Dave Pollard's environmental philosophy, creative works, business papers and essays.
In search of a better way to live and make a living, and a better understanding of how the world really works.



July 4, 2004

THE DUTCH SHOW HOW TO NURTURE ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Filed under: Working Smarter — Dave Pollard @ 11:10
.A new Dutch government program called SeniorStart “aims at stimulating successful entrepreneurship by older (45+) people who have lost or left their jobs or are re-entering the workforce after an extended period, by creating a dedicated (virtual) professionally-staffed National Service Centre and supporting the sharing of knowledge and experience between experienced senior entrepreneurs and new startups through regional networks”.

The National Service Centre offers the following services.

  • Connecting new entrepreneurs with experienced entrepreneurs.
  • An online test and preparedness courses that assesses the capabilities and readiness of new entrepreneurs.
  • A computer program that steps entrepreneurs through the business planning process. If desired the resultant plan can be evaluated by professionals.
  • Expert financial, business planning, pension benefit securing and franchising advice.

Regional networks, staffed by 50-80 senior entrepreneurs each, will be set up initially in three of Holland’s twelve provinces, and later expanded to all provinces. They will function as platforms for sharing knowledge and idea incubators for qualifying new entrepreneurs. Knowledge and ideas will be leveraged nationally by the Service Centre and its sponsors.

The project is financed by the Taskforce on Older People and Employment, the GAK (Industrial Insurance Administration Office), the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the WISE (Working Network and Information Centre for Senior Entrepreneurs) Foundation. It was co-developed by WISE and MKB, an umbrella group of over 500 trade organizations and business associations.

This is a wonderful initiative, one that deserves to be studied and emulated in other countries.

Now, what I’d really like to see is a network that connects these older, experienced aspiring entrepreneurs with the other group that desperately needs advice on how to set up a new business — young people just graduating from school and unwilling to enter into a lifelong contract of wage slavery as menial employees to pay off their student loans — and then advises both groups on how to set up and operate a successful entrepreneurial business.

AT&T — ANOTHER CORPORATIST HORROR STORY

Filed under: How the World Really Works — Dave Pollard @ 11:08
.Add AT&T to your Boycott List. This outfit has been running a nationwide phony billing scam, and are now into Enron-and-Bush style denial, blame-passing and damage control. It seems this company sent out over a million phony bills — most of them non-customers, and then set up a cumbersome, non-responsive and threatening telephone response systems to wear down and intimidate irate victims of the scheme into paying the bills. “A computer failure” has been blamed for the “errors”, which in total dwarf, both in size and criminality, anything Martha Stewart did. Several states’ Attorneys General have filed suit against AT&T for fraud and deceptive practices, but don’t expect to see any AT&T executives in jail.

Bottom line — If you get a bill from AT&T, whether you’re a customer or not — check it carefully, and if it’s part of this fraud, don’t pay it, and complain to the BBB, to the state Public Service Commission, to the state Attorney General’s Office, and to the FCC. Better still, play it safe — find a reputable phone company, and then you’ll know for sure any bill you get from AT&T is fraudulent. Why is it that legislators are so hot to stamp out spam and Internet porn, but aren’t interested in protecting citizens from giant fraudulent predator corporations like AT&T (and criminal polluters like Koch Industries)? Do you think it might be because these corporations pour millions into the legislators’ election campaigns?

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