Business features

How women are out-muscling the men at work

By Candice Krieger, September 2, 2010

The growth of women in part-time and flexible senior-level jobs is a sign that they are breaking down the glass ceiling, says Karen Mattison, the co-founder of Women Like Us.

The London-based organisation matches mothers wanting to get back to work with flexible job opportunities, and Ms Mattison believes that "there are definitely chinks" in the barriers preventing women from regularly rising to the highest positions. "People are starting to get through," she says.

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My human league, by Peres Jr

By Simon Griver, August 4, 2010

What do venture capitalists look for when they cast their eyes over a high-tech start-up? The answer, according to Chemi Peres, managing general partner and co-founder of Pitango Venture Capital, is quite a surprise.

“I’d have to say that the people are more important than the products and systems being developed,” he says. “It’s easier to redirect the product development than to change the people. Only good people with vision and an ability to work as part of a team will get investment from us.

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Where oil prices don't stop rising

By Candice Krieger, July 28, 2010

Despite the ongoing uncertainties in the financial markets, art-market records continue to be broken.

Only last month, Picasso's Portrait of Angel Fernandez became one of the most valuable paintings sold at auction in Europe after going under the hammer at Christie's for £34.7m.

And previously this year, two new world records had been made: London-based Jewish billionaire Lily Safra bought an Alberto Giacometti sculpture for $103.4 million (£65m) at an auction in London in February; and in May, a 1932 portrait of his mistress by Pablo Picasso sold for $106.5 million (£71m).

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Blockbuster move for falafel men

By Candice Krieger, July 22, 2010

One of the UK's leading kosher food manufacturers and one of the world's top film production companies might not seem the most likely pairing for a business collaboration. But that has not stopped Beth Din-supervised Great Food from securing a unique deal with US-based film giant DreamWorks as they look to target the children's healthy food market.

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JC Dragon's Den winner: Michael Korn

By Candice Krieger, July 15, 2010

Medical inventor Michael Korn was the runaway winner of this year's Dragons' Den competition organised by the JC and the London Jewish Cultural Centre.

He wowed the judges with his KwickScreen, a versatile, retractable screen that creates temporary partitions between hospital beds.

The KwickScreen was launched three years ago and has already a proven a hit with the medical world.

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Meet the bin man who's cleaning up

By Candice Krieger, July 8, 2010

Jonathan Straight is unforgettable. The 45-year-old entrepreneur, who sports a waxed moustache and owns more than 200 pairs of spectacles, made the front page of the Sun in the 1980s when he changed his name from Gay to Straight. He also happens to be behind one of Leeds's most successful business stories.

Mr Straight, who lives in Alwoodley and is a member of the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue, is the founder and majority shareholder of Straight plc, the UK's leading supplier of kerb-side recycling containers.

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Who's entering the Den?

By Candice Krieger, July 1, 2010

Stuart and Sabryna Pitch - temporary medical tattoos

Father and daughter Stuart and Sabryna Pitch are proposing an alternative to medical identity bracelets - temporary tattoos.

Twenty-two-year-old Sabryna, who has been diabetic for 16 years, says she has gone through several bracelets, which either faded or got lost. She subsequently got a permanent tattoo, "Diabetic". But their company, Meditemptatts Ltd, offers a range of temporary hypo-allergenic transfers for sufferers of invisible medical conditions such as allergies and epilepsy.

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Our big ideas for the Den

By Candice Krieger, June 24, 2010

Alison Raphael and Sophie King Snoozechair
A reclining, moving baby chair

Mums Alison Raphael and Sophie King believe they have the answer to baby sleep problems. The duo have created Snoozechair - a reclining baby chair which mimics the motions of a car in order to pacify babies and help them settle. Mrs King, a cranial osteopath, and Mrs Raphael, a hypnotherapist specialising in sleep deprivation, came up with the concept after working with mums and their babies who were struggling to sleep.

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The crunch isn't over for property

By Candice Krieger, June 17, 2010

Property developers - indeed investors of every stripe - may wish to avert their eyes. Neville Kahn, the global leader of Deloitte's reorganisation services, who has led the administration of some of the recession's most high-profile casualties, believes it is the property players who could prove to be the fall guys of 2010.

Mr Kahn, who ran the administration of Woolworths, Mosaic and Stylo, says: "Whereas in the first half of 2009, we saw a lot of retailers struggling, the retailers have got their act together and are in a much healthier position.

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Why the UK has further to fall

By Candice Krieger, June 10, 2010

It will come as a kick in the teeth to the nation's businesses but Jeremy Newman, one of the most experienced business chiefs, believes the UK will become a significantly less important economic power in ten or 20 years times than it is today.

Mr Newman, the chief executive of accountants BDO International, says he is more bullish about countries outside of the UK than he is about Britain. He explains: "Until the financial services sector picks up again in the UK, things are going to be difficult here.

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