Case 1—Procuring Capital in Fiji

When Petero Tameti drew up her business plan, she was certain it would help her get financing from her uncle, a famous Fijian industrialist. Petero is in the throes of putting together a monthly magazine directed towards Fijian executive women. The objective of the periodical is to provide information useful to women who are pursuing careers. The first issue is scheduled to go to press in 90 days. Some of the articles included in this issue are ‘Managing your time for the fun and profit’, ‘What you need to know about dressing for success’ and ‘Money management: Do it like the experts’. A section also is devoted to successful women at work. It is titled ‘Women in the news’. Other features include a question-and-answer section that responds to letters and inquiries from readers (the first issue’s questions were submitted by a group of women executives, each of whom had been asked to help get the column started by sending in a question), a stock market section that reviews industries or companies and points out the benefits and risks associated with investing in them, and a column on the state of the economy and the developments or trends expected over the next 12 months.

Petero’s business plan consisted of six parts: a summary, a business description, a manufacturing segment, a management segment, a milestone segment and an appendix. When her uncle returned it to her with a polite rejection letter, he wrote: ‘Without a marketing segment, attention to critical risks and a financial segment, this plan is incomplete and cannot be favourably reviewed by me. If you would provide me this additional information and submit the rewritten plan within 60 days, I will be happy to review and give you my opinion within 10 working days’.

In light of the above, answer the following question:

Would the business plan of Petero have any appeal to the venture capitalist (assume all the segments of the business plan were completed and submitted)—Yes or No? Explain.

Case 2—A Patent Matter

In the machine industry, a lot of technological advances are taking place. Thus, whenever one company announces a new development, some of the first customers are that company’s competitors. The later will purchase the machine, strip it down, examine the new technology and then look for ways to improve it. The original breakthroughs always are patented by the firm that discovers them, even though the technology is soon surpassed.

Several weeks ago, Jim Pareti completed the development of a specialized lathe machine that is 25 percent faster and 9 percent more efficient than anything currently on the market. This technological breakthrough was a result of a careful analysis of competitive products. “Until I saw some of the latest developments in the field,” Jim told his wife, “I didn’t realize how easy it would be to increase the speed and efficiency of the machine. But once I saw the competition’s products, I knew immediately how to proceed.”

Jim has shown his machine to five major firms in the industry, and all have placed orders with him. Jim has little doubt that he will make a great deal of money from his invention. Before beginning production, however, Jim intends to get a patent on his invention. He believes his machine is so much more sophisticated and complex than any other machine on the market that it will take at least four years to develop a better product. “By that time, I hope to have improved on my invention and to continue to remain ahead of them,” he noted.

Jim has talked to an attorney about filing for a patent. The attorney believes that Jim should answer two questions before proceeding: How long will it take the competition to improve on your patent? (2) How far are you willing to go to defend your patent right? A part of the attorney’s comments was as follows: “It will take us about three years to get a patent. If during this time, the competition is able to come out with something better than what you have, we will have wasted a lot of time and effort. The patent will have little value because no one will be interested in using it. Since some of your first sales will be to the competition to catch up, this is something to which you have to give serious thought. Second, even if it takes four years for the competition to catch up, would you be interested in fighting those who copy your invention after, say, two years? Simply put, we can get you a patent, but I am not sure it will provide you as much protection as you think.”

In light of the above, answer the following questions.

(a) Given the nature of the industry, how useful will be a patent be to Jim? Explain (5 marks)

(b) Suppose, Jim does get a patent, can he bring action against infringers? Will it be worth the time and expense? Why or why not? Explain (5 marks)

Question 1

Using appropriate examples, critically discuss the various types of problems small businesses are encountering and the effects the COVID-19 crisis had on these businesses in the Pacific Islands countries. What policies can be utilized to overcome these problems? Use examples from Pacific Island countries to explain your answer.

Question 2

Small businesses are making a significant contribution to the economies of the Pacific island nations. Critically discuss the numerous economic contributions that small businesses make to the economies of these Pacific Island countries. What policies can be used to boost these small businesses? Use examples from Pacific Island countries to illustrate your answer.

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