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For the final programme of the series, John Murphy returns to a selection of businesses that have come through this far. A fabric and haberdashery shop, a fruit farmer and a micro-pub. What’s their story of survival, what did they change and what of the future? The potential difficulties and pitfalls, are not over.Presenter: John MurphyProducer: Ph…
 
The pandemic and the resulting recession have led to widespread calls to recognise that we now have a once in a generation opportunity to re-think how we put the economy back together again. Research shows we can help our economy flourish again by prioritising spending on environmentally friendly initiatives. From electric bikes, to eco-friendly ce…
 
As Brexit talks between the European Union and the UK got under way earlier this year, before anyone was using the word “pandemic”, Caroline Bayley began following two companies which both export to Britain– one in France, one in Germany – to see how they were planning for trade with the UK outside of the EU. One is a vineyard and wine business in …
 
Politicians keep promising more trees – seen as good for the environment and for fighting climate change. Trees are also big business sustaining vital rural jobs. So will lots of new planting keep everyone happy? Chris Bowlby explores forestry’s future in one of its key locations – Northumberland. He visits the huge forest at Kielder, and a rural f…
 
Robots and Artificial Intelligence have been moving into our workplaces for years. But is now the time that they will become fully established and take over some jobs entirely? Is the march of the robots going to get louder now that everything seems to be changing ? David Baker investigates. Presenter: David BakerProducer: Sandra KanthalCredit: Get…
 
Sparked by the Black Lives Matter protests around the world that followed the death of George Floyd, companies are wading into the conversation on racial inequality. With a focus on diversity in business, there was also interest and investment in a lot of companies run by black people in the UK. Tobi Oredein, founder of media company Black Ballad, …
 
The UK fitness industry employs twenty thousand people and is worth an estimated £5 billion to the economy. But - like most other industries - it shut down overnight in March. Some teachers and trainers made swift decisions to move online. Some businesses closed permanently. Will people want to return to busy gyms, even with the new protocols? Tany…
 
The coronavirus pandemic and the associated global economic lockdown have had a dramatic impact on businesses across the UK, perhaps none more so than on the aviation industry and airports like Gatwick, usually the UK's second busiest.The consequences, though, go far beyond the confines of the airport. Tens of thousands of jobs in the wider economy…
 
As the UK emerges from the coronavirus lockdown, millions of employees are still furloughed – either fully or part-time – with most of their salaries paid by the government. But how many of them really have jobs to go back to? Already companies including British Airways, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar Landrover and Centrica, to name just a few, have …
 
The oil price has crashed - for a while some producers were even paying customers to take it away. It's like no oil shock the industry has ever seen before. Lesley Curwen sets out to discover what difference cheap oil will make to our lives. Which jobs are at risk? Will there be a knock-on effect on our household finances - utility bills and pensio…
 
2020 hasn't been good for British business - certainly not since Covid-19 showed up. The global pandemic and the lockdown imposed to try to fight it have affected individual livelihoods and those of many companies. John Murphy talks to some business owners from different sectors of the economy - a family-run pub, a fruit farm, a fabric and haberdas…
 
With the highest Covid19 death toll in the world, and 26 million Americans claiming unemployment insurance, the US economy has taken a massive hit. But how quickly can it bounce back?Will America’s economy will be strong enough to pull its weight in the global economy? Economist Jim O’Neill explores the current scale of the problem and asks how res…
 
In the 14th century the world was devastated by plague, known as 'The Black Death', in the 20th century a deadly form of influenza struck infecting around a quarter of the world's population. Since then HIV, Ebola and more have stricken nations. With each epidemic and pandemic comes a huge human cost but each also carry an economic cost. In this pr…
 
Since the Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ began, vast numbers of people have been toiling away at home for the first time: converting living rooms and bedrooms into makeshift office space, wrangling with technology, and juggling family life with working hours. How are we doing? Caroline Bayley explores the delights and challenges of "WFH". Produced by Beth Sag…
 
Honey bees, cow dung and mulch - the company in Zimbabwe that is protecting the forests in order to offset carbon emissions. As Charlotte Ashton wrestles with ‘flight shame’, she wants to find out where her money goes if she chooses to offset her flight. She lives in Zimbabwe, but is from the UK and doesn’t have the money or time to spend three wee…
 
Ruth Alexander examines whether the complex global web of supply chains can hold up under the enormous pressure of the coronavirus pandemic. Looking further into the future, she and Jonty Bloom ask whether this global shock has shown that the days of the speedy delivery of a huge choice of cheap goods from all over the world is over. Presenter: Rut…
 
Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is sinking, and struggling with traffic and pollution. The government’s solution? To build a new capital on the island of Borneo instead, better known for its jungles and orangutans. How will this work? Former BBC Indonesia correspondent Rebecca Henschke travels to the proposed new capital site and meets families, enviro…
 
Fashion is a hugely polluting industry and is under enormous pressure to become more sustainable. From the way cotton is grown, to the use of synthetic materials and the conditions in factories where our clothes are made - these are all challenges facing the sector. In this programme Patrick Grant, the British menswear designer, factory owner and j…
 
Hydrogen is a volatile gas with an image problem, but hydrogen evangelists think this could be the ‘magic molecule’ which will solve the world’s air pollution and cut carbon emissions dramatically. Manuela Saragosa presents the final part of this special series on energy from Italy, where hydrogen has been pumped into the existing gas network. Coul…
 
Jaguar Land Rover, Cadbury, Weetabix are but some of the many British brands now owned by foreign corporations. The UK has one of the highest rates of company takeovers by new overseas owners. Sometimes these deals rescue a struggling business and save jobs. And sometimes they provide welcome investment for fast growth. But is there also the risk o…
 
Australia is stubbornly sticking to providing much of its power through coal. While many countries around the world are eschewing fossil fuels, (because of their environmental impact), the Australian government continues to give the all-clear to new coal mines, including one called the Carmichael mine. It’s being constructed by the Indian company, …
 
Every day people dig into sadza, a maize based meal, but there’s a problem. Zimbabwe’s getting much drier and maize can’t cope. Crop failures have partly contributed to food shortages this year leading to more than 7 million people needing food aid. The economic crisis has made the situation more serious and things will only get worse as the climat…
 
Germany has long been considered a leader in renewable energy – a model even for others to follow with its subsidies for wind and solar. Householders were encouraged to put solar panels on their rooves as early as two decades ago. But its so-called “Energiewende” or “energy transition” from fossil fuels to renewables is facing challenges and the co…
 
More than seventy percent of households in Rwanda cook over wooden and charcoal fires. This means women often sit for hours every day in smoky conditions which can damage their health, increasing the risk of respiratory infections, heart disease, strokes and lung cancer. These traditional cooking methods are also the cause of widespread deforestati…
 
"Beethoven's arms were bigger than the piano" says concert pianist Stephen Hough at his Steinway. "I sense him pushing at every moment - as if he's in a cage saying 'Let me out'". To mark the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth in 2020, Clemmie Burton-Hill looks, not at Beethoven the composer, but at a little-known aspect of the composer's li…
 
Since 2001 the UK has lost a quarter of its pubs. They've shut their doors for good. High taxes, high prices, supermarket competition, even the smoking ban have all been blamed. But there are new types of pub, the micropub, and community-owned pubs, which are bucking the trend. While larger, traditional establishments have been under pressure, thes…
 
As Britain’s sources of electricity change, along with significant changes in demand, how will the lights stay on? The major power blackout that hit the UK in early August – the worst in more than a decade – was an indication of how increasingly complicated our electricity grid is becoming. Hundreds of thousands of people, as well as major transpor…
 
Iceland has taken radical measures to reduce its gender pay gap. These aren't just about equalising pay when men and women do the same job but when they do different jobs of equal value. That's proved to be quite a sticking point in many countries around the world; ensuring that the jobs routinely occupied by women are paid as well as those that me…
 
The irradiated lands around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor were large, prosperous, and lively collective farms until the reactor exploded in 1986. Seventy percent of the toxic radiation fell in Belarus – a small, agrarian country in which most people lived on the land. Hundreds of villages were evacuated, but much of the population has since returne…
 
A victim of the “resource curse”, Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world, in spite of being rich in natural resources. Rubber is one of the country’s biggest exports but few Liberians have benefitted from this multimillion dollar business. In this Global Business, Josephine Casserly meets a retired Californian policeman, James Cooper,…
 
Why have politicians gone from cosying up to businesses, to turning a deaf ear to their concerns? Jeremy Schwartz – a CEO himself – finds that the love affair was starting to become toxic long before Brexit, and asks whether it’s really such a bad thing if governments no longer care what business leaders think. Contributors include:Andrea Leadsom –…
 
Flying, for many of us, is now routine. For a few of us it is a weekly, maybe even daily, event. At the same time global protests, concerned with the pressing danger of climate change and the need to reduce CO2 emissions, are gaining attention and causing alarm. So, will we ever get to a point where we can indulge our flying habit and our keep our …
 
Online retail spending has increased more than four fold in the last ten years - it now accounts for almost one in five pounds we spend shopping. But whilst times are tough for our high streets, e-retailing is far from a licence to print money. With widespread discounting and a growing cost of delivery and returns, margins are being squeezed and ma…
 
India has emerged as one of the world’s fastest-growing fashion markets and is expected to touch $60 billion by 2022, which will make it the sixth largest in the world. This is due to its rapidly growing middle class and tech savvy consumers, who are buying online, as well as from a plethora of shopping malls which have mushroomed in the country’s …
 
Twenty million Brits give their time for free each year. From the National Trust to the hospice coffee morning, the Samaritans to the local football club, huge parts of our world rely on volunteers. But how easy is it to manage a workforce who can walk out at a moment's notice? How can you ensure people perform well - or even turn up - without the …
 
Strawberries at Christmas? No problem! And as cheap as ever? Yes, of course! Many of us have become used to buying whatever fruit and vegetables we want, whenever we want, no matter the season. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are available in supermarkets all year round. Until recently that was not the case. So what does it …
 
Chinese technology company, Huawei, is the world’s biggest supplier of network telecoms equipment, and with a research budget of up to $20 billion, its ambition is to be even bigger still. However, it’s also one of the most controversial businesses of our time. The United States and others have banned its involvement in their critical infrastructur…
 
Climate-change scientists have warned that the clock is ticking, environmental campaigners are blocking the streets, but until now the world of business has kept itself out of the fray. That is changing. From multi-billion dollar investors, to leaders of international companies, to banking bosses, the call is going out for business to take more res…
 
One thing Germany does well, you might assume, is infrastructure and transport. Think again. For Global Business on the BBC World Service, Chris Bowlby’s had a rare behind the scenes tour of Berlin’s new airport. It’s billions over budget, already seven years late in opening, and is still being rebuilt before a single plane’s landed. So what’s gone…
 
The last eighteen months have seen a global public backlash against plastic. Everyone talks about the huge impact that Sir David Attenborough and the BBC's Blue Planet series has had in raising public awareness about the damage that 8 million tonnes of plastic which enter the ocean every year is having on sea life. It was one of the triggers for co…
 
Guyana, a country of just 750,000 people wedged between Venezuela and Suriname on the north-east coast of South America, has never had an oil industry. But a series of recent discoveries in its waters has revealed billions of barrels of oil beneath the ocean, potentially one of the world’s biggest reserves. Next year, the oil is due to start flowin…
 
The face-to-face interview can be life-changing. But it comes with risks attached, of bias on the part of the interviewer, or nerves on the part of the candidate. Lesley Curwen looks at the fast-changing process of getting hired in companies, big and small. Large companies are increasingly using recruitment tools including artificial intelligence t…
 
Can the United Arab Emirates grow its own food? The Desert kingdoms today import 90% of their own food, at great cost. And each year consumption increases by 12%. This raises issues of food security, price and environmental damage – flying in fruit from California is not environmentally sustainable. This is a region with little soil and few water r…
 
The relationship between landlord and tenant is an important, often unseen, dynamic that most of us don’t give much thought to. And yet, it's reshaping high streets up and down the country. High rents are blamed for the collapse of so many retailers - they appear unsustainable yet they are the vehicle through which much of our pension wealth is inv…
 
Its top stars can earn millions of dollars a year, without breaking into a sweat. They train for hours a day and have legions of fans, who fill stadiums to watch them. But these aren't normal sports stars. They're part of one of the fastest growing industries - known as Esports. And, as John Murphy discovers, the distinction between real physical s…
 
Much has been made of the death of the high street, but some places are staging a comeback. The government has announced this Spring a £1.6bn Stronger Towns Fund to help less well-off areas. Six hundred million pounds of that will be shared out to towns which can come up with credible plans to help their high street adapt to the rapidly changing re…
 
As the global economy slows and the search for new areas of growth becomes more intense, many countries are looking beyond their coastline to the vast, untapped potential of the sea. The “Ocean Economy” is now attracting attention from governments, businesses and investors, not only in traditional industries like fishing and shipbuilding but also i…
 
There’s more money spent on innovation today than ever before. Yet the process by which we come up with ideas is still poorly understood. If only we had a better grasp of how great ideas are generated, we would have the key to unlock huge new waves of innovation and productivity. Adam Shaw looks at the growing study of innovation to uncover its sec…
 
Five years after Uruguay became the first country to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, what does a legal cannabis industry look like? When the small South American nation of Uruguay made it legal to grow and buy marijuana for fun, an entire industry had to start from scratch. For producers, regulators, investors, and consumers, it was a bla…
 
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