Introduction[edit | edit source]
One could view the Internet as an attractive area for business because the cost of setting up a business can be relatively low and the potential to attract customers can be relatively high. But this all depends, of course, on the right business idea that is interesting enough for potential customers and can lead to customer loyalty. An Internet business can start with a single, rented server located at the Internet service provider.
The Wikipedia articles which are linked by the course should be read in order to understand the course. Further literature is recommened for this course but it is left to the reader which references he considers sufficiently important.
Qualification and education[edit | edit source]
As further literature for this course one could recommend, for instance, the wikibooks Business Strategy, Transportation Economics and E-Commerce and E-Business; the course web design may also be interesting. For the operation of computers under Unix or Linux the Linux Guide and the LPI Linux Certification are relevant, but the same software can be used today with the Windows Subsystem for Linux. If custom software development is intended one should look at Computer Programming, otherwise programmers can easily be found as freelancers or as employees through personnel service providers and job search engines.
For the education of the founders it is recommended, but not strictly required, to consider for instance some of the following subjects; with a part time job or other employment it can be possible to attend for instance online courses at the Open University or other distance learning institutes.
See also[edit | edit source]
Planning[edit | edit source]
Business Idea[edit | edit source]
There should be still many good business ideas for the Internet left but there is also often room for competitors where other companies are already successful. Many business ideas are based on the idea to offer services that are asked for and to earn money only from the advertisements that are shown to visitors or which they select. An alternative are Internet shops that deliver goods and, of course, service providers who require payment for their services. The payment doesn't necessarily have to come from a customer but may also be a payment from a partner company which purchases the service of the first company for its own customers. Kollmann distinguishes three types of electronic business processes: E-Shop, E-Procurement and E-Marketplace.[L 1] Providers of educational offers on the Internet may also offer nonprofit services for the public good.
Support[edit | edit source]
Depending on the complexity of your plan support during the planning phase can be necessary. Support can be got from professional advisors  or through working in a team. The Internet also offers many sources of useful information.
- Startup company (Wikipedia)
- The New Business Portal of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology 
- Federal Employment Agency: Financial assistance for start-ups 
- German Founders Award 
- Specialized encyclopedias on company formation and management:
There are also start-up initiatives and startup websites, such as Starter Center NRW, NUK New Entrepreneurship Rheinland e.V., Entrepreneurs Pact of Bavaria, Berlin Startup, German startups, START-Fair and the incubator of the KfW Mittelstandsbank Bank. In some cities there is also a department of business development, otherwise there is always a competent chamber of industry and commerce, which gives advice to start-ups as well. Foreign entrepreneurs in Germany can also get support from the Regional Support Centre for foreign Entrepreneurs and Businessmen (RFZ).
Business Plan[edit | edit source]
A business plan describes the previous planning of a company for potential business partners, lenders and venture capitalists. The business plan describes the planning for finance, personnel, organization and strategy. For business plans, there are quite precise instructions and templates for the expected content. A business plan should meet those expectations, at least insofar as the potential entrepreneur has that claim to professionalism. A smaller company with less demand for planning can, of course, also put too much effort into the business plan which nobody wants to read anymore. The business plan of a company is confidential and should only be made available to persons who are involved in the planning phase of the company.
A guide to the outline of a business plan can be found in the Wikipedia article Content of a business plan.
See also: Sustainable Business (Wikibooks), Writing a Business Plan (Wikibooks), Getting Started as an Entrepreneur: Business Plans (Wikibooks)
Financing[edit | edit source]
If the business plan is finished one can talk to banks about financing. Like in medicine one might want to hear different opinions from several experts. A sensible business plan should be important enough to hear several opinions, at least if the first attempt didn't lead to the desired results or there are other doubts about the advice that was given.
Venture Capital Financing[edit | edit source]
Venture capital is capital that is provided by venture capitalists. The goal of the venture capitalist can be, for instance, to receive a very high rate of return during the startup phase of a new enterprise but at an unusual risk and to withdraw from the company after the company has reached a sufficient value, possibly by selling shares. Thus the venture capitalist has the chance to make very good profit and the entrepreneur can secure his financing. Venture capital is therefore primarily available for companies with very good potential for growth during the first years.
See also: Venture capital financing (Wikipedia)
Legal form[edit | edit source]
The legal form for a small company in Germany can, for instance, be the Unternehmergesellschaft or the limited liability company (GmbH in Germany). Since 2004/2006, there is also the possibility to use a European legal form, such as the European Cooperative Society.
Some U.S. states allow foreigners to found companies in the United States from abroad. Companies like The Company Corporation or MyCorporation.com allow to set up a company in the U.S. conveniently.
Like the German Unternehmergesellschaft the English and American limited liability companies can be founded with little capital, while the German limited liability company requires a sufficient amount of available capital (25.000 euro). In case of liability a limited liability company may be subject to either law but the concept of piercing the corporate veil due to misbehaviour of the company management is known in different legislations. The English law, for instance, allows the closure of the company as a result and even the transfer of the assets to the British Crown is provided for in English law.
A reason for choosing an American or European company as the legal form could be the more well-known legislations of Europe and the United States. Tourists, for instance, may be reluctant to enter their credit card numbers on a web site that operates under a jurisdiction mostly unknown to them. Tax avoidance is not necessarily the result: While a daughter company can for instance operate in Florida (with low taxation for foreign companies) the parent company can still reside and pay tax like a responsible citizen in its home country. A disadvantage of the jurisdiction in the state of Florida is that Florida applies the death penalty; according to the Guideline for ethical investments of the Evangelical Church in Germany one would consequently have to boycott Florida.
Corporate Social Responsibility[edit | edit source]
Corporate social responsibility refers to the social, environmental and economic policies and objectives a company is committing to voluntarily in order to overexceed the legally required minimum standards.
Companies which sign the United Nations Global Compact, for instance, should:
- support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights;
- make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses;
- uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
- uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
- uphold the effective abolition of child labour;
- uphold the elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation;
- support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
- undertake initiatives to promote environmental responsibility;
- encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies;
- work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
Entrepreneurship and ethics[edit | edit source]
Entrepreneurship and especially entrepreneurship through the internet could be seen as a course of action that is in conflict with the categorical imperative:
"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law!"
The categorical imperative is, however, not a law of nature but a moral obligation. Should one have the need to substantiate corporate social responsibility then one could, for instance, derive it from the view that as an entrepreneur one already has ignored the categorical imperative in a not exactly irrelevant area and that this may already result in a moral obligation.
"Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only."
While it may be difficult for private individuals in day-to-day life to turn this quote into an universal principle one could say that for entrepreneurs and companies this should be possible to accomplish, if one was willing to make the effort. One could derive the demand from this observation that private individuals as consumers had the obligation to make that demand to all businesses.
See also: Functional social behavior (Parent Education Course Writer's Guide, Wikibooks)
National laws[edit | edit source]
See: List of short titles (used for legislation in the United Kingdom and other countries)
Privacy Law[edit | edit source]
See: Privacy law
Consumer Protection[edit | edit source]
Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000[edit | edit source]
Consumer protection laws[edit | edit source]
Internet Law[edit | edit source]
E-mail spam legislation by country[edit | edit source]
European and International Regulations[edit | edit source]
Directive 2000/31/EC (Electronic Commerce Directive)[edit | edit source]
The directive 2000/31/EC states that "Member States and the Commission are to encourage the drawing-up of codes of conduct; this is not to impair the voluntary nature of such codes and the possibility for interested parties of deciding freely whether to adhere to such codes." 
See: Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market
Directive 95/46/EC (Data Protection Directive)[edit | edit source]
Directive 2002/58/EC (Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications)[edit | edit source]
See: Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector
Directive 2003/98/EC (Directive on the re-use of public sector information, PSI Directive)[edit | edit source]
Directive 2001/29/EC (Copyright Directive)[edit | edit source]
Directive 2003/88/EC (Working Time Directive)[edit | edit source]
Directive 97/81/EC (Part-time Work Directive)[edit | edit source]
Directive 2006/54/EC (Equal Treatment Directive)[edit | edit source]
See: Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation
United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods[edit | edit source]
Certifications and evaluations[edit | edit source]
|I am not bothered by the fact that I am unknown. I am bothered when I do not know others.|
Certification should be regarded as an important quality characteristic. A good certification could even be seen as a unique selling proposition Certifications and rating systems for internet companies include:
- Trusted Shops
- Safer Shopping (TÜV Süd Group)
- The TUVdotCOM Service of TÜV Rheinland 
- TÜViT Trusted Site (TÜV Nord Group)
- Ernst & Young CertifyPoint
- European Privacy Seal
- U.S.-EU & U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks (International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles)
- Privacy Seal of the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection Schleswig-Holstein
- TRUSTe online privacy seal
- EHI Certified online shop 
- Ethical Ratings 
- Ethics Inside Certification
- eKomi - The Feedback Company
- WOT: Web of Trust
- German Fair Company Seal
- Code of Conduct for Online-Tourism in Germany (DRV & VIR)
See also: Certification marks
Industry and Commerce[edit | edit source]
Membership in a chamber of commerce is required by law for enterprises in Germany (but not necessarily for craft businesses, farms and freelancers). The chambers of commerce in Germany are compulsory and constitute a system of regional self-administration of their members under the inspectorate of the state ministries of economy; they are democratically organized and conduct their own elections. Chambers of commerce may be interesting for founders because they may also give advice to founders and provide contacts to the local economy.
Foreign chambers of commerce, such as the Turkish-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TD-IHK), exist to promote integration and international trade. Support of foreign entrepreneurs is also taken care of by the Regional Support Centre for foreign Entrepreneurs and Businessmen (RFZ).
Examples of business ideas[edit | edit source]
The following examples are of course only a small selection of possible ideas. In general, the customer contact are important because otherwise the customer can communicate only with an anonymous website. There are various methods to the users of a website for a direct contact to offer. Calls from the Internet such as with a normal PC with webcam and headset or with a (video) Internet phone.
The following examples should have but a very different level of difficulty, one can estimate. The task therefore requires some understanding of the business and technical details of each business idea.
Auction platform[edit | edit source]
The online auction business model as, for instance, found in Ebay is a way to operate a popular service for private customers and merchants. Some online book shops even have added resale of used books as part of their own online service. To operate an auction platform a regional relatedness and perhaps also regional partners who already have data from the market segment appear to be a good recommendation, which can be newspaper publishers for instance. Because auction sites without content are uninteresting there is a typical chicken or the egg problem, which can, however, possibly be bridged with a good differentiation strategy.
See also: Bundesverband Deutscher Anzeigenblätter (German Wikipedia)
Education providers on the Internet[edit | edit source]
Training providers on the Internet, such as Khanacademy.org, Learnissimo.com, Tutoria.de K12.com or they can offer private lessons or lessons in small groups and at the same time integrate the sometimes very advantageous medium of the Internet. The education provider K12.com  offers the world a complete American curriculum for students of all grades over the Internet, as well as individual courses or tuition for training in areas of interest in the offer.
Clicks4charity.net, planethelp.de[edit | edit source]
Clicks4charity, planethelp.de use the commission the agency charged customers for Internet stores, in order to promote charitable projects. The commission is due upon transfer of a customer from the website to the websites of the participating companies, if the customer purchases paid on the home page of product for the commission is. For the brokerage affiliate programs are used, the other vendors are also available.
See also: GoodSearch / GoodShop
Franchiser, Franchisee[edit | edit source]
The franchising idea is less popular on the internet even though it appears useful for services with a strong regional relatedness, as for instance the portals stadtleben.de and mydestination.com. Internet franchising can adopt the regional partitioning that is frequently found in franchising schemes and thus allow more providers to operate an internet business. The advantage of the franchiser can be more specific regional information and regional advertisements, which can also constitute a benefit for the franchiser's concept as a whole.
See also: Deutscher Franchise-Verband (German Wikipedia)
Hotel Reservations[edit | edit source]
There are a large number of providers that perform hotel reservations and allow small web sites, which may be better specialized to serve their local communities, to make bookings through their internet booking engines. The local web site may have the advantage to be able to describe the localities much better or to integrate local offers much better into the web site in order to create a more interesting offer without entering into direct competition with the larger providers. Even the timetables of the local busses and trams or the plans of trade fairs in a city or good photos of local hotels can create additional value. Good descriptions for destinations can be found on Wikivoyage.
The local web site can thus earn a share of the commission with every booking if the money is divided between the local web site and the provider of the booking engine. Even for non-binding reservations the commission will be paid if the guest arrives at the hotel, which may sometimes be cheaper but may also sometimes be more expensive than "advance purchase rates". For group reservations it is also possible to offer very good prices for groups that can be individually negotiated with a hotel if the group is large enough. Alternatively customers who require advice can also be connected to cooperating travel agencies through internet telephony.
Hotel reservation services with affiliate programs are, for instance, tobook.com, Expedia and Opodo. Full internet booking engines or services are offered by TravelTainment, Traffics, OpenJaw Technologies, Pegasus Solutions, Travelport and EAN The latter are likely to require accreditation as an IATA travel agent (or possibly ARC, CLIA, TIDS or TRUE accreditation as alternatives). A web site can be enhanced through the integration of services such as Nokia or Microsoft Streetside and online ticket and travel experience agents. A service for hotel evaluations will usually have an attached cost but online ticket brokers and travel experience agents (e.g. Getyourguide.com, Viator.com or Isango.com) should be willing to pay commission. A very simple reservation system (Very Simple Reservation System) is under development on SourceForge in the public domain, a fork is being developed on GNU Savannah as Free Reservation System under the GNU Affero license.
At an amount of only 1.50 € per night and tourist revenues of 20 to 30 million euro were expected from a tax on overnight stays which was considered in Berlin. The 205 hotels in Düsseldorf turn over 271 million euro annually. A "bed tax" of five percent per night would result calculatory in an income of around 13.5 million euro for the city. The portals of Hotel AG www.hotel.de and www.hotel.info could increase their booking volume in the fourth quarter of 2010 by 19,3 percent to 95,62 million euro. Large companies like Opodo and Expedia make revenues of more than 2 billion euro, but they do also offer flights, car rental and package holidays. According to the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations the worldwide revenue in international tourism in 2010 amounted to 693 billion euro.
The commission payments of hotels can more easily be accepted by a specialized commission processor, as for instance Pegasus commission processing; this way there is no need to agree with individual hotels on the exact amount of commission. The standard rates with the highest commission payments are U.S. government rates, which usually have a negotiated commission of 12%, of course commission can be individually negotiated with hotels where that is desirable and booking volume allows negotiated rates. More usual commission payments are in the range of eight percent to ten percent, but rate plans without any commission do also exist; travel agents can add their own fee for the customer when selling such rates. HRS and some other offerers offer customers non-committal reservations as the norm.
Because the hotel does not know whether a room will be occupied or the house will be full with this reservation type one could use a special rate plan here that compensates the risk via the price. A recent development in the hotel industry is that hotels offer a nonrefundable rate and a rate with free cancellation where the rate with free cancellation has usually a 10% higher price. Non-committal reservations should, of course, at least require rates with free cancellation. The distinction between rate plans that can only be used for binding or non-binding bookings exists but a systematic compensation for the risk via the price is not always made. The reservation provider Tingo reserves refundable rates again if the price of the offer drops until the arrival, thus creating an automatic money-back guarantee.
There is also a market for selling hotel reservations through web portals of third parties; some airlines and railway companies, for instance, are good customers of hotel reservation providers. For non-specialist founders a learning game like The Hotel Business Game may be interesting. A direct refund of a part of the commission to the end user for advertising purposes could be seen as dubious, but gifts like vouchers from goodgifts.org would be conceivable promotions, for larger corporate clients one can also negotiate refund or (more usually) better prices than the public rates in selected hotels, where the customer makes a significant number of reservations (see: corporate travel management). The company HRS recently began to offer direct bookings of conventions: 10 to 20 rooms and a conference room can be reserved directly on the Internet. One can also offer reservations for groups where groups (e.g. for a wedding or a birthday) can book password-protected rates in selected hotels, which may allow to negotiate room contingents at special rates in some hotels.
Many hotel groups and even independent hotels offer best price guarantees for public rates booked through their own web pages. Hotel reservation portals have the same aim and offer their own best price guarantees. Rate parity is sometimes even negotiated between hotels and online travel agencies. In Germany the higher regional court of Düsseldorf declared one such type of guarantee invalid; the preliminary injunction against HRS.com ordered the company not to enforce its preferential treatment clause. Earlier the German Federal Cartel Office had admonished the company for violating §§ 1 and 20 of the German Act against Restraints of Competition.
See also: Ethical buyer's guide to hotels (Ethical Consumer), Star (classification): Hotel ratings (Wikipedia), Travel agency#The Internet threat (Wikipedia), HOTREC’s Benchmarks of Fair Practices in Online-Distribution (PDF), Review of the Stiftung Warentest on Internet travel bookings in 2002 (in German), Expedia.com Introduces Most Comprehensive Service Providing Real-Time Travel Deal Alerts Leveraging RSS Technology, Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, German hotels step up boycotts against online travel agency HRS (Wikinews)
Agenda 21 compliant online travel agency[edit | edit source]
Online hotel reservation services do cause unemployment for local travel agencies, thus an online reservation service could be seen as going directly against the categorical imperative. The problem is, of course, that somebody else will disagree and implement the service anyway, because it is not prohibited. Also the pure online reservation service has the issue that hotel chains are likely to negotiate lower commission payments due to the high booking volume and the lack of employees. Some air lines have already reduced commission payments to zero and expect the travel agencies to charge their customers directly. A solution is to integrate travel agencies from around the globe into a distributed call center and to promote employment for women in compliance with the Agenda 21. Especially poorer regions can be given the opportunity to open travel agencies in places where employment is desperately wanted, thus turning the unethical online reservation business into the exact opposite, the benevolent Agenda21 company with model compliance.
A relevant difference is that the Agenda 21 agency will at least in the long run be able to negotiate higher commission payments from hotel chains, because of the large number of subcontractors. Thus the Agenda 21 agency will all in all receive a higher revenue, even though some of the money is necessarily distributed to the subcontractors. The beneficial effect is to distribute traditionally available money from luxury industries to the subcontractors in poorer regions.
A further consideration can be ethical education of the comparatively wealthy travel agencies in poor regions. The regional travel agents may be comparatively rich in their neighborhoods and thus could sensibly be motivated to donate some of their revenue back to a global philanthropic foundation or a charity in their own region, thus further improving the model compliance of the Agenda 21 agency.
See also: Fair Internet policy
Identity or single sign-on provider[edit | edit source]
Offers for single sign-on, federated identity or social login on the Internet are often combined with other services; a common system for single sign-on on the Internet is OpenID. Especially in Germany one could consider the integration of the German AusweisApp for the new electronic identity card into such a service; one would probably not want to identify oneself with the electronic identity card always but an initial application with third parties could for instance benefit from this possibility. The software for the integration of the AusweisApp is the OpenLimit eID-Server.
See also: Example: Mozilla Persona for Applets
Housing or estate exchange[edit | edit source]
A housing or real estate marketplace could, for instance, make use of Nokia or Microsoft Streetside but can also easily surpass the usual standard in the presentation of houses. A collaboration with estate agents may reduce the profit but can help to increase the number of visitors. Particularly interesting may be the integration of 3D computer graphics.
See also: Bundesvereinigung Spitzenverbände der Immobilienwirtschaft (German Wikipedia)
Internet TV[edit | edit source]
A collectively intelligent behavior for users of Internet television could be to compose a media offer themselves, and to agree upon content and quality of media for instance as a group of parents. An Internet TV provider for parents could also appeal to various interest groups and put together different programs or media products that would be filtered or composed according to the needs of different audiences and could for instance be made available in the way of an electronic program guide.
Technical standards for Internet television are, for instance, YouView, Broadcast Hybrid Broadband TV. New offers in the area of Internet television are currently planned by the television channels in Germany A separate receiver software for entertainment PCs for the living room (or Set-top boxes) could possibly integrate other TV platforms and filter or expand the available offerings; thus a comprehensive supply would be composed similar to that of a specific private cable operator or multiple system operator.
Existing filtering software for web sites, for instance, are Schoolfilter Plus, the child protection software of T-Online or Windows Live Family Safety. During the "Safer Internet" program of the European Union the demand was made that the use of filter software should be made easier. Furthermore the German Federal Agency for Monitoring of Media Harmful to Young People and Germany's Association for the Voluntary Self-Monitoring of Multimedia Service Providers offer in cooperation the BPjM modul to software vendors who build autonomous web filters for the purpose. Whitelists with web pages for children are for instance:
- Erfurter Netcode (German), fragfinn.de (German), Studio im Netz: Webseiten für Kinder (German), Deutsches Jugendinstitut: Websites für Kinder (German)
- seitenstark.de (German), klick-tipps.net (German), Bildungsserver: Themenseiten für Kinder (German)
- familien-wegweiser.de: Internet – kindgerecht und sicher durchs World Wide Web (German)
From the perspective of a future society some elements of today's TV programs could be seen as violations of the fundamental rights of the viewers, in particular if one considers that the viewer, by selecting a program, may have identified as a member of an educationally deprived group (or as a child). "Hard science fiction" for instance, is not defined as "a lot of violence, little content" but "hard science" can, of course, also be applied to "soft sciences"; the required filter is built into every TV and it's called the "off switch", because there is no such movie.
See also: Richtlinie 89/552/EWG (Fernsehrichtlinie), Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag, Child Online Protection Act, Children's Internet Protection Act, Youth Protection Roundtable YPRT, Jugendmedienschutz (Familienhandbuch), Internet- und Computerspielsucht - Gefahren, Ursachen, Prävention (Familienhandbuch), Criteria for hard educational science fiction (Wikibooks)
Network partition provider[edit | edit source]
A network partition provider is a theoretical offer to filter the internet with a yet unknown level of quality. Thus SSL would have to be replaced with a different protocol that is capable of supporting meaningful filtering solutions on the SSL level. Broken links in the World Wide Web would have to be redirected to a meaningful web page that could allow to vote, discuss or even retrieve pages from beyond the filter. Retrieval could be sufficiently slow or require individual authorization and replace pictures with empty boxes and even turn all HTML colors into greyscale, thus making the use of the retrieval service very uninteresting for teenagers but still allow the retrieval of, for instance, academic papers linked by Wikipedia.
A network partition provider could be able to offer categories of content and allow either subcontractors or customers to mix or block any set of categories desired as their personal view of the relevant internet.
Since the internet is far too efficient a form of internet tax has been discussed to reduce the economic advantage of the net economy. A network partition provider would allow to create an advantageous economic differentiation, thus motivation more companies to operate in the same sector. For example mapping some companies out of the net would allow a group or region to promote alternative offers or to negotiate the tariff or other condition for allowing the companies in question back onto the net.
In the presence of smart phones a sensible offer for parents of children would today require a mobile virtual network enabler with its own internet service provider for the mobile network, or, somewhat cheaper, a limited offer of mobile devices with custom software that could make use of a network tunnel.
The scheme would, for instance, allow local Agenda 21 groups to make recommendations and to demand inofficial internet tax payments to UNICEF or similar charities in exchange for an internet service conforming with local policies.
See also: Fair Internet policy
Online Shop[edit | edit source]
Social Bookmark Network[edit | edit source]
Providers of social bookmarking services achieve customer loyalty through the common interests of their users to explore and evaluate content on the Internet. Functions of social bookmark networks are, for instance, group services, e-mail and social networking between individual users, import and export of bookmarks, files and search toolbars and extensions for various browsers. A social bookmark network is usually financed by advertising, An Open Source system for a distributed social network is Diaspora. The Apache Software Foundation offers Shindig as a free reference implementation of an OpenSocial container.
Web portal for product reviews[edit | edit source]
Web portals are web sites which employ a special topic or a particular function as an element of customer loyalty. A web portal can, for instance, gather reviews of commercially available products and offer these reviews to potential buyers of the products. An example of an evaluation portal is Greenpeace market check. Another opportunity is the integration of a search engine like Clewwa into a web portal for product reviews. Clewwa is a dedicated search engine for consumer protection which contains selected web sites of public authorities, environmental associations, consumers' associations, universities, research institutes, media, trade associations and relevant web portals.
|Member States and the Commission are to encourage the drawing-up of codes of conduct; this is not to impair the voluntary nature of such codes and the possibility for interested parties of deciding freely whether to adhere to such codes.|
Ethics search engine[edit | edit source]
An ethics search engine can also be interesting for a private employment agency, in ethical education in school and for other purposes. A housing or estate exchange could, for instance, see properties of rental agreements as codes of conduct of the landlords and evaluate and categorize these properties. In a dating agency ethical search profiles could be used as a criterion, if partners with comparable ethical views were searched for. Social bookmark networks, Auction platforms, employer review sites and online shops can categorize and evaluate customers, products, manufacturers and retailers according to their standards and guidelines.
An ethics search engine should also be selling well to churches, because the Leuenberg Agreement, for instance, declares: "They [the Christians] advocate earthly justice and peace between individuals and nations. This makes it necessary to communicate with others in seeking reasonable, proper search criteria and to participate in the application." (Translating "criteria" as "search criteria" could be a bias in Google Translate)
See also: ISO 26000 (Wikipedia), FTSE4Good Index (Wikipedia), Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, Oekom Research, Vigeo, Covalence EthicalQuote, Ethical Consumer (Ethical Consumer Research Association), United Nations Global Compact (Wikipedia), Corporate Critic (Ethical Consumer Magazine), Guideline for ethical investments of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Open source social responsibility
Part time employment service[edit | edit source]
A part time employment service would be an offer to promote part time work in companies and to place part time workers in compliant companies. An emphasis on dynamic part time work would encourage job seekers in search of full time work and job seekers with the explicit need for part time work.
A difficulty lies in the problem that job seekers often consider full time work the sensible option and do not see any immediate need to request part time work. The job seeker is either satisfied (and sees no further need to reduce his income) or fails to find a job and consequently remains unemployed, possible with no option of part time work. A part time employment service would be the collectively intelligent solution to the problem, because it could discover the possibility to place a second employee in a company if the company and the employees in question were willing to agree on a part time scheme.
For this purpose the service has to keep directories of employees and their exact competencies in order to be able to communicate their availability efficiently to the companies through the web page. The advantage for full time job seekers would be that companies can be convinced to prefer the part time employment service and the full time job seeker thus may find the part time employment service to be his best option to find work in a region. One motivation for companies to prefer to cooperate could be a regional Agenda 21 compliance certification for their own web page, similar to those found in certifications and evaluations.
HEXON[edit | edit source]
For sufficiently educated employees a part time employment service can also offer specialized job interviews. In China, for instance, the Christian religion is occasionally seen as an advantageous business characteristic. An employee could also prefer to have his understanding of Christianity certified, just to exhibit a preferential quality, even if that may be utterly irrelevant for his field of work. Again, employers can be convinced to see the advantage. This would not constitute an unfair advantage, because the understanding of Christianity can be certified without regard for the actual religion of the job seeker, thus anybody would be free to exhibit the intercultural competence to succeed in this specialized job interview. This job interview would obviously be best conducted by a Christian priest or similar expert for the topic, but there are obviously also many other possible specialized job interviews than can be conducted by third party agencies.
A resulting company (code named "HEXON" here) could offer ethical certification of employees without any employment service, freely cooperating with all parties interested in ethically and philosophically educated employees. Of course the educational standards should exceed understanding for Christianity. Thus Christianity would be more a relevant and popular entry level qualification widely accepted in most countries.
The interesting challenge would be to specify requirements, qualification and verification procedures that could guarantee well-defined test results for the ethical outlook of a participant while at the same time allowing a level of creativity and individuality. Consequently a part of the test procedure should be a free form philosophical debate about the worldview of the participant including, but not exclusively, the question why the participant would be the right choice for a, at the time of this special job interview, yet unknown company. This job interview could then be recorded, evaluated and digitally signed by HEXON and distributed to all employers the job seeker contacts in search of employment.
A high-priced variant could include a one week stay at a Christian monastery as a setting for the ethical education and interview, but including all conveniences of a modern convention hotel, for instance like the Katholisch-Soziale Institut. Of course, the Christian monastery may be likely to be of a very modern branch of Christianity, but not Scientology, though. Alternatively Catholicism could be adequate for the monastery, but the convention hotel would have its own curriculum.
Advertising[edit | edit source]
Internet marketing is the generic term for the various advertising methods on the internet. Marketing measures are often conducted by advertising agencies, affiliate system operators or web design agencies on behalf of the advertising companies. Advertising for particularly interesting offers can also make use of word-of-mouth marketing; companies make use of this when they ask customers to send email to friends and acquaintances through their web site or to add the web site to social bookmark networks.
Affiliate Marketing (Affiliate Programs)[edit | edit source]
Affiliate marketing usually takes place through affiliate system operators. These providers connect the advertising companies with operators of web sites that offer advertising space. The partner programs of the advertising companies may have different conditions for participation of promotional web sites and may also have different commissioning models. In some cases the advertising companies themselves approve and verify the content of participating web sites.
See also: Cost per action
Bankruptcy[edit | edit source]
Of course one should try to retain a sufficient amount of personal reserves but if a personal bankruptcy is the consequence of bankruptcy it is important to note that different jurisdictions have different laws concerning personal bankruptcy but may respect the result of a personal bankruptcy filed in a different jurisdiction. For instance a personal bankruptcy filed in Germany may require up to seven years until a debt relief order becomes effective while it may become effective within 1-3 years in England or France and is considered valid in Germany. The feasibility of personal bankruptcy within the European Union is governed by Council regulation (EC) No 1346/2000. A verdict of the Federal Court of Justice of Germany from 18 September 2001 confirms that debt relief orders granted in some foreign countries are considered valid in Germany. According to the German Federal Bureau of Statistics the number of business insolvencies has gone up in the first half year of 2010 by 2% to 16.468 cases of insolvencies in Germany.
References[edit | edit source]
- http://www.gruendungsstarter.de/ (German)
- http://www.kfw-mittelstandsbank.de/DE_Home/Gruenden/Gruendercoaching_Deutschland/index.jsp (German)
- http://www.existenzgruender.de/ (German)
- http://www.arbeitsagentur.de/nn_26400/Navigation/zentral/Buerger/Hilfen/Existenzgruendung/Existenzgruendung-Nav.html (German)
- http://www.deutscher-gruenderpreis.de/ (German)
- http://www.startercenter.nrw.de/ (German)
- http://www.neuesunternehmertum.de/ (German)
- http://www.startup-in-bayern.de/ (German)
- http://www.berlinstartup.de/ (German)
- http://www.deutsche-startups.de/ (German)
- http://www.foerderzentrum.org/, See also: GründerZeiten Nr. 10: Gründungen durch Migranten (German)
- Detlef Kutta, Karsten Mühlhaus. Erfolgreich selbstständig 2008/2009. BusinessVillage GmbH, Göttingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-938358-80-1, URL
- Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and Council on Electronic Commerce
- Independent Centre for Privacy Protection Schleswig-Holstein
- EHI Retail Institute
- http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/ihkg/__2.html (German)
- Heise.de: Nokia to photograph streets like Google Street View (German)
- Bed tax in North Rhine-Westphalia? Objection from city halls (tophotel.de)
- http://www.ahgz.de/maerkte-und-unternehmen/Mehr-Buchungen-bei-der-Hotelde-AG,200012182488.html (German)
- International Tourism: First results of 2011 confirm consolidation of growth
- Various best price guarantees: 
- OpenLimit eID-Server
- Reference groups (Parent Education Course Writer's Guide, Wikibooks)
- Heise.de: ZDF plans commercial video-on-demand platform (German)
- Heise.de: Private TV channels plan large TV platform on the Internet (German)
- Heise.de: Filter software and media competence are meant to improve youth protection (German)
- German Federal Agency for Monitoring of Media Harmful to Young People: Logo shows the application of the BPjM-Moduls in filter programs and search engines
- Council regulation (EC) No 1346/2000 of 29 May 2000 on insolvency proceedings
- LexisNexis: BGH, 18.9.2001, IX ZB 51/00
- Newsticker. In: VentureCapital Magazin. 24. September 2010, ISSN 1611-1710, S. 52. (German)
Literature[edit | edit source]
- My business and human rights — A guide to human rights for small and medium-sized enterprises (ec.europa.eu)
- Business Strategy (Wikibooks)
- Transportation Economics (Wikibooks)
- E-Commerce and E-Business (Wikibooks)
- Linux Guide (Wikibooks)
- LPI Linux Certification (Wikibooks)
- Computer Programming (Wikibooks)
- Business Administration (German Wikibooks)
- Materials Management (German Wikibooks)
- The Parents, Teachers, Friends Testing Guide for Dummies (Wikibooks)
- Web design
- School of Webcraft (p2pu.org)
- Kollmann, Tobias (2008). E-Entrepreneurship: Grundlagen der Unternehmensgründung in der Net Economy (in German) (3 ed.). Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag. ISBN 978-3-8349-0978-7.