Tag: Africa

The Business of Sustainability

The Business of Sustainability

Learn. Diversify. Adopt.

Distracted by the financial and migration crisis of the past few years has left Austrian businesses hard pressed to grow. Instead, many companies have been forced to become more risk averse, affecting the export market. But shying away from expanding into new markets will get us nowhere.

What it takes to gain an advantage.

It takes a risk taker armed with data, local partners and reliant cash flow to invest in the emerging markets successfully. So, it should not come to a surprise that the share of Austrian exports to Sub Saharan Africa peaked at 0.6% trade volume in 2016. That is not even 1%! Just imagine the benefits reaped from a monopolised position by these key players in Kenya, Nigeria, Kenya and other investment destinations.

Today’s climate presents an opportunity for you to increase revenues and profits in the long run. Austria’s well-funded program in start ups, green innovation, and digital solutions has made the execution of an internationalisation strategy easier today than yesterday. Now has come the right time to build on strategic partnerships, learn about options to diversify and adopt the smart business of sustainability.

Learn. Diversify. Adopt.

Among existing core strategies to develop your business, consider expanding to the sustainability market of developing countries. Sustainability is a trending element to innovative business models and ambiguous in the definition. In Europe, the ecological component of sustainability is of highest priority to manage climate change. In Africa, it is the economic part of sustainability that ranks first to improve the quality standards of living. But you probably know that.

At the upcoming Frontiers of Dialogue held on 7 September 2017, accompanied by a distinguished panel with Africa experience, we will explore together the opportunities and challenges of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Across Borders with a focus on Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. As you look forward, consider sustainable business and CSR initiatives for growth to acquire new customers, build strategic partnerships, expand into new markets and new product/service additions.

Challenge the status quo.

To bridge the sustainability market with Africa, you need to understand the business conduct and market demands fully. Those of you who have already attempted trading in Africa: what your business did to be successful in the past might not be ideal to in the future. Africa is connected and enlightened today more than ever before.

The underserved markets of Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa demands technology, know-how, and investments to develop in water and sanitation, agriculture, health, and education.

Too many Austrian businesses fail to realise the high potentials of combining business with sustainability and ethics to expand to Africa’s emerging markets. Of course, this comes with a higher level of risk taking, trust and understanding. The strategic and cross-cultural partnership is crucial to the success of international business relations. You need to have a knowledge of the sustainability market, opportunities and challenges of the underserved emerging markets in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

Leverage on your strengths.

Austria should not be intimidated by uncertainty and the barriers set by China and the US. Instead, we should leverage our strengths of social capital, high-quality production of energy efficient solutions and knowledge-intensive services.

Let us challenge the conventional thinking about doing business in Africa by asking the right questions. Together we can increase our understanding of the international business of sustainability. We shall explore innovative solutions and ideas to bridging the sustainability market between Austria and Africa’s emerging markets.

Join the upcoming Frontiers of Dialogue on CSR Across Borders: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa held on 7 September 2017, 18:00h at the Salon Razumovsky, 1030 Vienna.
More info about the event.

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Data-Driven Governance in Africa

Data-Driven Governance in Africa

Matching governance with disruptive technology

Today the emerging markets in Africa are competing for the largest share of foreign direct investments. If governed well, the money inflow would tackle challenges faced by most developing countries including climate change, poor sanitation, educational inequity, unpaved road and so forth.

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Strengthening trust in government is vital to attracting money inflows. I find it difficult to pinpoint what it takes to be a successful government. Perhaps you can help me by sharing your suggestions by clicking here. Though, I am sure on one aspect for success – the need for delivering good governance in the public sector.

An accountable and efficient government is crucial for sustainable development of peace, justice and strong institutions. For instance, let us take Nigeria for example, an African country with an estimated 192 million citizens living within borders. Such a large population demands regular census to present a reliable picture of the social characteristics (gender, income, etc.) and economic characteristics (quality of living standards, etc.) of a country.

In order to allocate budgets across education, basic infrastructure, food security, health, and climate change mitigation, it is necessary for the government to gather data on demographics, education, and other factors shaping a nation’s competitive advantage. A data-driven public sector can enhance transparency, and so weakens prevalent corruption activities.

Jacobs Edo Aphropean Partners

Among Africa’s leading advocates who push the digital agenda forward is Jacobs Edo, the author behind Digital Transformation: Evolving A Digitally Enabled Nigerian Public Service. Having lived over a decade in Austria’s capital city of Vienna as an executive at The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Jacobs Edo realised only too well the contrast of Austrian and Nigerian governance frameworks.

In his book, Jacobs Edo details the case of Nigeria’s ability to adopt and support the digital transformation of its public services. He discusses in simple and jargon free terms the guiding principles, approaches to digital transformation, and more.

Since its publication, the suggested solutions of public service digitalisation in Africa has reached global commendation. At Aphropean Partners’ Frontiers of Dialogue, Jacobs Edo shared his views on the opportunities and challenges of disruptive innovation and technology impacting Africa’s emerging economies through the path of digitalisation. Have a look at the highlights here.

Digitalisation allows one person to do what used to take ten, which is ideal for the efficiency of organisations and government, but not so much for employment security. There are very few jobs that are not in danger. It seems doubtful whether jobs, as we know them, will exist at all in the near future. Highly populated countries such as Nigeria are likely to be profoundly affected. The antidote towards the inevitable automated take over is good governance in order to attract the right kind of investments for developments in the education, agriculture and entrepreneurial sector.

What is your view on this?

Share your tips on how to improve the digital transformation in Africa for a chance to win a signed book by Jacobs Edo.

Now through to Friday 11 August 2017, you have the chance to get a signed copy of Jacobs Edo’s Digital Transformation: Evolving A Digitally Enabled Nigerian Public Service. Tell us about your experiences and recommendations in dealing with the public service in Africa. Send us a tip along with your full name and email address on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #AphropeanViews. We want to know the good, the bad and ugly. The best tips will be published in our upcoming newsletter and Aphropean Partners social media network on 1 September 2017 and announced at the upcoming Frontiers of Dialogue series held on 7 September 2017. For more info about the event email events@aphropean.com or read more here

 

 

Reference
http://www.digitaltransformation.com.ng
Denmark has made digital mandatory for government citizen interactions
How technology can help us eliminate not alleviate poverty
Austrians electrifying Uganda

Austrians electrifying Uganda

A case of profitable sustainability in Uganda

In Uganda, over 80% of the population manage without grid electricity. In recent times, entrepreneurs around the world are responding to the off-grid energy demands of rural communities.

When it comes to renewable energy, Austria ranks among the top performing producers in Europe. Considering the rate of innovation and supply, the highest share of renewables is in Sweden, at a whopping rate of 53.9%, Austria has a share of 33.0%, whereas the United Kingdom racked a pathetic share of 8.2%, according to Eurostat.

AphropeanViews Solantis

Among these unsung heroes is Solantis Solar, a young enterprise founded and managed by Dr Lukas Grüner and Ines Schreckeneder; two Austrian professionals, who provide high quality, affordable solar energy systems to East African households.

Both, Dr Lukas Grüner and Ines Schreckeneder commute between their home and host country to position their company Solantis Solar Ltd as a market-leading supplier of fully certified clean energy solutions at best price and performance ratio. The dynamic energy company is on a mission to serve the needs of low and middle-income households around the world with the best value of off-grid solar home systems available with micro-loan options.

Between 2016 and now, Solantis Solar established six stores in Uganda. Further expansions are planned in response to the high demands for Solantis affordable bundled deal of solar home systems and appliances, installation and after sales service. The ambitious ecopreneurs secured a cooperation with two of the largest micro-financial institutes BRAC and Pride to ensure energy supply for all social classes of society.

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By aligning their business practices with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Solar Solantis make an obvious impact on communities in Uganda with a focus of:

  •  creating women-only customer service call centre,
  • distributing affordable, reliable and clean energy products,
  • fostering entrepreneurship for incentivised salespersons,
  • enabling small farmers to process crops more efficiently,
  • reducing the harmful effects of kerosene poisoning and candle accidents.

Environmental Technologies made in Austria are internationally sought after, whether the innovations involve the latest and most sophisticated CleanTech solutions or start-of-the-art renewable energy products.

By providing off-grid energy to Africa and the developing world, a medium-sized enterprise, such as Solantis Solar, is capable of merging sustainability with profits to bring affordable light and power to homes and businesses in need. If they can do it, then you can do it to with the help of Aphropean Partners, courage and resilience.

More about Solantis 

Adding value to Africa’s capacity

Adding value to Africa’s capacity

Insights on ways to efficiently improve skills for Africa’s industrialisation development.

There are a number of effective ways to improve skills for Africa’s industrialisation development with focus on entrepreneurship, training and corporate social responsibility programmes.

1. Integrate entrepreneurship in the school curriculum.

Challenge: an underfinanced education system; relatively few companies within and beyond borders allocate resources to act socially responsible specifically for the education and training sector.

Outcome: Increased chance for local small-medium sized enterprises to trade globally, a vast pool of a skilled and emerging workforce, attract international business and foreign direct investments.

Do you know of the Integrated Entrepreneurship Education (IEE)?
The IEE covers the teaching of knowledge and skills that will enable the individual student to plan, start and run his/her business, delivered as an integrated part of the curriculum at an acknowledged education and training institution within the national education system. It’s an initiative funded by and supported by enterprises and organisations.

The IEE is constantly on a mission to upgrade school curriculums with a focus on entrepreneurship as one of the subjects of instructions. Botswana, Kenya and Uganda have already successfully integrated entrepreneurship and skills development in their school curriculum with a focus on administration, ICT, engineering and agribusiness.

2. Prioritise training programmes and apprenticeships to match skills with jobs on a global scale.

Challenge: acute skills shortage in leadership, marketing, sales and artisan work

Outcome: Match skills demand and supply of industry and education. Develop the capacity to manage and solve problems; drive the performance of individuals, businesses and the society as a whole.

There is no such thing as a useless university degree. In fact, each countries priorities lie in different companies. Occupations in health and manufacturing, such as mechanics, welders and electricians are high in Africa’s demand. Perhaps you can supply?

The apprenticeship system within the DACH region is world renown and often regarded as the potential model for developing countries. Apprenticeship brings some benefits including self-employment, adequate job security, and skill development for those with no education. On the flip side, apprenticeship systems can carry risks if not standardised, which leads to limited skill transfers or underpaid employment.

Have you heard of the Green industrialisation?
It’s another coined description of becoming industrial to meet energy demands and preserve the environment. Renewable energies, financial and education technologies present great opportunities for Africa’s youth to drive green industrialisation forward. All it takes is an investment, private sector involvement and the right policies to drive training and apprenticeship programs forward.

3. Engage private sector to help shape skills development policies

Challenge: Competition poaches trained workers after all the invested efforts of training. This misfortune happens across all sectors and corners of the business world.
Outcome: Develop skills of the local workforce to match international standards. Partnerships with enterprises, business, industry, craft associations, unions, and other formal and informal stakeholders to make training more relevant to the labour market (AfDB/OECD, 2017).

Corporate social responsibility initiatives across borders

Today’s global marketplace increasingly explores opportunities to trade with Africa’s emerging markets through profitable sustainability programs and corporate social responsibility programmes.

Complex questions have arisen on how to execute international corporate social responsibility programmes without relieving the public sector from its duties. Who is responsible for solving today’s pressing issues? What role does technology play in launching a sustainability program? What are the benefits and pitfalls?

Frontiers of Dialogue, part of an event series started in Vienna, is a vigorous discussion among a distinguished panel and audience to address these questions and more. On September 7th, 2017, a distinguished panel and audience discuss Corporate Social Responsibility Across Borders in view of Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Click here for more info.

Hans Stoisser

Hans Stoisser

Aphropean Partners is proud to present Mag. Hans Stoisser.

Hans Stoisser joins a panel of leading experts and practitioners to share his insights on Corporate Social Responsibility Across Borders: Kenya, Nigeria & South Africa on the third series of #FOD17 Frontiers of Dialogue held on 21 September 2017 in Vienna, Austria.

Hans Stoisser is an entrepreneur, management consultant and author with long-time experience in Africa’s emerging countries. In his book “Der Schwarze Tiger” he explains why Europe has missed to link up with modern Africa and what could be done instead. Currently, he offers seminars in “Silicon Savannah” in Nairobi, one of Africa’s innovation hubs.
www.hansstoisser.com

Hans Stoisser hat mehr als 30 Jahre lang Infrastruktur in Dritte-Welt-Ländern aufgebaut. Seit 1992 leitet er die Managementberatung ECOTEC, die unter anderem in Bulgarien, Palästina und Brasilien, vor allem aber in vielen afrikanischen Ländern, tätig war. In seinem im November 2015 erschienen Buch „Der schwarze Tiger – Was wir von Afrika lernen können“ erklärt der Ökonom das andere Afrika, das wir in Europa nicht zur Kenntnis nehmen wollen.

Derzeit organisiert er Seminare im „Silicon Savannah“ in Nairobi, einem der Hotspots des digitalen Afrikas. Er bloggt unter www.hansstoisser.com .

Doris Österreicher

Doris Österreicher

Aphropean Partners is proud to present Dr Doris Österreicher.

Doris Österreicher joins a panel of leading experts and practitioners to share her insights on Corporate Social Responsibility Across Borders: Kenya, Nigeria & South Africa on the third series of #FOD17 Frontiers of Dialogue held on 21 September 2017 in Vienna, Austria.

Doris Österreicher is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna. Her research work concentrates mainly on energy-related concepts, design and methods in climate adaptive architecture and urban planning.

Before joining the university in 2015 she was Head of the Business Unit Sustainable Buildings and Cities in the Energy Department of the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), leading the topics Smart Buildings and Smart Cities and Regions.

Prior to starting at AIT in Vienna in 2006, Doris worked for over eight years overseas, mainly as an environmental designer in London, providing consultancy for many signature innovative low energy buildings.

Her work focused on design and simulation in the field of energy efficiency and daylight modelling as well as integrative measures for architecture and building system concepts.

Before that, she worked as an Architect for a well-known architectural company in London as well as with architects in Massachusetts, USA and Vienna, Austria. She additionally works as a consultant for international projects, lectures on environmental design and serves as a tutor and juror for architectural critics.

Doris is a qualified architect in Austria, and the UK holds a Dipl. Ing. and Dr.techn. in Architecture from the Vienna University of Technology and received the state price ‘award of excellence’ for her doctoral dissertation.

She also holds an MSc in Architecture, Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies from the University of East London.

The Rise Of African Cybercities

The Rise Of African Cybercities

Disruptive Innovation and Technology in the Savannah

What does San Francisco Bay Area, Bangalore and Nairobi have in common? Each city is a leading tech hub in its continental region, where technology companies and savvy entrepreneurs groom within a startup ecosystem. Also known as cybercities, Silicon Valley (USA), Silicon Plateau (India) and Silicon Savannah (Kenya) have each significantly contributed to its nation’s economic growth. Also known as Cybercities, you will find a concentration of incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, hackerspaces and other innovation labs striving for making an impact.

Cybercities tend to host a concentration of incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, hackerspaces and other innovation labs striving for making a sustainable and positive impact on the economy, environment and society. Click here to see the World Bank’s infographic on tech hubs and incubators in Africa.

Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors.” African Proverb

Just like in any other country, cybercities cultivate digital entrepreneurship, connectivity, technology development, and most importantly innovative solutions.

Contrary to large organisations and public sector, Startups have a stronger sense of finding adaptive solutions to global challenges but struggle with the lack of financial means and infrastructure to launch sustainable products and services. Against all odds, tech hubs have mushroomed from a few too many in Africa’s emerging cities over the last six years.

International collaboration, grants, funding and impact investments keep the African Cybercities development steadfast. According to GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator, technology startups based in Silicon Savannah received more than €38 million ($43 million, 2016) in funding. Meanwhile, Lagos, Johannesburg and Kigali are catching up with Nairobi as the leading African Cybercity.

Yabacon Valley or Silicon Lagoon – whichever name you prefer to call Lagos’ tech cluster – drives the leading knowledge-based economy in Africa, according to Demo Africa. Other scholars and institutions, bet on Johannesburg to lead the social enterprise movement in the near future. The fact is that it doesn’t matter where the largest tech cluster will be located on the continent. My interest lies in the ability of cybercities to create an enabling environment for Africa’s young population to channel their energy, idea and hopes.

I cannot emphasise this enough – the opportunities for firms and consultants to tap into the growing knowledge stock of Africa’s emerging markets are immense. All it takes is to find a local partner – an Aphropean Partner – to assimilate, adapt your offering to local needs and capture the largely untapped market.

Former US President, JFK once said: “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction“. Expand on your internationalisation strategy, explore Africa’s consumer market and contact me and my partners for assistance before you take that leap.

Corporate Pledge for International Development

Corporate Pledge for International Development

Business for international development

I never thought I would become a fan-girl of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) tedious development process and its Byzantine application. But the recent conference hosted by the IAEA convinced me otherwise by addressing the role of business and partnerships for sustainable development.

The International Conference on the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme held on 30 May – 1 June in Vienna highlighted numerous achieved cases and future perspectives of the Technical Cooperation Programme in agribusiness, energy, environment and health for developing countries.

Of course, there was a multitude of stodgy senior civil servants waffling about the status quo; those sessions are inevitable in the United Nations establishment. But, what made the event significant, were the companies invited to present their specific nuclear application in collaboration with the IAEA to meet profitable and sustainable developments in developing countries across the globe.

Companies such as ThermoFisher and ELEKTA and many others emerged as real stars of the conference by demonstrating corporate social responsibility without jeopardising the bottom line.

Since we are on the topic of corporate social responsibility, I ask you to save the date for the next series of #FOD17 Frontiers of Dialogue on Thursday, 7 September 2017. We have invited a multidisciplinary panel of distinguished practitioners to discuss CSR across Borders: Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Click here for more details.

In the coming weeks, I will keep you posted on the upcoming #FOD17 theme of business opportunities with effective impact solutions in Africa’s emerging markets.

How Business Regulates Migration

How Business Regulates Migration

The private sector’s capacity to regulate migration 

Migration is a key driver of sustainable development in all aspects of our lives. And yet, most governments across Europe and the USA shun away from publically announcing integration initiatives to avoid political discontent.

Unnecessary time and money are wasted on policies to stem migration which will only encourage human smugglers and benefit business who employ undocumented migrants and refugees to avoid complying with existing pay and working conditions.

Civil societies and think tanks have been servicing governments with data, insights and proposals. In recent years, social enterprises and CSR-driving initiatives have emerged to absorb the migration flow. Take for example the Hotel Magdas in Vienna, which offer jobs and training to multilingual ex-refugees. Other exemplary companies among many, which offer internships and scholarships to young migrants are Siemens, the Deutsche Telekom and Bosch Group.

Meanwhile, there is a number but enough recruitment agencies specialising in trending jobs for refugees such as cleaning, mechanical engineering and nursing.

Shrinking Europe. Expanding Africa

Did you know that in the 1950’s, Italy had a population size of 47 million and Nigeria less than 30 million? Fast forward to present times, Italy expanded to 60 million and Nigeria to a whopping 180 million people.

Despite the proximity to Europe and Africa, both continents face contrary issues regarding population and economic lifecycle. In Europe, it appears that people are giving up on sex. Despite a rising life expectancy, the average population are too busy to procreate. Africa seems to demonstrate the correlation between being idle, low life expectancy and increasing fertility rate; so much so that most of the continent may not be able to create enough jobs to absorb emerging talents.

What can businesses in Europe do to help reverse the exodus?

Civil societies, governments and businesses in Europe need to collude in finding solutions to absorb the migration flow. Creating a gated European community will not work in the long run. A more proactive approach, among others, would be to incentivise CSR initiatives that extend beyond borders.

We already know the reasons for the migration phenomenon including consistent climate change and people wanting a better life without having to shed blood, etc.

Small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs can help with inventions and profit from supplying sustainable goods and services, such as cleantech solutions, low-cost off-grid energy generators and overall skill development to empower the youths in developing countries.

Multinationals have the corporate muscle to contribute to sustainable economic development, and to improve the quality of life for employees, their families, their communities at home and beyond borders.

According to Alessandro Cenderello, Managing Director of Ernst & Young Europe: “If managed well, migration can play a decisive role in economic development and civil society. Many economists argue that migration presents a potential solution to the impending challenge of Europe’s ageing population. [..] Furthermore, the inflow of new talent and skills can stimulate growth in entrepreneurship and the establishment of new businesses, as evidenced in North America and elsewhere.” You can read more about the EY perspective by clicking here.

Throughout the history of humanity, the migration phenomenon had a tendency to ebb and flow. Back then, immigration was controlled by integration through the help of a Marshall plan, assistance of neighbours, balance of education and welfare. Just think of Ireland, Singapore and Hong Kong.

It’s just my view. An Aphropean View.

Corporate Social Responsibility Across Borders

Corporate Social Responsibility Across Borders

RESERVE YOUR PLACE HERE

Frontiers of Dialogue

CSR Across Borders: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa

Thursday 21 September 2017, 18:00-21:30
Salon Razumovsky, Vienna

Today’s global marketplace increasingly explores opportunities to trade with emerging markets.

Salon-Razumovsky Frontiers of Dialogue location

Aphropean Partners in collaboration with IEEE TEMS (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Technology, and Engineering Management Society) invites you to be part of an inclusive conversation.

At this Frontiers of Dialogue, we’ll discuss the options of bridging the sustainable business divide between Austria and Africa.

We have invited a distinguished panel representing the academia, public and private sector who will be sharing their sustainability initiatives in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. These individuals are incredibly valuable sources of knowledge and even better, can help you and your enterprise avoid the same mistakes they made.

The #FOD17 Panellists

Nwabisa Mayema
NNFINITY

Chuks Ojeme, MSc
Griller & Bauer

Arch DI Dr Doris Österreicher
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien

Mag. Hans Stoisser
ECOTEC – Institutionelle Infrastrukturaufbau GmbH

Frontiers of Dialogue pt 3 Panellists

What’s on the agenda?

An engaging dialogue between experts of sustainable business, technology, and Africa in a relaxed setting with an after-work canape.

In order to successfully, expand your market to Africa, you need to understand the business conduct and market demands fully. Those of you who have already attempted trading in Africa: what your business did to be successful in the past might not be ideal in the future. Africa is connected and enlightened today more than ever before.

Together, we’ll learn about the opportunities and challenges of ethics and sustainable business initiatives with focus on the underserved market demands of Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa – particularly in the field of agriculture, education, and training, renewable off-grid energy, finance, consumer goods, manufacturing, and transport.

Frontiers of Dialogue3 Promo

What’s the point?

At this #FOD17 evening, we’ll learn about the opportunities and challenges of ethics and sustainable business initiatives in the developing world.

If you are interested in strengthening your professional Africa-Austria relations, this is a brilliant opportunity to meet intellectual people, exchange views and learn. We may not solve the world’s problems by the end of the evening, but our conversations may be the most inspiring.

The evening will be casual and filled with those sharing a common interest in the sustainable development of Africa to stem migration, create a skilled workforce and reduce the reliance of foreign aid among other matters. We place emphasis on promoting leaders of thought and practice with Africa experience.

About Aphropean Partners2
Sponsors and Partners of Frontiers of Dialogue

Previous topics of #FOD17 Frontiers of Dialogue:

Mastering Disruptive Innovation and Technology (March 2017)
Driving Environmental Performance with Technology (May 2017)

Upcoming topics of #FOD17 Frontiers of Dialogue:

Making Profit and Sense of Sustainable Agriculture  (November 2017)
Corporate Social Responsibility Across Borders (September 2017)

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