Peter Day's World of Business

Peter Day's World of Business

United States

Insights into the business world with Peter Day - featuring content from BBC Radio 4's In Business programme, and also Global Business from the BBC World Service.


Global Business: Estonia’s e-Residents  

Estonia is one of the smallest countries in Europe, with only 1.3 million citizens. But it is hoping to become much bigger – by attracting what it calls e-residents. A scheme was started two years ago to give citizens of any nation the opportunity to set up Estonian bank accounts and businesses – and to develop a digital identity which can be managed from anywhere. Ruth Alexander examines how it works, and who benefits.

Global Business: A Tree of Life  

When it comes to business, much of the focus in Sweden is on its successful tech start-ups. But its traditional industries are still a cornerstone of the economy. Global Business' Keith Moore takes a look at Sweden's forestry industry by following the journey of a tree, from the forest, to the sawmills and through to the shops many of us visit across the world. (Photo: Felled trees in a forest)

In Business: Brexit: The Response of the French Abroad  

How has London's French community fared since Brexit? Caroline Bayley explores why so many entrepreneurs have chosen to start businesses on this side of the channel. And what is the capital's attraction for so many of France's young people? After the vote to leave the EU, the response of many French ex-pats was deep shock. Three months on, are French people and companies re-assessing their future in the UK? And will London be as open for business as it has been in the past? Producer: Rosamund Jones.

In Business: Start-up Scotland  

Brexit, a global slump in oil prices, and political uncertainty around a second independence referendum; these have combined to place the Scottish business community in uncharted waters. Additionally, Scotland has longer term historical structural issues, particularly when it comes to successfully starting and growing new ventures. It is widely recognised that the Scottish economy needs to grow faster and be less dependent on both fossil fuels and inward investment. For this edition of 'In Business', the BBC's Scotland Business Editor Douglas Fraser explores what is being done to support and encourage entrepreneurship. Producer: Dave Howard.

In Business: Making Babies - the business of fertility  

The business of making babies is booming, both in the UK and globally, as recent research suggests the world’s fertility industry is set to be worth an estimated 15 billion pounds by the year 2020. One in six couples in the world are thought to experience fertility problems. There's a huge range of treatments available – from egg donation and specialist ‘add ons’ to improve the odds, to egg freezing and surrogacy, not to mention an increasing market for gay and lesbian couples. In Britain, the NHS restricts and rations access to IVF, and sperm donation is heavily regulated. However in Denmark, a multi-million dollar sperm bank is supplying some 80 countries under a very different framework. Pharmacies at the supermarket chain ASDA have been selling IVF drugs at cost price, and tech giants Google and Facebook will pay the costs of freezing the eggs of female employees to be used at a later date. Will ethical and moral issues surrounding the baby making business, hinder the growth of the fertility industry? Or will it continue unhindered, making money for private healthcare providers, individuals and tech start-ups? What does the future hold not just for those making money, but also for those IVF conceived babies and their parents? Presenter: Matthew Gwyther Producer: Nina Robinson

In Business: Has 3D printing lived up to the hype?  

Peter Day takes a close look at the progress of 3D printing in manufacturing 5 years on from the first programme he made about this new way of making things. Back then there was much hype and excitement about its potential to revolutionise traditional manufacturing. From aircraft parts to cartilage in knees, Peter discovers 3D printing's current range and uses and asks whether it's really lived up to its early promise. Producer: Caroline Bayley

In Business: Supportive partner = success at work  

According to Sheryl Sandberg – Chief Operating Office of Facebook and one of the most powerful people in the world - the most important career choice you’ll make as a woman is who you choose to be your life partner. Whilst men tend to assume they can have it all – a great career AND a great family - women don’t. And she puts that down to the uneven division of labour in the home. She claims in households where both parents work full time, women do twice the amount of house work and three times the amount of childcare. She says that she and her late husband were '50/50' and that has played a huge part in her success. How many of us can claim the same? The numbers of working mothers in the UK are at record levels with 70% of women with dependent children now part of the workforce. But those who work still earn less overall and enjoy lower status than their male counterparts, especially after having children. Evidence also shows that those who do forge the most successful careers are largely child-free. So how easy is it to have a successful career if you are female and also a mother? Peter Day asks a range of women how they have done it, about the compromises they have they made and what have they learnt that they can pass on to future generations. Presenter: Peter Day Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Penny Murphy (Image: Mark and Brenda Trenowden. Credit: BBC)

In Business: A Virtual World  

A new technology is emerging which could change the world as significantly as mobile phones or the Internet. That technology is Virtual Reality. Up to now it’s mainly been used for fun - but things are changing. Adam Shaw investigates how VR could change our lives and revolutionise the world of business. Enabling us to be in two places at once and, for example, replacing the need for many painkillers and helping cure psychological problems. Producer: Smita Patel

In Business: How Safe Are Your Secrets?  

Companies don't often like to admit it, but we know the spies are out there, attempting to infiltrate almost every sector of industry, eager to winkle out the most valuable corporate secrets. And they sometimes succeed, passing on the information to rivals whether at home or abroad. So what can be done to pursue the perpetrators and protect business from this growing threat? In this episode of In Business Peter Day learns the lessons from businesses that have fallen victim to corporate espionage and he hears that most companies' Achilles' heels lie in the least expected places. Producer Lucy Hooker

Global Business: Pitch Night  

Trinitas Mhango is one of a new generation of young, would-be entrepreneurs in Malawi. She has a dream of making it big in business and she has a great idea - to mass produce and sell sanitary pads in one of the poorest countries in Africa, where millions of girls and women cannot afford proper sanitary management. The market research she has done shows it is a potentially huge market and Malawi desperately needs people like her to succeed and help grow its near bottom of the GDP league economy. There is just one big problem - she has not got the money to set up on her own. Malawi’s banks won’t lend her the cash she needs and even if they would, with interest rates at a staggering 40% she would never make it. But now Trinitas has a great opportunity to get the backing she needs to kick-start her business. She is going into competition at Pitch Night, where the best and brightest young entrepreneurs in the country pitch their ideas hoping to win the hearts, minds and financial support of some of the Malawi’s Business “Dragons” who can back or sack their ideas. It is a huge opportunity, potentially a life-changing evening. But can she do it? What will she say to win the Dragons over? Can she stay cool, calm and collected in front of a large and fiercely critical audience? Or, will it all be too much for young Trinitas? Will her dreams of a life as a successful entrepreneur end at Pitch Night? (Photo: (L) Trinitas Mhango)

In Business: Return to Teesside  

Job losses have plagued Teesside for decades and the area still has a stubbornly high unemployment rate. Ruth Sunderland grew up in Middlesbrough where her father worked as an engineer. In 1987 the company, where he'd been employed since he was a teenager, collapsed and he never worked again. Believing there was no future for her in her home town, she left to forge a career in London. Following more recent job losses in the steel industry, Ruth returns to her roots. Will entrepreneurial start-ups provide young Teessiders with prospects that, 30 years ago, she could not see? And what does the post-steel, post-Brexit future look like from Teesside? Producer: Rosamund Jones

Global Business: Chattanooga - the High Speed City  

Chattanooga has been re-inventing itself for decades. In the late 1960s Walter Cronkite referred to the city as "the dirtiest in America." Since then heavy industry has declined and, to take its place, civic leaders have been on a mission to bring high-tech innovation and enterprise to Chattanooga. In 2010 the city became the first in America to enjoy gig speed internet following an investment of a couple of hundred million dollars from its publically-owned electricity company, EPB. What economic and psychological benefits have super-fast internet brought to this mid-sized city in Tennessee? Has the investment in speed paid off? Presenter: Peter Day Producer: Rosamund Jones.

Global Business: Growing Malawi  

Malawi, in Sub-Saharan Africa, is one of the world’s poorest countries with its GDP nearly at the bottom of the global league table. Successive governments have been riddled with corruption scandals, state-run services are in disarray and Malawi’s population is booming. It hit 17.6m this year, which the Finance Minister described as "scary" and is set to more than double over the next two decades. If Malawi is struggling to feed its people now - how bad could things be in the future? It’s a ticking time bomb of poverty and starvation. Malawi desperately needs economic growth yet despite hundreds of millions of dollars of donor money which has poured into the country for decades the overall the impact on the ground has been disappointing - poverty levels remain stubbornly high, education standards and job opportunities pitifully low. But there is a rare piece of good news from Malawi: a new alliance between the private sector, a group of smallholder farmers and one of the country’s biggest international donors - the European Union, is helping to run a sustainable sugar cane business and turn lives around. Could this new partnership with the private sector finally unlock Malawi’s potential for growth? Reporter: Charlotte Ashton Producer: Jim Frank

In Business: Steel in the UK  

Amid concern about the future of the Port Talbot steel works - and fear for the jobs of workers there - Peter Day looks at the history of the industry in Britain. When was the heyday of British steel, and what went wrong? Peter visits Port Talbot and also delves into the archives to hear stories from a time when manufacturing dominated the British economy. Presenter: Peter Day Producer: Caroline Bayley.

In Business: Turnarounds  

Imagine you run a company and it's failing. What do you do? Matthew Gwyther speaks to leaders who've turned around businesses in difficulties and finds out how they did it, what inspired them and what lessons they can pass on. Produced by Nina Robinson.

In Business: Recruiting by Algorithm  

Can a computer programme choose the right applicant for a job? Online assessments, scanning programmes, computer algorithms and the number crunching of social network data are all now part of the tool kit of the recruitment industry. As Peter Day discovers, to get through to an actual interview, you often have to impress a computer algorithm first. Traditionally a subjective process, Peter looks at this huge change in the way people are selected for jobs and asks whether technology can achieve the recruiters' aim of eliminating bias from hiring. Producer Caroline Bayley.

In Business: Colorado's Big Marijuana Experiment  

Marijuana is now legal in some US states and a fast-growing industry has emerged, especially in Colorado which was the first state to embrace the drug. But according to federal law marijuana is still illegal. This means that many companies can't get banking services, advertise their wares or pay tax in the way that other companies do. So how do they survive and thrive? And in what direction is the US moving? Will marijuana soon become a legal drug, like alcohol, across the US? Or will law-makers decide that Colorado's big marijuana experiment has gone too far? And what is it like to run a company in one of the world's riskiest business sectors? Presenter : Peter Day Producer : Rosamund Jones.

Global Business: Selling Shakespeare  

As part of the festivities for the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, Global Business asks how the Bard has had an impact on the corporate world. As well as being a profitable part of the British economy, particularly for the tourist sector in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s plays have been exported to almost every country there is. In Neuss, Germany, a replica of the Globe has stood since 1991. In Bollywood, Shakespeare’s stories have been retold since the dawn of Indian cinema, and become major money-spinners courtesy of movies such as Omkara (Othello) and Haider (Hamlet). In corporate America, his plays have been seized upon by executive training teams. And in China, Shakespeare’s works are being marketed to a new generation of domestic consumers, eager for a taste of historical culture. Author and critic Andrew Dickson goes on a globe-trotting journey to find out how the Bard is still very much in business – and discovers one of the most successful and flexible cultural brands there is. Produced by Nina Robinson. (Image: An ice cream van with a picture of William Shakespeare on in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

In Business: European Unicorns  

A Unicorn is a mythical animal. But it's also the name now given to private start-up companies, mainly in the tech or internet sector which are valued at a billion dollars or more. They're extremely fast-growing and are often keener to increase customers rather than make profits at this stage. They rely on private investors to fund their growth and those investors give the companies their valuations. Through interviews with European unicorns including Blah, Blah Car, a ride-sharing service and Hello Fresh which delivers measured fresh ingredients and recipes to your door, Caroline Bayley asks how "real" the tech unicorns are and whether the billion dollar plus valuations are fuelling another tech bubble which could be in danger of bursting. Producer Anna Meisel.

In Business: Tax transparency - Norway's model  

The Panama papers reveal tax evasion is a huge international problem. But how can governments clean things up? One way might be by opening things up. In the UK, it is a criminal offence to reveal someone else's tax affairs, but in some countries you can easily discover how much anyone earns and how much they pay in tax, from the prime minister and the richest business leader to the poorest pensioner. It can have a profound effect on business practice and wider society, as business correspondent Jonty Bloom discovers, travelling to Norway. Producer: Ruth Alexander With special thanks to Bill Lomas, Leek Town Crier.

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