When most entrepreneurs think about loan financing for their small business, they think about the two obvious options: traditional bank loans and SBA loans. However, there’s a third crucial type of loan that often goes overlooked. Peer-to-peer lending is a novel concept that brings all the benefits of the banking system within arm’s reach for many more small businesses.Peer-to-peer lending is exactly what it sounds like-one person lending money to another. There are several web sites out there that cut through all the red tape of the banking system, allowing more people to receive the small amounts of funding they need. Prosper.com is an excellent example. The website serves as a digital loan marketplace, where multiple lenders offer bids and compete (think eBay) to fund members who need loans. Once acceptable terms are reached, the debtor receives their funding, and Prosper handles all administrative tasks. The creditors’ outstanding loan assets can then be traded as securities through the company’s marketplace. These features are what make Prosper an excellent option for companies who need small amounts of funding.Another possible source of small business financing through peer-to-peer lending is LendingClub.com. A similar model is used on this site as well-by introducing more competition on the lender’s side, consumers are able to receive lower rates on their loans. Conversely, these websites are also investment opportunities for people who would like to provide financing for others.These two sites primarily focus on lending to people in the United States. However, they’re a part of a larger global trend toward microfinance. Microfinance is the practice of giving very small loans to entrepreneurs who would otherwise be unable to get loans in the traditional banking system. This trend is particularly focused on lending to entrepreneurs in developing nations. Sites such as Kiva.com operate by lending money to small businesses and tradespeople for the purpose of long-term poverty relief. It is funded by individual lenders and offers loans as small as a few hundred dollars.Today’s entrepreneur, whether operating in a developed or developing nation, would be wise to consider this unique form of financing. It removes much of the red tape and middlemen from banking, making it an excellent opportunity to fund a small business.
The tasks to be handled by a project manager to successfully manage a project include:¨ Integration Management- This is developing and managing the direction of the project¨ Scope Management-This includes planning, defining and managing the scope of the project.¨ Time And Cost Management-This covers developing a schedule, allocating resources and managing funds for the project.¨ Quality Management-This involves taking care of the quality of the process in question such that it meets or even exceed various quality parameters set earlier.¨ Human Resource Management- A manager needs to take care of his team, encourage and motivate them and make sure the team moves in the right direction.¨ Communication Management- The manager needs to prepare a communication plan and make sure that there is a healthy communication, both horizontally and vertically.¨ Risk Management- Various risks involved in a project should be identified and a mitigation and contingency plan needs to be developed to ensure that the project is not derailed at any point.¨ Procurement Management- Various materials needed during the project needs to be procured and managed with the vendors and suppliers for successful completion of project.A project manager is usually responsible for the success or the failure of the project. They first need to define the project and then build its work plan. If the scope of the project is not very clear, or the project is executing poorly, the manager is held accountable. However, this does not mean that the manager does all the work by himself (which is practically impossible). There is an entire team under the project manager, which helps to achieve all the objectives of the project. However, if something goes wrong, the project manager is ultimately accountable.Apart from this, depending on the size and the complexity of the project, they may need to take on multiple roles. The project manager may need to assist with gathering business requirements, help to design a database management system or may prepare project documentation. They may work full time on a large project, or may work part-time on various projects of smaller nature; or may alternatively handle various projects as well as handle other responsibilities like business analysis and business development.At times, they may have accountability but not authority. For example, he may be using certain resources but might not have direct control over those resources. At such times, the manager might find certain limitations over task execution, which might not take place as they might have liked. Not having direct control over the state of finances and finance allocation might cause ambiguity.In order to be successful, the project manager must be given support by upper management and authority.
Three years ago Massachusetts passed ground breaking legislation to mandate universal health care for all residents of the state. Now it seems that legislation is breaking the Massachusetts budget.The newest state budget has eliminated health care coverage for about 30,000 legal immigrants to help close an ever growing budget deficit. In addition to stopping the health care for the legal immigrants, Commonwealth Care also expects to stop automatically enrolling low-income resident who fail to enroll themselves.Gov. Deval Patrick has asked the legislature to restore $70 million to the program. That amount would only partially restore the benefits now received by legal immigrants.Robert DeLeo, the Speaker of the State House of Representatives, said Governor Deval had made a compelling case for continuing to provide health care for immigrants, but Mr. DeLeo said, “we only have so much money.” If the legislature does not agree to Governor Deval’s proposal, the cuts will take effect in August.After passage of the health reform law, Massachusetts had the lowest percentage of uninsured residents at 2.6%. The national average for uninsured residents is around 15%.Advocates representing immigrant, labor and health advocacy organizations launched a campaign on Wednesday to restore funds for health benefits for 30,000 immigrants covered by the Commonwealth Care program in the 2010 Massachusetts budgetAs Washington pours forth health reform proposals, most with murky budgets at best, they might look at Massachusetts and make very sure they really have a way to pay for their proposals.Giving health insurance and then taking it away is a much harder burden to bear than not having it in the first place. People who came to rely on the program and started treatments are now left with few options.Lindsey Tucker at Health Care for All an advocacy group in Boston told reporters that restoring $70 million of the estimated $130 million cut would only provide some preventative and emergency care.Enrollment in Commonwealth Care has risen sharply recently as unemployment has increased. With tax collections down by $2.7 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, lawmakers said they had no choice but to make cuts.