Let's talk about Diversity in Startups 🌈

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The Brazilian Town Making Universal Basic Income A Reality

As Brazilians wait for the COVID-19 surge to ease, Marica - a small town 60kms from Rio De Janeiro - is helping its residents make ends meet. The town has created its own virtual currency called Mumbuca. Residents receive almost 400 mumbucas ($66) every month as Universal Basic Income (UBI).

The currency has been a game changer in the local fight for survival. 

How? 

Marica’s economy is 70% oil-based with very little local manufacturing. Before the pandemic, residents would usually drive down 60 kms to make purchases from Rio. When Covid hit, it made oil prices precarious while pushing a large chunk of people into unemployment. This was obviously loss-making for Marica’s economy.

Enter Mumbuca

While Brazil’s official currency is the Real, Mumbuca is a special currency only valid within the boundaries of Marica. This means, the 42,000 beneficiaries of the UBS are forced to spend their virtual currency in their hometown, fuelling local commerce. 

The mumbuca card — distributed to those who earn less than $500 per month — has helped people start their own businesses. For example, Jandira Freitas set up her little street shop after she lost her job as a cleaning lady. It helped her buy and sell merchandise in mumbuca which would have otherwise been expensive to source from Rio. Her customers have now stopped paying in cash and instead scan the QR code on the card to make payments. 

Not just this…

With mumbuca, Marica also launched a social program for self-employed and informal workers who were deprived of their incomes when the pandemic forced all non-essential businesses to close their doors. Such workers receive a minimum wage in mumbuca equivalent to $193 per month

According to Marica’s economic development secretary, Igor Sardinha, 20,500 informal workers were able to survive by receiving a minimum wage in mumbucas during the Covid crisis.


The Hottest Swedish Startups of 2021
The Swedish economy is buzzing with startups. So we've compiled a list of the top startups in Sweden to keep an eye out for in 2021. 

The Massive Rise In Global Demand For Diversity 

There has been a global spike in searches for ‘diversity and inclusion manager’ over the last 15 years, with interest in the term growing by 200% in 2020.

Between August 2018 and August 2019, online job postings for diversity and inclusion roles soared. Glassdoor saw a 30% rise in the US and a massive 106% rise in the UK. Searches by job-seekers were also up by 35% in the US and 19% in the UK. LinkedIn data reveals that in June 2020 alone, more than half a million members and over a hundred thousand companies created a D&I post.

Clearly, the world is taking diversity and inclusion extremely seriously.

So why this change? 

The fire that was started by the extremely vocal younger workforce has now caught on to the older generations as well. This is not just at the workplace, but also at the consumer level. Reports show that the majority of people across all markets, age groups and incomes say they must be able to trust a brand to do what is right. The number of consumers making their purchasing decisions based on personal diversity beliefs has risen significantly.

An Edelman report on brands and trust has revealed that 69% of consumers are more likely to trust brands that are more committed to being involved in diversity and inclusion issues.

In fact, some of the biggest brands in the West now boast of massive diversity in their employment. 

Take the Walmart example

The big-box retailer is the largest U.S. employer with a workforce of about 1.53 million people. While nearly 75% of Walmart employees in officer roles are white, about 25% roles are held by people of colour — including 8.42% held by Black or African-American employees, as of 31st Jan, 2021.

Who’s leading the change? 

Europe is definitely leading the way. 

The UK already employs almost twice as many D&I workers (per 10,000 employees) as any other country. The country has seen a 58% increase in the number of diversity and inclusion (D&I) roles available over the past five years. UK is joined by Ireland, Switzerland, UAE and Germany as part of the top ten countries globally to employ the most D&I workers.


How To Launch an Online Business In A Highly Competitive Industry
Starting a business is tough. Even tougher is standing out from the competition and scoring customers.

In Numbers: 100 Days of Biden 
  • Total retail sales 17% above pre-pandemic levels 
  • Housing market jumped 19.4% in March 
  • U.S. Stock market rose 24% since the election
  • Since January, the US economy has added 1,384,000 jobs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics - more jobs in the first 100 days than any president on record. 
  • 42 Executive order signed in 100 days - second highest since Roosevelt (1933). 
  • Covid-19 cases down by 73%
  • Economy expected to grow 7.5% this year - most since 1984, as per Morgan Stanley 

Chatbot Marketing Strategies For Lead Generation
Generating leads used to be tedious and frustrating. Not anymore. In 2021, using chatbots can transform your donkey brand into a unicorn. 

Shorts
  • Tesla aims to to turn every household into a power plant - generating, storing and delivering electricity back to the grid. 
  • Toyota is buying Lyft’s autonomous car division for $550 million.
  • U.S. and Japan to jointly invest $4.5 billion to develop 6G in a race against China. 
  • Biden plans to announce a $200 billion program to make pre-school free for all Americans.  
  • Splitwise - the app that helps you divvy up expenses - raises $20 million in Series A funding.
  • Uber's new feature now lets you make an appointment for a vaccine and then book a cab to get there.
  • Researchers claim social media algorithms to generate revenues pose existential threat to individual thought and democracy, per a Senate hearing
  • The family of deceased Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee to pay $10.78 billion in inheritance taxes for the estate of the late patriarch.

Stash Recommends: Tools to Explore
TalentDesk: A unique platform to help your business onboard freelancers, manage payments and simplify project management.

Screely A tool designed to help users turn dull website screenshots into beautiful mockups in an instant. No design skills or knowledge needed. 

Mega: 
The biggest cloud storage and file hosting service from New Zealand providing top-notch security and a simple UI. 

Freegate: An anti-censorship software that lets you access blocked websites and navigate country-specific restrictions on the internet.

Best PowerPoint Alternatives For Beautiful Presentations
Want to impress your boss and clients with a badass presentation? Check out these chic alternatives to PowerPoint.  

 
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