Pizza in Africa
After looking at other, more crowded markets, Domino’s brand pizza has decided to open a franchise in South Africa, saying it is a brand new and lucrative market.

Domino’s Pizza, which recently opened a chain in Nigeria, is now planning to produce more pizza in Africa by opening chains in South Africa. Taste Holdings has now entered into a 30-year agreement to open stores in South Africa, as well as Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana and potentially Zambia and Malawi.

Domino’s is one of the largest pizza delivery brands in the world.  It has nearly 11,000 outlets and has stores in 70 different countries, and now those countries will include South Africa.

More and more businesses are opening places in South Africa, including Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King and Cold Stone Creamery.

“We are looking at opening five or six stores [for Domino’s Pizza] this year,” said Jean-Claude Meyer, Domino’s Pizza CEO, in an interview with How We Made it in Africa.

However, the expansion of their brand is spreading a lot slower than KFC, with only four stores in the market so far.

“Let’s face it, KFC has gone much faster than we have.  I don’t believe we will be at 23-25 stores after three and a half years, but that is not our goal. KFC is selling chicken and chicken is an obvious seller in Africa. But pizza is not the same and we are still in the process of educating people a year and a half after rolling out[…]” Meyer said in an interview with How We Made it in Africa.

Domino’s Pizza will be partnering with pizza brands in South Africa that are already established and remodeling some of their stores. However, even though they are buying out some of the Scooters and St. Elmo’s Pizza stores, they plan to keep the local favorites.

“We’re very excited to be working alongside our new partners in establishing Domino’s as the preeminent pizza brand in South Africa and in the other markets where Taste Holdings is already established,” said Ritch Allison, Domino’s Pizza executive vice president of international in an interview with Yahoo! Finance.

In addition to keeping the favorite pizzas of the previous brands from South Africa, Domino’s plans to “Nigerianize” its products and create a special menu geared towards the tastes of their new customers.

“We have been able to roll out a couple of pizzas, for example the Chicken Suya pizza, which is a good seller and accepted very well in the market here,” Meyer said in an interview with How We Made it in Africa.  Domino’s is also offering Jollof rice, a popular West African dish, as a pizza topping.

Domino’s decision to enter the market of pizza in Africa will be beneficial to both the company and the people of South Africa.

“We looked at markets around the world, and there are very few markets…where the number one or two positions isn’t occupied by Domino’s or Pizza Hut…We would certainly rather be trading under a global brand, than a local brand,” Meyer said.

Domino’s decision to open its franchises in many different African countries will bring more jobs to the country and aid in diminishing global poverty over the next 30 or more years.  Their decision also helps them become better known in a market where they have previously been unheard of; it also helps them spread their brand globally.

– Cara Morgan

Sources: How We Made it in Africa 1, How We Made it in Africa 2, Yahoo Finance
Photo: CNN

Beat_Making_Labs_Initiative_PBS_Music_Culture
What had once been a course on music production and entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has now become one of the most innovative global outreach programs in current times. Founded by Stephen Levitin, Doctor Mark Katz and Pierce Freelon in 2011, awareness and support for Beat Making Lab was originally gleaned through crowd-sourcing.

However, Levitin, Katz and Freelon gleaned more than just funds–they also attracted the attention of PBS Digital Studios, which agreed to document the efforts of Beat Making Lab in places such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Panama and Ethiopia.

Beat Making Lab collaborates with global communities in order to achieve cultural exchange, innovation and inspiration. Beat Making Lab, an enterprise of the production company ARTVSM LLC also partners with PBS Digital Studios in order to donate equipment such as laptops and software to global communities. The studio also shoots music videos with the selected community in order to create a weekly web-series with PBS.

For example of how Beat Making Lab has spread its message of global collaboration and peace through art is evident in Ethiopia, last summer, Beat Making Lab trained a group of 18-25 year old students in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The group was taught how to blend modern hip-hop beats with traditional Ethiopian rhythms in order to convey messages regarding pressing political and health issues in their homeland.

One of the many goals of Beat Making Lab is to provide youth around the globe with the tools and information necessary to become entrepreneurs of their own. In order to ensure that the knowledge provided during the two week session is not lost, students are requested to keep training other members of their community.

A former Beat Making Lab student, DJ Couler, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, stated that ““when the instructors return to the United States, for us that will not be the end. It will be more like a continuation, or even a beginning for us because we will be able to teach others how to create their own beats.”

– Phoebe Pradhan

Sources: Beat Making Lab, Beat Making Lab- 2, PRI
Photo: Okay Player

PovertyCure Film Festival
What is PovertyCure? In a nutshell, this organization consists of a Christian-based, International network of organizations that employ policies to help reduce global poverty. PovertyCure then bonds these businesses through employee practices, environmentally sound structuring, donations of profits and the education of citizens in surrounding communities.

The companies that join PovertyCure soon realize that more than one billion people are trying to survive on less than two dollars per day. PovertyCure has also given talks and spoken at seminars around the United States, and they have employees working with organizations in nine different countries so far.

The foundation recently hosted a film festival in New York City that featured competition from all over the world. The festival’s theme was global poverty and the films that resulted from the contest ranged from inspiring and harrowing to enlightening. “Eviction” was the ten thousand dollar grand prize winner of the PovertyCure film festival held on December 12, 2013 at the Helen Mills theatre.

The festival drew participants filming about the human struggle of dealing with poverty every day, a deeper look into the types of people affected by poverty, war and what life looks like on the other side of the poverty line.

Most of the films emphasized how similar the people affected by extreme poverty are to everyone else. Everyone smiles the same way, no matter what nation they were born in. Furthermore, though the poor are no less intelligent or motivated, they are at a disadvantage and many people are in a position to help.

Using businesses as a way to fight poverty is a new method and one that could yield extremely effective results. Treating those who live in poverty around the world not as a burden on the economy but as a market in and of itself is the main concept of the ‘entrepreneurial’ solution to poverty. Using supply and demand while also creating jobs and markets for those struggling with poverty is just one way PovertyCure and other companies help to resolve the issues across the globe.

Outside of the film festival and working network of international companies, PovertyCure has a six episode DVD series. Looking into the causes of wealth and what those in a position of success and communities do to thrive in their environments is one of the methods in which PovertyCure believes to be necessary in ending global poverty.

Instead of researching why poverty happens, research why wealth happens and educate those struggling with financial devastation.

Use an entrepreneurial mindset to seek out and destroy the failing practices that pull nations into corruption and economical disaster. Teach communities to thrive and help themselves and each other. Through art, film and business, PovertyCure is trying to reach people on a human level.

– Kaitlin Sutherby

Sources: PovertyCure Forbes, Palm Springs International Film Society
Photo: Vimeo

china_top_world_trader
China has more than likely overtaken the US as the world’s top trading nation, a title the US has held for decades. According to the latest data, China’s total trade has grown at an annual rate of 7.6 percent to an incredible $4.16 trillion last year. While the US has yet to release it’s full-year figures, it’s trade for the first 11 months of 2013 totaled only $3.5 trillion.

In 2009, China became the world’s biggest goods exporter. Along with that, its imports have also risen amid an expanding economy. “It is very likely that China has overtake the US to become the world’s largest trading country,” said Zheng Yuesheng, a spokesman for China’s custom’s administration.

However, concerns in recent months over the accuracy of China’s export data have been brought to light. There has been speculation that some Chinese exporters may be overstating their shipments in an attempt to evade restrictions on importing funds into the country.

Sun Junwei, China economist at HSBC in Beijing, has said the measures that were implemented to weed out fake trade activities appear to be working. Junwei believes that compared to last year, these activities have actually decreased.

Even when addressing the inflated numbers, some analysts believe that China would still take the top spot from the U.S.

“The gap between the overall trade of China and the US is likely to be almost $250 billion in 2013,” Rajiv Biswas, chief economist Asia-pacific at IHS, told the BBC.

China’s growing trade prowess has been fueled by economic growth of around 10% a year in the past three decades. This progress has propelled the country up the list of biggest economies, it’s middle class garnering wealth and boosting its’ overall global trade.

This progress can be attributed to a shift from the production of textiles and light industrial products to more sophisticated products including cell phones and other gadgets. The amount of available labor has allowed for this incredible increase.

China has also recently overtaken the U.S. as the biggest oil importer of oil, amid rising demand for fossil fuels. However, this has brought in an assortment of environmental difficulties that the government is still having difficulties addressing.

Mr. Zhen predicts that because of structural reforms in China and a lowered outlook for commodity prices, an even stronger trade performance by China is possible in 2014.

The first time China became the world’s biggest goods exporter was in 2009, and now its total exports and imports make up for more than 1/10th of the total world trade, up from 3 percent in 2000.

The economic competition between America and China is a favorite subject of the American people as well as a motive for a large number of decisions undertaken by politicians. President Obama has used this competition to enforce education initiatives to fend off countries such as China that will “out-compete” the U.S.

If the latest prediction out of the Centre for Economics and Business Research is correct, then the Chinese economy will grow larger than America’s in 2028. However, predictions stating that its economy will surpass ours in 2016 have been made while others stake claims that it already has.

In terms of economic output per capita, however, the U.S. is still vastly ahead of the Chinese by a factor of more than eight. This is because there are far fewer Americans than Chinese, so even if the outputs were equal, there’s a lot less people to share it with. Meaning, the average American is wealthier than the average Chinese.

Ultimately, it becomes important to note rather than “beating” the Chinese, it is more important to collaborate with our cousins across the globe, with hopes to increase the goods and services available to the U.S.

Chloe Nevitt
Feature Writer

Sources: BBC, CNN, RT, TIME
Photo: Sino Mania

amman_jordan
In recent years, development organizations have sprung up and taken off swiftly around the globe. Headquarters hot spots dot the map from Southeast Asia to Northern Africa, from Latin America to the Middle East.

It is critical for these growing organizations to establish networks in environments suitable for development expansion; it is an investment that involves careful consideration and strategic planning.  As an aid, experts at Devex compiled a list of the top 5 best cities for development organizations to consider.  Taking factors such as location, demographics, resources and political environment into account, the top cities are as follows:

1. Bangkok, ThailandBangkok’s strategic location in the heart of Southeast Asia makes it a prime site for development networks.  Home to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the capital is already a nucleus for development efforts. Devex experts note that expected economic growth in the area means the city “will be even more of a regional hub” in the future.  Furthermore, Thailand boasts a lower cost of living than neighboring countries and tops the World Bank’s list of easiest countries to do business in for East Asia and the Pacific.

2. Bogota, Colombia – Another high-ranked country for ease of doing business by the World Bank, Colombia is a growing site for both private sector companies and development organizations. The Latin American capital possesses a young and skilled labor force due to the prevalence of universities and libraries. USAID Mission Director for Colombia Peter Natiello praises the city’s potential, claiming “Bogota allows USAID to build partnerships we need to achieve greater impact…with the private sector, NGOs, government institutions, and academia.”

3. Nairobi, Kenya – Africa as a whole is in the middle of a surge of financial and technological growth, with Nairobi at the center.  The Kenyan capital is home to more than 100 major international organizations, including the UK Department for International Development and UN Environment Program. Business analyst Naomy Wanga cites “communications technology, business development services, and the availability of both expertise and business opportunities” as major factors contributing to development success in Nairobi.

4. Amman, Jordan – Despite political tumult in the region, Amman boasts a relatively secure environment; the World Bank ranks it the least corrupt among low and middle-income countries in the Middle East.  Jordan follows an open-border policy and grants myriad public health and education services to the country’s more than 500,000 refugees.  Furthermore, Amman has a young workforce and improving status in health and education.

5. New Delhi, India – As both the world’s largest democracy and fourth-largest economy, India is a hot spot for growing development organizations.  New Delhi boasts a strong NGO community. In addition, the capital city is home to several UN regional offices and more than 140 foreign embassies and commissions focused on overcoming development challenges throughout India and South Asia. Though the South Asian region as a whole is struggling to reach several Millennium Development Goals, New Delhi shows potential for growth; the metropolis features an educated work force with strong English-speaking skills.

Each of these cities offers a unique package to expanding development organizations and demands serious consideration. Other cities Devex experts recommend include Manila, Philippines; Addis Adaba, Ethiopia; Dakar, Senegal; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Yangon, Myanmar.

– Mallory Thayer

Sources: Devex, World Bank
Photo: Wikipedia

johnny_rockets
Johnny Rockets shows its commitment to open up more restaurant locations globally by appointing a new international business management expert to their global expansion team.  Johnny Rockets is an American restaurant chain that brings customers back in time to the Happy Days of the 1950s with Rock N Roll, hamburgers and shakes.

Scott Chorna was appointed as the new Senior Vice President of International Development for Johnny Rockets.  In his previous position, Chorna served as Director of International New Business for FOCUS Brands, a multi-brand fast food franchisor with over 3,800 units globally. Chorna is eyeing the Asia-Pacific region for new restaurant openings.  The company has already opened two locations in Indonesia earlier this year.

Johnny Rockets President and CEO, John Fuller, stated in a recent press release that “Scott’s impressive track record navigating emerging middle-class markets, like ones in Asia and Australia, made him the obvious choice to expand Johnny Rockets’ presence across the globe.”

Like McDonald’s, Johnny Rockets aims to deliver American hamburgers in every corner of the globe. What Johnny Rockets offers more than McDonald’s is an experience of classic Americana. Hard Rock Cafe also strives for something similar with its rock and roll theme. McDonald’s currently serves up food in 116 countries. Hard Rock Cafe is located in 55 countries. Johnny Rockets is in 16 countries at the moment.

Whether it McDonald’s, Hard Rock Cafe, Johnny Rockets, Subway or Baskin-Robbins, a beneficial trickle-down effect on the local economy happens in the places they do business in. They hire locals, and they grow the local supply chains attached to local farmers. Over 7,500 people are employed by Johnny Rockets around the globe. Each year, Johnny Rockets serves 17 million hamburgers, 11.3 million soda pops, 8.3 million shakes and malts, 8 million pounds of fries, 2.1 million orders of onion rings and 815,000 gallons of ice cream.  It’s a win-win proposition for American business and the host country.

In October, two Johnny Rockets restaurants opened in Qatar. The company’s first location outside the U.S. was in Kuwait in December 1995.  The Arabian Peninsula now hosts over 16 locations. This year showed a plethora of more grand openings. Costa Rica welcomed its first Johnny Rockets in September. Earlier in the year, Ecuador and Honduras opened its first Johnny Rockets. The company has also announced plans to open twenty more in India in the near future.

– Maria Caluag

Sources: Digital Journal, Johnny Rockets
Photo: Broadway at the Beach

Bodo Oil Spill Nigeria Reject Shell Compensation Offer
Nigeria – The Bodo community has rejected an offer by Shell Oil for $46 million as compensation for two oil spills that destroyed the fishing community’s waters in 2008.

Senior partner Martyn Day of London’s Leigh Day law firm represented members of the Bodo community in the negotiations with Shell, and said that their offer would leave each villager with just $1,700. According to Leigh Day, that is not enough to make up for the damage done by Shell.

As much as 600,000 barrels of oil were spilled, contaminating 30 square miles of waterways and mangroves which once provided for the Bodo people. An estimated 13,000 fishermen have lost their livelihoods, and 31,000 people from villages around the affected waterways have been devastated by the oil spills.

Shell cannot deny that they are ultimately responsible for the spills, but claims that the Bodo people and their legal representatives are exaggerating the amount of oil spilled, and the impact the spills have had on the community. Shell also points the finger at alleged oil thieves, who they claim hacked their way into the pipelines and caused the spill.

Shell offered the Bodo community a slightly higher settlement this time around, but it was not enough to rectify the damage done to the people, their land, and their means of existence.

“We told them in 2009 and we tell them again now, the people of Bodo are a proud and fiercely determined community,” said Chief Kogbara. “Our habitat and income have been destroyed by Shell oil. The claim against Shell will not resolve until they recognize this and pay us fully and fairly for what they have done.”

Martyn Day, who represents the Bodo community in the talks, says his clients “will not be bought off cheaply,” and says the $46 million dollar offer is “derisory and insulting.”

The time it takes for Shell oil to make $46 million in profits is less than one day.

How long will it take for the Bodo lagoon and it’s waterways to recover from the ecological damage done by the oil spills?

Shell and the Bodo community will resume discussions about the clean-up in September.

Jennifer Bills

Sources: AlJazeera America, The Guardian
Photo: Amnesty International UK

New_York_workers_on_building.jpg
Subway and Quiznos restaurant franchises continue to vie for global dominance. Subway has its presence in 102 countries and Quiznos is gaining ground in nearly 30 countries and territories.

Both restaurant chains offer quick and affordable service for a customized American sandwich. The customer chooses from an array of cold-cuts, cheeses, vegetables, and sauces to squeeze in between bread for a portable meal. Although some sources claim that the sandwich is not entirely an American food invention, it is undoubtedly labeled as a typical American dish, alongside the hot dog, hamburger and french fries. Subway opened its first restaurant in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1965. Quiznos opened their first in Denver, Colorado in 1981.

Currently, Subway has 40,217 restaurants in 102 countries. Over 19,000 of those are located outside of the United States. Subway claims to have more restaurants in the world than any other restaurant chain, making them the global development leader of the quick service restaurant industry. McDonald’s has over 32,000 locations in about 100 countries. Like McDonald’s, Subway abroad may now be synonymous with the American flag. Quiznos has also become more well-known, with 660 restaurants operating in 30 countries and territories outside of the U.S. The company recently opened more locations in Russia and Central America.

In 2011, Quiznos opened 10 restaurants outside of the US. It is listed amongst the top 20 in international sales in the group of American quick-serve restaurant franchises with about US $230 million in sales. Subway recorded US $5,200 million in non-US sales taking the fifth place spot, while McDonald’s holds first place with US$ 51,800 million in sales abroad. Subway opened 1,089 restaurants outside the USA in 2011, while McDonald’s opened 709.

An online magazine called How We Made it in Africa recently featured an American entrepreneur, Christopher J. Bak, who is starting Subway franchises in Tanzania and Kenya. He expected the demand for Subway sandwiches to grow because the Kenyan population will double in the next 40 years. In fact, at the end of 2013, GDP growth is expected to hit 5.4 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa. Six of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries have been in the African continent the past decade. This is due in a large part to 75 percent of the Sub-Saharan population being under the age of 30 – a young, vibrant, entrepreneurial population that holds tremendous potential as consumers and producers. Consumer spending in Africa is expected to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2020, $520 billion more than in 2008.

A similar business potential awaits in other parts of the developing world. The quick serve restaurant industry is not the only one that is aware of this.

Maria Caluag

Sources: How We Made It In Africa, QSR, UNDP
Photo: SlashFood