Thursday 12 December 2019

Deadline looms for social funding

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

SOCIAL Entrepreneurs Ireland is inviting applications for its annual funding round, which over the past 10 years has invested €5.4m in socially beneficial enterprises. Some €600,000 is available to nine entrepreneurs.

Projects are divided into several categories: community and active citizenship, education and learning, environment and sustainability and mental and physical health.

Aviva Cohen, 2012 award winner, went on to launch ground-breaking speech and language therapy apps for stroke and brain injury survivors.

The apps provide affordable home-based therapy solutions for families whose loved ones have communication difficulties arising from stroke, brain injury and a range of other conditions.

The word-finding technology was inspired when Aviva's husband, Steve, survived a stroke.

By bringing the therapy home, people can work on their rehabilitation for as many hours a day as they choose.

Research shows that increasing the hours spent on these exercises significantly increases the person's chance of recovery. The closing date for applications is next Monday. The awards are sponsored by Irish-owned international distribution company DCC.


THE CHAIRMAN of the Chinese unit of French utility Veolia Environment has apologised to the public after a cancer-inducing chemical was found in tap water supplied by the company, the Xinhua news agency said.

Benzene was found in tap water supplied by the Lanzhou Veolia Water Company in the north-western city of Lanzhou on April 10, forcing the city of 3.6 million people to turn off supplies in one district. Other residents were warned not to drink tap water for a day.

Last week, China blamed Veolia for failing to maintain water quality. Veolia said it was not responsible for polluting the tap water with benzene but Yao Xin, chairman of Lanzhou Veolia Water Company, "bowed and expressed his apology" at a news conference organised by the government earlier this week.

Lanzhou, a heavily industrialised city in Gansu province, ranks among China's most polluted population centres. The Lanzhou government's complaints come amid increasing scrutiny of foreign companies by Chinese state media. The government and state media have taken a series of firms to task on issues ranging from pricing to complaints of poor quality products and shoddy customer service.


TESLA Motors chief executive Elon Musk, pictured below, who's preparing to begin deliveries of his Model S electric vehicle in China, has forecast that the company will be making cars in the country in the next three to four years.

Tesla is also building a "big" network of battery-charging stations in China, including superchargers in Beijing and Shanghai, the billionaire said at a packed Geekpark Conference in the nation's capital. He told reporters in Beijing that the company plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the country. "At some point in the next three or four years we'll be establishing local manufacturing in China," Musk said.

"China is very important to the future of Tesla. We're going to make a big investment in China in terms of charging infrastructure."

Local production in the world's biggest auto market would allow Tesla to sell cars at cheaper prices by avoiding China's 25pc import tariff. But while entering the country presents an opportunity for Tesla to sell as many vehicles there as in the US by as soon as next year, Musk will be attempting to accomplish what the Chinese government has struggled to do: get people to buy electric cars.


LG HOUSEHOLD and Health Care, a South Korean cosmetics and beverages company, is considering a bid for fragrance maker Elizabeth Arden as it looks to expand locally and overseas by buying rivals. The Seoul-based company, which also makes household cleaning goods, is looking at "big deals" locally and overseas, including one for Elizabeth Arden, a spokesman said.

LG Household would become a global luxury beauty company with the Elizabeth Arden deal, which may be valued at more than one trillion won ($963m) including goodwill.

LG Household is South Korea's second-largest seller of beauty and personal care products with a 24pc share of the market, trailing AmorePacific with 26pc. The maker of WHOO Hwanyugo skin care products also sells perfumes, fabric deodorant, toothpaste and beverages, according to the company website. Elizabeth Arden is a good match – the company makes celebrity-branded scents for names such as Justin Bieber and Britney Spears. But the US cosmetics company, which also owns fragrance brands including Halston, Guerlain and Nautica, in January cut its earnings forecast for the fiscal year ending June 30, citing slower holiday sales.

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