Google’s new holiday gift guide is built to send users to Google Shopping results

Google’s new holiday gift guide is built to send users to Google Shopping results

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How One Company Built Philanthropy Into Their Business Model

It all began when RoHo founder, Caleigh Hernandez, fell in love with a pair of beautiful beaded leather sandals in a craft market in East Africa. She brought several for herself and her mom. They were so impressed with these sandals; they began a year-long quest to find something similar in quality in the area, which led them to coastal Kenya.

RoHo’s products are handmade by over 400 artisans in Kenya, with over 95% of women. The line includes beautiful beaded leather sandals, cowhide rugs and pillows, Binga baskets, jewelry, and more. The company strives to use what they sell to break the cycle of poverty by helping people help themselves. RoHo sandal artisans are paid 50% higher than the industry standard, and they are currently providing 16 education grants to send their artisans’ children to quality local schools. They also ensure 100% of their artisans are above 18 years old.

RoHo is Swahili for ‘kindness and spirit,’ which is something the company is striving for. Since it’s formation, they have been recognized for their work and this kindness as well. They have won several awards and accolades for our efforts. These include the Spirit of Entrepreneurship’s 2019 Giving Back Award, Women’s Economic Ventures’ 2019 Business of the Year, National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) ‘s 2019 Entrepreneur to Watch, and Pacific Coast Business Times’ 2019 Think Global Award.

RoHo’s Various Missions

Kenya has a population of 44 million people, and over 40% live below the poverty line. Unemployment rates are high, especially amongst women and other marginalized groups. Consistent and fair paying work is even harder to come by. RoHo has partnered with four artisan groups across Kenya to create consistent, proper paying work for our artisans, most of whom are women.

“At RoHo, we aim to bring about meaningful change through beautiful products,” Ms. Hernandez said. “I witnessed cyclical poverty because people are stuck in their relative positions while working for nonprofits across East Africa.”

According to RoHo, providing quality jobs to skilled artisans is key to supporting community development. An employment for their artisans means more than just a paycheck—it creates opportunities and stability in a household and a chance to invest in the futures of the artisans’ children.

“We asked our original artisan group, the sandal makers based in Malindi, Kenya, how we could better serve them,” Ms. Hernandez explained. “They responded that lack of quality education was one of the largest contributors to poverty in the area, so we decided to provide educational opportunities for their children.”

“We also control international distributions for a Fair Trade group of 280 Maasai women in the south of Kenya,” Ms. Hernandez continued. “There’s already a nonprofit operating in the area Africa Schools of Kenya (ASK), that provides scholarships for local children. So we have partnered with ASK to offer scholarships to

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How Amazon quietly built a shipping operation that rivals UPS

It didn’t stop there. The e-commerce giant leased 12 Boeing 767-300 cargo aircraft, bringing its air fleet above 80 jets. It added 220 package facilities since the start of the year, ranging from urban delivery stations to giant warehouses, according to an industry consultant.

Amazon used the crisis, when prices on everything from commercial real estate to cargo jets plummeted, to amass an empire already beginning to rival the U.S. operations of United Parcel Service and FedEx, long the most dominant logistics companies, which helped the e-commerce giant get its start. But its ambition reaches well beyond delivering parcels to its own customers, according to former Amazon executives. The company is building a logistics system to one day deliver packages for customers to compete directly against UPS and FedEx, something it’s already doing in the United Kingdom.

“They are building the world’s biggest package-delivery company,” said David Glick, a former Amazon logistics executive who serves as chief technology officer at Flexe, which helps retailers warehouse and deliver goods. “If you believe the carrier network is tapped out today, and it is, there is no other option.”

Amazon said on a recent earnings call that it boosted its fulfillment capacity — the collection of warehouses, delivery stations and drivers it uses to get packages to customers — by 50 percent this year, helping fuel $30 billion in total capital spending.

While Amazon’s move into shipping its own packages and freight has been building for years, the implications will provide it a stark advantage this holiday season, when Amazon’s rivals will probably wrestle with getting packages delivered by a network already clogged with pandemic shopping.

That will probably hand Amazon a massive advantage in a holiday season in which U.S. e-commerce purchases will climb 35.8 percent to $190.5 billion, according to a forecast by the research firm eMarketer.

(Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos privately owns The Washington Post.)

When the pandemic started, there were few e-commerce companies that seemed less prepared than Amazon. It went beyond just logistics. Warehouse staff around the globe sounded alarms that company policies put their health in jeopardy. Rogue third-party sellers gouged buyers on such hard-to-find items as hand sanitizer and listed products making dubious claims about virus protection.

Meanwhile, shipping delays led customers to gripe about third-party sellers at the highest levels ever. The clogged network, and the new hurdles caused by the pandemic, led Amazon to throw gobs of money at the challenge. It sped up spending it had planned for next year on acquiring new warehouse space, to supplement a logistics network straining under the weight of pandemic-fueled shopping.

“We are erring on the side of having too much capacity,” Amazon’s finance chief, Brian Olsavsky, said late last month during a conference call with analysts. Amazon spokeswoman Rena Lunak said the company is ready for the holidays.

Even so, the added surge in holiday shopping could pose a challenge. Olsavsky noted that Amazon’s capacity will be “tight” this holiday season, and that the company

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Microsoft Edge now has coupon and promo codes built in for online shopping

Microsoft is adding a new coupons feature to its Edge browser today. Coupons and promo codes will appear inside Edge as an alert when you’re shopping online, and they can be automatically applied to a basket when you’re ready to check out. The coupons feature also includes price comparisons, so if you’re shopping online, Edge can surface different retailers that might offer items at lower prices.

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© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft introduced price comparisons in Edge just weeks ago as part of its Collections feature, but this new coupon experience goes even further. It’s part of a big push by Microsoft to position Edge as the browser for online shopping, but the comparisons and coupons only work for US users of the browser right now.

graphical user interface, application, website: Coupons inside Microsoft Edge.

© Image: Microsoft
Coupons inside Microsoft Edge.

If you’re not interested in online shopping, Edge is also getting some more productivity improvements that are particularly useful for students. Microsoft is adding in the ability to annotate and add text notes to PDFs, a highly requested feature. And one of the top requested features, according to Microsoft, is making a return to Edge: inking. As part of the new screenshot tool, you’ll now be able to digitally ink and annotate screenshots.


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Microsoft is also adding the ability to capture a full webpage in a screenshot later this month. Most existing screenshot tools simply screenshot what you see without the ability to capture an entire webpage or scroll as you grab the screen. Microsoft’s new Edge screenshot tool will automatically scroll down a webpage so you can capture everything in a single image.

Finally, Word and Outlook will also handle copied URLs from Edge a lot more elegantly soon. Microsoft will shorten long links into friendly URLs when you copy links from the address bar in Edge and paste them into Word or Outlook. That’s useful if you don’t want to use or another link shortening service, and you’ll also be able to switch back to the longer URL in the Word or Outlook context menus.

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