Why The Nordics Are The Best Place To Run A Business And Live

Is Denmark the best place to start and run a business?  A new book argues yes:

“When the World Bank ranks countries on ease of doing business, based on criteria such as starting a company, dealing with construction permits, getting credit, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, or paying taxes, the Nordic countries consistently rank among the most business-friendly nations in the world.  In fact, on those criteria, American entrepreneurs would be better off in Denmark, which scored higher than the US in the 2015 ranking.”

Finnish journalist Anu Partanen is the author of the newly released, “The Nordic Theory of Everything – In Search Of A Better Life,” which compares life in Nordic nations (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway) to the US.  Love brought Partanen to the United States 8 years ago.  As s a freelance journalist in the States, Partanen is self-employed.  “I know the American tax code well now and it’s not easy to navigate,” she jokes.

Her book is an effort to get Americans to consider an alternative model, particularly for business and work-life balance:  “For many people, it seems to be an either-or debate of capitalism versus socialism.  But I want readers to see that Nordic life does celebrate the individual, and encourage money-making. It’s also a capitalistic system, centered around innovation,” she says, as she drives across the Northwest, from Portland to Seattle promoting the book.

Before she sets off driving, I ask her a few questions about the nuances of running a business in the Nordics and why we should look northward for social innovation.

Read the full story at Forbes.com

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Meet the Scientist Who Just Broke a Major Barrier for Black Women

Chemotherapy is notoriously hard on patients. It works by pumping powerful drugs into the body in hopes of killing the disease. To reduce the nasty side effects of cancer treatment, Hadiyah-Nicole Green, a 35-year-old physicist, wants to research using laser technology to kill cancer—and she just won $1.1 million to do it.

Green, an assistant professor at Tuskegee University, is the first woman to win the five-year grant geared toward nurturing black scientists from the Veterans Administration Research Scientist Training Program. She hopes to help change the perception of what black girls can aspire to.

“When someone says scientist, I want them to think of someone other than Albert Einstein,” Green told TakePart.

Read the full story at TakePart.com.

This School for Child Brides Is Delaying Marriage and Providing Education

Last year, the Veerni Institute received 209 applications for seven vacancies.

That’s because the school is a safe house for child brides in India, a country that has an estimated 240 million child brides, or one-third of the world’s child bride population, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Many of these girls are married off well before the legal age of 18; some are as young as nine or 10. But they’re not sent to their in-laws’ residence until 15 or 16. Even then, they usually don’t attend school in the interim years while they’re still at home.

“We have found a loophole in the system,” says Mahendra Sharma, the director of the Veerni Institute. The gap he’s referring to is the lack of a secondary education for young women who have been married. “We firmly believe that it is of prime importance for all girls to complete senior secondary education in class 12.”

The Veerni Institute is set up as a boarding school, offering not only a place to stay but also health care, daily meals, uniforms, books, computer training, and access to sports. The annual cost for each girl is $1,560. However, the girls attend for free, because the fees are covered by the school’s philanthropic partners: the Global Foundation for Humanity in the U.S. and the Association du Projet Veerni in Switzerland.

Read the full story at TakePart.com.