Women, Nutrition & Life Work Together!

Women today are busier than ever before. Their stress is exacerbated by today’s fast paced, pre-packaged, convenience based society and the toxins that come from antibiotics and household cleaners. Iron-deficiency anemia is very common in young women.While women’s role in the food chain is essential to produce that all-important resource, food, it paradoxically does not guarantee women even minimum levels of nutrition. Women are often responsible for producing and preparing food for the household, so their knowledge – or lack thereof – about nutritions effect on the entire family. Women with adequate stores of iron and other micronutrients are less likely to suffer fatal infections and are more likely to survive bleeding during and after childbirth. Women in developing countries are also regularly deficient in vitamin A, iodine, and energy. Women of child-bearing age are recommended to take folic acid supplements and consume a folic-rich diet. Women are also at higher risk for developing osteoporosis and need more calcium and vitamin D to prevent it. Studies showed that women with vitamin D insufficiency absorb less than 10 percent of available calcium.However, even among the poor, different groups of women are affected differently by macro development policies, such as the commercialization of agriculture or family planning. The conflict between women’s (economic) earning role and (biological and social) mothering role results to some degree in a squeeze on child care, with consequences for child health and nutrition. While women will be mothers too, motherhood is just one part of the inexorable life cycle. We need programs to increase women’s awareness, self-confidence, and motivation to act. Men must be educated about the cost to society of neglecting women and the need for affirmative action for women, which arises both from the fact of their greater work burden and their unique reproductive roles. The issue of women’s nutrition status and roles is crucial to the proposal for nutrition as a basic right for all in the 1990s, in which human development goals are paramount over economic goals. Programming for women’s health must extend beyond their role as mothers to encompass their non-reproductive and work-related energy and health needs.The nutrition tips for women broadcast on the news often imply that nutrition may magically cure all kinds of diseases. The role of nutrition is to feed our bodies. 1 nutrition tip for women is to regularly include iron-rich foods such as meat, shellfish, beans and enriched cereals in your diet. The effects of high levels of protein-energy malnutrition and anemia among women. Low birth weight is a result of poor nutrition and can jepardize the health of the new generation. The ultimate constraint of time affects the extent to which women can acquire nutritional goods and services and allocate them to improving their own well-being or that of their families. The best way to give your body the balanced nutrition it needs is by eating a variety of nutrient-packed foods every day. In some respects, men and women have different nutritional needs, largely due to differences in male and female hormones.”If you look at the current federal dietary guidelines for kids, there is no difference in nutritional needs for males and females until age 9,” says Elaine Turner, PhD, RD, associate professor in the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Pregnancy drives the role of women and nutrition. If you need fewer calories, the calories you take in need to pack a lot of nutritional punch. One way that traditionally-minded woman can continue to keep their strength and health within the cycles of the creation,is through the use of berry plants. Berry plants ,with great nutritional value are not a stand alone, but as a supplement.Anemia is the most common form of malnutrition, afflicting an estimated 47 percent of women worldwide, and anemia in pregnancy is one of the leading causes of maternal death. For maximum effect, improving women’s nutrition should begin long before pregnancy. Improving nutrition by maintaining a healthy diet before and during pregnancy and also during lactation can help to ensure adequate gestational weight gain, prevent weight loss during lactation, help strengthen the immune system, and delay HIV disease progression. Good nutrition is important for all pregnant and lactating women irrespective of their HIV status. Ignorance about the symptoms of malnutrition, such as the lethargy and depression caused by iron deficiency, may be dismissed as “normal” or unimportant, further exacerbating the problem. Addressing women’s malnutrition has a range of positive effects because healthy women can fulfill their multiple roles – generating income, ensuring their families’ nutrition, and having healthy children – more effectively and thereby help advance countries’ socioeconomic development. Well-nourished mothers are more likely to have infants with healthy birth weights, and such children are less likely to ever suffer from malnutrition. For reasons including women’s reproductive biology, low social status, poverty, and lack of education, they suffer from nutritional imbalances. Adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition because they are growing faster than at any time after their first year of life.

Business Loans In Canada: Financing Solutions Via Alternative Finance & Traditional Funding

Business loans and finance for a business just may have gotten good again? The pursuit of credit and funding of cash flow solutions for your business often seems like an eternal challenge, even in the best of times, let alone any industry or economic crisis. Let’s dig in.

Since the 2008 financial crisis there’s been a lot of change in finance options from lenders for corporate loans. Canadian business owners and financial managers have excess from everything from peer-to-peer company loans, varied alternative finance solutions, as well of course as the traditional financing offered by Canadian chartered banks.

Those online business loans referenced above are popular and arose out of the merchant cash advance programs in the United States. Loans are based on a percentage of your annual sales, typically in the 15-20% range. The loans are certainly expensive but are viewed as easy to obtain by many small businesses, including retailers who sell on a cash or credit card basis.

Depending on your firm’s circumstances and your ability to truly understand the different choices available to firms searching for SME COMMERCIAL FINANCE options. Those small to medium sized companies ( the definition of ‘ small business ‘ certainly varies as to what is small – often defined as businesses with less than 500 employees! )

How then do we create our road map for external financing techniques and solutions? A simpler way to look at it is to categorize these different financing options under:

Debt / Loans

Asset Based Financing

Alternative Hybrid type solutions

Many top experts maintain that the alternative financing solutions currently available to your firm, in fact are on par with Canadian chartered bank financing when it comes to a full spectrum of funding. The alternative lender is typically a private commercial finance company with a niche in one of the various asset finance areas

If there is one significant trend that’s ‘ sticking ‘it’s Asset Based Finance. The ability of firms to obtain funding via assets such as accounts receivable, inventory and fixed assets with no major emphasis on balance sheet structure and profits and cash flow ( those three elements drive bank financing approval in no small measure ) is the key to success in ABL ( Asset Based Lending ).

Factoring, aka ‘ Receivable Finance ‘ is the other huge driver in trade finance in Canada. In some cases, it’s the only way for firms to be able to sell and finance clients in other geographies/countries.

The rise of ‘ online finance ‘ also can’t be diminished. Whether it’s accessing ‘ crowdfunding’ or sourcing working capital term loans, the technological pace continues at what seems a feverish pace. One only has to read a business daily such as the Globe & Mail or Financial Post to understand the challenge of small business accessing business capital.

Business owners/financial mgrs often find their company at a ‘ turning point ‘ in their history – that time when financing is needed or opportunities and risks can’t be taken. While putting or getting new equity in the business is often impossible, the reality is that the majority of businesses with SME commercial finance needs aren’t, shall we say, ‘ suited’ to this type of funding and capital raising. Business loan interest rates vary with non-traditional financing but offer more flexibility and ease of access to capital.

We’re also the first to remind clients that they should not forget govt solutions in business capital. Two of the best programs are the GovernmentSmall Business Loan Canada (maximum availability = $ 1,000,000.00) as well as the SR&ED program which allows business owners to recapture R&D capital costs. Sred credits can also be financed once they are filed.

Those latter two finance alternatives are often very well suited to business start up loans. We should not forget that asset finance, often called ‘ ABL ‘ by those Bay Street guys, can even be used as a loan to buy a business.

If you’re looking to get the right balance of liquidity and risk coupled with the flexibility to grow your business seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor with a track record of business finance success who can assist you with your funding needs.

Financing Cash Flow Peaks And Valleys

For many businesses, financing cash flow for their business can be like riding a continuous roller coaster.Sales are up, then they do down. Margins are good, then they flatten out. Cash flow can swing back and forth like an EKG graph of a heart attack.So how do you go about financing cash flow for these types of businesses?First, you need to accurately know and manage your monthly fixed costs. Regardless of what happens during the year, you need to be on top of what amount of funds will be required to cover off the recurring and scheduled operating costs that will occur whether you make a sale or not. Doing this monthly for a full twelve month cycle provides a basis for cash flow decision making.Second, from where you are at right now, determine the amount of funds available in cash, owners outside capital that could be invested in the business, and other outside sources currently in place.Third, project out your cash flow so that fixed costs, existing accounts payable and accounts receivable are realistically entered into the future weeks and months. If cash is always tight, make sure you do your cash flow on a weekly basis. There is too much variability over the course of a single month to project out only on a monthly basis.Now you have a basis to assess financing your cash flow.Financing cash flow is always going to be somewhat unique to each business due to industry, sector, business model, stage of business, business size, owner resources, and so on.Each business must self assess its sources of financing cash flow, including but not limited to owner investment, trade or payable financing, government remittances, receivable discounts for early payment, deposits on sale, third party financing (line of credit, term loan, factoring, purchase order financing, inventory financing, asset based lending, or whatever else is relevant to you).Ok, so now you have a cash flow bearing and a thorough understanding of your options available for financing cash flow in your specific business model.Now what?Now you are in a position to entertain future sales opportunities that fit into your cash flow.Three points to clarify before we go further.First, financing is not strictly about getting a loan from someone when your cash flow needs more money. Its a process of keeping your cash flow continuously positive at the lowest possible cost.Second, you should only market and sell what you can cash flow. Marketers will measure the ROI of a marketing initiative. But if you can’t cash flow the business to complete the sale and collect the proceeds, there is no ROI to measure. If you have a business with fluctuating sales and margins, you can only enter into transactions that you can finance.Third, marketing needs to focus on customers that you can sell to over and over again in order to maximize your marketing efforts and reduce the unpredictability of the annual sales cycle through regular repeat orders and sales.Marketing works under the premise that if you are providing what the customer wants that the money side of the equation will take care of itself. In many businesses this indeed proves to be true. But in a business with fluctuating sales and margins, financing cash flow has to be another criteria built into sales and marketing activities.Overtime, virtually any business has the potential to smooth out the peaks and valleys through a more robust marketing plan that better lines up with customer needs and the business’s financing limitations or parameters.In addition to linking financing cash flow more closely to marketing and sales, the next most impactful action you can take is expanding your sources of financing.Here are some potential strategies for expanding your sources for financing cash flow.Strategy # 1: Develop strategic relationships with key suppliers that have the ability to extend greater financing in certain situations to take advantage of sales opportunities. This is accomplished with larger suppliers that 1) have the financial means to extend financing, 2) view you as a key customer and value your business, 3) have confidence in the business’s ability to forecast and manage cash flow.Strategy # 2: Make sure where possible that your annual financial statements show a profit capable of servicing debt financing. Accountants may be good at saving you income tax dollars, but if they drive business profitability down to or close to zero through tax planning, they may also effectively destroying your ability to borrow money.Strategy # 3: If possible, only transact with credit worthy customers. Credit worthy customers allow both the business and potential lenders to finance receivables which can increase the amount of external financing available to you.Strategy # 4: Develop a liquidation pathway for your tangible assets. Equipment and inventory are easier to finance if lenders clearly understand how to liquidate the assets in the event of default. In some cases, businesses can get resale option agreements on certain equipment or inventory from prospective buyers assignable to a lender to be used as recourse against a lending facility for financing cash flow.Strategy # 5: Joint venture a sales opportunity with another business to share the risk of a large sales opportunity that may be too risky for you to take on yourself.SummaryThe primary long term objective of a business with fluctuating cash flow and margins is to smooth out the peaks and valleys and create a scalable business with more of a predictable sales cycle.This is best achieved with an approach that including the following steps.Step #1. Micro Manage your fixed costs and cash flow and accurately project out the cash flow requirements of the business on a weekly basis.Step #2. Take a detailed inventory of all the sources you have for financing cash flow.Step #3. Incorporate your financing constraints into your marketing approach.Step #4. If possible, only transact with credit worthy customers to reduce risk and increase financing options.Step #5. Work towards expanding both your financing sources and available source limits for financing cash flow.Business cycle stability and cash flow predictability is an evolutionary step for every business. The industries with longer sales cycles will tend to be the more difficult to tame due to a larger number of variables to manage.A continuous focus on the process for improvement outlined will help create the desired results over time.