New World Report Unveils the 2021 Winners of the Software and Technology Awards

Person working at a computer

United Kingdom, 2021 – New World Report has announced the winners of the annual Software and Technology Awards.

The Americas are standouts in the fields of software and technology and are responsible for over a million jobs in the region. Integral to so many industries it is essential in impacting the region though, new innovative technology and software are being created regularly to further support the regions as they look to further develop.

Now in its sixth year, the Software and Technology Awards looks to acknowledge and reward the continued efforts of the pioneers and disruptors of modern technology, as well as those who have sustained excellence and exhibited long-term dedication to their commitment to the development and advancements in technology.

Awards Coordinator Kaven Cooper took a moment to speak on the achievements of those recognized. “This year we have the honor to recognize more fantastic businesses in the software and technology industries. I offer my sincere congratulations to all of the winners, and we wish you luck for the future ahead.”

To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of this year’s winners, please visit the New World Report website www.thenewworldreport.com where you can access our distinguished winners.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About New World Report

New World Report is an insightful and informative business news platform providing readers throughout the Americas with business advice to aid business progress, success stories aimed to inspire and trends and innovations to support business growth and continuity. Born out of the merge of U.S. Business News and Latin America News, The New World Report has a dedicated website which is updated daily with content and each month a newsletter is circulated to more than 100,000 businesses and professionals from across the region.

New World Report is brought to you by AI Global Media. AI Global Media is a digital media group launched in 2010 with 12 brands in its portfolio. The group has in excess of 600,000 pageviews across its brand websites per month (*accurate as of June 2020) and circulates newsletters and special edition magazines to more than 1.6m recipients across various walks of life.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

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Best Agricultural Films Manufacturer – North America

Cultivated field with mulch film

Film is a vital part of the agricultural industry, and the development of new solutions in this field drives the growth of the market. With demand ever higher, alongside the requirements necessitated by sustainability and ecology, it’s an immense challenge. We take a look at Imaflex Inc., worthy winners in New World Report’s Agriculture and Farming Awards 2021, to see just how they have risen to it.

Founded in 1994, Imaflex focuses on the development and manufacturing of innovative solutions for both the flexible packaging and agriculture industry. The team’s on-going focus has been developing film products for the food industry, from those used in cultivation to consumer packaging.  Always aware of the meaningful part it must play in sustainability, Imaflex’s line-up of products is further complemented by the reprocessing of all waste created during the manufacturing process into finished products, ensuring plastics stay in use and out of nature. Today, their films are used throughout North America.

Imaflex stands out for its commitment to excellence, innovation and sustainability. This is something that many in the industry are only just adapting to, but it has always been at the heart of their business philosophy. The team has always been aware that their work plays a vital role in meeting the demand for affordable, healthy and safe food, alongside the challenges of feeding a growing global population. As such, their products are economically viable, socially responsible and as ecologically sound as possible.

To meet this enormous challenge, the team has also developed new products that have transformed the industry. For example, back in 2003 it introduced metalized mulch films to lower soil temperatures and mitigate insect infestations without chemicals. As for other agriculture products, Imaflex has its own unique material blends allowing for thinner mulch, solarization and fumigation films, which don’t compromise any mechanical properties. Imagine if all farmers in North America were to use these thinner agricultural films today, they could enjoy all known benefits of plastic mulching, while using 25 million pounds less film.

Although all agricultural films are proven recyclable, once used they are often disposed in unsustainable ways. To fight this ecological waste, and because there are plastics which are certified biodegradable, the Imaflex team began experimenting in this area early on. Today, their biodegradable mulches allow growers to enjoy the benefits of a traditional plastic film, while giving them the option to dispose film waste cost-effectively, on-site by composting or ploughing. Determined not to settle, the team is currently developing many exciting new products, including a special crop protection film that adds integrated pest management to the benefits of plastic mulching.

Ralf Dujardin
Ralf Dujardin, VP:Marketing & Innovation, Imaflex Inc

This particular path led the team to explore the registration and commercialization of a controlled-release crop protection film for active pest and weed control. The upside would be a significant reduction in the amount of pesticides required per acre, reducing grower costs, as well as decreasing the potential risk to human health and the environment.

This degree of innovative thinking has been consistent with the company for over a quarter of a century, and continues to this day. The year 2020 for example, was a transformative one for Imaflex. Despite the clear challenges caused by the pandemic, the company managed to perform well on every level.

Moving forward, the team is looking forward to rolling out their most extensive product line ever. One of the most exciting developments in this area is the pending submission of the US Environmental Protection Agency registration package for their new eco-friendly controlled-release crop protection film, ADVASEAL®. Once approved, the door will open to an agriculture industry able to provide a more efficient, cost effective and ecologically friendly delivery platform for pre-plant crop protection products.

Over the years, the success of Imaflex has come from its ability to offer products that meet the needs of the day in every respect. With their focus on excellence, innovation and sustainability, it’s clear they’re a company that is ideally suited to the challenges of the 21st century. We celebrate their success and look forward to seeing what they will do next.

 

For business enquiries contact Dr. Ralf Dujardin at Imaflex Inc. by email at [email protected] or online via www.imaflex.com.

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Hydrogen Progressing its Role in Driving Canada’s Journey to Net Zero

Net-Zero Target

New EY research on the benefits and barriers to advancing Canada’s hydrogen ecosystem

  • Hydrogen projected to be a key enabler to meet Canada’s net-zero target by 2050
  • Growing opportunity to expand hydrogen applicability across various industries and markets
  • Increased policy, government incentives, investments and international markets needed to encourage mass adoption

Research in the recent Canada’s hydrogen future — risks and rewards report by EY Canada, in collaboration with The Canadian Energy and Climate Nexus, highlights the substantial opportunity of hydrogen. Total Canadian annual market potential could reach $100b and create up to 350,000 jobs by 2050, while helping Canada meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 511 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2 eq) by 2030 — down from previous recorded levels of 729 Mt CO2 eq in 2018.

“The scale of this reduction requires a multifaceted approach to establish a clean-fuel energy mix that can continue to meet the country’s growing energy demands,” explains Lance Mortlock, EY Canada Energy Leader. “Canada has an immediate opportunity to integrate existing energy infrastructure into the evolving hydrogen value chain to become a global leader in hydrogen production, distribution and market use. It’s time for leaders across public and private sectors to assess the size of the opportunity and how their respective organizations can help enable the hydrogen future.”

Research shows that hydrogen makes up less than 1% of Canadian energy demand today but is projected to reach up to 27% by 2050. If estimates are achieved, hydrogen could reduce Canadian GHG emissions by 26% in the same timeframe with less carbon-intensive and more cost-competitive options.

“While current use cases like industrial feedstock, ammonia production and vehicle fuel cells will continue to be applicable in the future, there are many other market applications of hydrogen — such as blue ammonia production and diesel, gasoline and natural gas replacements — that are still in early stages of exploration,” adds Mortlock. “Greater investment, innovation, government subsidies and incentives will be required to accelerate the transition from the status quo of fossil fuels to less carbon-intensive and more cost-competitive options like hydrogen.”

The report identifies several barriers in each stage and sub-stage of the value chain and shares four recommendations to encourage mass use of hydrogen as an energy source:

  1. Supporting policy and regulation: In addition to integrating hydrogen into energy strategies at all levels of government, environmental regulations and fuel standards will be required to level the playing field and encourage investment, research and innovation.

  2. Building ecosystems: Using small regional ecosystems, where the entire value chain can be deployed at a scale where it is economical, can demonstrate the viability of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source without ongoing public investment and subsidies. Potential ecosystems would have reliable supply, the ability to make low-cost hydrogen, substantial nearby markets, the ability to connect supply and demand, and engaged industry, government and academics.

  3. Encouraging investments: Support for potential manufacturers with investment incentives, funding programs, subsidies and long-term policies can go a long way in encouraging the private sector to pursue development of the required market applications.

  4. Access to international markets: Continued development of partnerships such as the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy and IEA Hydrogen and Advanced Fuel Cell Initiatives can help grow the potential export market and encourage upstream investment.

“The future energy system will require transforming current carbon-based fuels with several integrated sources to ensure energy demands can be met both cost-effectively and reliably,” says David L. Milia, President and CEO, The Canadian Energy and Climate Nexus. “Hydrogen has tremendous potential to expand its market application while helping to decarbonize the economy, but it needs to be explored as part of the broader equation. If we’re going to move the needle forward on decarbonization, we need to work collaboratively — across sector, public and private companies — to find a middle ground that addresses all sources of energy and finds a balanced approach that supports a climate-friendly future.”

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New World Report Unveils the 2021 Winners of the Agriculture and Farming Awards

New Worl Report Agriculture and Farming Awards 2021 Cover Image

United Kingdom, 2021 – New World Report has announced the winners of the annual Agriculture and Farming Awards.

 

Agriculture and farming are essential industries, without whom the world we know wouldn’t exist, and after another difficult year in the wake of COVID-19, we are even more grateful to have. Climate change has also contributed to harsher weather conditions and natural disasters, which only amplified the struggles in the industry.

 

Our aim with these awards is to shine a light on and reward the achievements of those in the industry who overcome the difficulties posed by; Covid-19, climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss and thrive regardless. With this year’s winners including botanists, researchers, suppliers, and so much more, there is so much variety and expertise to discover in the industry.

 

Awards Coordinator Gabrielle Ellis took a moment to speak on the achievements of those recognized. “This year we have the honour to recognise more fantastic businesses in the farming and agriculture industries. I offer my sincere congratulations to all of the winners, and we wish you luck for the future ahead.”

 

To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit the New World Report website (https://www.thenewworldreport.com/awards/agriculture-and-farming-awards/) where you can access our distinguished winners.

ENDS

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

About New World Report

New World Report is an insightful and informative business news platform providing readers throughout the Americas with business advice to aid business progress, success stories aimed to inspire and trends and innovations to support business growth and continuity. Born out of the merge of U.S. Business News and Latin America News, The New World Report has a dedicated website which is updated daily with content and each month a newsletter is circulated to more than 100,000 businesses and professionals from across the region.

 

New World Report is brought to you by AI Global Media. AI Global Media is a digital media group launched in 2010 with 12 brands in its portfolio. The group has in excess of 600,000 pageviews across its brand websites per month (*accurate as of June 2020) and circulates newsletters and special edition magazines to more than 1.6m recipients across various walks of life.

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AgTech Innovators of the Year – Canada

LABORA Workers

While to many the agricultural industry is one stuck firmly in the past, the hard work of organizations like LABORA have gone a long way to modernizing the sector. Recognized for their efforts in New World Report’s Agriculture and Farming Awards 2021, we thought it time to take a look at this team of AgTech innovators to see just what they’ve done to achieve their justified accolades.

 

Farm owners have often struggled with finding ways of paying their agricultural workers, with many working unusual hours and the administrative workload continuing to rise. The AgTech platform designed by LABORA makes the process easier for all, simplifying the process significantly.

 

LABORA offers a better way forward for owners and workers alike, providing online payroll services to farm owners and workers to keep their information up to date, and assisting in the filing of tax returns for those who need to. Temporary farm workers can send and track their remittance money at discounted fees and exchange rates if required. In short, this is a product designed specifically for the way the labor market works in the agricultural industry.

 

For those who come seasonally into the agricultural industry, it is historically incredibly hard to gain any benefits. One of the core motivations behind the design of LABORA was the improvement of financial conditions for temporary foreign workers. This is why the team’s solution provides access to banking and financial services, which allows them to build not only a credit history, but a way of accessing loans back home. This allows them to do their own agricultural activities in their own countries of origin.

 

One of the aspects that sets LABORA apart is the way in which it is a B2B service as opposed to B2C. B2C offers individual cash transfers with capped amounts, high fees and low exchange rates, but B2B provides workers with more favourable exchange rates that they otherwise do not have access to. This is only possible before LABORA is providing these services specifically to farm owners, on behalf of their temporary foreign workers. The benefits of using LABORA are clear to anyone who looks.

 

LABORA fits comfortably into Canada’s agriculture industry because of its innovative mindset. There is already a vibrant AgTech community supported by diverse programs offered by the federal and provincial government to support innovation and technology for the agriculture sector. Many of the obstacles affecting the region as a whole could be overcome through the use of technology and research, and LABORA is perhaps the perfect example of this. It innovates a 50-year-old system to improve the financial conditions and productivity of temporary foreign workers in Canada as well as making life easier for those who had to complete the administrative work involved.

 

Looking ahead, LABORA intends to continue expanding the range of services it currently provides to clients. When the firm first started operations in 2020, it only offered the B2B money transfer services. 2021 saw the additional of payroll and tax filing services and 2022 will see the provision of financial planning services for optimizing temporary foreign worker’s retirement. The aim for the team is to become a financial services marketplace for underserved and unbanked temporary foreign workers across Canada and in the United States and expect to become a company serving similar workers worldwide.

 

With such ambition for their company, and such success behind them, there is little wonder that the team has a great future ahead of them. We celebrate their achievements thus far and look forward to their accomplishments yet to come in this vital part of farming industry.

 

For business inquiries, contact Rene Blanco at LABORA via email at [email protected] or online at www.labora.ca.

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Small-business Owners Regret and Consider Rethinking Their Dependence on Facebook After A Massive Outage

Facebook

Many policymakers and business owners were prompted by Monday’s outage to reflect on how important Facebook was to small businesses and what risks they face in relying so heavily upon one platform to support their livelihoods.

J.D. Holland, a small-business owner, was forced to take his business offline Monday for six hours. Holland printed 250 flyers in a rush to distribute around Burnsville, Mississippi. He also considered purchasing an ad on the two-page local paper to maintain business at his nutrition club and farm store.

Holland spoke of the advertising and social media giant, saying “They have my whole life.” His company relied on Facebook Live videos and posts from his business page to generate sales for his nutrition club since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. His business was shut down completely because he had no access to the site.

Holland stated Monday’s outage caused losses of $300-400 in Facebook-driven sales. Holland responded more strongly by saying “This is a serious threat.” “What if it actually went down?”

Holland’s company is one of 3 million that advertises on Facebook worldwide and was affected by Monday’s shut down. Facebook apologized late Monday, claiming that the problem was caused by “faulty” configuration modifications. Many small-business owners have been forced to think about the risk of relying so heavily on one platform to support their livelihoods.

Holland stated that the experience made him think about what he should do as an advertiser in case of a downturn. Facebook issued a statement Monday apologizing to the business community and stating that advertisers were not charged for ads during the outage.

The statement stated that “We are aware of the effects outages like this have on the millions of businesses who use our services to reach and find customers. We apologize to everyone affected and are working to find out more about the events of today to improve our infrastructure.”

Zahid Buttar, who stated that he spends approximately $1,000 per month on Facebook ads to promote his online vitamin shop in Mooresville in North Carolina, claimed that he has lost between $5,000 and $6,000 in sales. He is now considering removing all his Facebook ads and opting to use email and text messaging instead.

“What should we do?” He asked and added, “It’s like bait and switch. It’s almost like you put the hook in our cheeks and we have some semblance of a business, and then boom, it went down.”

According to eMarketer (an online marketing research company), Facebook is the country’s second-largest internet advertiser. Google is the leader, accounting for 29 percent of the U.S. digital advertising market. Amazon follows at 25 percent and Amazon at 11 percent. Facebook reported in July that its second quarter profit had soared 101 percent to $10 billion. This was due to a 56 percent increase of advertising revenue over the previous year. In April, David Wehner, Chief Financial Officer, stated that much of the growth was due to higher prices for ads and strong ad purchase by small and medium-sized businesses.

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, stated in April’s earnings call that “our goals going forward are that we desire to continue to be the very best place for advertising.”

The public scrutiny of Facebook’s influence on the country’s daily political, economic and social lives continues to grow. Frances Haugen, a whistleblower and former employee of Facebook, testified Tuesday morning before the Senate Commerce subcommittee for consumer protection , that Facebook’s products “harm children, stoke discord, weaken our democracy, and many other things.”

The company is contesting a second antitrust lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission. This alleges that it used anticompetitive acquisitions like Instagram and WhatsApp to increase its market dominance and block rivals from accessing its application programming interface.

Nidhi Shegde, strategy director at the American Economic Liberties Project (an anti-monopoly policy research organization), stated that “Yesterday really demonstrated to small businesses and us all how much control Facebook has over an online communication platform. The lesson is that a monopoly shouldn’t be in control of such critical information infrastructure.”

Mailing software, texting, and traditional flyers are all options for businesses, as was the case during the outage. Hegde stated that online advertising is the best medium to advertise because most people shop online and interact with others.

She said, “It’s natural that you want to diversify your channels of reaching customers. But, if you only have two options for advertising online, then that’s not an option.”

Michael Roth, the managing partner of Next Street’s small business advisory firm, stated that the upside of such a large-scale small-business meltdown was the chance for Facebook and lawmakers to consider how to reach business owners. During the pandemic, the company launched several initiatives aimed at small business owners, such as a free Facebook Business Suite platform, and the $40 million that Facebook has committed to Black-owned small-business grants. There are also several tutorials online about marketing, branding, and customer acquisition.

Roth stated that Facebook is clearly an important piece of infrastructure that supports small business. This outage is a clear indication that Facebook and other platforms such as Instagram have as much reach as any other platform or have more reach for small businesses than any other.

Independent business owners such as Sam Gibbs, his wife Ashley, from Indianapolis, can feel the pinch of losing sales every day. They support their small family entirely from the profits they make selling accessories online through their Facebook shop.

Sam Gibbs stated, “I understand that people may joke about Facebook being gone, but that is not how we view it. We rely on it for our livelihood.”

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Tall Ship Cuauhtémoc, Mexico’s Star Attraction at Expo 2020 Dubai

Sailing Ship
  • The arrival of the sail training ship in Dubai on November 8 will be a major attraction.
  • The Foreign Ministry and the Navy are working together to promote Mexico.

Mexico’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, being held from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, will feature the Navy’s ARM Cuauhtémoc BE-01 sail training ship, which will arrive in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on November 8. The Foreign Ministry coordinated its participation in the World Expo to promote Mexico’s culture, tourism industry and business opportunities abroad.

In keeping with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s instructions to the Foreign Ministry to promote the country’s business opportunities abroad, Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard instructed the Undersecretary of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights to coordinate Mexico’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai with actors from the public and private sectors.

Mexico’s presence at Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, is key to our economic reactivation, as it is an exceptional opportunity to showcase the economic and investment opportunities that Mexico offers to the world. The theme of the World Expo is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” Over 190 countries are participating, and 25 million visitors are expected. It is essential to promote Mexico’s economic and business opportunities at a universal event of this size to boost its exports, increase investment and enhance the international presence of Mexican companies around the world.

The Cuauhtémoc sail training ship, also known as the Ambassador and Knight of the Seas, has made 40 trips to different regions of the world in its 39 years of service, with the goal of showcasing a young and enterprising Mexico and bringing a message of peace and goodwill to the world. More than forty classes of captains, officers, cadets and other personnel have been trained in the time-honored traditions of sailing, learning the ropes and to sail by the stars with a sextant while taking in the values of honor, duty, loyalty and patriotism.

The arrival and presence of the tall ship in Dubai will enhance Mexico’s participation and will be a major attraction on Mexico Day at Expo 2020 Dubai, to be held on November 10.  The sailing ship will have a ceremonial arrival in port, waving a monumentally-sized Mexican flag with its crew at their posts, its guns firing salutes of honor and live mariachi music onboard.

The ship began its 41st instructional cruise to Dubai on August 16 with a crew of 249 people, including 62 cadets from the Heroic Naval Military Academy. It left from Acapulco with stops at the ports of Balboa, Panama; Cozumel (Mexico); Norfolk, Virginia in the U.S.; Cádiz, Spain; and Crete, Greece. The Cuauhtémoc follows a carefully planned route with ports selected to enable it to navigate under sail as much as possible.

After Dubai, the Cuauhtémoc will continue its journey, putting in at the ports of Malta, Valencia, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Rio de Janeiro, where it will participate in the “Velas Latinoamérica 2022” Regatta. Continuing through South America, the ship will then visit ports in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Curaçao, returning to Veracruz on June 23, 2022.

For the first time, the Foreign Ministry and the Navy agreed to have  Foreign Service officials on board to document the journey and serve as liaisons for promoting Mexico, in this case, at Expo 2020 Dubai. The goals is to strengthen the institutions’ collaboration in their promotion of Mexico.

The Mexico Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai was officially inaugurated on October 4.  The event was led by the Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights,  Martha Delgado, with the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, as a special guest of the Government of the United Arab Emirates. The Mexico Pavilion, located in the Mobility District of the Expo, has an area of 900 square meters divided into three levels to promote Mexico’s culture, SMEs, investment and cuisine.

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Technology in Manufacturing: Why Innovation Must Never Stop

An engineer using a tablet and robot arms to build

Technology’s grip on modern-day life has tightened over the last decade, especially in the world of manufacturing. Innovation, efficiency, safety and hygiene have been the order of the day for quite some time, with the latter gaining more spotlight due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With production lines in many industries, such as pharmaceutical, food and beverage to the automotive industry, needing to work around the clock to support the US economy and beyond, innovation — and the use of technology — in factories and warehouses must continue well past the point a vaccine is found for the virus.

Today, we look at how the evolution of technology has benefitted the manufacturing sector so far and what the future looks like in a post-pandemic world.

 

Efficient and effective production

Every business tries to operate in the most efficient and effective ways, but for manufacturing, it’s paramount that production is carried out promptly. Over the years, companies across the US — and further afield — have realized that relying on manual labor tasks carried out by humans can be restrictive for productivity and profitability. This conundrum has led to the introduction of robots over the last decade to automate complex processes that previously would have been difficult to streamline.

The debate over whether robots should replace humans is one that will probably never go away, but with the latest manufacturing labor statistics showing that productivity has decreased at a 15.5% annual rate in the second quarter of 2020 — with output falling 47% and hours worked dropping 37.3% — the need for automation has never been more important.

With COVID-19 sticking around for as long as anyone can predict, industry leaders have been discussing and looking at ways to use automation to maintain high productivity levels and reduce human contact.

Alan Duncan, Senior Industry Strategy Director at Blue Yonder, said: “In the case of a pandemic, or similar catastrophic events, the focus should be on machines autonomously running mundane, day-to-day tasks with people intervening based on experience and complementing the machine with strategic actions.

“Ultimately, it’s machines and people working together that will get us through this crisis, and those that will inevitably occur again. Automation has evolved into having a greater focus on flexibility, scalability and process adaptability, becoming a tool to optimize efficiency through manufacturers’ ability to adapt to demands,”

The relationship between humans and robots creates an interesting topic for discussion far beyond whether robots should replace humans at all. The future certainly looks like it will involve a happy balance between the two.

 

An emphasis on safety

Away from productivity levels and profit margins, a factory or warehouse’s long-term existence to operate without a hitch, in respect to workplace accidents and disruptions, relies on safety measures being put in place and followed religiously by workers. In 2017, 5.1 injuries were recorded per 100 full-time warehouse workers, according to figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Innovation in the respect of safety has advanced since 2017 and now businesses find themselves in a position of using more and more technology to keep people safe. One way in which safety is being taken seriously is through the introduction of radio frequency identification or RFID sensors. The sensors can be used to track inventory but also generate proximity warnings if workers stray too close to an unsafe area.

Robots are also being used for automation assistance, especially for dangerous or repetitive processes — and even tasks where humans would normally be in close contact with each other. In the current situation, this can be lifesaving in more ways than one.

Aside from humans keeping clear of heavy machinery or working in a socially distanced manner, how equipment is contained within the workplace is vital. Switches to operate machines and cables used to power them need to be well protected and out of sight to avoid becoming a hazard.

The use of stainless steel electrical enclosures and cable management systems are both ways of combatting these problems. The steel is easy to clean for hygiene purposes and is also corrosion, fire and heat resistant. Whilst the cable containment provides the perfect solution for keeping things safe and secure.

 

Innovation, innovation, innovation

Manufacturing is like so many other industries in the world. It must adapt to new surroundings when the time comes, and it must strive for progression through innovation every day. The pandemic has exaggerated this need, but in a way which will hopefully help boost the economy, at least in the sense that work can happen smoothly without further interruptions. The virus isn’t going anywhere, so innovation isn’t something that belongs on a five-year plan, it needs to happen now.

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Unfazed by the Pandemic, Capria Network Invests USD 92.1 Million in Global South as of 2020, Up by 361%

Market Graph
  • Despite the pandemic, investments grew by 361% (YoY, Q4 ‘19 – Q4 ‘20) and positively impacted 16.5 million lives.
  • Capria’s network of 14 Fund managers have built assets under management, or AUM, worth USD 456 million, and invested in companies with presence in 56 countries.
  • Capria will increase its focus on direct investments along with its local partners across Global South in 2021–22.

Capria Ventures, a global investor with the largest network of fund managers in emerging markets, termed as the Global South, has released its annual impact report. According to the report, Capria and its affiliated network of funds have invested USD 92.1 million as of December 2020, impacting 16.5 million lives across regions despite the pandemic-induced setbacks. Capria’s network of 14 Fund managers have invested USD 92.1 million in early stage startups spread across 56 countries as of Dec ‘2020.

“Capria is delivering market rate returns while also creating impact through its investments in the Global South, specifically, in the tech hubs of Latin America, Africa, India, and SE Asia. After a year like 2020, our work  has never been more important. While the planet was going through an existential crisis, Capria’s global network of fund managers continued their investing programs, supporting startups that were instrumental in delivering digital education to families in lockdown, operating logistics networks for goods delivery, offering remote diagnostics for COVID-19, and many other essential services,” said Will Poole, Managing Partner and Co-founder, Capria Ventures. “In addition to continuing to deploy capital to startups, we were pleased to see our aggregate impact climb to more than 16 million individuals. With most of our investments going into early stage startups, we’re just getting going,” he added.

Capria’s flagship USD 57 million Capria Fund invests exclusively in and alongside Capria Network partner funds. The fund is backed by leading investors such as International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank; Vulcan Capital, the multi-billion-dollar investment arm of the late Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen; Gates Ventures, the private office of Bill Gates; Ford Foundation, an American private foundation and Omidyar Network, among others.

 

Regions and revenue

In Latin America, the firm has partnered with venture capital funds such as Angel Ventures, SP Ventures, Fen Ventures, Adobe Capital, and Pomona Impact. In Africa and the Middle East, Capria has partnered with funds such as Lateral Capital, Atlantica Ventures, Wuri Ventures, and our newest partner, Global Ventures.

In South and Southeast Asia, Capria has a deep presence through Arkam Ventures, Unitus Ventures, Genesis Alternative Ventures, and the latest partner AC Ventures in Indonesia.

A healthy majority of the capital invested was across five countries in the Latin American region where, compared to the USD 7.1 million invested as of December 2019, a whopping USD 42.6 million was invested across 38 companies in 2020 alone.

The South and Southeast Asian market continues to be the second-best growth market for Capria with an investment of USD 35.5 million as of December 2020, a growth of 361% over the previous year. The investment was infused in 27 companies across four countries in the regions.

In SSA and MENA, the fund managers invested USD 2.5 million in 21 companies across five countries in 2020, increasing cumulative capital deployed by 57%  over 2019.

The portfolio of 86 companies in Capria Network has collectively generated USD 469 million in revenues as of December 31, 2020, clocking 212% growth year over 2019. The network has invested a total USD 92.1 million as of December 2020, a meteoric 361% jump from the USD 20 million as of December 2019.

 

Lives impacted: 16.5 million

A unifying measure of impact at Capria is in terms of the number of lives touched. The raging pandemic is estimated to have pushed an additional 88 million, that is 115 million people globally – into extreme poverty through 2020, with the total rising to as many as 150 million by the end of 2021, as per an October 2020 study by the World Bank. In such a year, Capria Network funds, through their portfolio companies, created 6.3K active jobs and impacted the lives of 16.5 million people, of which almost 20% are women.

 

ESG: An essential cog in the wheel

Apart from ensuring its network of funds invest in companies that create an impact, Capria places great emphasis on ensuring every company is aligned with global best Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards. Capria is proud to announce that 94% of network funds have institutionalised anti-corruption policies and every fund we invest in puts in place processes to screen companies based on ESG risks and IFC’s exclusion list.

 

Company Direct Investments

The fund has also made some direct investments in companies such as Agrofy, the #1 ‌LatAm marketplace‌ increasing productivity and profits of agribusiness; MentalUp, a game-based learning platform for children present in multiple countries; HomeAgent, the first home-based call center operation in Brazil; Mesfix, a multi-sided platform bringing the first crowd factoring and online market for invoices receivable in Colombia.

Using its unparalleled reach, Capria intends to create impact in the Global South through direct investments along with its partners and capture alpha for its investors. 

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Business Insurance Costs for Business Startups

Business Insurance

business startup requires more than you can imagine. The initial investment involves costs beyond the usual operational expense—and they are essential for running the business safely and smoothly, with a legitimate chance to flourish. One of your first expenses is your business insurance.

The right policy coverage is a must-have for any business, big and small. It is an assurance that you will safely operate the enterprise, which, in turn, attracts business partnerships and investments. It also helps keep great talents grounded in your company. With suitable insurance coverage, your employees will feel confident seeing the business through great success.

 

What’s the need for business insurance?

Like the primary objective of insurance in general, business insurance aims at minimizing your company’s losses that may arise from future uncertainties and specific risks. Each business has a different set of potential risks to deal with. That’s why policy coverages vary widely across industries, including their costs. For example, a fitness hub may have more expensive premiums compared to a party rental business.

 

The actual costs of business insurance for startups

But the potential risks the business may be exposed to are not the only considerations that determine your company’s insurance costs. State requirements and the size of the business you are starting up also matter. There are different types of business insurance policies attached with different price tags. The various policies are combined to provide sufficient coverage for the specific enterprise you are involved in. You may pay more or less, depending on your business type and how much coverage you want for it.

  • General liability insurance is the basic coverage every business needs to open and operate safely. It generally protects the business from liabilities if someone gets injured within the premises. It also usually covers property damage, slander, and libel. For a handyman business insurance cost, you may spend from $360 to $1,000.
  • Commercial property insurance is a more detailed coverage for the company’s assets and properties, including equipment, tools, furniture, and inventory.
  • Professional liability insurance is also sometimes called product liability. It helps pay for legal fees if customers sue you for getting injured using your product. This covers any damage caused by an error in the products or services that you sell.
  • Business interruption insurance is coverage for any lost profits. The amount of benefit gained from this insurance is measured according to the company’s income levels for a certain period.
  • Worker’s compensation insurance is a requirement for most states. It helps pay for your employees’ medical care, disabilities, lost wages, and funeral expenses if they suffer from a work-related incident.
  • Commercial auto insurance covers expenses incurred when you or any of your employees are at fault in an accident involving the company vehicle. However, this insurance cannot be used if you or your employees are involved in an accident driving your car, even if it occurs during office hours.
  • Business travel insurance is additional coverage you can use if your business involves frequent travel. It offers significant protection if you or any of your employees suffer from trip cancellation, baggage loss, or any injury during a business trip.

Business insurance is a large umbrella of different coverages that different types of businesses may require. Before you sign up for a policy and pay for it, make sure that it is relevant to what you do.

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