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surviving failure

As printed in The Marketplace – July/August 2018

Surviving Failure (and a few Successes) By Merle Good (Walnut Street Books, 2018, 184 pp., $14.99 US, $19.99 Cdn)

It’s one thing to fail in business; quite another to talk openly about it.

Merle Good and his wife Phyllis suffered the ignominy twice in more than four decades. His new book boldly strips bare the raw impact of seeing a beloved enterprise on the ropes and offers counsel for others on the same journey.

As printed in The Marketplace - September/October 2017This I Know book cover for pg

This I Know: Marketing Lessons From Under the Influence. By Terry O’Reilly (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2017, 320 pp. $34 CDN.)

Terry O’Reilly is a master storyteller. Even people who are uninterested in the worlds of radio advertising, marketing and branding are drawn to his tales about corporate successes and failures.

In This I Know, O’Reilly has drawn on more than three decades of award-winning advertising production, and 12 years of radio shows to put together a book brimming with fascinating insights about successful positioning, messaging, branding and customer service.

WorldofThreeZerosBy JoAnn Flett

A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment and Zero Net Carbon Emissions.
By Muhammad Yunus (Public Affairs, 2017, 304 pp., $28 US)

As printed in The Marketplace - May/June 2018

A World of Three Zeros adds to the literature promoting social business. A social business is “a non-dividend company dedicated to solving human problems,” says Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, and author of several other titles on the topic.

9781681775968 Archipalego coverBy Dennis Tessier

The Archipelago of Hope: Wisdom and Resilience from the Edge of Climate Change
By Gleb Raygorodetsky (Pegasus Books, 2017 336pp, $28.95 US)

As printed in The Marketplace - May/June 2018

This book is a compelling account of indigenous people’s experiences with climate change. The author collects and weaves together the stories of Indigenous peoples; from the Gwich’in reindeer herders and Skolt salmon fishermen of Finland, the Nenets of the Yamal region of Russia and Altai people of the sacred Altai mountainous region of Russia, to the Sapara of the Amazon, the Karen in Thailand, and the Tla-o-qui-aht of British Columbia.  

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in The Marketplace – March/April 2018

It was not surprising to see recently, a major Christian magazine asking in a cover story whether the gift of cash Janah GIVE WORK final cover(instead of material items or programs) would help alleviate poverty issues, as suggested by some experts on the issue. It is not surprising because the matter of poverty has been one that our society has sought to get rid of since man began to populate the earth.

Applying spiritual principles for secular success

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - January/February 2018

Soar and The Hollywood Commandments are books about applying spiritual principles to entrepreneurial success. Both men are New York Times bestselling authors who testify that their career path is directed by their Christian faith.

Soar book coverSoar! -Build Your Vision from the Ground Up By T.D. Jakes (FaithWords Hachette Book Group, 2017 239 pp., $25 US)

Hollywood Commandments book coverThe Hollywood Commandments -A Spiritual Guide to Secular Success By DeVon Franklin with Tim Vandehey (HarperOne 2017, 248 pp., $25.99 US).

As published in The Marketplace Magazine Nov-Dec. 2018

Seattle Pacific University is producing a fascinating project that will be of interest to anyone who shares the MEDA vision of doing business in a manner that is informed by their faith.

Faith & Co: Business on Purpose, is a series of short films about companies, shaped by, and living into, a faith-inspired vision of business, says professor Kenman Wong, who teaches business ethics at Seattle Pacific. The goal of the project is to inspire Christian business people to more deeply align their work with God’s redemptive activity in the world.

As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

Close to 60 people from across southern Ontario spent five days in mid-July hiking the southern section of the Bruce Trail to raise money for MEDA’s Nigeria Way project.

MEDA has a five-year project in Nigeria’s Bauchi state to promote youth entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment. The Nigeria work, which began in 2017, is a $15 million project funded largely by Global Affairs Canada, with a $1.1 million contribution from MEDA.

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in The Marketplace – March/April 2018

As many as 12,000 street vendors are causing major headaches for Nairobi politicians and businesses as they clog roadways, sidewalks, entrances to businesses and even churches. A profile in Kenya’s The Standard newspaper entitled “Hawking nation” refers to the swarms of mobile hawkers as a street menace. The peddlers show no regard for rules or others, the article states.

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace – July/August 2018

How soon will fully autonomous vehicles be in widespread use?

It depends who you ask.

As printed in The Marketplace - May/June 2018

Fed up with violent crime in their community and the inability of authorities to do much about it, avocado farmers in Aguacate Sur, Mexico have funded their own police force.

As printed in The Marketplace - May/June 2018

Bashing big business is increasingly popular among Americans. The percentage of the US population with a favorable view of large business has slipped from 60 per cent in 1950 to only 21 per cent last year, according to The Atlantic magazine.

Microchips have become a common way for vets to help animal shelters identify Fido or Fluffie’s owners should the furry friends go missing.

Development assistance may boost Canadian exports to aid recipient countries, a study by the Canadian International Development Platform suggests.

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017

Vidir Machine is allowing its employees to donate to MEDA via payroll deduction, and will match employee contributions up to $25,000.

As published in The Marketplace Magazine Jan-Feb 2019

More than two dozen private funds that make investments in women-led businesses were launched in 2018, a study by the Wharton Social Impact initiative suggests.

The study, spearheaded by social impact and gender lens advocate Suzanne Biegel, shows considerable growth in gender lens investing — investing to generate financial returns and a positive impact on women. The Wharton School is part of the University of Pennsylvania.

As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

Take the example of delivery giant FedEx, which had its genesis in a college term paper.

Founder Frederick Smith was an undergrad student at Yale in 1966, studying topology — ways to connect service points through a central hub to geometrically improve efficiencies. Smith recognized that guaranteed overnight delivery would be required in the new economy, and no one was at that time prepared to meet the need.

He got a poor grade on the paper but used the idea five years late to obtain planes, set up a hub and incorporated delivery trucks. The company bled red ink for its first four years but had sales of $1 billion by 1983.

An article in AdWeek magazine notes that each day, FedEx ships 14 million packages to 220 countries. Sales now top $60 billion. ◆