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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 196

Date:- 17 April 2005

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Richard Branson is still the UK's most inspirational business leader

13 April 2005, Richard Branson is still regarded as the most inspirational business leader according to a recent survey by Panasonic Business Systems. The survey of over 1000 UK youth, 87.5% of whom are soon to be school leavers and the rest undergraduates was undertaken as part of Panasonic's 'Be Your Own Boss Week'. 

37% of those surveyed cited Richard Branson as the business leader that they most wished to emulate. 28% nominated Jamie Oliver following his recent successes success with 15 and the recent televised school dinner's campaign. Microsoft founder Bill Gates received 12% with British designer James Dyson and Band Aid's Bob Geldof each receiving 7%. X- Factor creator Simon Cowell scraped in with 1.3% of the vote behind Anita Roddick and Stelios Haji-Ioannou. 

This respect for inspirational business leaders is somewhat reflected in the career aspirations of those surveyed although few were considering an entrepreneurial career this early in their lives. An overwhelming 66% wish to pursue a professional career once they leave school or graduate seeing it as the best way to achieve their future goals. Manual careers in trades such as plumbing came second with 16.3% and medical careers third with 11%.

The results highlight that a desire to start a small business or to become self-employed comes later in life - perhaps after a few years of 9-5 working! Most teenagers are still looking towards traditional careers when they leave school or graduate with self-employment and entrepreneurialism seemingly not regarded as a serious career choice for the school leavers of today.

However when asked what has influenced their decisions on career choice 11% felt that they could make more money in a trade with 14% wanting to make money for themselves and not large corporations. A further 9% have goals that they can only achieve by working for themselves.

The research also found that:-

2.5% didn't want to enter the rat race at all 

28% wanted to follow a set profession, eg:- Doctor, Dentist, Journalist, Accountant, Advertising, Marketing, Lawyer

2.5% want to work for well known companies once they graduate or leave school 

Regionally, those surveyed from Yorkshire and Humberside, the North East and Midlands still feel that manual jobs such as plumbing, carpentry and building offered the best chance of higher incomes when they leave school or college. Perhaps surprisingly the North proved to have far more entrepreneurial spirit than the South of England with over 25% of those surveyed expressing a wish to become their own boss and achieve goals on their own sooner rather than later in their careers.

David Millar, CEO of Business Dynamics, a business education and enterprise charity that aims to bring business to life for young people commented, "Our programmes encourage young people to see working for themselves as a realistic career option. It comes as no surprise that Richard Branson remains at the top of this survey. It is unusual for someone new to join lists of inspirational entrepreneurs and if we are going to inspire young people to be their own boss, more needs to be done to raise the profile of other entrepreneur role models from a variety of different backgrounds.

It is in everyone's interests to promote entrepreneurialism as a career choice to people of all ages. For every small business that starts up there's a real chance it could be the next big brand. Panasonic began life in 1918 producing and selling two-socket light bulbs from the founder's house, with just 3 employees. There should be no age barrier to great business ideas."
said Bob Tate, Head of Business Systems at Panasonic.

Panasonic Business Systems provides complete solutions for small businesses and their office needs, from an award winning range of "Workio" multi-function products to smaller "mini office" products for the home office. Also on offer are their lightweight micro-portable projectors and ruggedised Toughbook notebook PCs for those that work on the move along with iris recognition and network cameras from the market leading Panasonic security range and telephone systems designed for small businesses growing needs.

Be Your Own Boss Week 2005 (11 to 17 April) sponsored by Panasonic Business Systems, is an awareness campaign looking at the benefits and issues involved in running a small business, celebrating the people that have made the decision to go it alone and be their own boss. It looks at how technology enables people to work from home and small offices and the difficulties encountered by start-ups when choosing the correct technology solutions. It also looks at how starting a business is becoming an increasingly popular way for workers looking to work flexibly and gain a beneficial work/life balance. 


ARE your kids destined for decay? 

Are false teeth the future for your toddler? 

Take the Denplan Toothcare Test' with a few simple questions to find out…

My child Yes No
Eats fresh fruit and vegetables regularly?    
Eats snacks such as biscuits or sweets rarely?    
Drinks normally water, milk or sugar-free drinks? 
only rarely has fizzy drinks
Brushes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste?    
Has a preference for savoury rather than sweet foods?    
Has a new tooth brush every three months or less?    
Visits the dentist regularly?    
Knows the difference between good and bad foods for teeth?     
Knows how important it is to take care of their teeth?    

Count the number of yes answers. 

Nine or ten and your child is well on the way to keeping healthy teeth and gums for life.

Seven or eight and you are encouraging good habits, but there is room for improvement.

Five or six and there is a danger that your child could be running into dental problems.

Four or below and your child potentially faces serious trouble and could be at high risk of tooth decay. Seek advice from your dentist…

Denplan's Dental Advisor Dr Henry Clover said:- "Parents can take this simple test and gain some insight into the likely health of their children's teeth, now and in the future. This is a quick and easy way of seeing if habits need changing. The best way of ensuring good oral health is to encourage children from a young age to have a healthy diet and avoid food and drinks containing sugar. To develop a good brushing technique, with a fluoride toothpaste - and to ensure they visit a dentist regularly,".

Top tips for healthy children's teeth:-

1. Cut out snacking on sugary foods

Your child is more likely to have tooth decay if they snack on sugary foods. It is the frequency with which they consume sugary products and not the amount that it is important to monitor. Limit sugary foods to mealtimes and provide snacks of vegetables, cheese and fruit, but not dried fruit. Check processed food for its hidden sugar content by looking at the ingredients. If sugar is high on this list, you may want to look for an alternative.

2. Make teeth cleaning part of your child's daily hygiene routine

Make brushing teeth part of a daily routine and supervise your child until they are at least seven years old. Get you child accustomed to brushing their teeth in the morning and before they go to bed. When the first teeth start to come through, use a small-headed toothbrush suitable for the age of your child. Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste and brush in small circular movements, carefully reaching behind the teeth and onto the gums.

3. Visit the dentist regularly

Regular visits to the dentist are essential in helping your child to get accustomed to the experience. The earlier you start to take them to the dentist, the more relaxed they will be. It is important that you are supportive if your child requires treatment, even if you are anxious yourself. They should get used to visiting the dentist and feel that it is nothing to worry about.

4. Encourage good nutritional habits

The foods that help your body build strong muscles and bones also help build strong, healthy teeth and gums. Dairy products provide calcium and vitamin D for strengthening teeth and bones. Breads and cereals supply B vitamins that contribute to healthy gum tissue.

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