Entrepreneurial

from Reuters Investigates:

Vietnam’s Capitalist Roaders

A woman dressed in the traditional Vietnamese "ao dai"costume serves tea to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (front R) during the opening ceremony of the 11th Party Congress in Hanoi January 12, 2011

VIETNAM-CONGRESS/

Vietnam's ruling communists  opened an eight-day party congress on Wednesday with a candid  admission the fast-growing economy had become unstable, as  delegates began the process of reshuffling leaders and  charting new policies. 
   As leaders sang the national anthem to begin the  five-yearly event, streets in the chilly capital Hanoi were  festooned with red and yellow banners, some bearing the iconic  hammer and sickle. Propaganda posters bore the smiling  likeness of revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh or of proud,  uniformed workers. 
   The economic backdrop is less festive. Inflation surged to  a 22-month high in December, the government is struggling to  bring down a hefty fiscal deficit, the currency has been  depreciating for three years and the trade deficit remains  stubbornly high.  

A Reuters Special Report takes a close look at Vietnam's new breed of captitalists, as the country of 90 million takes a page out of China's Communist Party playbook and promotes a more consumption-led economy. This is a development path divergent from that of its East Asian neighbours, whose economies became Tigers or Dragons (as the case may be) on the back of exports not consumers.

In contrast to most emerging markets, Vietnam has been a sell -- up until recently, anyway. The Vietnam stock index is down 59 percent from its March 2007 peak and lost more than 3 percent last year, compared to gains of more than 40 percent in Thailand and Indonesia.

But the situation could reverse this year. The lone ETF tracking the country, Market Vectors Vietnam, has gained 10 percent over the past three months, handily outpacing the iShares NSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund.
 

5 reasons your website isn’t attracting leads

USA/- Lisa Barone is co-founder and chief branding officer at Outspoken Media and a contributor to Small Business Trends. The opinions expressed are her own. -

So, what are your big Internet marketing plans for the New Year? Will you be investing more in social media? Will you start blogging? Will you take a more proactive stance with self-promotion? Whatever your online marketing plans, the end goal is likely to attract more people to your website in the hopes that the influx of new eyes will translate into new customers, new leads and new opportunities for your business. However, you won’t be able to do any of that if your Web site is turning people off, instead of turning them on.

Below are some very common reasons small and medium-sized business (SMB) websites fail to attract customers and how to avoid falling prey to them.

from MediaFile:

For Web startups, 2011 kicks off with flood of funding

MARKETS-KOREA-FOREX/The East Coast has been buried in copious amounts of snow this winter. In Silicon Valley, the only thing falling from the sky seems to be money.

If the first couple of weeks of the new year are any indication, Web startups appear to be awash in cash, with every day bringing one or more high-profile funding announcements.

The latest company to join the fund-raising parade is Formspring, which announced Wednesday it has raised $11.5 million in a round led by Redpoint Ventures. The San Francisco online social networking service, which has garnered more than 20 million registered users since launching 14 months ago, actually raised the money late last year, but had not disclosed the round until now, CEO Ade Olonoh told Reuters.

12 steps toward reinventing yourself in 2011

SecondAct contributor Michelle V. Rafter covers business and workplace issues for a variety of national publications. She is based in Portland, Oregon. The views expressed are her own –

Reinventing yourself at midlife is no simple undertaking, especially if it involves switching careers. It takes equal parts planning, stamina and guts.

But everybody’s got to start somewhere. Here are a dozen first steps, based on advice from SecondAct interviews with authors and other experts on careers and midlife transitions.

How will new identity theft rules affect small business?

- Minara El-Rahman is a contributor to FindLaw’s “Free Enterprise” blog. FindLaw is owned by Thomson Reuters. -

Small business owners have new federal requirements to protect against identity theft in their businesses.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that over 9 million Americans are victims of identity theft annually. As a result, the FTC introduced what is known as the “red flags” rule that was slated to be enforced back in November 2009. The so-called red flags rule requires that certain creditors and organizations with covered accounts implement programs that would identify, detect and address warning signs of possible identity theft in the course of business.

The most influential CEOs under 30

-Jared O’Toole is co-founder of Under30CEO. The views expressed are his own. -

Small business Web site Under30CEO recently polled its readers to find out who they deemed to be the 30 most influential CEOs under the age of 30. Influence was judged on how much the person’s ventures were impacting the world and the way we live everyday. Here’s a look at the top 10.

FACEBOOK/1. Mark Zuckerberg
Company: Facebook
Age: 26
Net Worth: $6.9 Billion

Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in 2004 at Harvard and since then the social network has grown to over 500 million users. He is the world’s youngest billionaire with Facebook receiving a valuation of over $30 billion in 2010. Zuckerberg has literally changed the way people interact and has broken down social walls faster than ever imagined. Time Magazine named Zuckerberg Person of the Year for 2010 and his company Facebook shows no signs of slowing down.

2. Andrew Mason

Company: Groupon
Age: 30
Net Worth: Groupon Valuation $4.75 Billion

Your app likely won’t make you rich

– Paras Chopra is an entrepreneur and the director of online analytics startup Visual Website Optimizer. The views expressed are his own. –

Sorry for crushing your dreams but your Web app for tracking happiness levels (or for “social-aware” to-do lists) is probably not going to make enough money to let you retire in Hawaii.

Many programmers and developers find making a Web app very satisfying and there is nothing wrong with that – as long as you are doing it for fun, it’s OK.

How to market your company with 5 simple videos

Jon Hyatt is a 22-year-old producer/director based out of Boston, Massuchusetts. This article originally appeared on Under30CEO. The views expressed are his own. –

Regardless of what type of company you have, or what type of product you’re selling, there are always online videos that can be used to up your marketing and sales.

“Every company can affordably increase marketing and sales with the help of online videos,” said producer/director Jon Hyatt, who is most recently filmed a Boston-based reality show called “Making Moves“. “Nowadays more companies are starting to see the advantage to having online videos right on their website or Facebook pages.”

3 rules for selling in the new economy

-- Lisa Nicole Bell is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of lifestyle consultancy firm Inspired Life Media Group. This article originally appeared on Under30CEO. The views expressed are her own. –

Every entrepreneur knows that the key to a thriving business is sales. Without it, cash flow dries up, checks turn to rubber, and heads roll. With it, few things are impossible. The challenge for most entrepreneurs is understanding how to sell what they offer.

Throughout the years, the sales gurus of our parents’ generation have offered their conventional wisdom about “building rapport” and “explaining the features”. In the new economy, this advice just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Entrepreneur trades bestsellers for bracelets

– Melinda F. Emerson, known as the SmallBizLady, is an entrepreneur, professional speaker, small business coach and the author of “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months“. In 2010, Forbes magazine named her as one of the Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter. This article originally appeared on Second Act. –

Until three years ago, Janet Hill Talbert worked as a vice president and executive editor at a major New York publishing house. It was challenging work, and Talbert enjoyed nurturing her writers, including many bestselling authors.

But the stress of the job took its toll, and she started making jewelry as a way to unwind after hectic days.

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