Archive for April, 2011

Nato strike ‘kills Gaddafi’s son’

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

A Nato air strike in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, kills the youngest son of the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, a government spokesman says.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Buffett admits ‘mistake’ on Sokol

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

US billionaire investor Warren Buffett faces tough questions from Berkshire Hathaway shareholders about a top executive’s resignation.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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French Football suspends official

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Two black footballers chase the ball at the Marseille-Montpellier French League Cup final in Paris, 23 AprilFrance’s multi-ethnic football teams are a source of pride for many
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France’s Sports Minister, Chantal Jouanno, has asked the country’s football federation to clarify reports of a secret racial quota for trainees.

Senior federation members are said to have secretly approved limiting the number of black and Arab trainees to 30% from the age of 12-13.

The federation has denied having such a policy.

“Discrimination has no place in sport, whether it’s in the stands or in the training academies,” Ms Jouanno said.

She promised to uphold guarantees of equal opportunities in sport.

Race became a sensitive issue in French football again after the dire performance of the national team at last year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Controversial accusations circled in some quarters that the team, which had six black players, had mutinied in South Africa because of race.

The South Africa experience was in sharp contrast to 1998, when France fell head over heels in love with its multi-ethnic World Cup-winning team of “Blacks, Blancs, Beurs” – blacks, whites and Arabs.

The French investigative website Mediapart broke the story about a supposed secret quota on Thursday.

Quoting “scandalised” sources within the French Football Federation (FFF), it said the alleged directive from its National Technical Direction (DTN) had already been sent out to training academies.

Mediapart alleged that senior FFF members including national coach Laurent Blanc had approved the quota.

“The objective declared within the DTN, but undisclosable to the general public, is to limit – by filtering them right from the age of 12-13 – the number of French players of African and North African kind,” the website said.

“A genuine segregation applied to football.”

Commenting on the allegations, the sports minister said: “I take note of the French Football Federation’s denial about the existence of such a policy and I invite it to very quickly shed light on the allegations in the article”.

Philippe Tournon, media officer for the French national team, said Laurent Blanc was outraged by the allegation.

“[He] categorically denies that he could have supported selections based on ethnicity or skin colour,” Mr Tournon said.

“It goes against his philosophy.”

Since he took over from Raymond Domenech after the World Cup, Blanc has often raised the problem of players with dual nationality, who benefit from French training academies before choosing to play for another country, the Associated Press news agency reports.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Three in court following protest

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

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A series of CCTV images have been issued of suspects being hunted after protests turned violent in Bristol.

Police made 30 arrests following the clashes in the Stokes Croft area in the early hours of Friday.

Officers and protesters were injured during a second demonstration in a week against the opening of a Tesco store in the area.

Images of more than 80 people have been issued by Avon and Somerset Police following the violence.

Rocks, bottles and other missiles were thrown during the protests, which had started peacefully in Cheltenham Road, at about 2000 BST on Thursday.

Police said they were determined to identify as many people involved as possible and bring them to justice.

Assistant Chief Constable Rod Hansen said “we cannot do it all alone”.

“So I am appealing to the community, to all the residents, and traders and other people whose lives have been severely disrupted, whose property may have been damaged and whose personal safety may have been put at risk by the violence: help us bring those responsible to justice.

“”I would urge people to study these photographs, and if you think you know who any of these people are, and where they might be, please contact us.”

On Friday morning, police raided a property in the road which led to a roof-top stand-off with protesters.

The road was closed while the raid took place, before being re-opened.

A week ago, the Tesco Express store in the street was damaged during an earlier protest after another raid on a squat.

Police said last week’s operation was carried out because they feared the newly-opened branch was to be petrol bombed.

The store has been at the centre of a campaign against its opening, but Tesco insists the majority of locals have condemned the violence and said there was strong support for the store.

Thursday night’s demonstration began as a “good-spirited event” attended by about eight neighbourhood beat officers determined to keep things peaceful, police said, .

“But the crowd grew, from around 250 or so protesters earlier in the evening to more than 400,” a spokesman said.

But there were claims officers contributed to the problems.

Police at scene of Friday morning's raid in Cheltenham RoadOn Friday morning, officers raided a property believed to be “directly connected” to the disorder

One protester, 39-year-old Richard Ayres, said: “I received three blows to my legs and a blow to my head for which I have received hospital treatment.”

He said he was “flabbergasted” about the way officers had conducted themselves.

Chris D’Agorne, who lives in Bristol and works for the BBC, said: “I got trapped between the police and the protesters who were throwing bins, glass bottles and bricks.

“Occasionally police officers would come out of the line to strike protesters, but they were targeted and would then have to fall back.”

A spokesman said a number of officers had sustained injuries during the violence.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “It’s very sad that a handful of individuals have once again turned against police and the local community.

“[The violence] in Stokes Croft and beyond underlines that this is not an anti-Tesco protest – our store is not even open.”

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Yemeni leader fails to sign deal

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

A Yemeni soldier watches anti-government protesters in the city of Taiz, 30 AprilYemeni cities like Taiz saw new protests on Saturday

A deal for Yemen’s veteran leader to hand over power and end unrest looks in doubt after President Ali Abdullah Saleh wavered over signing it.

He had been expected to add his signature on Saturday after his officials said the deal brokered by Gulf Arab states had been accepted.

But Gulf mediator Abdul-Latif al-Zayyani was reportedly told Mr Saleh still had reservations.

New clashes in the Yemeni port of Aden have left three people dead.

Officials said two of the dead were members of the security forces, shot while trying to dismantle road-blocks set up by protesters in the al-Mansoura district.

The third person killed was a civilian.

Mr Zayyani, the secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), flew into the Yemeni capital Sanaa to urge President Saleh to sign the deal, which was accepted by Yemen’s ruling party a week ago.

Yemen and its leader
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh consults his watch at a rally in the capital Sanaa, 15 April

President Ali Abdullah Saleh in power since 1978Population 24.3m; land area 536,869 sq kmThe population has a median age of 17.9, and a literacy rate of 61%Youth unemployment is 15%Gross national income per head was $1,060 (£655) in 2009 (World Bank)President Saleh profile Yemen country profile

Under its terms, the president would hand power to his vice-president in return for immunity from prosecution.

But a close ally of Mr Saleh, Abed al-Jundi, said the president objected to signing the agreement, saying it should be signed instead by the leader of his political party, the Ruling Party Congress.

He added that Mr Saleh also wanted to ensure that he would remain president to oversee a 30-day transition period after signing the deal, the Associated Press news agency reports.

A leading opposition member, Mohammed Basnadwa, said they had subsequently told the the GCC mediator that they would not back any deal unless Mr Saleh signed it first.

The opposition coalition approved the deal earlier only after its leaders had received “assurances” from the GCC, the US and Europe on the transfer of power.

However, the deal drove a wedge between the opposition coalition and youths who have led demonstrations against the president across the country for months.

They accuse the politicians of breaking a promise to put Mr Saleh on trial.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Gaddafi talks offer is dismissed

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Libyan rebel fighter in Adjabiya (29 April 2011)Col Gaddafi denounced the rebels as foreign terrorists, a claim they have denied

Rebel leaders and Nato have dismissed a call by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for a ceasefire and negotiations.

The Benghazi-based rebel Transitional National Council said Col Gaddafi’s offer was not credible and that the time for compromise had passed.

Nato officials said the alliance would not consider talks until government forces stopped attacks on civilians.

In a televised speech, Col Gaddafi said he was ready to talk to the US, UK and France if they stopped air strikes.

Officials had earlier warned rebels in the besieged city of Misrata that they had four days to lay down their arms or face an all-out assault.

In a rambling speech early on Saturday, Col Gaddafi called for a ceasefire and negotiations with Nato member states and the rebels.

“We were the first to welcome a ceasefire and we were the first to accept a ceasefire… but the Crusader Nato attack has not stopped,” he said. “The door to peace is open.”

Col Gaddafi denounced the rebels as foreign terrorists and said there could be no preconditions, such as his own surrender and exile.

Colonel Gaddafi

Col Gaddafi said he was ready for a ceasefire, provided it was accepted by all sides

“I have no official functions to give up – I will not leave my country and will fight to the death,” he vowed.

But the vice-chairman of the Transitional National Council rejected the offer of negotiations, saying the Libyan leader had “offered ceasefires only to continue violating basic human rights, international humanitarian law, and the safety and security of Libya and the entire region”.

“Gaddafi’s regime has lost all credibility,” Abdul Hafiz Ghoga said in a statement. “Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed or injured. Countless others have been detained, tortured and are still missing.”

“The time for compromise has passed. The people of Libya cannot possibly envisage or accept a future Libya in which Gaddafi’s regime plays any role.”

“The regime has announced ceasefires several times before and continued attacking cities and civilians”

Nato official

Another rebel spokesman told the BBC that only Col Gadaffi’s forces could cease fire because they had all the weapons.

In Brussels, Nato officials also rejected the offer of talks.

“We need to see not words but actions,” one said. “The regime has announced ceasefires several times before and continued attacking cities and civilians.”

During Col Gaddafi’s speech Nato reportedly bombed a government complex that included the state television building in Tripoli. The Libyan government said the strike was meant to kill Col Gaddafi.

Nato said it had targeted one command and control building and a self-propelled artillery piece in the vicinity of Tripoli on 29 April. It also hit government military vehicles and ammunition stockpiles in the towns of Zintan, Brega and Sirte, a statement added.

Nato also said its warships had intercepted several small boats laying mines in the sea near Misrata’s port to stop legitimate aid shipments.

West African refugees await evacuation at Misrata's port (30 April 2011)Refugees are unable to leave Misrata until the sea has been cleared of mines by Nato warships

Human Rights watch said two mines had been destroyed while a third was being monitored. The alliance did not give details but said the process would take time.

The port is a lifeline for rebel fighters and residents in the city, allowing them to receive supplies of food and medicine, and enabling the evacuation of the wounded and of stranded migrant workers.

“All the humanitarian missions are stopped now because they can not get any humanitarian aid inside,” said Fadl Moukadem of Mercy Corps.

Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said he was unaware of any attempted mine-laying. However, he said Col Gaddafi’s forces had been trying to prevent weapons shipments reaching the rebels in Misrata by sea.

He said any aid shipments had to be co-ordinated with the government and should preferably be transported overland.

He also warned that if rebels in the Libya’s third largest city did not lay down their arms in return for an amnesty, they would face “total fire”.

On Saturday, heavy fighting continued in the southern part of Misrata, near the airport. Some reports suggested up to 10 people had died.

The BBC’s Ian Pannell in Tripoli says that despite claims loyalist forces are in control of Misrata, it seems that the government is on the back foot, under pressure from Nato and desperate to reverse recent losses.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Absent Ahmadinejad prompts debate

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Pressure mounts on Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as leading members of parliament call for a closed debate on his apparent boycott of official duties.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Herbal medicine regulations start

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Herbal medicinesNew regulations mean many herbal remedies will no longer be available over the counter
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New European Union rules come into force today banning hundreds of traditional herbal remedies.

The EU law aims to protect consumers from possible damaging side-effects of over-the-counter herbal medicines.

For the first time, new regulations will allow only long-established and quality-controlled medicines to be sold.

But both herbal remedy practitioners and manufacturers fear they could be forced out of business.

To date, the industry has been covered by the 1968 Medicines Act, drawn up when only a handful of herbal remedies were available and the number of herbal practitioners was very small.

But surveys show that around a quarter of all adults in the UK have used a herbal medicine in the past two years, mostly bought over the counter in health food shops and pharmacies.

The regulations will cover widely used products such as echinacea, St John’s Wort and valerian, as well as traditional Chinese and Indian medicines.

Traditional Herbal Remedy logoHerbal remedies that have been approved for sale under the new regulations will come with this logo

But safety concerns have focused on the powerful effects of some herbal remedies, as well as the way they interact with conventional drugs.

For example, St John’s Wort can interfere with the contraceptive pill, while ginkgo and ginseng are known to have a similar effect to the blood-thinning drug warfarin.

From now on only products that have been assessed by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will be allowed to go on sale.

Manufacturers will have to prove that their products have been made to strict standards and contain a consistent and clearly marked dose.

And to count as a traditional medicine, products must have been in use for the past 30 years, including 15 years within the EU.

They will also only be approved for minor ailments like coughs and colds, muscular aches and pains, or sleep problems.

Remedies already on sale will be allowed to stay on the shelves until they reach their expiry date.

Richard Woodfield, head of herbal medicine policy at the MHRA, says so far there have been 211 applications, of which 105 have been granted registration.

“We’re very concerned that patients appreciate they must be very careful when they take these medicines and ideally should talk to their doctor or pharmacist”

Prof Jayne Lawrence Royal Pharmaceutical Society

“Crucially, this EU directive and the registration scheme puts consumers in the driving seat so they can identify that a product meets assured standards on safety, quality and information about safe use.

“Safety speaks for itself, but quality means, are they using the right part of the plant? Is it free from contamination? Is the claimed shelf life suitable?

“Product information will include possible side effects and interactions with other drugs, but above all it must make very clear that it is based on traditional use.”

And that is a key point for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, which believes the new regime is a step forward in improving safety and quality.

But Prof Jayne Lawrence, chief science adviser to the society, says there are still some concerns about herbal products.

“They certainly haven’t been tested on the same basis as a conventional medicine and some of these compounds are very potent.

“Patients might not realise that in some cases they should not take other medicines with them, or if they’re going for surgery they should tell their doctors they are taking these particular medicines because there may be complications.

“So we’re very concerned that patients appreciate they must be very careful when they take these medicines and, ideally, should talk to their doctor or pharmacist.”

The manufacturers of herbal remedies have had seven years to prepare for the new rules after the European Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products was introduced in 2004.

These regulations apply to over-the-counter sales, which form the bulk of herbal remedies sold in the UK.

But some manufacturers and herbal practitioners have expressed concern, arguing the new rules are too onerous for many small producers.

Michael McIntyre, chairman of the European Herbal and Traditional Medicines Practitioners Association, says there will be a significant impact on herbal medicine practitioners and their suppliers, but admits the rules do need bringing up to date.

“Products that go on the market now will definitely do what it says on the bottle, while we didn’t know how good they were in the past.

“But registration is expensive so perhaps there may be fewer products on the market and a smaller range.

“It’s difficult to argue that the market should stay as it is, without any regulation, but how many businesses will pack up and walk away? I can’t say.”

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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More Contests for Growing Companies

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

This list of contests, competitions and awards for small businesses is brought to you every other week as a community service by Small Business Trends and Smallbiztechnology.com.

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Forbes List of America’s Most Promising Companies
Entries currently open

Forbes wants to shine a light on high-growth, privately held companies with brilliant prospects. Forbes — with help from CB Insights’ Beacon software — has developed a methodology for picking promising companies. The best will appear on Forbes’ second annual list of America’s Most Promising Companies. See website for entry survey.

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Intuit Collaboratory Challenge
Enter by May 1, 2011

To participate in Intuit’s open innovation challenges, visitors go to www.IntuitCollaboratory.com and respond to specific Intuit business needs, called “challenges,” and potentially win a cash reward plus an opportunity to enter into a pilot test with Intuit.

Two of the new challenges offer a $5,000 cash prize for the winning idea:

Make Mobile Payments Easy with QR Codes
Quick Response barcodes, those black-and-white matrices composed of tiny squares, are popping up in store windows and magazine ads everywhere. The challenge asks whether the average consumer could also benefit from receiving a bill or invoice information via a QR barcode, or perhaps pay it at the same time. The prize will go to an innovator who finds a way to allow consumers to instantly pay by simply scanning the QR code with their mobile device, and have both consumer and seller receive immediate confirmation of the payment.

Help Small Businesses Get Productive With iPad and Other Tablets
Tablet devices, such as iPads, present interesting possibilities for helping small businesses. The challenge is to come up with apps for tablets that can save time and/or money for small businesses on the go.

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The Next Million Dollar Entrepreneur
The Next Million Dollar EntrepreneurEnter by May 9, 2011

This contest is for those who want to grow the value of their businesses to $1,000,000.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive $5,000 in start-up funding and 1-year of business coaching.  To enter please visit The Sleeping Giant Facebook page and click on the Contest Tab.  From there describe “Why you are The Next Million Dollar Entrepreneur.” Entries must be submitted by May 9, 2011.  From May 10 – May 16 voting will take place. The Top 10 contestants will be selected by the votes, and one lucky grand prize winner will be selected by The Sleeping Giant Author, Ken McElroy and his team. The Winner will be announced May 24, 2011 at 10am.

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CRM Idol
Enter by May 13, 2011

CRM companies compete to be named the CRM Idol!  Forty eligible small CRM  companies from North America and South America — and 20 from Europe, Africa, and Middle East — will be given the opportunity, first come first serve, to secure a time slot on a specific day that will put you in front of some of the most influential people in the CRM (customer relationship management) and social CRM world. You give a demo in front of 5 judges, and a review of your product will be published in multiple venues. It can be a good review, a bad one, a mix or indifferent. All 5 judges will have to sign off on the final review, and they promise to be opinionated and fair.  Then the finalists will be chosen.

Each of the finalists will be required to do a 10-minute video. The community can then vote and along with the judges’ votes, a final CRM Idol for each region will be chosen.  Entry is by email only:  nextbigthing@crmidol.com.  For updates follow #CRMidol on Twitter.  Go here for CRM Idol eligibility requirements

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Facebook Big Break for Small Business
Enter by May 20, 2011

American Express OPEN is giving five small business owners the ultimate Big Break.  You could win a trip to Facebook headquarters for a two-day, one-on-one business makeover and $20,ooo to help grow your business.

To enter the Facebook Big Break for Small Business from American Express OPEN, small business owners need to visit http://www.facebook.com/OPEN and submit answers to a short questionnaire describing how they would utilize the competition’s winnings to better their business.

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2011 Small Business Awards
Enter by May 20, 2011

In its 6th year, The New York Enterprise Report Small Business Awards honors the achievements and accomplishments of the 500,000+ small businesses throughout the tri-state New York area. In addition to the Best of the Year Categories, the New York Enterprise Report Small Business Awards will honor nine small businesses for their accomplishments and best practices.

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Build It Big
Enter by May 23, 2011

Build It Big ClevelandThis is a new business development program by Springboard Enterprises, especially for Ohio-based, women-led companies seeking success strategies to help grow their businesses. The program is looking for companies that meet the following requirements:

  • A woman in a key management position w/ significant equity ownership
  • A qualified and profitable market opportunity w/competitive advantage
  • A track record of milestone achievement, which may include: product development, distribution or licensing contracts, grants, beta clients, customers, revenue, etc.
  • A favorable debt-to-equity ratio
  • A credible core management team or ability to attract one
  • An interest in and ability to grow the company beyond its current position
The applicants that are chosen to be part of the program will have:
  • Access to trusted advisors from Thompson Hine LLP, KeyBank, and Meaden & Moore in one-on-one advisory sessions to discuss appropriate strategies for growing their business
  • Ongoing support from the Springboard network of industry experts, investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs

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e-Cycle iPad2 Giveaway Contest
Enter by May 31, 2011

To celebrate, e-Cycle has declared April “National Recycle Your Cell Phone Month” to help raise awareness for the growing e-waste problem with mobile devices, and as a reminder for organizations to implement responsible mobile phone recycling programs. As an incentive, e-Cycle is offering businesses and organizations a chance to win one of four Apple iPad2 tablets when they recycle and/or sell their used wireless devices with the company through May 31.

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National Association for Moms in Business Grant Competition
Enter starting March 1st, Competition runs May 1 – June 15, 2011

Business grant competition via crowdfunding to give mom entrepreneurs a better chance at launching a new or current business project. All participants win a half-page feature in Moms In Business Magazine, publicity on peerbackers.com and momsinbusinessgrant.com, and a $2,000 publicity toolkit from PRNewswire. When the crowdfunding competition ends, all grant applicants who raised 80% or more of their funding goal will become semi-finalists. A team of mom executives and entrepreneurs will judge each application to determine the $10,000 Grand Prize Grant Package winner. Competitors must be a member of NAFMIB.

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Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women Competition
Enter by June 30, 2011

Ten winners will be paired with advisers and resources for growing their businesses and they’ll get to participate in a customized executive-leadership program. In addition, winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum 2011 in Palm Springs, Calif., in November.

The contest is being run in collaboration with the Women Presidents’ Organization, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the Committee of 200, National Association of Women Business Owners and Babson College.

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The Conway Center for Family Business Awards
Enter by August 4, 2011

The Conway Center for Family Business Awards Program was established in 1998 to recognize excellence in family business and has honored more than 115 Central Ohio family businesses during its first 11 years.

The program honors recipients in categories consistent with the success and longevity of a family business: leadership, planning, communication, support and community service. For more details, see the website.

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Cleantech Open Idea Competition
Enter by September 12, 2011

The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest clean technology business competition and they’re looking for the best clean technology ideas from around the world.

Enter to win a prize package of services worth $100,000 to help you start a business to grow your idea. If your idea beats out the competition in your National Competition, you get to represent your country as a Global Ideas finalist at the annual Cleantech Open Awards Gala on November 17, 2010 in San Francisco.
There, your idea will be presented in a five-minute pitch in front of a crowd of 2,500 investors, entrepreneurs, sponsoring companies, corporations, members of academia, press, and others interested in hearing your ideas and getting involved. The crowd will vote via text message for the “People’s Choice” winner.

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To find more small business events, contests and awards, visit our Small Business Events Calendar. In addition, we also have a giveaways page; click to learn more about our small business giveaways section.

If you are putting on a small business contest, award or competition, and want to get the word out to the community, please submit it through our Small Business Event and Contests Form. (We do not charge a fee to be included in this listing. )

Please note: The descriptions provided here are for convenience only and are NOT the official rules. ALWAYS read official rules carefully at the site holding the competition, contest or award.

From Small Business Trends

More Contests for Growing Companies

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Gang kidnaps jewellery shop owner

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

A jewellery shop owner is attacked with a hammer by a gang who kidnapped him from his home and forced him to open up his store.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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