June 28th, 2013
09:00 PM GMT
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By Nina dos Santos, CNN

A grey day in Brussels provided an apt backdrop for addressing the bleak job prospects facing Europe’s younger generations.

With a quarter of their 16 to 25-year-olds out of work, youth unemployment has become one of the most pressing issues facing EU leaders today.

Among the potential solutions tabled was using the European Investment Bank as a mechanism for providing small businesses with loans, so they can hire.

Job and training guarantee schemes were also agreed by member states as well as a plan to roll out 6 billion euros ($7.8  billion) to the hardest hit countries like Greece and Spain where more than half of the young workforce is standing idle.

But the funds committed so far are a drop in the ocean compared to the size of the problem. FULL POST

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Filed under: BusinessEuropean UnionRecession

June 28th, 2013
10:30 AM GMT
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(CNN) – A hospital in Chile is trying to reduce the threat of infections by using equipment, including bed rails and washbasins, made of copper.

A study into effectiveness of copper to kill bacteria is taking place at the Roberto del Rio children’s hospital in Santiago de Chile, and scientists say that the initial results are positive.

Dr Marisol Navarette, in charge of the clinical trials, says: ”The ions of copper interact with the membrane of the bacteria, their metabolism gets disturbed and they are killed by copper.”

The project is spearheaded by Codelco, Chile’s state-run mining company and the biggest copper producer in the world, in partnership with foreign investment.

Chilean company Copper BioHealth already manufactures hospital products made out of the metal, and after the Environmental Protection agency in the U.S. registered copper as an anti-microbial agent, it will have the option to market their products internationally.

Filed under: BusinessGlobal Exchange

June 20th, 2013
04:59 PM GMT
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(CNN) – A luxury Parisian men’s footwear label plans to start selling bespoke shoes made of camel leather.

The shoes, which exclusive label Pierre Corthay will sell from between $1,600 and $1,800 per pair, will be manufactured by a tannery located in the desert between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 

Xavier de Royere, Pierre Corthay’s CEO, said: "It’s a great place. I found people who are very passionate about what they do, and this magical, extraordinary skin.” 

Products including camel meat, milk, and even camel milk chocolate have been exported outside the Gulf states, but have not been widely successful. But de Royere says that, as well as being more resistant and softer than cow leather, camel leather has the novelty factor. "It’s always great to try something people have not tried before,” he said. “It excites customers.”

Filed under: BusinessGlobal Exchange

June 14th, 2013
12:11 PM GMT
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(CNN) - A groundbreaking new initiative is helping small business owners in Somalia link with donors through a mobile phone money transfer system.

E-Cash, a program backed by charity Oxfam, offers the convenience of avoiding long waits at money changers, and erases security issues that go with carrying cash in the street.

The initiative, which launched last year and already has 2,500 beneficiaries, targets vulnerable communities, such as women whose husbands have left them and who are breadwinners for their families, as well as disabled people.


Filed under: BusinessGlobal Exchange

June 4th, 2013
06:34 PM GMT
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(CNN) – In the impoverished and crime-ridden Mexico City suburb Ciudad Netzahualcoyotl, a pioneering education center is tutoring students through a mix of computer programs and teaching.

It is one of 70 learning and innovation hubs first established in 2009 which now have around 350,000 users, most of whom have never used a computer before. Mois Cherm, CEO of the company behind the project, ENOVA, who was been named Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the World Economic Forum, says that the aim of the centers is to harness technology in educating low-income citizens.

Mexico has the lowest education standards of any major country, a fact often blamed on teaching unions which have a huge power over hiring and regulation.

As well as providing computers, the company, which is for-profit, creates its own programs with a tech hub in Mexico City.

Filed under: BusinessGlobal Exchange

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