The anti-politician is now mainstream and politics has an authentic deficit disorder

With Teresa May heading to the Queen to form a government with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) it follows one of the worst election campaigns ever seen from the UK Conservatives.  

This was a campaign where the Conservatives blew a 20% lead at the start of the campaign and wound up losing their majority. 

It has been another example illustrating that without the influences of run-off voting systems or proportional voting systems (aka France and Holland); yet another leading campaign has run into a cocktail for political disaster, complacency, expectation management failure and authenticity deficit disorder.

The fundamental premise of this campaign, from the framing right through to execution, was that the Conservatives couldn’t lose. When they realised they could lose, the scare campaign was ramped up. Yet this was far too little and late to stem the bleeding.

However, whilst Corbyn has picked up a bit over 30 seats, he is still well short of a majority in the House of Commons. Despite increasing Labour’s vote share and adding millions of extra votes to the Labour tally, there is still a fundamental weakness in the Labour vote; a fundamental inability to take out marginal tory seats and to capitalise on the poor campaign of the Scottish Nationalists. In summary, the Labour vote was coming off a low base.

This election saw a pitch for a 'strong and stable' government fall flat.

The anti-establishment nature of the referendum campaign has scrambled the foundations of British politics. May was intitially a ‘remainer’ now advocating for a tough line on Brexit (or ‘hard brexit’ as many describe it). Jeremy Corbyn is an acolyte of Tony Benn, the leader of the hard left-wing of the Labour Party through the 1970s and 1980s and Michael Foot, the author of the manifesto which became known as the ‘Longest Suicide Note in History’. Corbyn was an early supporter of a Brexit, then campaigned in the referendum for ‘remain’ and now supports a Brexit once again.

On the backdrop of this scrambling was a Conservative campaign that refused to engage in TV debates, ran a campaign that wasn’t based on connecting with the mainstream and often appeared aloof. This was followed by a manifesto which attacked the Conservative base voters (see social care funding, ending the pension ‘triple lock’ and the famous ‘dementia tax’) that was never going to be rewarded.

Labour’s gains are also even more interesting, considering that the Corbyn campaign was often attacked for not doing enough to win back marginal seats.

Britain has seen a referendum campaign end their membership of the European Union and effectively seen the end of ‘New Labour’ all in the space of two years. Yet, what is again being missed in the majority of post-mortem conversations is that the trend is global and there are lessons for the future. But what is 'the trend'?

There is a global trend (and there has been for at least seven years) amongst western electorates, which don’t have proportional election systems, to now back to the ‘anti-politician’ politician regardless of political philosophical divides. The 'anti-politician' often taps into a resentment of existing institutions. Also known as 'anti-establishment' politics. In electorates where authenticity has been a perceived problem, the ‘standard’ campaign based on presentation, photo opportunities and three word clichés are not working (note ‘Strong and Stable’ and ‘Jobs and Growth’)

This is also prefaced on the fact that the ‘anti-establishment’ politician needs to rise inside the framework of establishment parties. This can be seen most recently with a Donald Trump Republican presidency. This is not as easy nor as random as it may seem.

For example, Jill Stein can’t mobilise a Sanders-style movement in the American left. Likewise, Hanson and Bernardi won’t be able to lead parties of government in the Australian mainstream system and the best that New Zealand First and Winston Peters can hope for is a role as a ‘support party’ (again) to a National Party government.

It is very important to also note that there is a difference between ‘anti-establishment’ and ‘populism’. The concept of politicians using budget measures to ‘buy’ support well and truly pre-dates the rise of the ‘anti-establishment’ concept.

In the United States, we witnessed Hilary Clinton be attacked on two flanks - one from the philosophical left and one from the philosophical right. In the Democratic Primaries she lost 22 states to Bernie Sanders; a Corbyn-esque, dedicated Socialist independent Senator from Vermont who energised a base and built an engaged movement. Not unlike the ‘momentum’ movement behind Corbyn.

Despite Clinton surviving the challenge on her left, she failed to stave off Trump, perceived to be on her right, who perfected the anti-politician image, turned out his voters; but more importantly her campaign failed to bring out the voters mobilised by first Obama, then Sanders; Millennials, Latinos and African-Americans. Her turnout fell dramatically which allowed Trump to win.

In this new political reality, however, Clinton was a career political professional attempting to fend off two anti-politician campaigns that were always going to cannibalise her vote regardless of which traditional philosophical divide they may have been perceived to represent. 

In Australia, Barnaby Joyce will get some enjoyment to see that the electorate has finally caught up with him. He has been prosecuting this argument well before the rise of the ‘anti-establishment’ politician around the world. Australia is full of politicians trying to bring this together; between Pauline Hanson, Cory Bernardi, Bob Katter and Derryn Hinch; they all don’t get anywhere near the standard of Barnaby Joyce and his ability to do this, despite being the junior Coalition partner in an unpopular government.

However, if Anthony Albanese wins the leadership of the Labor Party in Australia, Malcolm Turnbull would almost be electorally unable to win. Albanese has figured out how to master this on the left in the Australian context, without the status of trying to do this from inside a minor party.

If the Coalition doesn't recognise and get across this anti-politician trend with effective strategies, they won’t win in 2019. If the Nationals in New Zealand don’t see the events of the UK and US as something that can manifest itself in New Zealand too, they will see a much larger New Zealand First and a more powerful Winston Peters.

Welcome to the mainstream where the anti-politician rules. 

Kenyan Elections 2017

Kenya's General Elections for President and other positions will be held on Tuesday August 8th 2017. Excitement and tension is building up towards that day, especially with regard to the Presidential election. 

The incumbent President, Uhuru Kenyatta will be vying for a second term. Mr Kenyatta was declared the winner of the 2013 elections, after his main rival at the time, Raila Odinga, disputed the results of those elections and filed a suit in the Supreme Court of Kenya. The Supreme Court upheld the declaration of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as President a few weeks later. 

President Kenyatta is running on the recently formed Jubilee Alliance Party - a party formed out of the coalition of parties under which he vied for presidency in 2013. Mr William Ruto, the Deputy President, will be his running mate once again.

Before the 2013 elections, the current opposition formed the CORD coalition (Coalition for Reforms and Democracy). The principals of this coalition were Mr Raila Odinga, who was then Prime Minister and is the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka, who was then vice-president and is the leader of the Wiper Democratic Movement and Mr. Moses Wetangula, who is currently the Minority Leader in the Senate and is also the leader of the Ford Kenya party 

Mr Odinga was the presidential candidate of the CORD coalition and Mr Musyoka was his running-mate.

A few notable political leaders have now teamed up with the CORD coalition to form what they have called the National Super Alliance (NASA). 'Nasa' also means 'to seize' or 'capture' in Swahili, Kenya's national language, and the opposition has declared their determination to capture the Presidency this year. 

One of the NASA leaders is Mr. Musalia Mudavadi, 56, the leader of the Amani National Congress, who was also a presidential candidate in 2013 and came third in those polls.

A recent addition to the NASA coalition is Mr Isaac Ruto, the current governor of Bomet County, and former member of the URP party that was part of the Jubilee coalition. His entry to NASA is seen by some as a blow to Jubilee and a boost to NASA, at least in terms of perception and possibly in terms of votes as well.

The NASA coalition has publicised an agreement on positions that each principal will get if they win the Presidency and form the next government.

As many people expected, once again, the 72-year-old Raila Odinga will again be running for president this year - for the fourth time. Mr. Musyoka will once again be his running-mate.

Mr. Musyoka served as Vice-President of Kenya from 2008 to 2013. He was a presidential candidate in the 2007 elections, and after those elections, he was appointed Vice-President, even as the country was engulfed in violence as the opposition disputed the election results that declared Mr, Mwai Kibaki the winner of the Presidential race. 

This violence eventually led to the current President, Uhuru Kenyatta, and his Deputy, William Ruto, (the two being in opposite political camps at the time) being brought, with others, to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity. The cases against them were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence. 

Mr. Odinga, who believes he was the actual winner of the 2007 elections, was appointed Prime Minister in April 2008 in a power-sharing deal with Mwai Kibaki. Mr. Odinga was Prime Minister until 2013.

The fact that Mr. Odinga and Mr. Musyoka were in government between 2008 and 2013 is often cited by Jubilee and their supporters when pointing out perceived failures of the administration of that time, and by extension, the failures of the two, though these supporters often don’t also point out that their own leaders were also in the same government.

Officially, there are 18 people in total who have registered with the IEBC as presidential candidates. Only a few are comparatively well known such as Dr. Ekuru Aukot, former member of the Committee of Experts on Constitution Review that worked on Kenya's 2010 Constitution and Mr Peter Ondeng’, who is expected to get at least some votes from evangelical Christians. The effect of these less prominent candidates on the presidential vote and if they might cause a run-off is yet to be seen.


Kenyan politics, to a significant extent, is based on tribal affiliations. Presidential candidates usually get major support from the areas largely inhabited by their ethnic communities. It is likely that tribal arithmetic – the number of voters from each tribe and their turnout at the polls - will play a significant part in the 2017 elections, but there are also emerging voices of opposition to this approach. A number of people in their forties and younger, are declaring that supporting a candidate based on tribe does not benefit them in their personal lives, and they would rather vote in competent leaders from whichever tribes. 

For example, there was a strike by doctors serving in public hospitals, which resulted in their union leaders being jailed for a few days (for failing to call off the strike). The fact that the doctors come from various ethnic backgrounds and they stood together for their cause may be seen by some as an indication that the tribal mindset may be weakening, at least among the younger generation.

Corruption in government will certainly be among the top issues harped upon by the opposition. USAID recently withdrew funding for government health projects citing corruption and the opposition will likely point this out as an example of government corruption being visible even to outsiders.

The current rising food prices will also likely be raised and the opposition will probably cite this as an example of failure by the government and probably also state that this failure was deliberately orchestrated to allow well-connected cartels to sell food to the public at exorbitant prices.

The Jubilee response to these accusations seems to be that the food shortage is caused by drought and that is beyond the government’s control. Some supporters also say that there was a similar hike in food prices when many of the opposition leaders were in government, so food shortage and high prices are not something new.

The opposition has often said that the Jubilee government has recklessly borrowed money, especially from China, and indebted the country beyond reasonable levels. They have also claimed that a lot of this money is then misdirected to individuals after it is received. 

The incumbent side usually responds by saying that the borrowed money has been used to start long-term projects that will lay the foundation for the country’s future growth and prosperity. The Standard-Gauge Railway (SGR) project is one of the main projects that the Jubilee administration proudly takes credit for. It is supposed to ease transport of goods and services between the port town of Mombasa and the interior of Kenya and has created jobs for those working on the project. 

However, some claim that the cost of the SGR project was inflated and that it did not yield good value for money, when compared to a similar project in neighbouring Ethiopia, for example.

Apart from the polls themselves, IEBC, the body mandated to manage the elections, has been under criticism about its preparedness. In 2013, the polls faced challenges of failure of its machines and officials were later accused of negligence in procuring equipment. The commissioners of that time were compelled to resign following pressure by the opposition and new commissioners were selected and sworn into office. The IEBC recently admitted that it had as many as 128,000 records with shared details in its voter register. This register is currently undergoing audit by an independent audit firm.

In elections like Kenya, predicting elections isn't a straight forward business; but we will be keeping our eyes on the campaign and the results and the opportunities that can come from it it to engage with this part of Africa.

Sierra Leone: The Future

Sierra Leone has witnessed a mixed bag of fortunes in recent years. Between 1991 and 2002, the country witnessed a Civil War that killed thousands. However after the war, the country had witnessed impressive growth based largely on mining exploration. In 2013, the economy grew at 20%, making it one of the world’s fastest growing economies.


Unfortunately, in May 2014, the Ebola virus broke out in the country. It took advantage of the underdeveloped health care system and misconceptions about the disease to spread. The virus killed over 3,000 people in the country. But thanks to domestic and external forces, the virus was defeated, and Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free in March 2016.


The post-Ebola Sierra Leone provides a new opportunity for strategic planning and investment in the country. The government has declared the Economic Recovery Strategy that would shore up investments in critical areas and infrastructure. Other actors such as the mining industry have also reopened for business. In 2016, the IMF believed the economy would grow by 4.3% as business reopened.


Yet, the investment climate in Sierra Leone is still fraught by challenges, most predating the Ebola outbreak. First, despite years of consistent growth, more than half the population remain in poverty and large number of youths are unemployed and unskilled.
Second, Sierra Leone’s economy is highly reliant on the mining for export revenue and growth. This makes the country extremely vulnerable to price shocks whenever global commodities prices decline. A phenomenon it presently faces as Chinese demands for commodities has declined since 2014. This reduces foreign exchange, increases inflation and causes reduction in government spending.


Third, the World Bank ranked Sierra Leone 147 among 189 countries for the ease of doing business in 2016. This ranking was influenced by challenges such infrastructural dearth as road networks remain underdeveloped, low electricity generation, difficulty in accessing credits, high interest rates, and difficulty registering property. 


Fourth, corruption remains widespread in the country, and little government efforts have been made to curb it. In 2015, a report by the country’s Auditor General showed that the country had failed to properly account for large sum funds allocated to fight Ebola. A lack of transparency also in the mining sector, the country’s most important sector, threatens the credibility of negotiations and contracts.


Despite these challenges, Sierra Leone offers great investments opportunities. Its domestic political system has remained stable since 2002, thus providing a peaceful environment for business. Also, the fact that many resources remain untapped provides interesting investment opportunities. Sectors such as agriculture, tourism and natural resource exploration are yet to be fully harnessed. But most importantly, Sierra Leone’s location, and its membership of the 300 million ECOWAS body, grants it huge access to the economies of other West African nations. And through the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) and the Everything But Arms Initiative, Sierra Leone is granted duty-free access to the US and EU economies respectively.


Summarily, the Ebola outbreak of 2014-2015 was a huge setback to Sierra Leone’s development. However, the country, with foreign support has been able to wither that crisis, and has since resumed economic growth. However, like most developing countries, doing business with the country is not without challenges. Nevertheless, Sierra Leone does have some important advantages investors would be wise to key into in the post-Ebola world. 
 

French Presidential Election

In the aftermath of Brexit and the tensions caused by the Dutch elections and Geert Wilders, The French Presidential Campaign will catch everybody’s attention and it will be the second of three big challenges European Union will face in 2017.

With regard to migration, the rise of nationalism or populism in several European countries in the last couple of years has concerned European leaders for eventual harms it could do to the European project and single market. For French people, nationalism is not something new. In fact, the radical right-wing party National Front (Front Nationale in French) has been participating in every French electoral campaign since its founding in 1972, however, their national relevance in french politics was very residual until the 2002 Presidential campaign of Jean-Marie Le Pen.

In 2002, Jean-Marie Le Pen shocked all critics and media when he assured a 2nd round with Jaques Chirac against all the experts' expectations who thought 2nd round would be Chirac facing Lionel Jospin. 

This result made the French parties to announce their vote preference in Chirac. As a matter of fact, 2nd round was too easy for Chirac. Besides the support of all moderate and progressive parties, Chirac had media and syndicates on his side, and so it became quite predictable his victory. In the end, Chirac’s won with 88% of the vote.

From that moment until 2008, Jean-Marie Le Pen kept his position as President of National Front and competed in all French and European elections; however, he never reached the heights of 2002.There were many reasons for the decline of the radical right-wing party such as the modification of the regional electoral system to contain the influence of National Front in some regions; party faced a financial crisis and forced the party to make a restructuring to solve it.

Furthermore, the beginning of the 21st century was a time of some prosperity for both European countries and European Union. The European currency “Euro” had a bright start and it gained a very good reputation in the international markets, which gave some credit to the European project. The Euopean project was at an all time high of popularity in its member states.

After the results in 2008, Jean-Marie Le Pen retired from the Presidency of National Front and there was an internal run between his daughter Marine Le Pen against the vice-president Bruno Gollish. In January 2011, Marine Le Pen was elected president of National Front and with her presidency, National Front was able to win 24 seats in the European Parliament.

This year, eleven candidates are running for President, but only 4 have any real chancey to get the final two places for a run-off election. What has changed the dynamic of the election is that both the Socialist candidate for President (Benoît Hamon) and Republican Candidate and Former French Prime Minister under former President Nicholas Sarkozy; Francois Fillon have both had lacklustre campaigns which have also seen Fillon has stubbornly resisting calls to step down after revelations he paid his wife and children government salaries, though they apparently did little or no work in return. He has not denied the payments but insists he did not misuse public funds.

Most French voters are not vindictive with regard to such minor instances of corruption, and given the other choices may decide to forgive Fillon because of the experience, demonstrated competence and sheer gravitas he would bring to the presidency.

Opinion polls show around a third of France's 45.7 million voters might abstain, an unprecedented number in a country with a long tradition of high turnouts. Even among those who intend to vote, about one-third have yet to make up their mind on how to cast their ballot.

When Fillon won the Republican Primary election in November, he proved that he was a strong finisher and will be betting that he gets a good split of the 30% undecided factor in recent French polling.

Heading into March, this race looked like it would have been the first election in French post- war history where there was not a major party candidate in the run-off election; which Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron being the likely candidates. Le Pen and Macron had 25% and 24% taken at the end of March by PrésiTrack OpinionWay / ORPI for Les Echos and Radio Classique.

While Fillon is attacking Macron as a closet Socialist too close to the unpopular Hollande Government, Le Pen has her vulnerabilities as well. Le Pen relies on support among young and working class voters, two groups where abstention is forecast to be high. 

According to the dutch Investment bank Rabobank, Emanuel Macron is the most likely candidate to succeed Holland in the presidency. According to the last polls Macron and Marine Le Pen are tied with 23%, followed by François Fillon and Mélenchon (Communist) with 18% each. 

This has been backed up by the latest Ifop-Fiducial poll on 12 April showed Le Pen winning 23.5 percent in the April 23 first round, one point ahead of centrist Emmanuel Macron.

Both Le Pen and Macron's support dipped by half a point from Tuesday while conservative Francois Fillon was stable on 19 percent and Melenchon unchanged on 18.5 percent.

The top two candidates go through to a run-off on May 7, where polls say Macron would easily beat Le Pen.

Mélenchon has surged in recent weeks with some good debate performances, in a field where enthusiasm is low (outside of Le Pen), however, his platform by many is seen as far too left wing even for left of centre voters who are gravitating to Macron's campaign as the only 'viable' opposition to Fillon or Le Pen. 

With Mélenchon and Le Pen rising in the polls; until the elections are over, the financial markets will see unrest as both want to put the EU membership of France to a vote and Le Pen wants to take France out of the Euro.

However, we predict that if Le Pen is in the final run-off election; she will lose. Le Pen, just like her father will galvanise all of the other parties against her (providing Mélenchon doesn't make the run off, which we see as unlikely). It is predicted that Macron, as the most likely to run against Le Pen would receive the endorsement of the Socialist President Hollande and the Republican Party through its standard bearer Fillon. 

This prediction is not only based in history when the same phenomenon saw Jacques Chirac receive the support of every other party to block Jean Marie Le Pen but in every head to head poll completed this cycle shows Le Pen losing to either Fillon or Macron.

Indian Super League

The Hero Indian Super League, more commonly known as the Indian Super League (ISL), is a men's professional football league in India. Founded in 2013, the goal for the league was to elevate football into one of the top sports in the India, and to create a system which could better organically increase India's participation on the football scene worldwide.

Building on the success that the Indian Premier League (IPL) -- the professional Twenty20 cricket league in India -- enjoyed, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) envisioned a football version of said league. In 2010, the AIFF signed a 15–year, 700–crore deal with Reliance Industries and the International Management Group of the United States, giving the tandem the exclusive commercial rights to sponsorship, advertising, broadcasting, merchandising, video, franchising, and overall creation of such a football league.

Between the combination of the grassroots effort to grow the sport within the second most populous nation in the world, and the potential business returns that could be had if the league were to achieve a similar level of success as the IPL, the bidding process for the eight franchises that would be formed at the onset of the league drew significant interest from major corporations, Bollywood stars, IPL teams themselves, and other various consortiums of potential owners. When the first eight cities/states -- Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune -- were announced as having been awarded franchises, the list of individuals who won the bidding for these franchises was a veritable "who's who" of Indian star power. Indian cricket superstars Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Bollywood superstars like Salman Khan, John Abraham, and Ranbir Kapoor were among the league's initial franchise owners.

Official statistics for the cost of each of the league's eight franchises are hard to come by, but according to recent estimates, each team has paid as much as Rs. 55 to 60 crore to cover operating costs including license fees, player acquisition, training and management, and promotions. These costs are in total for the entire franchise, meaning those teams owned by a multitude of individuals would split said costs between them. Further, like any major football or sporting league around the world, the league has also signed a bevy of sponsorship deals, and relies heavily on the revenue generated from these deals. The revenue earned from said franchising deals is believed to offset some of these operating costs that owners would otherwise have to solely bear. Hero Motocorp was the league's first title sponsor, and three-year deal signed by the company is said to have paid somewhere in the neighborhood of Rs 20 crore per year.

When the league officially began play in 2014, it was received with tremendous excitement, fanfare, and pomp and circumstance. The inaugural match took place in Kolkata, often referred to as "India's Mecca of Football." That match packed in over 65,000 fans into Salt Lake Stadium, and set a precedent for an incredible first year of league play. The initial match, and subsequent matches, generated tremendous buzz on the web, with search engine hits skyrocketing and league chatter on social media chatter dominating many of the usual sites. In the first week alone, the league generated a viewership rating of just under 171 million people, trailing only the IPL nationwide.

Only a few weeks into its inaugural season, the ISL was reported to be the fourth most popular football league in the world, leapfrogging Italy’s Serie A in terms of average attendance. The average attendance was reportedly more than 24,000 fans per match, which put the league just behind that of Germany’s Bundesliga, the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga. With the league off to such a fast start, then-FIFA chief Sepp Blatter was said to have called India "the sleeping giant of football."

But after completing three seasons of play, there appears to be a mixed outlook on the future viability of the league. Three years after that raucous crowd of 65,000+ packed Salt Lake Stadium to watch Atlético de Kolkata defeat Mumbai City, Kolkata now fails to fill their new 15,000-seat Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, where they currently play. Some of the premier rivalry matches used to draw crowds over of over 25,000 fans; many of those same matches now draw as little as half that number.

Along with the backing of big-name owners, the Super League banked on the idea that luring well-known football stars, including Nicolas Anelka, David Trezeguet, Robert Pires, Luis Garcia, Roberto Carlos, Lucio, Helder Postiga, and Florent Malouda in the first two seasons alone. However, the appeal of the Indian population being drawn to watch these stars up close has not gone as planned.  Anecdotally, Indian football fans look at these acquisitions more as "has-been" players looking into cashing in their final paychecks. Those same football fans are still captivated by the stars who play in the European Premier League, or other top football leagues. Indian football purists complain that the level of play in the Indian Super League doesn't possess nearly the same style, flair, and grace of the other top leagues. They view the Indian league as being too slow, methodical, and error-prone.

Still, there remains a great deal of optimism around the potential of the league. India's booming economy and rapidly-progressing quality of life should continue to be able to potentially draw stars from other countries to come and play in the Super League. 

ISL viewership and attendance spiked back towards positive levels in 2016, growing as much as 41% in some areas from the previous year.  Analysts point to the fact that the cumulative viewing number of Indians residing in rural areas within the country as over 100 million people, touting this number as a sign of increasing interest in the league. Those same analysts believe that the league will become the country's top football league as early as 2018, overtaking the nine-team I-league formed in 2007 (who is also struggling with their own attendance and interest-level issues). 

If those numbers continue to grow later this year, it could establish the Indian Super League as one of the dominant sports leagues in the world, for many years to come.
 

Tech in Politics

Politics and media are both fields that are constantly in a state of flux, growth, and change. A brief re-cap of the history of digital electoral campaigns provides a useful starting point for exploring the role that social media plays in political campaigns. Political use of the internet in electoral campaigns started in ninety’s, however, from the year 2000 onwards, the increasing prevalence of the internet was the catalyst for a new level of electoral tactics in social media. With millions of internet users around the world, various countries started to consider the use of social media much more prominently in their political campaign strategies. 


In 2008, campaign for the United States presidency marked a significant shift in the importance of social media in electoral campaigns. When Barack Obama ran for president, social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter were at the center of a huge investment in his strategy. Robertson, Vatrapu, and Medina conducted an in-depth examination of campaigns of presidential candidates Obama, Clinton, and John’s Facebook walls and what individual users wrote. The study concluded that President Obama had significantly higher engagement than his counterparts. It is clear from this study that the level of followership significantly increased engagement, which in turn helped to secure the win. 

Since then, monitoring boom of social media began on the back of evidence from political and communication strategies around the world that showed the contribution that social media could add to campaigns. Tools that are available to these politicians to carry out social media analysis play very important roles such as; they are predictive rather than reactionary, and they are far more accurate. These tools have the ability to help politicians by raising awareness of their campaigns and establishing a platform for dialogue. In addition to that, social media also may have the ability to predict the actual outcome of an election. A study by Tumasjan, Sandner & Welpe (2010) examined several key ideas such as Twitter as a reflection of political sentiment and whether Twitter could predict the results of the election, which demonstrates that the number of mentions the party received matched very closely with the results of the election polls.


As more and more people use social media to communicate their view and perception of elections, researchers have increasingly been collecting and analyzing data from social media platforms. When a political party engages its constituent using social media channels, they would be benefited by gauging whether the policy idea works immediately. They will know instantly the climate of those conversations, they can see how successful their message was delivered and how it got their constituents engaged in conversation. Once they have determined that, then they can craft next strategy according to what was popular and what was not.  


Last but not least through monitoring social media one can access the data collected using third party cookies of the audience producing a demographic report. This report can give valuable information about audience’s gender, age and most vital their interest of helping politicians orient a successful campaign. 
 
 

MLS: The Future

When Major League Soccer, the men's professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, first began play in 1996, the league only had a total of 10 teams, all based in the U.S. The league added its first two expansion teams in 1998, the Miami Fusion and the Chicago Fire, but with the struggles that the league faced in its early years, the league contracted back down to 10 teams, and its overall viability seemed to be in serious doubt. The MLS had lost an estimated $250 million during its first five years, and would end up losing more than $350 million between 1996 and 2004.

However, the league's downward trajectory seemed to change directions in 2002, thanks to the performance by the United States in the 2002 World Cup, and the aggressive marketing undertaken by the league, to highlight the talent of its American-born players. Between 2002 and 2009, the league added five more teams, and made moves to resolve many of the financial losses they were taking overall. After adding four more teams between 2009 and 2012, which include the league's further expansion into Canada (after creating a franchise in Toronto in 2007), MLS commissioner Don Garber raised the stakes for the now-booming league, stating in 2013 that the MLS will expand to 24 teams by the year 2020.

In December of 2015, the MLS actually expounded on that previous statement, announcing plans to grow to 28 teams. The first round of expansion included placing franchises in Atlanta and Minnesota, giving the league 22 clubs, effective as of the 2017 season. The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) would join the league in 2018, and plans were laid to create an expansion team in Miami, beginning play in 2019, and raising the number of clubs in the league to 24.

Minnesota, whose team name is the Minnesota United FC, actually played their inaugural game on Friday, March 3rd, featuring the debut of the #1 overall SuperDraft pick (Abu Danladi), two club idols and USMNT hopefuls (Christian Ramirez and Miguel Ibarra), a selection of northern European imports and a handful of experienced MLS alumni. Unfortunately, they didn't quite get the results they were looking for; it was quite the opposite, actually.  Minnesota lost to the Portland Timbers by the score of 5-1, marking the biggest loss by an MLS expansion team making its debut. Prior to that game, no MLS expansion team had lost by more than two goals in their first game. Atlanta, whose team name will be the Atlanta United FC, will play its games in the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium when it opens later this year. They clearly hope to have a better debut than Minnesota did.

In 2017, the MLS has plans to announce the cities which will be awarded the 25th and 26th teams, with two more winning bids revealed thereafter. The 12 cities in contention for the next four teams are: Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis and Tampa/St. Petersburg. Tampa previously had an MLS team -- the Tampa Bay Mutiny -- which played from 1996 and 2001, and former American soccer star Landon Donovan is a member of the ownership group trying to bring the MLS to San Diego.

African Tourism Industry - The Future

The tourism industry of any country always has a great contribution in running its economy smoothly and efficiently. But the African tourism industry doesn’t have a same successful story. Before 2005, the tourism industry of Africa was abruptly damaged because of some political and managerial issues. After that era, the tourism industry had a little uplift in the graph before people started to explore more and more about the weather and people of Africa. Tourists were also inclined towards the wildlife of Africa. Many television serials/shows were recorded in the planes of Africa.


In 2013, the whole scenario was changed. The Africa was feeling the successful lift in the tourism industry in 2013 and many governmental and private organizations started to take interest in it. That’s the reason why Chief Economist Mthuli Ncube has thrown light on the issues that were associated with the African tourism. The first and the most important issue was the investment for improving the overall infrastructure sectors.

African tourism industry is elevating day by day, so the African soil is playing the role of ‘investible’ asset for the private sectors to invest. Surprisingly, the 49 million tourists arrivals were recorded in the 2010 and the figure was 50 million in 2012. I would like to mention Africa, a kind of un-harvested region with a lot of minerals where you can grow anything because you already have the minerals. All you need to do is to take a step forward and invest in the following list of great investment sites. So, let’s get started with the first one!

Uganda: Uganda is commonly famous due to the Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria is actually comprised of hundreds of bodies of water. These water bodies haven’t yet exploited, so they can be a perfect spot to make some ‘serious’ investments. A luxurious cruise and balloon flights can become perfect investment plans.

Tanzania: Tanzania follows the Uganda in terms of beauty and successful tourism spot. Many attractive national parks are the vital spots for the tourists but most of them aren’t reachable due to bumpy roads and other traveling burdens. Arusha National Park is the best example of such national parks. The increase in the air flights will only make the burden on Dar es Salaam and associated cities. The investment in such sectors will return productive dividends as the prices will skyrocket in shape of limited offers. Investment in hotel operators and tour operators will be the best place to invest in Tanzania.

Angola and Nigeria: Angola has been known best for the agricultural yields for the country. Angola contributes most of the agricultural sector of the Africa and naturally, this region is well suited for the crops. Due to little know-how about the scientific procedures and technical tips needed for the agriculture, Angola hasn’t been producing what it should produce. Same is the case with Nigerian industry. Most of the industrial states of Africa are based in Nigeria. A Little know-how and fewer mechanical power lead to the destruction of the industrial sector. Minerals like gold, zinc, bauxite, coal, iron ore and tin are the common minerals that can be caught just by little investment. Investment in this sector will also be as productive as it is in the Uganda. 

 

InvestKenya 2017

Kenya has been encountering consistent development for a long while now. The financial figure has been sure with the World Bank anticipating a development rate of 6.6 percent this year and 7 percent come 2017. This force is being fueled by enormous interests in framework and employments, ventures to enhance the business atmosphere, and a lift in fares.

Kenya has one of the best vehicles to promote new investment into Kenya called KenInvest which is the branding for the Kenyan Investment Corporation. Here are 9 macro-reasons to invest:

  1. Tax Treaties and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements: Kenya is a signatory to a large and growing number of tax treaties and investment promotion and protection Agreements such as the Multilateral Trade System (MTS) ACP Cotonou Agreement, and the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act. This allows exports from Kenya to enjoy preferential access to world markets under a number of special access and duty reduction programmes.
  2. Stability: Since independence, Kenya has maintained remarkable stability despite changes in its political system Since the re-emergence of multiparty democracy and promulgation of a new constitution in 2011, Kenyans have enjoyed an increased degree of freedom.
  3. Regulatory Reforms: Kenya is making efforts to lower the cost of doing business by conducting extensive business regulatory reforms intended to substantially reduce the number of licensing requirements and to make the licensing regimes more simple and transparent and focused on legitimate regulatory purposes.
  4. Access to Large pool of Highly Educated and Skilled Work Force: Kenya prides itself in its large pool of highly educated, skilled and sought after work force in Africa, trained from within the country and in institutions in around the world.
  5. Strategic Location: As the leading economy in East Africa, Kenyas’ strategic location and its well developed business infrastructure make it a natural choice for investors and many international firms have made it their regional hub. This grants investors access to the larger East African Community and regional markets with access to over 385 million consumers. Nairobi is also a major transport Hub in East Africa with Connections from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Major Destinations around the world. All these are coupled with a convenient Time zone of (GMT +3).
  6. Highly Developed Social and Physical Infrastructure: Kenya affords a pleasant and quality standard of living with its spectacular and diverse natural resources. Ranging from wildlife and sceneries. Including the world famous Maasai Mara. The country also boasts of high quality social amenities such as restaurants, hospitals and Entertainment spots. A good reason why the country has the highest number of Expatriates living and working in Kenya.
  7. Fully Liberalised Economy: Kenya fully liberalised its economy by removing all obstacles that previously hampered the free flow of trade and private investment. These includes exchange controls, import and export licensing, as well as restrictions on remittances of profits and dividends.
  8. Preferential Market Access: Kenya is signatory to a number of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements as part of its trade policy. Kenya is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) making her products access more than 90% of world markets at Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment. In addition, Kenya is member to several trade arrangements and beneficiary to trade-enhancing schemes that include the  Africa Growth and opportunity act (AGOA);  ACP-EU Trade Agreement and Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
  9. Well Established and Vocal Private Sector: Kenya has a very substantial private sector, including a significant number of foreign investors and is touted as one of the most resilient in the world. The country has always been a market economy. Key players in voicing private-sector concerns include, The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) and The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM). Futhermore, the government frequently conducts regular policy dialogue with private sector players through the Prime Minister Round Tables.

Here are a few parts that could give beneficial venture openings in Kenya:

Agriculture: Farming is the backbone of the economy, giving vocation to around 75 for each penny of the populace. There is impressive degree for broadening and extension of the horticultural division through quickened nourishment trim generation, handling and advertising. There are additionally open doors for development in innovative foundation, for example, bundling, hoarding, and transportation. Escalated water system and extra esteem included processing are fine zones for profitable investment.

Manufacturing: Kenya has a very much created development industry. With growth in populace, openings exist in the development of private, business and mechanical structures, including pre-assembled minimal effort lodging. Broad open doors for venture exist especially in the territory of redesigning ghettos and casual settlements, urban restoration, development of center and low pay lodging, fabricate and supply of building materials and parts.

Producing part is a territory where speculation openings exist. The division assumes a vital part in increasing the value of horticultural yield.  An extensive variety of chances for immediate and joint-wander ventures exist in the assembling division, including agro-preparing, fabricate of articles of clothing, gathering of car parts and hardware, plastics, paper, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, metal and building items for both household and fare markets.

Innovation and IT: Kenya has completely grasped the open doors managed by innovation. The bubbly start-up scene is something to be appreciated. This has been floated by great government approaches, with the extent of the neighborhood ICT advertise now is evaluated at around $500 million. The National ICT Masterplan plans to improve Kenya's aggressiveness through usage of its assets in Business Process Outsourcing and fortifying its abilities to meet future innovative difficulties. The 2030 vision for BPO is for the nation to end up distinctly the top BPO goal in Africa. 

Tourism: Kenya at present brags the most noteworthy impart of populace to access to budgetary administrations in Sub-Saharan Africa (more than 70 percent). This is to a great extent on account of the well-known portable cash exchange benefit M-Pesa. Konza City, a cutting edge techno polis is a venture by the Kenyan government which guarantees to drive considerably more development in the ICT division.

InvestKenya2017

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NZ South Island Opportunities

New Zealand is full of different resources. New Zealand has some beautiful cities with various types of resources. One of the best cities is South Island. This city is a real attraction for the tourists. In every year, this city receives a lot of tourists from different countries. There are so many sectors which can be developed for the tourists. Geographically this is a perfect place to invest in various sectors. If you are looking for some areas of New Zealand, you should spend in this city. Here I am sharing some of the areas where you can invest without any doubt. You will receive a good ROI for sure.


Tourist Attractions
Tourism sector of South Island is the best way to start investing. There are so many places where every year people come to visit some amazing landscapes. You can invest on the resorts. Some of the resorts are developing newly, and they needed money. You can contact them to know if there is any chance to spend. Most of the resort will give you a particular percentage of the amount of your invested money. Famous tourist attractions of South Island are sightseeing, adventure tourism, such as glacier climbing and Bungee jumping, tramping (hiking), kayaking, and camping. In every section, there is a good chance to invest. In the areas of these tourist attractions, you can invest in the bars, hotels, sports shops, souvenir shops, etc.


Transport
As a tourist city, South Island is also a good place to invest in the transportation. You can spend your money to bring some updated transport system. The South Island has a State Highway network of 4,921 km which is quite large. You could contact the local transport companies if they needed any investment. But if you want to invest for the new transports, you need to get the permit from the authority. For this, you can contact with some legal advisors to know about the rules of transport business.


Real Estate
Real State is another attractive sector for the new investment. There are so many companies in New Zealand. For real estate properties. You can find out some amazing places where you can purchase some land or apartments. You can build resorts for the tourists on your lands. If you are a foreigner and want to invest in the real estate sector, you need to fulfil some requirement at first. If you find the work complex, you can contact the local lawyers to make it easy.


Restaurant Business
The restaurant is always a good business for high ROI. You can invest for the new restaurants in South Island. You can set up a new restaurant in the tourist spots. You can contact with the landowners for setting up a new restaurant. Though there are already some popular restaurants in there, if you can bring some unique items, you can expect a good return on your investment.
 

The need for quality 'oppo'

The need for quality opposition research for entities tendering for government contracts, engaging in new markets and analysing competitors and those going into politics. 

Opposition Research (or oppo as its known); is the formal practice of gathering information that can be used to beat your opposition. Knowing your opposition is critical to engaging in any government, business or political endeavour. In order to get the win you need, Gravis Risk is the solution.

Yes, the old adage is true, knowledge is power.. You can't trounce your recruiting, tendering or political enemy until you thoroughly know everything possible about how your enemy operates. 

There is a easy temptation to consider 'opposition research' as a straight mudslinging enterprise, however, the corporate and government concept is not a crude 'dirt gathering' exercise. Rather, not unlike your typical audit, it is a due diligence measure. Indeed, companies do 'competitor research' regularly as part of their standard business operations.

Simply put, information is the key to ensuring that you are planning to win. The process is quite standard for a political fight, an accurate merger/acquisition strategy or a successful tender.

This is also where counterintelligence to restrict your competitors from learning about your firm is also important. Whether it is shielding your Intellectual Property (IP), your recruiting methods, data programs, strategic or tendering direction. Our Gravis Risk counterintelligence solution uses cutting-edge methods to identify the information in an organisation that is valuable and where an organisation is vulnerable to attack. 

Competitive and business intelligence has become a critical function in all major corporations. But for many, the need to develop a process to formerly gather the intelligence has somehow been either forgotten or sidestepped by corporate leaders.

With experienced competitor researchers with global experience we stand ready to deliver on this vital component of any winning strategy. 

African Investment and Trade: The Future

One would think that on seeing the economic scenario across the developing nations in Africa, investors could not be thinking about zeroing down on Africa as their next destination to strike a deal on investment or trade. Analysts tends to believe that people would rather wait for nations to stabilise before investment or trade will follow. This is a complete misrepresentation of the majority of African states. There are plenty of stable African states that are able to be dealt in straight away and our Gravis Global Invest team are here to help!

Immediately there are 5 major types of trade and investment opportunities on the continent.

These are:

Agriculture: ranking among the business opportunities available to investors and entrepreneurs in Africa, the continent is home to 60% of the world's total uncultivated arable land. As the world's population is now above 7 billion, there must be a systematic approach for producing enough food to feed that many mouths. The challenge in this case has to do with poor connecting infrastructure to facilitate product making it to exit points to enter into markets.  There are also moves with a number of nations to remove trade barriers as well. This allows for agricultural development to support other 'flow on' industries such as fertilisers, pesticides, seeds production and processing and refining businesses.

Infrastructure: this sector is second in importance only to agriculture for investment. Though successive African governments have made efforts to improve infrastructure, a huge deficit in this sector still looms thereby creating bottlenecks in the smooth delivery of trade and investment deals. The World Bank in 2008 estimated that the continent needed US$80Billion annually to cover the infrastructure deficit on the continent. This provides an opportunity for private investors to invest in Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) or Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) deals with governments, especially for infrastructure such as airports, electricity networks, railway networks, roads and airport facilities.

Tourism: Kenya, Mauritius and Tanzania have become some of the worlds favourite tourism spots. There have been estimates that up to 50 million tourists per year coming through the continent since 2012 with that number rising year to year. This creates side markets that become investment ready in hotels, resorts, airline business, transport businesses and tourism related tour activities. 

Mining: This is a sector that has been developed in some parts already and has large amounts of Chinese investment. Chinese companies have been buying the world's major miners out of their interests on the continent which is freeing them up to make new investment elsewhere. It also therefore means that there are large Chinese slabs of influence in this sector. There are however nations in the continent with under-developed mining industries where skills shortages and infrastructure shortages have lead to this underdevelopment. 

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG): For the first time 2012 saw African consumer spending go past the one trillion dollars (US$1 trillion). With a population that is one of the fastest growing in the world, a middle class of over three hundred million (300 Million) people, the FMCG sector promises to very profitable in the years ahead. Food, beverages, home and personal care products provide an ample opportunity for new profits as the African middle class grows and expands in more countries on the continent. This is a market though that will work on a 'first come, first serve' basis and will lead to long term market dominance if done properly with a good market entry plan.

Gravis Digital Command Centre

What is the best place to run a campaign for the targeted buyers? The social media, right? Here you can target based on different strings for the maximum ROI. The only thing you need to know who is your potential customer. When you are running a social media ad campaign, you need to scale the investment in every step. Without a proper monitoring, you can’t expect the profit from a product campaign. 

Without the Gravis Digital Command Centre (GDCC) you will not only be missing the tracking capacity but also the resources to engage in the other elements that make a digital campaign a success.

The GDCC is a development from Gravis Insights Australia (GIA) in partnership with our IT partners Knowledge Partner Professionals (KPP) to deliver our clients the 21st century digital 'listening' technology to analyse the sentiments users and the public feel towards their brands. 

Like the other metrics of the audience, social media behaviour is also an important factor for a successful online business. The best part of social media is, you can know the public sentiment and where your audience is going and engaging. 

This solution starts to collect the data how much people are talking about your brand. Is there a lot of praise about your brand or there are some negative comments about your brand. If there are any negative comments, the solutions checks the sentiment and allows for response strategies to overall themes but also alerts the dashboard that there is a response strategy that is required. It is true that you can’t make happy all your audience, but interacting with them will send a positive message to them that you care about them.

This solution acts as a 'command centre' for the entity using it to deliver the following tools to further their brand:

In providing a single view of all conversations relative to electoral issues, candidates, poll stations, voting and political scenarios, enabling them to turn this data into actionable insights

  • Track conversation to find mentions of the brand, products or issues being raised by the public about the brand or products. 
  • With social media command centres, each individual module offers a snippet of valuable data related to the product or business throughout the lifecycle of a campaign; whether that be political, corporate or charitable in nature.
  • Rapid response: Allows for rumours to be quashed, issues to be fixed and status updates to be dealt with in real time. Also allows for the counter attack to be delivered when under attack from Opposition brands.

With the digital space determining the future of brands and being the base to kick-start new ones and instant voter/consumer communication, now mainstream. This is a solution that no business can live without.

Influencer marketing is a form of responsive marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual), rather than the target market as a whole. We identify individuals that have influence over potential buyers or supporters, and orient our marketing activities around these influencers. 

For the full information deck see the slides below.

Pricing is tailored to your company's needs. We, however, structure these for a long term working relationship.

For more information about how this solution can work for you, click here

Gravis Digital Command Centre

Wellington Startups. A new opportunity.

New-Zealand is one of the most business-friendly countries in the world. Because of enough resources in the country, there are so many startups are growing up. In New Zealand, you will get the maximum benefits as an entrepreneur. There are some cities in New Zealand which are playing a vital role to increase the startups in New Zealand. One of the most startup-friendly cities in New Zealand is the Wellington City. You will find almost any type of resource and support which you needed to start a small business.

In Wellington, you will find so many industry leaders; they will encourage you and provide you the proper guidance for your business growth and success. This is not a big city, and the population is fewer, but the environment is perfect for the startups. The best part of Wellington city is the business and start up community. Managing a business load is so much easy in this city if you have a fabulous idea. The only thing you need to do is generate a decent idea and make a proper plan for the implementation.

Why are Start Up Companies Growing at Wellington?

Startup Community: There is a startup community in Wellington which is a network of collaboration which is significantly helpful for new startups. They also celebrate startup weekend where they arrange entrepreneur’s events. There is a chance to meet with the influencers. That means, there are opportunities to share experience with the real entrepreneurs. Also, have web stock which is an annual technology conference with international guests.

Supportive: As an entrepreneur, I love the supportive people of this city. When you are a new entrepreneur and going to start a new small business, you needed care from different types of individuals. That is why Wellington is the best place to initiate the business. There is a wide range of organizations, and they arrange boot camp and other business related conference for the newbies. Sometimes you also need some financial support to carry on your business, and some organizations have made this process easier. 

Startup Programs: In Wellington, there are so many incubator and accelerator programs arranges in all the time of a year. This is a perfect way to gain some knowledge for your future business. Here you will learn where to invest and where you shouldn’t spend. You will learn the basic things of the advanced stuff. Successful entrepreneurs share their success stories, and they also share the things which they have considered to start the business. Another thing which I love a lot is the networking probabilities. Maybe you will be able to arrange a good investment on your idea, or you will get a partner who knows some basic things about your idea better than you.

Without the above reasons, there are also some other opportunities which you will love a lot. If you have an excellent idea and you are confident enough, plan to start your business in Wellington in New Zealand for the maximum success. 

For all of your market access and entry strategy needs, click here to get in touch with the Gravis Global Invest team today!

 

 

Future for RTOs in Australia

Are you running a Registered Training Organization (RTO) in Australia? Then it will be highly rewarding that you are well aware of a couple of things that will help you survive the stiff competition in your niche. These could be the fact that: your trainers have to be up to date in terms of being equipped with the latest skills, understanding all that is involved in terms of having your business fully registered and ensuring that it complies fully with all government regulations.
 
You may be one of those business persons who really want to get ahead of their competitors but don’t know how. You are at the right place as you will soon be discovering some of the right information required to make you cling to a healthy spot amongst other RTOs.

In other for your business to really stand the test of time, you must realize that your understanding concerning how the world is evolving has a great role to play in determining its rate of success. The RTOs are not an exception to this fact. The business of running a training firm has suddenly become a lucrative one and you can only imagine that it will attract the interests of more investors. As such, you want to get the best skills that are available at your disposal so that you can be ahead of the pack. 

This is not something you want to keep informal as you need all the professional help you can get in ensuring that your training organization is being manned by trainers who are always up to date in terms of their knowledge base. There are organizations you can consult in this regards as they have what it takes to help equip your trainers with all the necessary tools and techniques that will make them the best in their respective fields.

When it comes to running any kind of business in developed countries, you want to make sure your business registration fully complies with all the rules and regulations put in place by the appropriate authority. Getting all the necessary approval from such authority will only help you in adapting to different client needs. This is so because the more accreditation you get, the more services you will be considered qualified to render.

The world has gone global and as such, your business will be highly limited when you are restricted to just running trainings for local folks. This is where the need for being a CRICOS accredited organization comes into play. With such an accreditation, you are regarded as one of the licensed organizations by the Australian authority that is authorized and qualified to offer trainings for oversea students. Your organization will be recognized as an approved information provider in this regards.

This is where the Gravis Government team comes in. We are here to guide you through the process of CRICOS accreditation to ensure that your RTO can grow to a sustainable point and then be looking towards future growth strategies. In a crowded marketplace, you need to have an edge; we can deliver. For more information please click here

 

Social Enterprises: Points of failure to protect against

The growing trend in the NGO sector is to develop Social Enterprises as a means of alleviating the load of NGO balance sheets from an ever shrinking government funding pool. However, there are many pitfalls that these businesses get into (not unlike normal businesses) that need to be guarded against.

Before getting into the topic, I would like to mention two rules of thumb. Some ideas work and others don’t – that’s the first one. Knowing something that you shouldn’t do is more worth than knowing what you should do – and that’s the second rule of thumb. The purpose of mentioning these points is actually to relate the concept of successful and failed ideas that arises in every newly born enterprise. Talking specifically about the social enterprises, there arises numerous ideas for the welfare purpose and most of them gets failed due to some technical and managerial reasons (mentioned below), and when ideas gets failed, the purpose of a particular social enterprise gets failed and hence, when purpose gets failed, the enterprise as a whole gets failed.

Remember: Social Enterprises are businesses that provide a social dividend back to the NGO that owns them; often in both 'soft' (business being utilised by clients) and 'hard' (cash) returns.

Faulty Foundations: Get your foundations right before you start. You need to finance yourself, not just your social enterprise. Too many entrepreneurs equate starting a business with getting a job. They take a salary from the business increasing its chance of failure. The business is spending cash it can't afford, reducing the time available to develop a profitable product.

Beware the Love-struck Founder: Love-struck founders need to be balanced out in any social enterprise. Most people that are involved in NGOs are some of the most passionate, amazing people you will meet when it comes to their cause. That is what attracts them to the NGO in question. However, we need to remember that Social Enterprises are still businesses. They still need to make money in the real marketplace and they need to be run as such. Social enterprises will fail the same as normal business without experienced management. 

Due Diligence: If you were going to buy a house, car or business, you would do due diligence on the asset. Before entering into any new social enterprise, you must engage in a quality due diligence process. In order to do this properly, the 'owning' entity needs to enter into an independent due diligence partnership; for this, our Gravis Risk team needs to be engaged.

Cross Subsidisation: There are plenty of NGOs that go into the social enterprise of their choice as a means of ameliorating the pressure on their budget bottom line with the ever present pressures from a shrinking pool of social services funding from the Federal and State Governments. Then, for a variety of reasons they find themselves in a position where they are cross-subsidising the operating budget of the social enterprise instead of the other way around. This is unsustainable and needs rectifying ASAP.

Growth Strategy: Like all things in business, unless you plan to grow, stagnation will follow. The peculiarity of social enterprises are the number of entrepreneurs that pursue ideas that only work at a large scale. This means that social enterprises need to be moving into a scale where they are sustainable. 

For a consultation on your idea for a social enterprise, your social enterprise that is up and running and needs to be taken to the next level or your social enterprise that is 'stuck in the mud' - get in touch with the Gravis Risk team today by clicking here.

Gravis Predictive Dialing Solution

The hosted predictive dialer is predictive dialing software, enabling call centers or political campaign volunteers to reach up to 300% more callers.  The  predictive dialing system uses a computer-based algorithm that automatically dials your telephone numbers and then connects those live answered calls to your available representatives.

Instead of using a traditional hand-dialed phone, the only hardware needed for the Gravis hosted dialer. The software screens out those unwanted calls such as answering machines and unanswered calls so productivity increases dramatically and your volunteers/agents are able to reach more people and deliver your message with more precision.

Gravis can also provide you with an easy to use laptop with the hosted VOIP dialer software and headphones as a turnkey solution.

  • Speak up to 300% more people using the hosted predictive dialer.
  • No dialing, no busy signals, no answering or fax machines.
  • Hosted predictive dialer has fast and easy setup with no special hardware needed.  Only a headset, a computer and internet connection is needed.
  • Unlimited calling. No need to purchase extra minutes
  • Manage your lists efficiently
  • Hosted predictive dialer is perfect for large numbers of phone calls, surveys, fundraising, etc.
  • Hosted Outbound dialer eliminates the need to purchase expensive phone systems.
  • Custom dispositions to fit YOUR needs
  • Hosted predictive dialer collect information, such as emails, surveys results and polling data, with easy downloads.
  • Receive inbound calls on the Gravis Hosted Predictive Dialer

The Gravis Phone can be used for:

  • Political Campaigns
  • Fundraising
  • Telemarketing
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Lead generation, business to business sales, appointment scheduling, collecting payments
  • Marketing Research/Polling
  • Charities: RSVP for special events and fundraising
  • Schools and School Districts:  Alerts for closings and emergency notifications, PTA events
  • Service Desks and Customer Service
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Businesses or campaigns which you make many outbound calls  
  • Collections        

Gravis Risk due diligence...

Due diligence is a phrase that has been traditionally used to reflect the analysis activities that occur during merger and acquisition activities. Recently the due diligence process has been extended to include the evaluation of business affiliation and partnership agreements.

Due Diligence is generally comprised of legal due diligence and financial due diligence. At this time, research into financial assets, articles of incorporation, market share, technology, hardware and business competencies are examined and as a result, there is a need for businesses to engage with Gravis Risk who have vast experience so as to deliver professional due diligence partnerships for businesses making new investments or proposing to merge or buy other companies.

Statistics indicate only 15% to 25% of all mergers and various business combinations live up to expectations. 25% to 30% are reported to be outright failures, with the acquired entity being liquidated at a loss within 3 to 5 years of acquisition. The remaining 45% to 60% result in little or no apparent benefits to the buyer's shareholders to prevent this and similar occurrences, there is need to contact Gravis Risk.

In today's merger activity, we see an alarming trend of companies paying too much for the organisations they are acquiring. Declining equity prices are creating a disconnect between what owners want for their businesses and operating companies will pay. 
 
We help study key cultural and organisation effectiveness domains and they include:

  • Leadership: vision. mission. values, business strategy development, leadership effectiveness and ethics. 
  • Relationships: trust, collaboration, inter/intra group relationship, community and customers.
  • Communication: feedback, information sharing, employee trust in information
  • Infrastructure: formal procedures, processes, system, policies, structure and teams involvement and  
  • Finance: perception of financial health and the role of the employee and the level of financial comprehension and impact on the business. 
  • Cultural Descriptors: a list of predetermined values which can be customised to reflect the organisation's values.
  • General Climate: open-ended questions that capture the stories and suggestions from employees.

The outcome of this is a cultural resume. This document shows that results of a cultural diagnostic and lays out the unique organisational culture of each business unit inside the target entity. The Cultural Resume helps stakeholders going forward and creating the measurable action plans for the cultural integration efforts for those going forward. 

Some of the tips we use to increase the potentials of our success includes:

  • The use of an appreciative inquiry when examining the culture of business units.
  • We use a validated assessment tool that collects both quantitative and qualitative data.
  • We include culture as a part of your due diligence process and be prepared to addresses the issues between business units with action.
  • We involve employees in the integration effort. 
  • We allocate dedicated time and resources for the project. 

Multicultural Affairs Queensland: Multicultural Projects Funding

Before Christmas, Multicultural Affairs Queensland has released Multicultural Projects Funding which closes on 3 February 2017. This means that groups that are intending to apply for this funding need to start getting their funding applications together. 

This round is not a round that is about double dipping from the events round that was decided just before Christmas. We were proud as GIA to get 5/7 applications submitted in that round received some level of funding. This funding is about projects that are going to meet the terms and conditions outlined in the MAQ funding paper (click here for the paper).

Multicultural projects, in alignment with the principles of the Multicultural Queensland Charter, will build community relationships to foster welcome, inclusion and participation of migrants and refugees in a range of activities across Queensland.

  • Community groups, including diverse cultural groups, community-based organisations, local councils and non-government incorporated organisations will develop practical strategies to:
  • promote community participation and intercultural connections among diverse cultural groups, and between diverse cultural groups and the wider community
  • engage general community groups (such as sporting groups, local clubs, school communities) in connecting and welcoming migrants and refugees into a wide range of community activities. 

If you would like our professional help in putting together your application, fill in the form below and we will be in touch.

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Sunshine Coast Mega Poll: The results

On the night of 30 November 2016, Gravis Insights Australia (GIA) made 67945 calls into the the Local Government Area (LGA) of the Sunshine Coast beginning at 6pm. The poll results have been weighted to account for gender and age differences.

The poll has a margin of error of ±2.1% at the 95% confidence level.  The total may not round to 100% because of rounding.  The polls were conducted using interactive voice response polling, with the results weighted by select demographics.

1) Please nominate your age bracket?

2) Please nominate your gender?

3) What do you deem the biggest issue on the Sunshine Coast to be?

4) When it comes to election time, which party do you normally vote for?

5) On a scale of 1-5 with one being strongly oppose and five being strongly support; how do you generally feel about the issue of new development across the Sunshine Coast?

6) Are you a member of your local community ratepayers’ association or similar entity?

7) Do you believe that the State Government does enough to help the Sunshine Coast Council prepare the Coast for the population targets that it the State Government sets for the region?

8) How do you see the issue of infrastructure funding for your community?

9) On height limits, do you believe that high rise developments should be confined to the CBDs and specified tourist precincts?

10) Inside CBD and tourist precincts, do you believe that there should be a higher level of flexibility to ensure that community benefits and that development propositions are approved?

11) Do you feel that Council is acceptably professional and transparent in the approval of development applications?

12) Do you believe that the whole community has enough input into developments that are approved in the community?

13) Do you believe that protest groups that form around developments are truly representative of the needs of the whole Sunshine Coast?