Business attires are more and more a thing of the past. Only in banking businesses and sales/marketing departments of businesses you will see plenty of suits. But why do younger employees prefer to wear casual clothing? And what does the customer think about it? The…
In Sweden, about 80 percent of the transactions are made with credit cards, mobile phones or internet banking. One of the causes for this high percentage is the app Swish. This is a mobile app, developed by Swedish and Danish banks, which promotes a cashless system. It is comparable to the ‘contactloos betalen’ (which is holding your credit card next to a scanner to make a purchase) in the Netherlands. Because these new systems offer more security and convenience, cash is becoming more and more unpopular in Sweden. Economics even say that Sweden might become the first cashless society within the next decade. However, this trend towards a cashless society does not come without problems. In this article we will explore the several pro’s and con’s of a cashless society.
Most retailers like having less cash in their registers. It gives them more security, as less cash can be stolen. It is also easier for them, as they do not have to bring their earned cash to the bank, one digital payment puts it on their bank account.
In third world countries, such as Somalia, having a cashless society is especially beneficial to the poor. They can pay their bills digitally, and do not have to have a bank account. Carrying cash around also makes poor people vulnerable. If their cash is stolen, they do not have anything anymore. So by making payments digitally, the money of poor people would be more secure. Having a cashless society can also help prevent fraud, tax evasions, money laundering and terrorist financing. The black market is almost entirely made up of cash, because it cannot be traced as well as digital payments.
However, having a cashless society is not beneficial for everyone. Older people for example, who have used cash all of their life, find it hard to adapt to this new system. Most older people do not have the desired technology, nor know how to use it. If we look at middle and upper class citizens, they do not benefit as much as well. Using digital payments might be more secure for some, but it can have the same drawbacks as using cash for others. It would be devastating for some people if criminals could easily trace their money.
Having a cashless society is also particularly vulnerable for hacks. Say for example, your account is hacked, or something has happened and you cannot access your account anymore. Then you do not have any money anymore. How are you going to live your life when that happens? When cash is still available, you do not become dependent on your bank account as much as when there is no cash available.
All in all, a cashless society has its benefits, but also its downsides. A cashless society could give a third world countries, and retailers more security. It could also prevent fraud and other criminal activities. On the other side, elderly, middle, and upper class citizens do not benefit as much as other people from a cashless society. Citizens become vulnerable for hacks, and it gives the banks a lot of power.
What do you think, should societies move to becoming cashless, or is cash still the way to go?
With over 60 million passengers a year, Schiphol airport is one of Europe’s leading airports. Only Heathrow Airport in London and Charles de Gaulle in Paris transported more passengers in 2016. However, there seems to be some problems surrounding Schiphol’s policy. Last April there was…
With the summer holidays booked and only a few more months to go before the semester is over and we can finally leave the library, we have put together some interesting travel trends that are expected to play a big part in the hospitality industry in 2017.
The largest market in travel the next several years consists of the Millennials, otherwise known as people born between 1980 and 2000. They are the generation that has grown up surrounded by high-tech gadgets and the internet and is communicatively active 24/7. There are about 79 million of them, making them a very interesting target group for modern day travel.
This modern generation travels to experience new foreign cultures and are looking to learn something new while travelling. They use online experiences and recommendations from family and friends to pick out destinations, and share their own thoughts and beliefs as well. They want to travel as much as possible, making them a lucrative target group for companies in the hospitality branch.
To reach this target group, companies should listen to them and speak the same language. They should be as mobile as the millennials, by creating apps and digital experiences. They should be authentic and spontaneous, because these are key characteristics of the generation. And another important factor is that companies should secure loyalty, through for example reward system, because they are aware of their money and like to travel as inexpensive as possible.
A trend that has appeared over the last years is that people need to be entertained more. Customers are choosing to go on active and adventurous holidays instead of relaxing getaways. The most popular activities are expected to be hiking, cycling and safaris, and more travelers are looking for a customized experience.
In the age of reality television travelers are looking for real-life experiences and cannot be satisfied anymore with laying the beach and going on standard bus tours. This has given a rise to new forms of holiday activities in the form of adventurous participatory experiences. Nowadays there are global scavenger hunts, rickshaw rallies and hitchhiking races to keep the Millennials interested.
An emerging trend is food tourism. Tourists are of the opinion that you can really get to know a culture through sharing their food, and this has become increasingly important in travel experiences nowadays. The art of cooking has become a passion for many travelers and they feel that foreign cultures can give them insights into how they can cook and eat better.
Food tours are a new type of activity growing bigger this year. It are tours that not only focus on dining and tasting food, but combine this with historical and cultural aspects and let the travelers meet the culture of the country they are visiting. These food tours are even the main reason some travelers choose to go to a specific place.
2017 has been appointed as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism by the United Nations. There is more awareness of the global changes, which affects the way we travel. Travelers are expected to be more interested in the environmental, social and economic impact they are making at their destination and will possibly shift towards more sustainable travelling manners.
The decision made by the UN follows the idea of the world leaders at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development that “well-designed and well-managed tourism” can contribute to the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) and lead to job creation and trade.
Responsible nature tours are expected to become more popular in 2017 and according to Booking.com approximately 36% of all travelers are planning to go on a more eco-friendly and sustainably holiday than they did in 2016.
Business and leisure (“bleisure”) travel is expected to be a lucrative trend in 2017. 75% of business travelers are expected to extend their business trips and explore the country they are visiting. Workers are starting to understand the relationship between taking time off (vacations) and wellness, leading to wellness travel growing very fast. Smart employers are investing in their employees’ holidays, knowing they will return more creative, happy and motivated.
An example of the focus on wellness is the phenomenon known as “glamping”, or glamour camping, which can be seen as the merge between camping and luxury travel. Nowadays camping can be a peaceful and relaxing experience in nature, without dirt and mosquito bites and the struggle of putting on your own tent.
One of the continuing trends from 2016 is digital sharing. Nowadays tourists document everything and post their experiences on social media. Companies could tap into this trend and implement this element of sharing your journey in their marketing strategies.
Experience has become more important than ownership. Tourists rather gather memories than souvenirs and these memories are captured by photos and videos. Travelers have become storytellers, sharing their stories with others and informing each other about destinations worth going to.
Hopefully we have made you even more excited about your holiday plans, or given you some inspiration of what to do this summer. Let us know in the comments!
For the past 9 months I have been the treasurer of Asset | International Business & Management which up until now has been a great experience! In this blog article I will tell you how I have experienced the past few months and why I…
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It has been almost a year since I was announced as the new external affairs officer of Asset | International Business & Management. So far, I can look back at an amazing year with many different experiences about which I would love to tell you more about in this article!
My road to the board of Asset | International Business & Management
Before I explain how I ended up as External Affairs Officer at Asset | International Business & Management I will shortly introduce myself. My name is Matthijs van der Leest and I am 22 years old. Last summer I graduated the bachelor International Business Administration after my exchange to Queen’s University (Canada). Next year I am planning to study the masters program in Finance here at Tilburg University.
In the second year of my bachelor I decided that I wanted to join a committee to work on my Curriculum Vitae and to broaden my social network here in Tilburg. Therefore, I became the chairman of the IBA committee. We organized several excursions, with the IBA trip, where we visited Nike and Audi with a group of IBA students, as highlight. When I came back from Canada I was looking for a more formal touch, which made me decide to become external affairs officer of the Recruitment Dinner committee. From that moment onwards I walked into the path of being one of the board members of Asset | International Business & Management…
My function in the board of Asset | International Business & Management
So, after I went through the application process I was the lucky one to be selected as one of the two external affairs officers of Asset | International Business & Management. I can understand that the term ‘external affairs’ can be interpreted in many different ways, which is why I will elaborate on my function specific tasks in this part. First of all, I think it is good to mention that almost all function specific tasks I carry out are done together with my colleague Tom Greenhead.
Let me start with one of the main responsibilities I have had in the past months; maintaining the contracts that are set up in the summer with our corporate partners. These contracts can vary from exposure possibilities on social media to participation in events to a combination of both. During summer, you will visit your partners in their offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, etc.. so I guess the best period of my board year still has to come :). To maintain all contracts in a good way you have to stay in close contact with recruiters, which is mostly done via mail e-mail and phone calls. Most of the time this contact is very informal, which I personally like very much. Besides, I should not forget to mention that another benefit of being in close contact with recruiters is that you will really expand your professional network! Next to being responsible for the ‘warm’ contacts of the association I am also responsible for cold acquisition. This entails the search for new partners that can be interesting to bring in contact with our association. Furthermore, I am representing Asset | IB&M in the Acquisition Meetings of Asset General where we meet with all externals from the other departments. Together we are responsible for the acquisition and organization of Asset General events like the Asset Inhouse Days and the Orientation Days.
However, my board year does not only entail these individual tasks but also a lot of work which makes you have to work in teams, with your board as well as with your committees. I was coordinator of several committees of Asset | IB&M like the IBA Week Committee and the Ski Trip Committee. With the IBA Week Committee we organized a successful 3-day event with 7 participating companies and with the Ski Trip we organized an amazing week with 44 students in Saint – Francois Longchamps. Besides weekly meetings I had to carry out multiple small tasks for my committees.
Although every week is different, I hope I can give you a good overview about how my week can look like with this information:
My experiences during my board year at Asset | International Business & Management
I would like to start with mentioning that besides all the formal and professional tasks I have mentioned above I also have enjoyed the lots of social activities that have taken place in the past year. With more than 100 active members and more than 40 other board members within Asset I also have richly enlarged my social network!
Furthermore, I have learned that a board year contains a lot of successes of which you can be proud of in the end, but that it also has its setbacks. These setbacks are key in developing yourself and your team during your board year. Together with your fellow board members you work towards the goals you have set in the beginning of the year and try to bring the association to a higher level in both a professional and a social way.
For me doing a board year was one of the best choices I have ever made. It entailed everything; from personal development in my function specific area to working together in great teams. From enlarging my social and professional network to still enjoying the student life. From a better orientation on what I want to do after my studies to a great addition to my Curriculum Vitae.
Did you become interested in my function or in doing a board year in general? Do not hesitate to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop by room E1.14!
For the past 9 months, I have been the secretary of the board of Asset | International Business & Management. During this time, I’ve learned a lot and had some great experiences, which I would love to tell you about in this Blog article. I…
A few weeks ago I was contacted and given the question whether I might be interested to write a blog about entrepreneurship. Yes, definitely, I am always among the first to share my opinion and experience about this topic. In 2014 I finished my Master in Entrepreneurship in Amsterdam, which was a joint-degree at both the VU and UvA. The choice to follow this new Master program was mainly because I got involved in several new projects in the year before, which fuelled my interest to learn more about the dynamics of entrepreneurship.
Three years later, some of these projects failed and some of them have been successful, and I honestly learned a lot from all of them. During my Master I learned more about what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how you can increase the chances of being successful. Of course, this is all theory. One of my friends always made a joke that it is hard to imagine that the professors of the Universities can teach you something about being a successful entrepreneur, since they would rather be a successful entrepreneur themselves if they would know the right answer. And I have to be honest, reading a book from Elon Musk might be more meaningful and inspiring than most of the lectures.
Until I finished my bachelor at the University of Tilburg, I was this lazy type of student who wasn’t really interested to develop and explore opportunities around me. I still remember one day that I travelled back in the weekend with a friend, and I concluded that I wanted to change and try to get things started. I’m still very happy that I had this revelation, whereafter I decided to have a typical gap year before starting my Master. I decided to go on an Erasmus in Norway and got an internship at a FinTech startup in Amsterdam.
Besides the fact that both experiences developed me as a person, I got involved in many different projects throughout this year, such as Business Incubation Program Africa, a student project started in Norway that aimed to assist young African entrepreneurs in setting up their own business. I also started my own tutor company and initiated a network community for students in my home region. All this together made my year extremely busy, but rewarding. I started these initiatives because I felt passionate about it and wanted to invest time in it. At some point, I was just working the entire day unless I had some social stuff to do. I was not bothered to work for more than 12 hours per day.
All those involvements during my gap year have shaped me more than completing my studies and gave me more insights in what I want to do after I graduate. In this period I talked with many young entrepreneurs and people who were seeking for new opportunities. Because of these talks and experiences, I believe that there is a hidden entrepreneur in every young person. In my opinion, there are three important aspects you need to consider to become one.
First of all, you need to have this entrepreneurial mindset. Starting something up yourself takes time and you need to be a very flexible person. It sounds very logic, but you really need to be persistent and believe in what you are doing. This brings me to a second aspect, which is that you only should dive into a project if you really enjoy it. The most successful entrepreneurs succeed because they strived for something they care about or followed their passion. Like Elon Musk quoted once: ‘’If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it’’. A final third lesson is that I believe you need to be a social animal to have higher chances to succeed. Here, I don’t suggest that you need to network a lot, but it’s more about the listening and learning part. Nothing is perfect in the beginning, and by being open minded for other opinions and feedback you meet the right people and will connect with them. Especially when you are starting up something yourself, this is very important to prevent your ideas from having only your perspective. So if you have a flexible mindset, are passion-driven and a social animal, I see no reason why you shouldn’t start doing projects you always thought about.
As you might notice, I’m not going to tell you how you become a successful entrepreneur, it’s just that everyone can become one. I started to admire people that pulled off great initiatives and strived for things that they perceived important during my final bachelor year. Because I felt the inner motivation to start something as well, I discussed with a good friend what we would like to do. Since we both liked the idea of starting a tutor company in our home region, we decided to start this in the way it would fit with us as a person: flexible and social. We also wanted to differentiate from larger tutor organizations, by offering lessons in the most flexible and social way. This resulted in a philosophy that students and parents can ask for as much hours of tutoring where and when they want. Additionally, we decided to build a team of young bright students who are social and smart. If a tutor is socially awkward, lessons get inefficient and uncomfortable.
Although I did not invent something innovative, I feel happy and energized every day to develop this tutor company. We are expanding to new cities and even launched a special project ‘Crossing Borders’. Because I started to think more about the current state of education of the Netherlands compared to other countries, I want my tutors to learn more from other realities. This project gives the best tutors of SmartStart the opportunity to do a Volunteering project abroad related to education. In May the first tutor is going to Indonesia to teach children about cultural differences.
Of course, there is a lot more to mention besides having the right mindset and being social and passion driven. I feel that everybody who is willing to meet these three requirements, will have the right motivation and level of energy to at least try to become successful as an entrepreneur. Other soft- and hard skills can be complemented by finding the right people around you and those people will only be interested if you have the right motivation and can convince them with your passion.
So, coming back to all this. SmartStart is something I started with a friend because we enjoyed being a tutor ourselves and believed that we could set up a successful tutor organization. Along the way I got more passionate about education and what opportunities exist in this area. Together with all the great tutors that are currently working, I have been able to start expanding to other student cities. Next semester we plan to expand to Den Bosch and Tilburg, so if you want to become part of the SmartStart team, don’t hesitate and ask me how you can get your entrepreneurial chance in my organisation.
Creativity The most well-known successful business people are the ones who started a business, such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. In order to start a business you need to be creative, since you have to think of something new that will also…
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The Cannabis Industry in America
The legalization of weed has always been a topic of debate. In the Netherlands, weed is somewhat legal. It is legal to sell, but illegal to grow. In America, cannabis was, and still is, illegal. That last sentence does not really make sense, so let me explain. America is a federation, which means that a lot of lawmaking power resides with the states. Federally speaking, cannabis is illegal in America. It is even a schedule 1 drug, listed along drugs such as heroin, LSD and ecstasy. However, more and more states have legalized or decriminalized the use of marijuana.
Colorado and Washington were the first to legalize cannabis in the United States. The citizens of those states voted to legalize it for recreational and medicinal use. A total of eight states have already legalized recreational marijuana, and a total of 28 states have legalized medical marijuana. The legalization of marijuana in these states has led to a new industry in America, the cannabis industry. So just how big is this industry and what does it entail?
We begin with the state that first fully legalized cannabis in 2012, Colorado. After the legalization, the market for marijuana quickly flourished. The market now generates over 100 million a month in revenue. A lot of new jobs were also created because of the legalization.
The regulated cannabis sales in America totaled $6.9 billion, and is predicted to reach $21.6 billion over the next five years. For comparison, the cannabis market is outpacing the growth rate of smartphones. Because of this large growth rate, there is also a lot of product innovation in the industry. One example of this is the site Leafly, which compares and reviews various dispensaries, as well as various strains of cannabis.
However, there is a big downside to marijuana being illegal on a federal level. Because of its illegality, it forces businesses to run an all-cash business. This means that businesses cannot deposit money in their accounts or perform credit card transactions. You can imagine that this gives business entrepreneurs an extra burden.
Another point that may not be relevant for the cannabis industry, but is interesting. The opioid epidemic in America has gotten really bad. Around 80 people die every day as a result of opioid addiction. It’s gotten so bad that even conservative state legislators want to legalize medical marijuana, arguing it’s a safer, less addictive painkiller, which is also supported by researchers. This may lead the way to a full legalization of marijuana.
So what does that hold for the future?
The cannabis industry will continue to grow larger and larger. If more states follow Colorado’s example, we will see the market becoming even bigger. However, the thriving of the cannabis industry could be quickly diminished. President Trump has not yet formulated a standpoint on the legalization of cannabis. And his pick for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who has power over this issue, is the opposite of what the industry wants. The senator from Alabama has, in the past, been outspokenly against the legalization of cannabis.