platforms
  • 3D Printer Manufacturing

 

Online and Phone driven trends help small developers deliver apps without having to manufacture, package and market physical CDs. The entirely online format creates a far more level playing field for individuals and small businesses to compete with huge corporations. The timing is perfect for independent developers to create fun and useful programs to present as online services, games and apps in 2013.

 

2. Think Green

 

While most construction and materials have suffered a serious slowdown, sustainable green building is the one exception. With huge increases in the cost of electricity and traditional fuels, saving energy has become a means of economic survival that will rapidly pay for itself. No matter what effective means a family uses to increase energy efficiency, it will pay for itself in less than eight years.

 

  • Sustainable Green Construction
  • Green Remodeling and Home Improvement
  • High R-value Insulation
  • Green Building Materials
  • Green Energy Production
  • Energy Saving Devices
  • Aquaponics Technology
  • Solar Panel Manufacture

 

There is room within the green sector for a wide range of skills. Construction workers, craftsmen, would-be farmers, tech developers, inventors and engineers can all find a niche under the green umbrella. Most people find being part of the green revolution intensely satisfying as well as profitable.

 

3. Health Care and Wellness

 

America’s aging population has an ever-increasing need for health care services. Unfortunately, health care and insurance is very expensive. The demand for affordable health care services, wellness measures and ways to reduce health care cost is overwhelming. Hospital security technology and data management are also in demand. The interest in yoga has risen sharply in the 21st century. Millions of American doctors are actively indorsing yoga as an important step toward wellness.

 

  • Yoga Lessons, Books and Merchandise
  • Wellness and Holistic Care
  • Home Health Care
  • Online Glasses and Contacts
  • Generic Pharmaceutical Manufacture and Sales
  • Health Care Technology
  • Medical Data Management and Security
  • Cognitive Fitness Apps to Combat Alzheimer

 

There are opportunities for people of many different backgrounds and educational levels to build businesses around good health. Both holistic and traditional medicines are in demand. The main point is affordability. Of course, all health care businesses must be safe, legal and appropriately licensed or certified.

 

4. Education and Consulting

 

The need for training and specialized expertise has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Many people are seeking new career fields, struggling with new technology and seeking a bit of motivation as well. It is hard for most people to adjust to the vast and rapid changes taking place. People long to be reassured, encouraged and advised by someone they feel confident in. There is also a need for educational materials including books and instructional videos.

 

  • Trade Schools
  • Universities
  • Education Technology
  • Self-Improvement
  • Motivational Speaking
  • Business Consulting
  • PR and Damage Control

 

There are many opportunities in the area of education and consulting. People should consider their experience and hobbies and then create courses and educational materials to help others learn new skills. Much of this type of work can be handled online, creating yet another work at home niche.

 

5. Food Products and Distribution

 

While traditional restaurants are a tremendously high-risk investment, many other food related opportunities are presenting themselves. The demand for candy, hot sauce and low-cost alcoholic beverages is soaring. Another trend is toward food vans and food trucks that serve fast food on routes. Taco trucks, hot dog trucks and burger trucks are very popular in large cities. Small casual fast food restaurants are also popular.

 

  • Candy
  • Low Price and Wholesale Alcoholic Beverages
  • Fast Food/Casual Restaurants
  • Food Trucks
  • Hot Sauce Manufacture

 

The key to selling food in 2013 is low cost. Keep costs down by providing a streamlined menu and low-cost ingredients. Providing wholesale distribution of foods and beverages is also a great option. Don’t forget about health inspections and all necessary state and local licensing for each food related venture.

 

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Eb5investors helps entrepreneurs with EB5 Visas, a program that ensures investment in the U.S. economy and more jobs for US residents.

 

 

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Retirement Plans And Saving Made Simple

It can be a real hassle to manage a retirement fund. The stakes are quite high, because that fund represents someone’s life savings and is what they are expected to live off of for the rest of their life.

Getting to the point where someone has saved up enough money to retire is one thing. But that’s really only half the battle. Then comes the challenge of trying to make that money last enough years — and perhaps even do enough to where that nestegg actually grows, too. Read on for some quick tips on how to manage a retirement fund.

Save enough

One of the biggest tips that makes it much easier to manage a retirement fund is to retire with enough money in that fund. Now, that might seem like common sense but many people rush into retirement with too little saved and then are unable to make the money stretch out for the length of their retirement.

Work with a money manager to make sure that there is enough money in the retirement fund to last. People are living longer and longer these days — many into their 90s — which means the money has to stretch longer than ever, too. Get some help understanding exactly how much money is needed, and how to make it last.

Health insurance

To manage a retirement fund is to understand all of the expenses that come with retirement. One of the big expenses is health insurance, which becomes more and more important as people age and require medical care. Make sure that the expense of health insurance is factored into any plan.

While it might not seem like a big deal now, especially if an employer is paying for insurance, it will become much more pressing once retirement hits. Health insurance can be a challenge but it does not have to be a scary thing if it is prepared for.

Lump sum vs. payout

It might seem like a good idea to get a huge lump sum from a 401(k) plan, but it is actually one of the common pitfalls of retirement. While seeing that huge amount upfront can make someone feel pretty well off, it is actually often a better idea to get a yearly payout. This can help someone budget and it guarantees that they won’t spend it all too soon.

Where to seek advice

Remember, any time that a client has a specific question about their retirement plan, a financial expert should be asked for help. There are a lot of standard replies to questionst that do not consider the specifics of a plan, growth rates and more.

Seeking advice online may seem easier, but the answers that the web provides are not as assured as the answers that are offered by an expert that actually manages the account or accounts in question.

Robert Seitzinger is a copywriter for Majestic Eagle Insurance, a Portland insurance group that can help with retirement planning.

 

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Great Communicators Get the Health-Care Jobs, Promotions, Experts Say

2 Specialists Share Tips for Getting Your Message Across

There’s a bright spot in the U.S. employment picture: the health-care industry.

Health-care employers added 17,000 jobs in November, and they’ve been adding an average 27,000 jobs a month since December 2010, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

That’s the good news. The bad news is nearly 10,000 health-care workers have lost jobs since August; there were 136 mass layoffs in that time period.

“Finding work in health-care is definitely getting easier, but the stiff competition means you’ll need more than credentials to land those jobs,” says Stephanie Roberson Barnard, a communications consultant who specializes in training medical professionals to speak and write clearly and effectively.

“Check any online job-hunting Web site for science, technical, pharmaceutical, biotech and medical jobs and you’ll find one common requirement: ‘excellent communication skills,’” she and co-author Deborah St. James write in their new book, Listen. Write. Present: The Elements for Communicating Science and Technology (Yale University Press; 2012), www.ListenWritePresent.com.

Unfortunately, the science-rich education required for health-care professionals leaves little room for learning how to craft a message for a particular audience, be it an email or a PowerPoint presentation. And that’s essential not only for getting jobs, but for keeping them and winning promotions, Barnard says.

She and St. James, deputy director of publications and communications for a North Carolina biotech company, offer these tips for getting your message across:

• Plan: Take time to get to know your clients, colleagues and co-workers. Establish rapport and cultivate a collaborative relationship by finding out about others’ interests (check out the pictures in their offices for clues) and inquiring about them. If you have never been to their offices, look them up on Google or their company’s Web site. Always keep your personal conversations light and professional.

• Listen: Smile, nod, and acknowledge the speaker – and mean it. Really focus on what the person is saying and not just on the words. Truly effective communication requires your full attention. It’s better to spend a few minutes concentrating on the other person’s message during a conversation than wasting time trying to remember what he or she said because you were trying to do something else. It’s okay to write or type notes as long as you ask permission first.

• Present: Practice. Practice. Practice. Need we say more? Of all the tips we offer, practicing is perhaps the most important one. People in our audiences often suggest that it’s possible to over practice. They claim that too much practicing makes a talk appear staged. We have found that the “stiff” presenters are the ones who haven’t practiced. They’re so busy trying to remember what they’re going to say, they can’t tune into the audience or deviate from their slides. In contrast, the speakers who have mastered their content seem to glide about the room, exuding just the right amount of enthusiasm.

• Meet: Respect people’s time by presenting materials simply. The biggest complaint people have about meetings is that they last too long. For this reason, presenting your ideas in a simple, concise fashion will give you the advantage of appearing focused and prepared. Remember, never compromise content for simplicity.

• Serve: Be kind to others. It costs nothing and requires no skill. Your kind words, good deed, or thoughtful gift may even launch a cascade of positive gestures among others. A recent study by researchers from the University of California San Diego and Harvard University suggests that cooperative behavior spreads among people. This ripple effect can have a wonderful positive impact on the corporate culture of your organization.

“Good leaders must learn to communicate not only within their field of expertise but also to reach people outside their field of authority, influence and passion,” Barnard says. “With proper training and practice anyone can become a better communicator.”

About Stephanie Roberson Barnard

Stephanie Roberson Barnard has trained thousands of pharmaceutical industry professionals on how to be more effective speakers, writers and communicators. She has also coached hundreds of health-care professionals on presentation skills for FDA hearings, CFO reports and scientific speaker programs, as well as national and international congresses. Her clients include AstraZeneca, Bayer Corporation, WL Gore, and Boehringer Ingelheim. This is her second Yale Press book collaboration with Deborah St. James.

About Deborah St. James

Deborah St. James is Deputy Director of Publications and Scientific Communications at Grifols. She has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for more than 20 years. Prior to her current position, she was Bayer Corporation’s senior manager for national sales training in the pharmaceutical division. She is a former college English instructor and Senior Editor of Better Health magazine.

 

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Health Insurance Possibilities for the Newly Self-Employed

When you are starting a new business, you concentrate so very much on the details—location, organization, advertising and finance, to name a few—that your thoughts of health insurance might take a back seat. You know you should have it, but there are so many other things that you have to care of that it slips into a low-priority slot. When the dust settles, it’s time to revive it and take a good look at your options.

Your COBRA Option

COBRA or the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985 allows you to carry your previous insurance plan from your old employer for up to 18 months. You’ll notice a rather large increase in the premium price, however: You have to pay the full amount instead of sharing it with the employer. There is no change to the policy stipulations, though. It’s the same plan. The only thing that changes is who is ultimately responsible for payment.

Life Partner Option

Life Partner coverage is a second possibility. If you are covered under your partner’s health insurance policy, the basic coverage can be adjusted to include a family—you too—instead of just the partner. Premiums, deductible, co-pay and coinsurance amounts may change for family coverage, but you would have health insurance as well as your partner.

Individual Policy Option

An individual policy is also an option, but within that category there are two options for the self-employed. One option is a policy that is issued to individuals as individual entities: Your premiums, deductibles, coverage restrictions and limitations are based solely on your medical history and claim activity. Your financial risk is a burden carried only by you.

The second option can be described as a policy for a “group who are individuals.” This “individuals’ group” is constructed identically to the employer’s group policy. The members opt to share risk of others’ health claims, not just their own.

Every individual who purchases this group policy has the same group number, just like an employer’s plan, and has the same coverage and limitations as everyone else in that group. If the group experiences a lot of health claim submissions, the group could experience a rise in premiums. Your financial risk isn’t carried by you alone, but by others as well.

Association Policy Option

You might find a reasonably priced policy through an association, such as your local Chamber of Commerce or other professional organization. NAFE or the National Association of Female Executives might endorse a group plan for those who qualify. AARP is another possibility if you qualify.

The Small Business Service Bureau—not to be confused with the Small Business Administration—and the Freelancers Union both have health insurance options for the small business owner that are reasonably priced within the area of self-paid policies.

Guaranteed or High-Risk Insurance

First, guaranteed coverage is determined by individual states. Some require that insurance companies grant coverage to individuals who can pay the premiums, regardless of medical condition or history. Usually, premiums are expensive, and deductibles are high, but coverage is coverage, especially when you need it.

High-Risk pools are special group-type coverages where everyone with high-risk conditions share financial risk. Insurance companies that offer these policies are, in essence, segregating the financial drain from their other policy holders. The high-risk pool will cease to exist in 2014 under its conditional creation under the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. When it ends, those who were covered will transfer into the states’ health insurance system.

Summary

None of these options are as cheap as partial-premium payment through an employer for an individual plan, but they all offer the protection and peace of mind that comes with it.

This post was contributed by John Walker.  John runs a payday loans website and works as a financial analyst in London, UK.

 

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