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Wednesday's Afternoon Update

U.S. companies falling behind as Africa surges

As Africa's economy rises, American businesses are at risk of being left behind. Sub-Saharan Africa has enjoyed nearly 6 percent annual economic growth for the past decade. Yet as Africa gains momentum, U.S. business activity there has all but stalled. More at the AP.

The business of work/life balance

The work/life balance industry now encompasses venders and consultants who make money selling services to employers increasingly concerned with wellness, engagement, morale and productivity. More at the Miami Herald.

Bankers wary of marijuana business

Business Profile


vegan cheese
Florida now has its very own artisan vegan cheesemaker, SunRAWise. Creator Kathy Marino, a fitness competitor from a cheesemaking family, combines traditional cheesemaking techniques with plant-based ingredients, and behold: VeganSun Artisan, seven handcrafted vegan cheeses.

» Read more from the Miami Herald

Even if Floridians approve a November referendum legalizing medical marijuana, some Florida bankers say they would remain somewhat paranoid about providing financial services to cannabis-related businesses. More at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

See also:
» UF to say no to pot, even if marijuana amendment passes

Brightstar founder named Sprint CEO

The founder of Brightstar Corp. will leave Miami to become Sprint's president and CEO, Brightstar announced Wednesday. Marcelo Claure will start the new job Monday in Kansas City. Arturo Osorio will lead Brightstar, the world's largest specialized wireless distributor. More at the South Florida Business Journal.

See also:
» Sprint's New CEO, Marcelo Claure Of Brightstar, Is Worth $900 Million+

Osceola aims for title of vacation-rental-home capital

Experience Kissimmee, the tourism-marketing agency for Osceola County, is positioning the county as the vacation rental capital of Florida, pointing out that it has almost 10,000 properties, more than a third of the total in Central Florida. More at the Orlando Sentinel.

Tech Trends
The 10 Biggest Social Media Time Wasters

social media There’s no question now that social media marketing is worthwhile for businesses. And since it’s relatively inexpensive to get started, it’s a perfect tool for small businesses and startups. But just because social media is a way of life now, doesn’t mean you (or your employees) can’t waste time on it.
» More from Forbes