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A company of hopes and transformation.

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Entrepreneur and master’s degree in political science student Milan Fayulu builds brands to create change in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Milan Fayulu has been a marketer and founder with a purpose. He was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Fayulu is telling and selling the story of his country to help the people of the country and improve the economy.

For many years, the DRC has been plagued by violence and corruption over the past few decades. “I was a child with an idea of having the DRC not being what they were supposed to be,” said the politician. “I was curious about what it took to get the DRC as powerful and wealthy as it was in the past.”

For Fayulu, the solution lies in developing companies easily associated with Congolese culture and society and using the profits from these ventures to meet critical requirements within the DRC.

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He has discovered a method of launching his ambitious venture at MIT. Since his arrival in 2021, he’s working on a master’s degree in political science and establishing an entirely new experience called The Congo Clothing Company, with the help of a fellowship from MIT’s Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship.

It’s already on a fast track: Fayulu’s team of startup entrepreneurs was selected to take part in the MIT delta v accelerator. The Martin Trust Center sponsors an educational program that runs for an entire summer for MIT Entrepreneurship, which prepares startups in the early stages for a fully-fledged commercial launch.

“This is an excellent validation for our entire team since it shows that there are people who believe that our project is likely to be a success,” says Fayulu. “Life being an entrepreneur is full of ups and downs, and this seal of approval from MIT allows me to breathe.”

A mission-driven clothing line

A single of the more terrifying aspects of the DRC’s complicated conflict is the widespread prevalence of sexual violence carried out by combatants, local and foreign, to inflict terror. (One research conducted by The American Journal of Public Health discovered that women are raped each hour.) In 2018, DRC gynecologist and human rights advocate Denis Mukwege won the Nobel Peace Prize by pledging to stop using sexual aggression as a weapon of war and provide survivors a path to move forward. This was a message Fayulu could not resist and the basis for his current passion project, The Congo Clothing Company.

“I was possessed by a desire to aid the man who is a heroic hero doing God’s work here at the earth level,” says Fayulu. In observing that Mukwege’s cause had diminished one year after receiving his award, and “that there was no improvement on the ground,” Fayulu determined to find an effective, long-term strategy to increase awareness of Mukwege’s mission, as well as raise funds to support his work on behalf of victims of rape.

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“This is the point where entrepreneurship can be a factor,” he says. “I thought of the concept of a fashion label, a denim collection that incorporates Congo-inspired designs with a broad appeal that will provide survivors with income and share the stories of their lives.”

Fayulu’s mission is to market Congo Clothing on web-based platforms and then channel a portion of profits to training survivors and help them purchase personal sewing equipment. Fayulu will allow them to have independence and self-sufficiency. The women are currently under the supervision at Mukwege’s Panzi Hospital in Eastern DRC in a zone that is a scene of ongoing civil war.

When the customer receives your Congo Clothing package, they will be introduced to the tale of Congo’s brutality but in an empowering framework of survival with the possibility of hope and resilience. “Buying this brand helps create an image that will inspire people,” says Fayulu. He is currently dependent on a Colombian manufacturing plant to make his clothing range. He’s currently collaborating with the MIT D-LAB design project team to develop the future “made by Congo” products. He will use the delta-V opportunities this summer to get closer to his goal of creating manufacturing within the DRC. “I believe this will be an opportunity to create an industrial textile sector that is strong in the region in the nation,” he says.

The interplay between politics and business

This isn’t the first time Fayulu has had an encounter with companies. After he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Miami in 2015, Fayulu began Eben Cosmetics, which is a skincare company that caters to people of color and underserved markets, He believed. To cover the cost of rent and get Eben up and running (his first cash infusion was a $17 000 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign), Fayulu began Flashstay, an online real estate technology platform for short-term rental in Miami.

“I believe in entrepreneurship as solving problems,” he says. “With great ideas, you can create individuals with opportunities and immense wealth.”

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However, in 2019, a catastrophic event caused Fayulu to put these projects aside. His father, an ex-executive with Exxon Mobil, ran as the presidential candidate in the DRC elections. As per the government’s official count, in addition to independent analysts, Martin Fayulu won by an impressive margin but was not able to claim victory by the electoral commission of the country. The Financial Times wrote that Fayulu could “be the most unjustly criticized person in politics.”

The younger Fayulu was a pivotal moment. “I discovered that everything was based on the political climate,” he says. “It was obvious that if you’re not able to change the political climate, it does not matter what industry you’re involved in.” With the “fraudulent” President in office, Fayulu decided to get a “bigger view of the policymaking process and learn how to make sure that the contest rules are competitive.” He began to study for the GRE and was accepted to MIT.

As a student of Evan Lieberman, Total Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa, Fayulu has been immersed in the study of political theory and methodology. He was incredibly impressed with the class taught by Lieberman on ethnic politics. “We examined the relationship between various groups and the effect of race on society,” He asks, for example, why two African tribes can coexist in one nation and be different in another. “We studied the patterns of history, and I realized that many things I’d held convictions regarding were founded on a superficial understanding, but now I’m aware that I need to go deeper to understand.”

Fayulu’s thesis focuses on how U.S. venture capital investment in Africa has been concentrated in only a few countries (Nigeria and South Africa top the list). He believes that having students from these countries in the top American universities has resulted in an unbeatable economic network that can benefit African firms. “There’s the advantage of first-mover that keeps feeding on itself and growing.”

Congolese to the center

After a life of moving from one African country to the next and an education abroad, Fayulu’s devotion to his country has never left the DRC. As his father did, Fayulu believes that his story is inseparable from one of his nations. Stricken by years (and hundreds of years, if you include the time that was the Belgian government) of corruption, brutal repression and greed, and brutal repression, the DRC requires a new beginning economically and politically, according to Fayulu. He is hoping to promote this cause from Cambridge and eventually within Congo within Congo.

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“I’m the sole DRC citizen attending MIT this year, and I’d like to make the most of this unique opportunity to be the first link that connects MIT with the DRC,” he says. He hopes to eliminate the investment gap that favors well-established African nations by bringing more excellent Congolese pupils to MIT or Harvard. In addition, with the mentoring and connections offered through the MIT delta summer accelerator program, Fayulu is imagining laying the foundations not only for his company, the Congo Clothing Company, but an influx of DRC-focused businesses. “I would like to create a Congolese national conglomerate which provides local people with jobs and could also serve as an ambassador for Congolese to the world,” he says.

He will also fight for an honest, representative government during the fast-approaching DRC elections, hoping to eradicate the kind of self-dealing and cronyism that hinders real economic growth. “This will be an African tale,” says Fayulu. “It’s going to be lengthy and complex; however, that’s the objective.”

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Apple Plans To Double Its Digital Advertising Business Workforce.

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The move raises industry concerns following the launch of privacy guidelines which make it impossible to create ads that are tailored to iPhone users

Apple plans to more than double its workforce within its rapidly growing digital advertising business in less than 18 months after it enacted radical privacy rules that crippled its larger competitors in the lucrative business.

The iPhone maker has about 250 employees per LinkedIn advertising platforms team. On the Apple careers website, it’s looking to fill additional 216 positions, which is quadruple the 56 positions that it had hired in the latter half of 2020. Apple denied the claims. However, it declined to provide any further details.

The digital advertising industry has been apprehensive over Apple’s plans for advertising since the company introduced privacy regulations this year, which have shaken up the market for digital ads worth $400 billion and made it more challenging to customize ads for Apple’s one billion+ iusers Phone .

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Since the new policy was implemented, Facebook parent Meta, Snap and Twitter have lost billions of dollars in revenue and a significant amount in market valuations, even though other contributory factors exist.

“It was almost like a global panic,” Jade Arenstein, global service director at Incubate, a South African-based marketing performance firm, was quoted as saying about the impact of Apple’s recent changes.

The once-flourishing advertising business is “incredibly fast-growing”, according to an ad for jobs. The business has grown from a mere few hundred million dollars in revenue in the last quarter of 2010 to an estimated $5bn in the current year, according to research firm Evercore ISI, which expects Apple to be able to grow its $30 billion advertising revenue within four years.

Compared with Google and Facebook and their 2021 revenue from advertising was $115bn and $209bn. For instance, Apple’s business in advertising is small. The digital advertising industry is worried that it will increase due to establishing rules that critics and rivals believe provide it with an advantage.

“Building new ad systems to effectively compete with incumbents with tens of thousands of employees and 10 to 20 years of maturity would normally be an impossible task,” said Alex Austin, chief executive of the ad tech group Branch. “Unless,” he added, “you were somehow able to disadvantage those competitors on your platform.”

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Apple has been for a long time the most prominent Big Tech outlier for not taking part in “surveillance capitalism” — the practice of offering customers free services but making money on their data through targeting ads on them.

“We could make a tonne of money if we monetized our customers — if our customers were our product,” chief executive Tim Cook said in 2018. “We’ve elected not to do that.”

However, with Apple having twice the number of developers who can purchase ads on the App Store over the last two years and preparing plans to expand, the critics are seeing Cook taking a significant turn.

David Steinberg, chief executive of Zeta Global, a marketing technology firm, said Apple had been “Machiavellian” and “brilliant” in implementing privacy regulations that required rivals to revamp their advertising infrastructure while creating an opening to fill the gap.

“They could build out (their advertising business) dramatically (and) the ‘air cover’ is they are protecting the consumer’s privacy,” said the researcher. Added.

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Apple did not comment on its long-term plans. The job advertisements tell prospective employees that the company’s goals are nothing more than “redefining advertising” for a “privacy-centric” world.

The 216 positions Apple wants to fill are managers and designers of products, in addition to data engineers and sales experts.

An advertisement for an engineer, released on August 24, is a reference to “Apple’s most confidential and strategic plans” and explains how the company plans to “build the most secure technology-driven, technologically sophisticated . . . Supply (Marketplace) Platform and Demand Side Platform”.

These are the core aspects of an ad tech company that allows advertisers to purchase and sell ads across multiple exchanges, possibly advertising in mobile applications downloaded through the App Store. Apple may be able to consider apps for mobile “first-party” data because all activities take place on the iPhone, which is in line with its privacy regulations which ban third-party apps’ contentful monitoring of users.

The positions are predominantly located in the US. However, there are at least 27 roles in Europe and 12 in China and 12 in India and four located in Japan, as well as two positions in Singapore.

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“That’s a giant team — that’s bigger than most small companies,” Arenstein said. Arenstein. “Wherever there is smoke, there is fire, and that’s some smoke.”

Apple has never been averse to advertising by itself. Its CEO Steve Jobs even tried to create an in-app advertising business in 2010, so that iPhone apps would remain completely free. Cook is against how personal information is purchased and traded by opaque third parties without iPhone users’ consent.

Yet, Apple set the rules regarding how advertisements should function and later expanding into this very subject is seen by many as unsatisfactory.

At the moment, it’s more secure — in terms of the economy of surveillance using an Apple phone over one that is a Google phone, as Google has designed its products to support surveillance, while Apple isn’t, in its essence, an advertising firm,” said Claire Atkin co-founder at Check My Ads, a surveillance agency. “But if Apple suddenly delves into that realm, they won’t have a that competitive advantage.”

Apple might be putting its image at risk if regulators and consumers oppose its privacy claims which have been a significant part of the recent iPhone campaigns. If the argument prevails, Apple would have an unobstructed runway.

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Margo Kahnrose, Chief Marketing Officer at Skai, an omnichannel advertising platform, has said that she believes it “makes absolute logical sense” for Apple to develop its advertising network, following the lead of Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Adtech’s power has, she explained, for a long time been flowing from the decentralized “open web” to “walled gardens” run by one company that can control how ads are purchased and served, as well as how they are measured and tracked.

“The world has been unnerved by Apple’s ambitions for a long time,” she said. “There are a few companies that have vast quantities of power, and Apple is the one that is sleeping.

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Six Ways To Maintain A Growth Mindset While Running A Business.

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To be successful as an entrepreneur, starting your business with the appropriate mentality is essential. A growth-oriented mindset implies always striving to improve the product or service you offer or the ability to communicate with people in your industry. Many companies start as small, but they expand in time to become massive businesses that impact people’s lives in the millions. However, this kind of growth isn’t a quick process – it requires a lot of time and effort, and it’s all with constant improvement.

Six Ways to Maintain a Growth Mindset While Running a Business.

1.) Change your outlook

If you’re in the business of managing, it’s easy to become caught up in the day-to-day and forget about the bigger perspective. However, if you’d like your business to flourish, keeping an attitude of growth is essential. Being able to open your mind to be fully engaged in the things you believe are the best for you is crucial.

2) Are you in your comfort zone?

One of the difficulties of managing a business is it’s easy to get into a routine. Once you’ve discovered a method that works, it might be tempting to stick to it. However, staying with the same formula with different outcomes isn’t intelligent. If you’re looking for your business to expand, make sure you alter things with slight adjustments to ensure that your business feels fresh and exciting.

3.) Be prepared to take the risk

Nobody said creating and running a company was easy, regardless of whether you’re putting together an exercise calendar or an entirely new line of clothing. It’s one of the most challenging tasks you’ll ever have to do. If you want to succeed, you must have a mindset of improvement. Create a staff around you. Find people who can assist your company in its growth. It’s not necessary to shoulder all the responsibility for your company. After all. Make sure you take sensible risks. There is undoubtedly a danger involved in taking risks, but when you take calculated risks, you reap a calculated reward. The most successful entrepreneurs realize that sometimes it takes a long time to bring an idea to fruition. Therefore, they remain in the game and push forward.

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4.) Connect with others who are adamant about your abilities

One of the most effective methods to keep a positive mental attitude is to surround yourself with people who are confident in your abilities. If you’re always around optimistic people who believe in your ambitions, It’s easier to stay inspired and push ahead.

5) Discuss your concerns

If you’re in charge of an enterprise, it’s simple to become distracted by the day-to-day and forget about the bigger overall picture. It’s possible to worry about how to make ends meet and meet deadlines or having to deal with demanding customers. Discussing these concerns with the rest of your entrepreneurial friends and colleagues is essential to ensure that things stay on the right track.

6) Be focused on progress, not perfect

When you’re an entrepreneur is effortless to be caught in the pursuit of perfection. You’d like your service or product to look flawless before launching it, but the reality is that it’s impossible to be perfect. It is essential to keep in mind that the pace of progress will always be better than perfect. Start by taking it one day at a. The advantage of keeping a single day in mind at a time is that even should things not go as scheduled. It doesn’t matter since tomorrow is another day to start from scratch. Create workable goals. After creating some feasible goals, please keep track of them and assess how they performed based on outcomes rather than the amount of time and effort poured into them.

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What Is Good Debt and Bad Debt for a Small Business?

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There are two kinds of loans for small companies. Find out which one is best and which one is not.

For many people, the term “debt” has negative connotations. However, when setting up a small-sized company, it is not necessary to stay clear of debt completely. There’s “good debt” that is essential for growth when you start an enterprise, but there’s “bad” debt that could cause long-term harm to your financial situation.

The difference between good and bad debt and how to manage your company’s finances to keep them in check.

Good debt in contrast to. Credit card debt What’s the distinction?

Lyle Solomon, principal attorney for Oak View Law Group, states, “good debt returns money to your pocket, but bad debt takes money from your pocket.”

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“Debt that increases your future net worth is considered good debt, and debt that reduces your future net value is referred to as bad debt,” Solomon added.

Good debt

Kenneth Hearn, fund manager and director of research for Swiss One Capital AG, describes good small-sized business loans as the money borrowed to finance things that contribute to the development and growth of their company.

“This could be for anything from paying for improvements to meet new safety regulations or expanding your human resources team,” the man explained. “A general rule of ‘good debt’ is debt that is low-interest, or will increase the overall net worth of your business.”

Paying off your debts shows you have a good payment history, which your credit rating can show. The more debt types you can manage responsibly and pay off, the more favourable. This means that more lenders will permit you to get in the future.

Bad debt

When a lender takes out money to purchase an item that doesn’t increase in value or produce revenue, it is often regarded as bad credit. Any loan or borrowed funds that could lower the value of your company’s net future must be avoided. The signs of bad debt are the high-interest cost, fees, and strict loan repayment conditions.

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Examples of lousy credit include cash advances and payday loans, usually called “predatory loans.”

“These loans . Target people with bad credit or low income with few options to consider,” Solomon added. Solomon. “[They often] come with exorbitant interest rates and unethical terms.”

Things to think about when making a “good debt an investment

If you are considering getting a loan, entrepreneurs in small businesses should consider the type of debt they’ll be taking on. If the lender takes out a loan for an asset that isn’t going to depreciate, for example, real estate, education, or their own company, on favourable terms, it’s considered to be a good debt.

“Healthy debt entails borrowing money for investing in items that do not depreciate over time,” Solomon explained. Solomon. “Keep the above in mind when you borrow money to run your business. Use the funds to minimize the chance of a catastrophe or loss.”

One approach small business owners may employ when borrowing money is to commit to the lowest rate of interest possible.

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“Your interest payments are tax-deductible,” Hearn said. Hearn. “These tax deductions could help you get over the red line and into the realm of profitability. If you manage your cards correctly, interest rates can benefit you rather than against you.”

Strategies to get out of credit

If a small-sized business owner is trying to escape the burden of bad debt, There are options to overcome the situation. First, examine the company’s budget and financial statements.

“Financial management software has come a long way over the past couple of decades, and having proper procedures for data entry and its use from the start of your business is crucial to managing good or bad debt,” Hearn said. Hearn.

For business owners who are in “bad debt,” Solomon advised consolidating debts to one loan.

“Debt consolidation is an intelligent debt management approach to ensure you’re paying the lowest rates and on the most optimal or flexible terms available,” said the expert to CO–. “Such a move would benefit your business, as you can avoid worries regarding payments.”

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Companies must ensure they have the funds to repay this consolidating loan, or it could negatively affect their business credit and financial situation. However, if used properly in the right way, consolidating or restructuring multiple debts is an innovative method of managing the finances of small businesses.

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