Invention and entrepreneurship are concepts that are synonymous with Scotland. Scotland has a long standing tradition of producing world renowned inventors and entrepreneurs. The invention of the steam engine, television and penicillin can all be attributed to Scottish inventors and in this article I would like to highlight some of the most famous Scottish entrepreneurs of recent years.

Arnold Clark

Sir Arnold Clark grew up in Glasgow and joined the RAF in 1944, aged 17. He rose quickly through the ranks eventually becoming a Corporal and a Motor Mechanics Instructor. Upon leaving the RAF, Clark began buying and selling cars, and opened his first showroom in 1954 in Glasgows Park Road. Arnold Clark Automobiles is now the largest car dealership in Scotland, with over 145 car dealerships throughout the UK.

Michelle Mone

Michelle Mone OBE is the co-owner of MJM International and creator of Ultimo. She grew up in Glasgow and began her corporate career with Labatt Brewers. She rose quickly through the company and was running the Sales and Marketing department by the time she was 20. In 1996, came up with the idea to create Ultimo after wearing an uncomfortable bra to a dinner dance. Today Ultimo is one of the UKs leading designer lingerie brands.

Sir David Murray

Sir David Murray was born in Ayr in 1954 and educated at Ayr Academy, Fettes College and Broughton high School. By the age of 23 Murray had set up the metal company, Murray International Metals Limited. The Murray Group has expanded to include a wide range of industries including property, call centres, venture capital and mining.

Sir Brian Souter

Sir Brian Souter is another famous Scottish entrepreneur. Sir Brian Souter started his working life as student bus conductor while studying at University. Upon finishing University, Sir Brian Souter began working with Arthur Andersen, a leading chartered accountancy firm. In 1980, using his fathers redundancy money, Sir Brian Souter established Stagecoach Group with his sister. Thirty years later Stagecoach is one the largest transport companies in the world with 13,000 buses, coaches, trains and trams, employing over 30,000 employees worldwide. Sir Brian Souter also founded Souter Investments and the Souter Charitable Trust.

Guest Blogger: Ray Moore, CFE, Vice President of Development, BrightStar

The successful franchisee will first and foremost find the right fit. The right fit may be the one that best fits his or her financial resources and goals. The potential franchisee should sit down with their spouse and family and ask some hard questions. Together they will have to decide what outcomes they need to realize to consider this venture a success. They will have to separate out the must have or non-negotiable outcomes before shopping for a franchise opportunity.

The couple/family should agree to the following each family will have to fill in the blanks according to their own circumstances. Its a good idea to consult an accountant:

1.We will not invest more than $_____ of our cash/liquid capital.
2.We will not borrow more than $______ in additional funds to capitalize the business.

With any start up, business owners need to have enough money, either set aside or in other income, to cover household bills and run the business for 12 to 18 months. The following questions will help determine how much is needed:

3.To make sure we can still live comfortably while growing the business, we will cut our household budget to $ ____ per month for at least ____ months and be sure to never exceed that budget.
4.We will only buy a franchise that we have confidence can get big enough to feed itself, i.e., income (cash flow) will cover monthly business expenses (fixed and variable costs), no later than ___ months after signing the agreement.

With many new business start ups, the owner will not be able to take a salary for 1-2 years. The family needs to know that household expenses will be covered during that time.

5.We will only seek a franchise for sale that we have confidence will be able to pay me a discretionary salary (enough to cover some or all of household expenses) without harming the business no later than ___ months after signing the agreement.
6.We will generate other income of $___ (amount needed to make up for loss of other income and savings budget) from ___ (spousal income, other household income or investments) independent of the new franchise business.
7.We will only pursue a franchise business opportunity that will allow us to have our initial investment back, i.e., pay off the start up loan from business income, in ____ months/years.

These are just some of the items that typically come up, or should come up, during the conversations leading up to buying a franchise. Asking the right questions will get you the answers you need. Ask them of yourself, your spouse, your family, the franchisor and other franchisees so you can get the full picture of what your life will be like while building your business, and what it can be like once you have established your new franchise.

Ray Moore, CFE, BrightStar

A contract for Difference or simply CFD is a powerful tool in the Australian share marketing scene. A beginner should definitely learn to trade with this tool among many others that he picks up through the learning process. Being consistently successful in CFD trade is some task. This trade is completely different from that of shares and warrants. In share trading, you lose money if you do not know the nuances to go about it. Before trading CFDs learn more about the techniques and strategies involved in it. Once you understand these strategies protecting your capital would become an easier task.

When you learn how to trade CFD, check for aspects like proven and tested techniques. Since this is a highly leveraged product charts out the trading strategies which are the most profitable. Learn to know where to enter the trade and where to make an exit, in your CFD trading education. Focus on managing your leverage and back test your CFD plans. There are different market models for CFD and you shouldlearn to tradewhile getting accustomed with them as a part of your CFD education. In good online educational sessions, you are exposed to webinars and forums. Besides access to expert practitioners and you also have an email support to clarify doubts and obtain other help.

Learn to trade CFD by applying the basic principles and managing the risks. With such knowledge you are competent enough to get safe profitable results. Be it CFD, trading or any other business, it is wise to know the flow of the business and the dangers expected from it, before investing any money in them. Learning CFD from an expert will keep you well prepared for the rest of your future in CFD. There are numerous online classes and others where you could personally visit. Check the one that suits you the best.

The effectiveness and success of any USMLE review is heightened by a valid and discriminating appraisal of all its aspects. Evaluation is a part and parcel of any teaching-learning activity. It is an integral element in the proper organization of learning. It is in no sense functionally separated from it.

Testing, measuring, marking and making reports, which are the most familiar instruments of evaluation should be considered and treated as factors in the business of bringing about better retention and mastery in a USMLE board preparation.

According to the Dictionary of Education, evaluation is the process of ascertaining or judging the value or amount of something by careful appraisal. It is the process of making judgments that are to be used as a basis for planning the teaching and learning environment. It involves improving the product, which speaks of the medical students, the process or plan which is signified by the USMLE review program and the goals which is set on the first day of the review session together with the students.

Evaluating the results of your USMLE question bank practice test exercises will determine many aspects in terms of your growth or development for the USMLE Steps preparation as well as the efficiency of the methods and strategies utilized in the USMLE review. The results provide useful data by:
revealing your specific points of strength and weakness in the process of teaching and learning as well as relearning
providing opportunities for devising new methods of instruction and review materials or resources
measuring the validity and reliability of the instruction and review that you received in the review program
making you familiar with your own results, thus helping you to understand your own high and low potential for learning as well as help you create more positive methods and system of addressing related roadblocks for licensing examination success
objectively and systematically identifying your needs for additional resources and aids for review as well as provide useful data for your progress

On the above mentioned value of the results of your USMLE question bank practice tests, it is noteworthy to mention that evaluation and measurement are two different things. To measure would mean to determine the extent while to evaluate is to consider all facets that will most likely contribute to the soundness of the test, results, process and subject matter being evaluated.

The most common form of evaluation that medical students go through in preparing for the USMLE Steps is answering practice test exercises with questions that were taken from a USMLE question bank. The results of these test exercises whether evaluated cumulatively or separate with each subject matter serves as the best indicator for USMLE success.

The currency war and its effect on the banking system will be determined after the meeting in Washington is concluded. With the Chinese president meeting with President Obama in the White House, the hot topic is trade and the dispute over currency manipulation.

What is apparent to the world is that both nations are currently, and have in the past, manipulated their currency value to favor trade for their respective nations. This has not stopped both nations from blaming each other on this topic. The US has been a world power for over 100 years now and has used a heavy stick for most of it. Congress still thinks this approach will work and are furious with China for not giving in on this matter.

Congress has gone so far with this attitude that they are debating legislation demanding punishment against China for manipulating their currency and making it harder for US goods to be sold in China. This big stick, like the one Teddy Roosevelt used when he was a Rough Rider, will not work any longer. China has the economy with double digit growth, while America is new double digit unemployment.

The current bank rates in America are near record lows while China has to raise their interest rates to stave off inflation. This, along with their military power, America needs to tread cautiously and not like a bull in a china shop.

China has asked to be treated as an equal. If this does not occur, then the currency war and its effect on the banking system in America will not be favorable for our economy or the world. Obama, put the stick down and be the salesman America knows you are. It is how you got into the White House.

We strive to bring you the latest and most accurate data possible from the home sites of the financial institutions we name. Always remember, the bigger the risk, the larger the reward or loss. Invest with caution.

For additional resources involving financial help, please view PNC Online Banking, SunTrust CD Rates, best bank savings rates, Westpac Online Banking and Online Banks at

ICICI Bank has concluded the sale of its network of electronic point of sales (PoS) terminals that accept Credit Card and Debit Card payments to First Data Corporation (FDC). The bank has hived off its network of over 1.5 lakh electronic swipe machines to a separate company ICICI Merchant Services. First Data has bought an 81% stake in the company which has been valued at a little over $90 million.

When contacted, ICICI Bank refused to comment on the transaction. The bank has, however, communicated to merchants having ICICI Bank terminals that the PoS network has been transferred to ICICI Merchant Services. First Data, along with partner banks, is keen to proliferate payment transactions not just at top retailers but also through small cities or towns in India, said Amrish Rau, country manager, First Data Corporation.

Referring to the transaction with ICICI Bank, Mr Rau said an announcement would be made in due course. Mr Rau, who represents First Data in the country, is likely to head the new payments company. First Data is a US-based company that has been created after banks farmed out their back office processing systems into a separate company. FDC is presently owned by private equity giant KKR.

The Reserve Bank of India has already given clearance for the deal. According to banking sources, the deal value has gone up after RBI said that merchant establishments, including grocery stores and supermarkets, could swipe customer cards and offer them cash.

In addition to unlocking value, ICICI Bank expects that the specialised company will bring down transactions costs and also grow the payment network more efficiently. This is the first time that an Indian bank has hived off its PoS terminal network.

So far it has been foreign banks that have outsourced these functions but their network is of much smaller scale.

ICICI Merchant Services will earn a fee every time a credit cards or debit cards transaction is processed through the point of sale network. The fee is usually borne by the merchant and a large part of it goes to the card issuing bank. This is in lieu of the credit that the issuing bank extends to the cardholder until the end of the billing cycle. A smaller part of the commission goes to the bank owning the PoS terminal (acquiring bank) and smaller portion to the payment company Mastercard or Visa.

Incidentally, State Bank of India has for some time expressed its intention to set up a network of half a million point of sales terminals. To build this network the bank had earlier sought partners. However, the project was shelved as the bank decided to take a more holistic approach of its payments business.

Are you in need of a personal loan to help you out with some emergency or project? Do you want to be able to go to your bank for this loan because you know the rate will be better and you already know the people there? There is much to say about personal bank loans and you need to know what to expect before you walk in and apply. Here is what you will be getting into.

First, you need to understand that your bank will be harder to get a loan from than many non conventional lenders. The bank will want you to have good credit, collateral, or a few other things. If you have a good relationship with them, a vehicle or piece of property to use as collateral, or an investment account to use as collateral, then they might be willing to give you a personal bank loan even if you do not have the best of credit.

However, you are better off if you have good creit because if you have good credit you may not even need collateral. Many banks will lend based on income and credit only and will not require any collateral for smaller loans that are under $10,000. Of course, the amount you will be able to get all depends on your income and your credit.

Second, you need to understand that if you have bad credit your chances of getting a personal loan from your bank are not very good. They will be doing you a huge favor if they even consider extending you a loan. With a good amount of collateral and a co signer you might be able to get a loan from your bank with a co signer, but that is still stretching is quite a bit.

Last, understand that if you are not able to get personal bank loans, there are still options. You can apply online for a personal loan through someone that is considered a non conventional lender. If you are really desperate and you need the money for an emergency you can always get a cash advance or payday loan without even having your credit checked.

You can get more information about Personal Bank Loans and discover everything you need to know about Online Personal Loans at:

Personal Bank Loans

PNC rates on mortgages are one of the few that did not increase when many of the other financial institutions have already done so.

For a $250,000 loan in the Philadelphia area, the rates are as follows. The 30 year fixed interest rate at 5.50% to 5.875% with APRs of 5.626% to 5.842%, respectively. The 20 year fixed interest rate is at 5.625% to 6.125% with APRs of 5.828% to 6.098%. The 15 year fixed is at 4.875% to 5.125% with APRs of 5.082% to 5.258%. The 10 year fixed interest rates are 4.750% to 5.125% with APRs of 5.045% to 5.232%.

The current bank rates on CDs include a tiered format. The top tier is for those with Performance Select checking accounts, followed by Premium Plan, then the Standard CD rates. The promotional 9 month CD is earning an APY of 0.45%, 0.42% and 0.40%, respectively. This has a minimum deposit of $1,000.

The 3 month CD is earning an APY of 0.15%, 0.15% and 0.15%, respectively. The 6 month CD is earning an APY of 0.25%, 0.20%, and 0.20%. The 1 year CD is earning an APY of 0.50%, 0.45%, and 0.45%. The 18 month CD is earning an APY of 0.55%, 0.50%, and 0.50%.

The 2 year CD is earning an APY of 0.50%, 0.45%, and 0.45%. The 3 year CD is earning an APY of 0.70%, 0.65%, and 0.65%. The 4 year CD is earning an APY of 1.05%, 1.00%, and 1.00%.The 5 year CD is earning an APY of 1.25%, 1.20%, and 1.20%. The 7 year CD is earning an APY of 1.75%, 1.70%, and 1.70%. The 10 year CD is earning an APY of 2.00%, 1.95%, and 1.95%.

The minimum deposit for these PNC rates is $1,000, and the rates were posted on February 9, 2011, but are subject to change without notice.

We strive to bring you the latest and most accurate data possible from the home sites of the financial institutions we name. Always remember, the bigger the risk, the larger the reward or loss. Invest with caution.

For additional resources involving financial help, please view PNC Online Banking, best bank savings rates, Westpac Online Banking and Online Banks at

How technology has affected the financial department in organisations?
Theres no doubt that new cloud technology has had an incredible impact on todays workplaces, particularly those who work in, or are involved with the financial aspects of an organisation. Over the last few decades, new and different technology has been injected into the workplace at an ever increasing rate. One of these is the use of the mobile device.

Smart phones, netbooks, iPads and other such tablets detach us from our desks and give us the freedom to roam with our work. Imagine using a cloud-based accounting and finance system. This would allow you to review budgets or produce financial reports from the garden, a taxi, or even on holiday. Having access to your financial data and information, whenever is suitable for you and wherever you are, cant be a bad thing for business.

Managing the accounting and finance function on the go
Most businesses have adopted mobile technology in some way or another, as its hard to ignore the lure of the high mobility and other strengths that come with cloud computing, particularly for accounting and finance professions. Smart phones started this revolution, and they are now an important device for the hard working professional. But now, the tablet device has enhanced our mobile experience even more. Theres more mobility offered than we get with laptops, and the screen is bigger than you get with smart phones, making it all the more easier to view and analyse your financial budgets, reports, expenditure, etc

Tablets enhance user experience
How many times have you been in a finance or board meeting and someone has requested some information that you can only provide once youre back at your desk? Well, with a tablet or any mobile device its right at your fingertips. It can be discussed straightaway, a decision taken and communicated to the business without you leaving your meeting.

With easy access to email, calendar and contacts built in to most devices, the most simple business functions are now easy to get up and running in a few easy steps. Add on many of the freely available apps and you have a fully functioning business tool.

Where next?
All mobile devices are tools that should ultimately enable, not disable business. So if you find a cloud-based accounting and finance system that allows you to work on the go, and allow other people access to the information they need without needing your help, then the way organisations are run can change for the better.

Objective is nothing but the goal you have before achieving any task. When you are applying for any job, your aim will be to visualize yourself in good position in the future. When applying for any bank job, your resume objective must express to the recruiting bank officer about your aim to be working as the bank employee. You must prepare your resume in such a way that it must talk about your future career objective and it must explain to the employer how you are planning to fulfill these aims while benefiting the bank.

A Study about the Bank Profession:

The banking profession involves great responsibility because the banker has to handle financial transactions and must understand the reports which are prepared by the bank for all the transactions done. In this banking sector, one has to examine all the transactions made in his/her bank and must prepare a relevant report. Your resume for the banking job must highlight your knowledge in the field and must depict the list of details which will convince the recruiting officer to employ you. The bank profession has different positions; following are some preferred bank job responsibilities which a bank employee has to possess:

To create the financial portfolio, generate bank revenue reports, plan about bank schemes, know how to manage the banks profits, find methods for proper management, build a good relationship with the customer and customer care service, control and direct the retail banking resource and activities, discuss various business schemes with the clients and to settle the queries related to the function of the banks.

Important words to consider for banking objectives:

An objective statement in the resume is the first section which will be queried by the employer. Therefore, it is significant to include the words which describe your skills aptly. Below are such words which can enhance the quality of your objective statement and make your resume remarkable:

Self-motivated, positive thinker, enthusiastic, creative
Strong mathematical skill
Thorough knowledge of banking and finance
Logical approach and strong analytical skills

Going through many sample resumes will give an idea for preparing your resumes. There are many positions in this sector and you must alter your objective depending upon the position you are planning to apply.