Start-ups: Giving back to your community

Getting your start-up off the ground will probably feel like it’s consuming all your available resources: all of your money, all of your creativity, and – most importantly – all of your time. Yet it’s important not to lose sight of the broader picture: your company is part of a wider community, which relies on business owners like you to prosper and develop.

Using your business to help out your community can serve some selfish purposes, too. It offers an opportunity to boost your local profile, enhance your brand identity and encourage potential customers to investigate your work further. Moreover, it’ll increase morale and motivation amongst your team. It may even decrease your tax liability.

Here, then, are some of the most effective ways to advance the cause of both your local community and your own business. Continue reading

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Not Shut Up: The Digital Age

The world is going digital, and it’s hard to keep up – no matter what your circumstances. Blogs, social networks, streaming sites and e-books: an irreversible revolution has occurred in the ways that way we create, consume and share information and culture. From 2014 onwards, Not Shut Up is fully embracing these rapidly evolving digital shifts.

The internet dominates the 21st century. It has dramatically altered human relationships, with Facebook, Twitter and instant messaging causing irreversible change to the ways we communicate with friends and colleagues. Online dating has changed the way we begin relationships, whilst programs such as Skype have made it cheap and easy to instantly interact with people on the other side of the world. GPS mapping technology, meanwhile, has made navigation a breeze. Continue reading

Scout report: England v Denmark

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England’s rather dull 1-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday may not have provoked insatiable World Cup fever across the nation, but the fixture will undoubtedly have been highly influential in helping Roy Hodgson decide which 23 brave lions to take with him to the World Cup in Brazil.

Equally, it may have convinced you not to include any England players in your Dream Team for our World Cup fantasy football game this summer.

To help out you and Roy, here are three players who came away from the game in a better position than when it started, and three who may have seen their chances dented slightly… Continue reading

World Cup hopefuls with much to prove

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There’s less than two weeks to go until registration opens for our special Road to Rio game, when existing Dream Team managers will be given the chance to select a new team of World Cup hopefuls in the lead up to this year’s big tournament in Brazil. Pride, glory, and a potential top prize of £10,000 are all at stake.

But if you think the pressure you’ll be under to make the right selections is high, spare a thought for all those real international managers, who – after a relaxing couple of years involving nothing more strenuous than the occasional friendly – are now tasked with selecting the 23 men they feel will most capable of leading their nation to World Cup glory this summer.

It’ll be a close run thing for many Premier League players hoping for the call-up for Brazil, and a desperation to prove themselves before the domestic season is out may well make them excellent Road to Rio selections. Here, we round up five of those players with the most to prove to their international bosses before the end of 2013/14.  Continue reading

Champions League Last 16 preview (Week 2)

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It was a rude awakening for England’s finest in the Champions League this week, with both Manchester City and Arsenal comfortably losing out to the tiki-taka masters of Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the first leg of their last 16 ties. Next week is the turn of Chelsea and Manchester United, who will do battle against Galatasaray and Olympiakos for a place in the quarter finals of this year’s tournament.

True to form, our predictions for the first round of games proved to be rather inaccurate. Still, God loves a trier: here’s what we think will happen to England’s finest in their big European fixtures next week. Continue reading

Live Review: 6 Music Festival, Victoria Warehouse, Manchester

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Against all odds, 6 Music has developed into something of a minor national institution in recent years. Everyone knows it by now: it’s that slightly pompous, often innovative digital BBC radio offshoot, with the finest breakfast show and most pretentious DJ self-promotion adverts on the popular airwaves today. And after several upheavals, it’s here to stay.

Today is another memorable moment in the history of the station, which was almost brutally dismantled as part of BBC cuts in 2010. It’s since gone from strength to strength, and is now enjoying a particularly prosperous 2014. After notching up record listening figures back in January (up by nearly a third on last year to 1.9 million), this festival – a peculiar pre-tour-rehearsal cum get-together for some of the artists the station has championed most throughout its history – is another genuine affirmation of its popularity and importance within British popular culture. Continue reading

Roy Hodgson and five other crazy coaching methods

Steven Gerrard, left, believes Roy Hodgson's hiring of Dr Steve Peters will be invaluable to England

Roy Hodgson raised a few eyebrows last week with his confirmation that Dr Steve Peters had been recruited to work with the England team during their preparations for this summer’s World Cup.

The idea that the recruitment of a psychiatrist will be sufficient to heal England’s mental block over penalties at major tournaments may be a bit of a stretch, to say the least. Yet the madness levels of Hodgson’s latest addition to his coaching staff pale into insignificance compared to some of the other weird and wonderful strategies that his managerial counterparts have employed over the years. Here are some of the best. Continue reading