1- Which new business has impressed you most in the last six years? Why did it impress you?
2- Work in pairs. Student A, read Article A on the opposite page. Student B,
read Article B. Make notes in this chart.
Article AInternet whiz-kid's discount ideamakes billions in two yearsby Jonathan Birchall
name of new business
name of founder
age of founder
age of business at time of writing
location of new business (city and country)
number of employees
what the new business is/does
Andrew Mason studied music at university. where he dreamt about making his riches as a rock star. Instead. the 29-year-old decided to set up an Internet business that offer discounts on everything from restaurant meals to hair transplants and yoga classes. The big idea is about to turn him into the latest web billionaire. Google is preparing to buy Groupon.
his two-year-old company. for $5.3 billion . according to reports.
The proposed deal will put Mr Mason in a group of young Internet billionaires including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and the Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
The site offers vouchers named "Groupons'' that can be spent at participating retailers. Every user
gets a discount offer based on his or her location and profile. but these huge discounts expire unless enough people sign up. The trend, described as "social buying". has spread rapidly across the Web, and Groupon was described by Forbes as "the world's fastest-growing company".
Its explosive growth and healthy profits have convinced Google to dig into its deep pockets. It is believed to have started its bidding at $3 billion.
a price that has been steadily rising over the past few weeks.
Mr Mason appears to be a man who knows his worth. ln April. it was reported that he turned down a $2 billion offer from Yahoo. because the valuation was too low.
Groupon employs about 1 ,000 people, mostly based in Mr Mason's home town of Chicago. It is active in more than 80 countries and is growing at the rate of 10 per cent a week by adding new
users through Facebook and Twitter.Article B
Help with exports by Peter Marsh
Scattered around the world are many thousands of"micro-manufacturers"' of craft items such as jewellery and handbags. often offering high standards of design and quality. Most. however, have little idea of how to sell their products in international markets.
At the same time, retail outlets are eager to get their hands on products that look new and different - but find it difficult to discover them.
Just over a year ago, Sandra Felsenstein , a 27-year-old former industrial engineer. decided to start a business that would try to link these two groups. Her approach was to find a series of high-quality manufacturers in her native Argentina - a country with a good reputation for design. yet poor connections to the rest of the craft trade worldwide and link them with shops and distribution
Dinka. the four-person company she founded in Buenos Aires, is now showing signs of success. Ms Felsenstein has organised links with 30 Argentinian companies that have agreed to let Dinka promote their goods in export markets. Under these deals. Dinka will find buyers for their products and handle shipments and customs formalities in exchange for a proportion of sales revenues.
She has laid the foundations, too, for establishing a network of retail outlets in other countries, arranging connections with retailers in Chile, Peru and Ecuador as a first step, while signing up a distributor in Austin. Texas. that she hopes will help them enter the potentially large US market.
Ms Felsenstein says she is also ·'exploring several opportunities" for finding retailers in Europe -
particularly in Spain. Italy, Germany and Switzerland - where she thinks sizeable sales could be established so for Argentinian-made goods.
2- Note down two other interesting pieces of information about your article.
3-Give your partner an oral summary of your article, then take notes as you listen to your partner's summary.
4- Work in groups of three or four. Think about a business you could start
as a group. Consider these questions.
What kind of business would it be?2
Which country and city would you like to locate your new business in? Think of the
factors mentioned in Starting up, Exercise A.3
What do you already have as a group? Think about skills, experience and contacts.4
What other strengths do you have? What about your gaps?5
What difficulties do you think you may face? How will you overcome them?
Language Review : Time clauses
Time clauses provide information about actions and events in the past, present and future.
1 We often use when to introduce time clauses.
She remembers when she first started her business. (past time)
When you fly first class, you get more leg room. (present time)
When I'm in Geneva, I'll review all the start-up costs. (future time)
2 We can also use while, before, after, until and as soon as to introduce time clauses.
He looked at our business plan while we were waiting.
We need to have a solid business plan in place before we launch our online business.
After we finish this project, we'll look at new markets.
He waited until she finished speaking.
3 When we use a time clause to talk about the future, the verb in the time clause is in the present tense or the present perfect tense.
We'll deliver as soon as they pay their last bill.
When we've finished the report, we'll e-mail it to you.
Complete these sentences with when, while, before, after, until or as soon as.
More than one answer may be possible in each case.
1 We won't buy anything new . . . . . . . . . . . . we've paid off all our debts.