Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
20190905

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers.

A Tale Of Two Towns2019040420190407 (R4)

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 retail environment.

So what does it take to turn a town around? In this programme, Ruth Alexander visits two towns in Cheshire - Northwich and Altrincham - which have tried two quite different approaches to see what works, and what doesn’t.

Presenter: Ruth Alexander
Producer: Elisabeth Mahy

How can the British high street be revived?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

A Virtual World2016081820160821 (R4)

Adam Shaw looks at how Virtual Reality could change our world.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Adapt To Survive2020051420200517 (R4)

Many businesses are struggling in the lockdown, but some are adapting to survive.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Are Ceos Up To The Job?

Are Freeports The Future?2018112920181202 (R4)

In the 1970s a young Jiang Zemin headed to Shannon on the rural west coast of Ireland. The time he spent here at the world's first free trade zone would inspire the monumental industrial transformation of the Pearl River Delta and China itself.

The 'Shannon Model' as it became known came from the customs and tax deals around land at Shannon airport, its extraordinary transformation from green fields around a small airport to an industrial manufacturing hub inspired many of the world's most successful trade zones.

Now with Brexit looming Jonty Bloom heads to Teeside to see plans for it to become the UK's first 'freeport' offering customs free imports which it is hoped will encourage advanced manufacturing, utilising the region's deep water port.

With local and international business on board can this new scheme bring back manufacturing jobs not seen in decades to one of the UK's most industrialised and deprived regions?

Contributors;
Jerry Hopkinson - PD Ports
Sharon Lane- Tees Components
Ben Houchen- Tees Valley Combined Authority
Patrick Edmonds - Shannon Airport
Kevin Thompstone- Thompstone Group
Dr Meredith Crowley - University of Cambridge

Presenter: Jonty Bloom
Producer: Jordan Dunbar

Can 'freeports' spark a post-Brexit manufacturing boom?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Banking On Change?2018080920180812 (R4)

Online banking has grown massively, and some new banks don't bother with a branch network at all. But as Ruth Sunderland discovers, some in the banking business still think high street branches and personal service have a bright future. So how far will this financial revolution go? Talking to leading players in the business, Ruth hears how those who want to manage our money are full of new ideas, but facing huge uncertainty about what banking will become.

Producer: Chris Bowlby
Editor: Penny Murphy.

Is old-style personal banking dead in an increasingly online world?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Battery Power

Behind The Facades2019041820190421 (R4)

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 invested.

In this programme, Ruth Alexander looks at different models of ownership: from the big financial institutional investors through to the original aristocratic landowner and asks how - in the turmoil created by the rapidly changing retail environment - these landlords are facing up to a new reality.

Presenter: Ruth Alexander
Producer: Alex Lewis

How the changing relationship between landlord and tenant is reshaping our high street.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Beijing To Belarus - A New Silk Road To Europe2019050920190512 (R4)

China and Belarus are building an economic trade zone so huge it will rival Barcelona or Dublin in footprint. It’s called Great Stone and it’s imagined as a futurist city - clean, green, and super modern - where pioneers of industry and technology will make their home. President Xi Jinping calls Great Stone a ‘Pearl’ of his New Silk Road - a turbo-charged version of ancient East-West trading routes.

Belarus is gradually opening up after years of post-Soviet caution. It’s keen to encourage international investment as its old Soviet era industries prove difficult to reform. Optimistic Belarusians point to their advantageous geography - the jigsaw piece between the European Union and Russia; their educated workforce and their impressive track record in high-tech innovation.

Presented and produced by Monica Whitlock

Will a giant industrial zone in Belarus become the European hub of China's new Silk Road?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Will a giant industrial zone in Belarus become the European hub of China's new Silk Road

Belarus: Harvesting The Whirlwind2019121920191222 (R4)

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 returned. A generation later In Business visits the Belarussian contamination zone and its hinterland to see how the local economy and way of life has adapted to a world turned upside down. We meet the beekeepers developing a honey farm in the depopulated part of the zone, visit an unexpected herd of horses and hear about the innovations in arable farming designed to resist radioactive toxins.

Produced and presented by Monica Whitlock

How does an economy recover after a catastrophic event.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Berries Galore2019080820190811 (R4)

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 take for this to happen and what’s the cost? John Murphy peels back the layers of the berry industry, which has grown massively in recent years. Despite increasing production costs, prices have remained stable. Can that continue? Politics, economics and the environment could have a bruising impact on producers and on the price and availability of the fresh fruit we eat.

Presenter: John Murphy
Producer: Sally Abrahams

How do we have fresh berries 52 weeks a year? And at what price?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Beyond The Barbed Wire - Cyber Security In The Uk2019011720190120 (R4)

Since Bletchley Park and the enigma machine, Britain has been at the forefront of what would become cyber security. In GCHQ we have a world leader in threat detection and yet our industry lags far behind both the US and Israel.

Jonty Bloom looks at what we could do to make this Brexit proof industry bigger and finds out why Belfast is at the forefront of the UK’s research and development to keep us safe online.

He looks at Unit 8200 the Israeli Army’s elite cyber security unit which has spun off several successful start up companies because of the unique training system they employ.

Jonty gets to see inside the National Cyber Security Centre which is part of GCHQ’s new open policy as it invites investors to see the third round of it’s start up incubator.

The ‘Catalyst’ campus in Belfast’s newly redeveloped docks sits beside the shipyard that built the Titanic and is now securing silicon chips rather than building ships. It’s buzzing as foreign investment has flowed into to take advantage of its burgeoning cyber security talent pool. A bet placed on the industry a decade ago by Queen’s University has paid off with a pipeline of graduates with the specialist skills needed to protect us online.

Each and every heartbeat is unique to its owner and Jonty meets a company using this to secure our information as well as our cars. Getting the chance to test drive their heart beat steering wheel with some disastrous consequences.

No trip to Belfast would be complete without a trip to the pub and here we meet some of the young talent that’s drawing this attention. We hear how quickly the start-up culture has grown and how this tech cluster has reached a level that is reversing the once chronic brain drain from the region.

Can the UK become a world leader in making the internet safer?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Brexit And The Future Of Farming2016121520161218 (R4)

Jonty Bloom looks at the future of farming in the UK.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Brexit: The Response Of The French Abroad2016092220160925 (R4)

How has London's French business community fared since Brexit?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Business Relations20190926
California - Agriculture And Migration2016011420160117 (R4)

Peter Day discovers the impact of migration on farming in California.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Chattanooga - The High Speed City2016080420160807 (R4)

Does speed matter? Peter Day visits America's first 'gig city', Chattanooga, to find out.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Clean Cooking In Rwanda2020043020200503 (R4)

We meet the companies trying to give women a cleaner and safer cooking environment.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

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 deforestation. The Rwandan government is aiming to halve the number of people using these cooking fuels in the next six years. They're investing in infrastructure and offering tax incentives to try and support businesses to entice customers to other products which could give them a cleaner and safer way to cook. In other countries who’ve made this move though, changing from traditional stoves to modern clean cooking took the best part of a century - can that really be achieved here in just six years?

Producer/Presenter: Kate Lamble

We meet the companies trying to give women a cleaner and safer cooking environment.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Colombia's Coffee Revolutions2019012420190127 (R4)

Can the fashion for high-end coffee save Colombia’s struggling farmers? It’s not been easy growing coffee in recent decades in Colombia, where rural life has been dominated by the conflict between guerrillas, paramilitaries and drug traffickers. Now, two years on from the historic peace deal here, how is business benefiting? And with global market prices not even covering growers’ costs, could the trend for coffee with a story come to growers’ rescue?

Presenter: Simon Maybin
Producer: Karenina Velandia

Can the fashion for high-end coffee save Colombia's struggling farmers?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Colorado's Big Marijuana Experiment2016042820160501 (R4)

Marijuana is now legal in some US states. How is the experiment working in Colorado?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Coming Soon

Community Enterprise2017081020170813 (R4)

What role can the community play in rejuvenating their local economy?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Confronting Sexual Harassment2018042620180429 (R4)

Sexual harassment at work has become "normalised" according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

A recent UK survey by polling company ComRes found that half of women and a fifth of men have experienced it during their careers.

From unwanted comments and jokes to inappropriate touching, actions that go beyond office banter seem to have become the norm for many in the workplace.

As MPs and shareholders start to look at the issue more closely - business reporter Katie Prescott explores how companies are dealing with the growing number of sexual harassment revelations, and how they can prevent it happening in the first place.

Producer: Charlotte McDonald.

From training to employing more senior women: how businesses can stop workplace harassment

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Corporations And The Arts2016122220170402 (R4)

Andrew Dickson asks: Who pays for the arts? Who should pay for the arts?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Could Carbon Offsetting Save The World's Forests?2020040920200412 (R4)

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 weeks at sea, sailing home to visit relatives. She focuses on a company based in Zimbabwe that runs one of the largest projects of its kind in the world and discovers how carbon credits work. Carbon Green Africa’s project focuses on protecting existing forests, rather than planting new trees and her journey takes her to some surprising places. In a programme recorded last November, Charlotte finds that preventing deforestation not only helps her offset her carbon emissions, but helps give people in a remote part of Zimbabwe new jobs and access to international markets.

Guests: Charles Ndondo and Rory Muil, Carbon Green Africa
Christian Dannecker, South Pole

Presenter: Charlotte Ashton
Producer: Phoebe Keane

How a company in Zimbabwe is using carbon credits to protect forests.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Crossing The Line2017091420170917 (R4)

What red lines need to be crossed before companies retreat from foreign markets?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Diversifying Russia's Economy2018010420180107 (R4)

Oil and gas are the backbone of Russia's economy and swings in energy prices can push the country from boom to bust. 80 per cent of the country's exports are directly related to hydro-carbons. So how successfully is Russia diversifying into new areas? As Caroline Bayley discovers, government money is supporting hi-tech start-ups and counter sanctions imposed by the government on food imports from the US and EU are helping the food sector. However, doing business in Russia is far from straightforward.

Producer: Kate Lamble.

Can Russia diversify its economy beyond the energy sector?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Doing It Wrong

Economic Lessons From Pandemics Past2020042320200426 (R4)

What can the past teach us about economies after a pandemic?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

What can the past teach us about economies after a pandemic?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Economic Lessons From Pandemics Past.2020042320200426 (R4)

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 programme John Murphy visits pandemics past to see what history can teach us about economic cost and recovery.

Presenter: John Murphy
Producer: Lizzy McNeill

What can the past teach us about economies after a pandemic?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Economic Rebellion2016033120160403 (R4)

Why is there so much dissatisfaction about how economics is taught at universities?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Economic Recovery In The Usa2020050720200510 (R4)

Jim O'Neill assesses American business and economic resilience.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Electric Cars2018011120180114 (R4)

There is a motoring revolution underway: the fast accelerating switch from petrol and diesel cars, to electric vehicles. In Norway, almost 40% of new car purchases are now fully electric or hybrids. Other countries are starting to catch up, and are setting ambitious targets. Britain wants to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars by 2040. Oxford wants to ban non-electric vehicles from parts of the city centre by 2020. Motor manufacturers are investing vast sums in the development of new electric models. Those who don't, risk being left behind.
And yet, as Peter Morgan reports, obstacles remain. Many drivers feel "range anxiety", the fear that the car battery will run out before they can recharge it. And electric cars are not cheap to buy.
But costs are coming down fast, batteries will soon last for hundreds of miles, and charge-points are being installed in more and more places. So much so, that there's a new land grab going on for market share. Start-ups are getting in on the act, and even big oil companies like Shell are branching out into this business.
Nevertheless, where will all the extra electricity come from? Will there be standardisation of the charging infrastructure, so drivers don't end up frustrated at a charge-point where their plug doesn't fit?
And while electric cars don't emit toxic fumes like nitrogen oxides, how much difference do they actually make to harmful particulates in the air?
Producer: Arlene Gregorius.

Can electric cars replace petrol and diesel vehicles in a new motoring revolution?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Engineering The Future20170528

For decades the UK has not produced enough engineers. What is needed to change that?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Estonia's E-residents2016120120161204 (R4)

Ruth Alexander applies to become a virtual resident of Estonia.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

European Unicorns2016041420160417 (R4)

Caroline Bayley reports on Europe's unicorns, tech firms with billion dollar valuations.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Failures, Flops And Flaws2018083020180902 (R4)

Thousands of new consumer products are launched every year, and many end in failure.
These flops are rarely discussed, and quickly forgotten.
The Museum of Failure in Sweden is taking a different approach, showcasing some of the world's most flawed products and services.
Ruth Alexander talks to curator Samuel West, and some of the product designers, about what we can learn from commercial mistakes.

Producer: John Murphy.

Ruth Alexander visits the Museum of Failure in Sweden to learn the secrets of success.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Fish To Share2017083120170903 (R4)

Lesley Curwen explores the potential future of fishing in the UK after it leaves the EU.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Flying Green2019091920190922 (R4)

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 keep our conscience clear?
Katie Prescott talks to the flight refuseniks and assesses the impact they are having. Is the long-term solution to change minds or can technological advances provide a fix? Electric cars are here; small planes are already powered the same way. How long until sizeable passenger jets follow? At a number of airports around the world, planes can fill up with biofuels. But the take-up is extremely modest. While the oil price stays low, what's the incentive for airlines to go green?

Producer: Rosamund Jones

Can aviation become sustainable? Katie Prescott asks if a tech fix can be found.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Forecasting: How To Map The Future2017090720170910 (R4)

Why do so many economic and business forecasts fail to correctly map the future?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

From Ex-offender To Entrepreneur2017042020170423 (R4)

How entrepreneurship can break the cycle of re-offending for women after prison.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Getting Hired2019050220190505 (R4)

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 to weed out the weakest candidates, in order to find the right candidate for the right job. But there is resistance in some quarters from some small employers who believe in the old ways of sifting through CVs by hand to produce a short-list.
So can the traditional face-to-face interview survive longterm?

Producer Smita Patel
Editor Penny Murphy

Lesley Curwen looks at the fast-changing process of getting hired for a job

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Green Shoots: Growing Food In Uae's Deserts2019042520190428 (R4)

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 resources. On average it rains just five days a year. So why is agriculture now considered one of the most exciting growth areas in the UAE? Farmers here depend on desalinated water from the Arabian Sea – expensive and, once again, costly to the environment. But new agricultural technologies are being developed. Starting at a small scale, can such businesses really be built up? Or are they vanity projects reliant simply on oil wealth? Georgia Tolley examines if the Emiratis can make their desert bloom and ensure their business of food production grows.

Producer: John Murphy

The United Arab Emirates plans to grow vegetables in the desert.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Can the United Arab Emirates grow its own food? The Desert kingdoms today import 85% 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 resources. On average it rains just five days a year. So why is agriculture now considered one of the most exciting growth areas in the UAE? Farmers here depend on desalinated water from the Arabian Sea – costly to both the farmer and, once again, to the environment. But new agricultural technologies are being developed. Starting at a small scale, can such businesses really be built up? Or are they vanity projects reliant simply on oil wealth? Georgia Tolley examines if the Emiratis can make their desert bloom and ensure their business of food production grows.

Producer: John Murphy

Hard To Credit

Has 3d Printing Lived Up To The Hype?2016090120160904 (R4)

Peter Day asks whether 3D printing has lived up to its early promise.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Hell For Leather

Hidden Depths

Home Truths2019010320190106 (R4)

Does the house building industry need to change? Manuela Saragosa meets the disruptors, the companies trying to transform how the vast majority of residential property is built. Across the country new factories are springing up - in a bid to manufacture our homes in much the same way as we do our cars. The risks are huge.

Significant investment is required to get things moving and demand for these new homes has yet to be tested. But the disruptors claim that the house building industry must modernise or die. Productivity is falling and traditional skills are in short supply - something that is likely to get worse as immigration reduces. Other countries, too, already build huge numbers of homes off-site, claiming that this results in quicker and cheaper construction. So, just how many of the hundreds of thousands of homes that we need to build might end up being factory produced?

Producer: Rosamund Jones

Meet the companies trying to fundamentally change how houses are built.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

How Much Is Your Rubbish Worth?2018052420180527 (R4)

When you throw away rubbish, it can create an environmental problem - or a business opportunity.

Your old newspapers, tin cans and plastic bottles are someone else's valuable harvest. Just like gold, steel, sugar or coffee, rubbish is traded all over the world as a commodity. If it can be recycled, it's worth money.

Until recently, countries vied to recycle the waste of others. But now one of the main players - China - says it doesn't want foreign rubbish anymore. That has sent this multi-billion dollar industry into turmoil and is forcing it to invent new solutions. Ruth Alexander reports.

Producer: Tony Bonsignore.

Ruth Alexander finds out who makes money out of what we throw away.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

How Politics Broke Up With Business2019092620190929 (R4)
20191003 (R4)

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 – Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Frances O’Grady – General Secretary, TUC
Iain Anderson - Executive Chairman, Cicero
Giles Wilkes – Former Special Adviser to the Prime Minister
Helen Dickinson – Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium
Andy Street – Mayor of the West Midlands, former CEO of John Lewis Partnership
Joe Owen – Institute for Government
Paul Walsh – Chairman, Compass Group

Presenter: Jeremy Schwartz
Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton

Why have politicians gone from cosying up to business to turning a deaf ear?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

How Safe Are Your Secrets?2016081120160814 (R4)

What can business do to defend itself against the growing army of corporate spies?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

How Sex Toys Became Sexy2018090620180909 (R4)

Do you own a sex toy? And if so, would you admit it to your friends? Increasingly, the answer to both questions is yes.

Once a seedy mail-order product advertised in the back pages of porn magazines, sex toys today are marketed as a fun way for couples to enhance their relationships. And in the process, the global sales of these objects of arousal have grown exponentially into the billions of dollars.

Laurence Knight explores how this came about, speaking to industry pioneers such as Sam Roddick, Doc Johnson and LoveHoney. And he travels to China, where many of them are manufactured.

Produced and presented by Laurence Knight.

Once objects of embarrassment, sex toys have become a multi-billion dollar industry.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

In At The Start

Ireland's Brexit Challenge2018040520180408 (R4)

Ireland's economy is hugely interlinked with its next-door neighbour, the UK, in everything from energy to transport to finance. Can those links be kept after the UK leaves the EU, or will Irish business have to change direction?

Ruth Alexander travels to Ireland to find out how businesses large and small are preparing for Brexit, and what challenges - and opportunities - they see.

Producer: Chris Bowlby.

How will the UK leaving the EU impact on business in Ireland? Ruth Alexander reports.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Is Britain Up For Sale?2020011620200119 (R4)

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 of Britain suffering a permanent loss of technology and know-how, or even a threat to national security, such as when the company targeted for takeover is in the defence industry?

And what about the emotional side of takeovers? Research suggests they can be a huge burden for executives, and staff may be reluctant to cooperate with previous competitors, jeopardising the sales targets of the new owners.

Ruth Alexander asks if the UK is selling its family silver, and whether this matters in a globalised world. Is Britain for sale, or inviting investment? Or has Britain already been sold, with 54% of shareholdings of UK public companies now foreign-owned? She talks to current and former CEOs and to academics, to find out why so many British companies are being bought, what this says about the UK,, and what impact it has on jobs and the future of the economy.

Producer: Arlene Gregorius

A third of takeovers in Britain are by foreign companies. A welcome boost or a problem?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Jaguar Land Rover, Cadbury, Weetabix are but some of the many British brands now owned by foreign corporations., Britain 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, such as with top technology company Arm, whose products are in most smartphones. Arm is headquartered in Cambridge, and now Japanese-owned.
But there is also the risk of Britain suffering a permanent loss of technology and know-how, or even a threat to national security, such as when the company targeted for takeover is in the defence industry.
And that's just the business side. What about the emotional side of takeovers? They can be a huge burden for executives, and staff may be reluctant to cooperate with previous competitors, jeopardising the sales targets of the new owners.

Ruth Alexander asks if the UK is selling its family silver, and whether this matters in a globalised world. Is Britain for sale, or inviting investment? Or has Britain already been sold, with 54% of shareholdings of UK public companies now foreign-owned? She talks to current and former CEOs and to academics, to find out why so many British companies are being bought, what this says about Britain, and what impact it has on jobs and the future of the economy.

Is The Uk Up For Sale?2020011620200119 (R4)

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 of Britain suffering a permanent loss of technology and know-how, or even a threat to national security, such as when the company targeted for takeover is in the defence industry?

And what about the emotional side of takeovers? Research suggests they can be a huge burden for executives, and staff may be reluctant to cooperate with previous competitors, jeopardising the sales targets of the new owners.

Ruth Alexander asks if the UK is selling its family silver, and whether this matters in a globalised world. Is Britain for sale, or inviting investment? Or has Britain already been sold, with 54% of shareholdings of UK public companies now foreign-owned? She talks to current and former CEOs and to academics, to find out why so many British companies are being bought, what this says about the UK,, and what impact it has on jobs and the future of the economy.

Producer: Arlene Gregorius

A third of takeovers in the UK are by foreign companies. A welcome boost or a problem?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Keeping The Lights On2019112820191201 (R4)

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 transport hubs, were affected as electricity supplies were cut to restore balance to the system and prevent an even greater blackout.
The National Grid, which is the energy system operator, said two generators, including a major wind-farm, tripped out after lightning struck a high-voltage transmission line. The episode raised many questions about how stable the UK’s electricity supply system is.
What is clear is that the traditional coal-fired generators, which used to supply much of the UK’s electricity, are being rapidly phased out. Now many more - and varied - generators supply the grid, including small and huge wind-farms, solar farms, nuclear power stations, gas-fired plants, hydro-electric turbines and other sources. This makes the management of the system more tricky.
Then there’s the demand side. Electricity demand is growing, not least with the prospect of electrical cars becoming commonplace. Without building the right infrastructure, with the right storage, and without the correct planning, the electricity grid will not be able to cope.
For Radio 4’s In Business David Baker speaks to the National Grid, to major electricity suppliers, and to smaller, community-based generators, asking how the system is changing and what needs to be done to make sure it remains reliable, affordable and sustainable, so that the future is not one of widespread blackouts.

Producer: John Murphy

Picture: National Grid's Electricity Control Centre

How can Britain ensure a consistent supply of electricity when its sources are changing?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Keeping Up With The Burgers2017051820170521 (R4)

Matthew Gwyther looks at how McDonalds in the UK is trying to present a new image.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Kenya's Basic Income Experiment20180513

What happens if you give every adult in a village $22 a month, no strings attached, for 12 years? In rural Kenya, researchers are trying to find out. They're conducting the world's largest study of 'universal basic income' - giving 'free money' to nearly 200 villages, to see whether this could kick-start development and bring people out of poverty. The BBC's Africa correspondent Anne Soy visits western Kenya to meet some of the people involved in this giant economic experiment, and to find out what they make of this unexpected windfall in their lives. How will people spend the money? Will they try to start businesses, or stay in education longer? Or will people stop working, now they have a guaranteed income? What impact will this have on the villages? The BBC intends to return to the same village over the course of the study, to continue to monitor and assess the impact of this 'basic income', and to see what difference it makes to peoples' lives, the choices they make, and the dreams they hold.

Producer: Becky Lipscombe.

Is the best way to bring people out of poverty simply to give them money?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Learning Curve

Let Me Entertain You

Let's Start A Bank

Life Cycle

Light Bulb Moments And How To Have Them2019051620190519 (R4)

There’s more people and 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’ secrets and looks at what companies and individuals are doing to make them more innovative than ever before.

Producer Smita Patel
Editor Penny Murphy

How do we create an innovative environment?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Making An Impact2019080120190804 (R4)

The first in a new series of In Business.

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's changing. From multi-billion pound investors, to leaders of international companies, to banking bosses, the call is going out for business to take more responsibility for the way the world runs, and the way businesses run themselves. And it’s not just their environmental impact that’s coming under scrutiny. Inequality, their supply chains and the way they treat their workforce are becoming as much a part of companies’ bottom line as simple profit. Welcome to the Impact Economy.
David Baker meets new business champions who want to overturn the old ways of doing things and put commerce at the centre of guaranteeing a future world that is good for everyone. But will it work or is it just a flash in the pan?

Producer: John Murphy

How businesses are changing the way they work by focusing on their impact on us all.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Making Babies: The Business Of Fertility2016090820160911 (R4)

Matthew Gwyther looks at the multi-billion pound fertility business.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Making Fashion Sustainable2020012320200126 (R4)

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 judge on the Great British Sewing Bee, asks how the fashion industry should respond and what we, as consumers, should be doing too.

Producer Caroline Bayley

The British menswear designer, Patrick Grant asks how fashion can be made sustainably.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Managing A Tower Block2017080320170806 (R4)

Tower blocks are in the news. Matthew Gwyther discovers the challenges of managing them.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Managing Volunteers: Free And Easy?2019082920190901 (R4)

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 "carrot and stick" of pay and disciplinary procedures?

Presenter Claire Bolderson knows both sides of this: she volunteers at a food bank, but also chairs the governors at her local school. With the help of an RNLI lifeboat crew, a bustling community centre, and a whole roomful of professional volunteer managers, she discovers just how to get the best out of volunteers - and how much managers of paid staff have to learn from them.

Contributors include:

Tim Ody - Station Manager, RNLI Teddington
Pam Bardouille - Volunteer Co-Ordinator, The Dalgarno Trust
Jarina Choudhury - Volunteering Development Consultant, NCVO
Emma Knights - Chief Executive, National Governance Association
Dr Jenna Ward - University of Leicester

Presenter: Claire Bolderson
Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton

Twenty million Brits give their time for free each year, but is managing volunteers easy?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Media Mayhem

Mental Health At The Workplace2017122820171231 (R4)

Why can you phone in sick with flu but not with depression? David Baker reports.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Mexico And Mr Trump2017010520170108 (R4)

How is Mexico preparing for the impact of Donald Trump's economic pledges?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

New Age

Northern Ireland And Brexit2017041320170416 (R4)

How are businesses in Northern Ireland preparing for life outside the EU?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Norway's European Vision2016012120160124 (R4)

Jonty Bloom learns how Norway does business with the European Union.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Not Just Silicon

Not So Small Beer2015123120160103 (R4)

Peter Day explores the rise of craft beer and how the big breweries are fighting back.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Now Wash Your Hands Please

Oil Shock 20202020052120200524 (R4)

Why should we care if the oil price has crashed? With Lesley Curwen.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

On The Rails2018122720181230 (R4)

It’s been a challenging year on Britain’s railways with timetable chaos, over-running engineering works, cancelled trains and irate passengers, not to mention a private operator handing back control to the government. The transport secretary, Chris Grayling has announced yet another review of the industry. Meanwhile, Labour and many of the public want to see rail re-nationalised. Rail professionals point to the industry’s successes – a doubling in passenger numbers since privatisation, and a current strong safety record. But the government says the rail industry hasn’t kept pace with customer demand. So is there another way? Matthew Gwyther goes to Italy to experience their take on free competition on their high speed lines. He also speaks to rail experts at home – all searching for answers.

Producer Caroline Bayley

Matthew Gwyther asks what's next for the UK's rail industry after a turbulent year.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

On The Trade War Frontline2018092020180923 (R4)

As international trade tensions escalate, the US state of Wisconsin is a fascinating place to discover the consequences. Specialist producers like Wisconsin's ginseng growers are directly affected by the new trade war between the US and China. Traditional cheese makers meanwhile see all this as the latest round in an endless battle for freer trade in global food. And in the south of the state , a new kind of manufacturing economy is taking shape with a vast new investment by the Taiwanese tech manufacturer Foxconn. Jonty Bloom travels around the state to gain rich insights into where today's trade wars could eventually lead.

Producer: Chris Bowlby
Editor: Penny Murphy.

Jonty Bloom discovers how the US state of Wisconsin is faring in a new global economy.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Organising Salvation

Out Of Office: The Rise Of The Digital Nomad2018050320180506 (R4)

What do digital nomads mean for the world of work?

A new army of digital nomads is wandering the world. Equipped with a laptop and willing to work anywhere that has Wi-Fi and a low cost of living, they are changing the way millions think about the world of work. But how do firms and Governments adapt to a fast moving, ever changing highly skilled and paid workforce that doesn't even recognise borders? And do digital nomads represent the future of work or a threat to taxation systems and therefore the nation state? From Portugal to New Zealand via Cornwall, Jonty Bloom goes far and wide looking for answers.

Producer: Estelle Doyle
Researcher: Darin Graham.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Plain Sailing?2019091220190915 (R4)

How is Rotterdam, Europe's biggest port, preparing for Brexit? The Netherlands port handles millions of tons of goods and thousands of ships every year. Port officials are proud of this vast and slick operation. Much of its efficiency is down to a centralised system known as Portbase, which offers a means of dealing with custom declarations and other formalities electronically, without the use of physical paperwork. All port users – such as customs, freight forwarders, transport firms and ferry companies – must register with the system. Any ships or trucks that arrive and are not registered will be turned away. Now there are fears that a giant spanner may be about to be thrown into the works of this smooth-running machine, if and when Britain leaves the EU. Intense work has long been underway to make Rotterdam ready for this event – but will these preparations be enough to stave off the practical problems that Brexit might cause? Ruth Alexander has been to Rotterdam to find out.

Producer: Neil Koenig

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Rotterdam in the Netherlands is home to the biggest port in Europe, handling millions of tons of goods and thousands of ships every year. Port officials are proud of this vast and slick operation. They explain that much of its efficiency is down to a centralised system known as Portbase, which offers a means of dealing with custom declarations and other formalities electronically, without the use of physical paperwork. All port users – such as customs, freight forwarders, transport firms and ferry companies – must register with the system. Any ships or trucks that arrive and are not registered will be turned away.

But a giant spanner may be about to be thrown into the works of this smooth-running machine, if Britain makes an unruly departure from the EU. Intense work has long been underway to make Rotterdam ready for this event – but will these preparations be enough to stave off the problems that a no-deal Brexit might cause? Ruth Alexander has been to Rotterdam to find out.

How is Rotterdam, Europe's biggest port, preparing for a no-deal Brexit?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Plastic Backlash: The Business Response2019052320190526 (R4)

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 consumers, governments and companies to decide that action needed to be taken.

But what does it mean for businesses which depend on plastic as a core raw material or for the packaging and retail industries, both deeply reliant on plastic? Caroline Bayley talks to companies about the opportunities and challenges presented by the plastic backlash.

Producer Beth Sagar-Fenton

How are businesses responding to the public backlash against plastic packaging?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Playing The Market2017092120170924 (R4)

Andrew Dickson examines fictional depictions of the worlds of finance and banking.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Pop For Export In South Korea2018080220180805 (R4)

As K-pop and K-drama go global, what are the secrets of their success?

The Korean Wave - South Korea's pop culture exports of music and TV dramas - has already swept across much of Asia, including the giant markets of China and Japan, bringing billions of pounds into the country's economy every year. Now, with boy band BTS topping the US album charts, and hit dramas reaching streaming services around the world, the wave appears to be growing into a tsunami. How did this medium-sized Asian nation end up as the global entertainment industry's biggest overachiever? Simon Maybin explores what puts the pop into Korean pop culture.

Producer: John Murphy.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Potholes - The Road To The Future2019011020190113 (R4)

Potholes are a national obsession. But there's much more to them than you might think. Ruth Alexander digs deep into their costs for business and society - where fixing two holes in a motorway can cost half a million pounds. But she also finds all kinds of entrepreneurial imagination going into solving the problem. Everything from new data analysis to 3D printing drones may be the answer. Beneath it all lies a fundamental question. Can we learn to value roads, and maintain them as a vital national asset, smoothing the way to big business and social gains?

Producer: Chris Bowlby
Editor: Penny Murphy

Potholes - the hidden costs, and opportunities, lurking in our roads

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Power Play

Press Under Pressure

Private Prisons - Who Profits?2017082420170827 (R4)

Does incarcerating people for profit work? Matthew Gwyther investigates.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Putting The Fizz Back Into Catalonia's Cava2018051720180520 (R4)

Why Spain's sparkling fizz, Cava, is seeking to re-invent itself. If you think of sparkling wine what probably comes to mind is popping corks and Champagne. But what about Cava from Spain? In terms of exports Cava is as big as Champagne, and it is made in the same expensive, time-consuming way. Yet its image in recent years has suffered and it's now generally thought of as a cheap, less popular alternative to the likes of Prosecco. Most Cava comes from Catalonia, that region in Spain which has been beset by political problems and calls for independence. For In Business, John Murphy explores how Cava has become mixed up in Catalonia's troubled politics, how it is trying to boost its image and how it's seeking to re-establish itself as a very special bottle of fizz.
Producer: Estelle Doyle.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Ready To Wear

Rebooting Rural Russia2017050420170507 (R4)

Can small businesses revive Russia's rural economy?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Recruiting By Algorithm20160508

Peter Day discovers how computer programmes are being used in recruitment.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Retail's Ai Revolution2018092720180930 (R4)

Will artificial intelligence change how we shop and decide which retailers succeed? Senior retail executive, Jeremy Schwartz, meets chat bots, robots and the humans behind them, to find out. He explores the impact that the AI revolution may have on jobs - not just the number of them but their nature too. As algorithms take over certain tasks, he asks how humans - and the companies that employ them - will need to respond. And he looks at the growing digital divide between retailers and asks what role AI is playing in the struggle for survival on our high streets.
Producer : Rosamund Jones.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Retiring Retirement2018081620180819 (R4)

Life expectancy is going up, pensions are declining. Meanwhile the official retirement age has been abolished, while the age at which you can draw your state pension is rising. As a result, more and more of us will have to work until our 70s, or even our 80s. So, asks David Baker, is this the end of retirement?

That may not be as bad as it sounds. For In Business, David meets people who could live a quiet, retired life, but choose not to. One founded a bikini company in her 70s, others sell vintage goods, or left organisations to set up on their own. For them, the very word "retirement" is negative, they love what they do, and wouldn't want to give it up.

Experts say that most of us will need to work into old age. Professor Lynda Gratton tells David that the previous life pattern of education-work-retirement will have to yield to a multi-phase one of different careers, broken up by breaks, even late-life gap years, and re-skilling. Why retire at 60 if you could live to 100?

The government, too, wants a million more over-50s in the workplace by 2022 - but not all employers are playing ball. Without the prospect of older staff leaving at a fixed retirement age, bosses are making them redundant instead, including by ugly means, and before they can draw a pension. Some companies though do value older people's skills and experience, and even take them on as apprentices. Until more organisations do this, however, it may be up to us to take matters into our own hands and prepare for a long working life.

Producer: Arlene Gregorius.

More and more of us will have to work into our 70s, so is this the end of retirement?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Return To Teesside2016072820160731 (R4)

Job losses have plagued Teesside for decades. What does the future hold?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Rwanda Rising

Ryanair - A Change Of Direction?2017121420171217 (R4)

In September Ryanair was in crisis. Has this forced the company to change direction?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Selling Britain2020010220200105 (R4)

Whatever happens in British politics, Britain’s reputation has changed. So what does this mean for its business image as the country starts to seek more global markets? Chris Bowlby discovers what’s in store for ‘Brand Britain’ and who its champions might be – from luxury London to north east England. What’s the key to the reputation of British business? Will some brands prosper regardless of what happens in the country itself?

Producer: John Murphy

What is Britain's global business image and where is it heading?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Whatever happens in British politics, Britain’s reputation has changed. So what does this mean for its business image as the country starts to seek more global markets? Chris Bowlby discovers what’s in store for ‘Brand Britain’ and who its champions might be – from luxury London to north east England. What’s the key to the reputation of British business? Will some brands prosper regardless of what happens in the country itself?

Selling Shakespeare2016042120160424 (R4)

Author Andrew Dickson explores William Shakespeare's influence on the business world.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Selling Sleep2018122020181223 (R4)

From innovative mattresses to personal sleep consultants, business is moving in on our nights under the covers. The sector is booming, thanks to a new understanding of the importance of sleep, with annual sales in the billions of pounds. And it’s not only our homes that businesses are targeting. In the workplace, managers are becoming more aware of the sleep needs of their teams and some are even installing pods to allow their employees to have a nap on the job.

David Baker looks at the products and services on offer and finds out how we can separate the science from the snake oil.

Producer: Smita Patel
Editor: Penny Murphy

David Baker investigates the growing industry dedicated to improving our 40 winks.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Small World

Sociability

Soft Power Seduction: China Lures Taiwan's Youth2018082320180826 (R4)

Young Taiwanese entrepreneurs working in a start-up hub are offered attractive sweeteners. But this isn't in California or even Taipei, it's on the outskirts of Shanghai. The People's Republic of China is setting its sights on Taiwan's youth by encouraging them to relocate to the 'mainland'. Wages in Taiwan have stagnated as its economic growth has failed to keep pace with that of China, prompting thousands of people to leave the island and head to the mega cities of the People's Republic for better jobs and access to greater opportunities.
In February the Chinese government unveiled a package of measures to attract Taiwanese young people and businesses to the mainland, with tax breaks, subsidies, research grants and access to government contracts.
Taiwan's current pro-independence government is worried about a potential 'brain drain' and there are fears that Beijing, which views Taiwan as a rebel province is using its vast economic clout in a soft power offensive to promote and enhance social and commercial integration between its young peoples.
Caroline Bayley travels to Shanghai and Taipei to meet young Taiwanese and asks whether Taiwan's younger generation can be lured in this way by China and whether Taiwan can do anything to stem the exodus.

Presenter/Producer: Caroline Bayley.

Is China using its economic clout to lure the youth of Taiwan?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Squeaky Clean

Start-up Scotland2016091520160918 (R4)

Douglas Fraser asks what more can be done to encourage and grow new businesses in Scotland

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Steel In The Uk2016051920160522 (R4)

Peter Day examines the history of Britain's steel industry.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Student Start-ups

Sugaring The Pill

Supply Chains Vs Covid-192020040220200405 (R4)

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: Ruth Alexander
Producers: Caroline Bayley and Lizzy McNeill

How coronavirus is straining global delivery networks.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Series about the whole world of work, public and private

Supportive Partner = Success At Work2016082520160828 (R4)

Who is your partner? - the crucial career choice.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Tax Transparency - Norway's Model2016040720160410 (R4)

Jonty Bloom goes to Norway to find out what happens when salaries and tax are made public.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Art Of The Meeting2017051120170514 (R4)

Tanya Beckett looks at the art of the office meeting.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Berlin Airport Fiasco2019081520190818 (R4)

Germany is known for its efficient infrastructure and transport. So why has Berlin's new airport not quite gone to plan? It is billions over budget, seven years late in opening, and is still being rebuilt before a single plane has landed. What has gone so wrong in a place supposed to be the capital of well-ordered engineering? And is the Berlin airport fiasco a warning for infrastructure builders everywhere? Chris Bowlby’s had a rare behind the scenes tour.

Presenter: Chris Bowlby
Producer: Jim Frank

What has gone so wrong at the new Berlin Airport?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Big Fat Greek Struggle2017042720170430 (R4)

How have Greek businesses fared in an economy that has shrunk by nearly a third?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Business Of Beethoven2019122620191229 (R4)

"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 life, Beethoven the entrepreneur.

In the company of some of the foremost Beethoven proponents - pianist Stephen Hough, violinists Anne-Sophie Mutter and Daniel Hope and jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Clemmie investigates how Beethoven pushed and cajoled music publishers, music printers and piano makers to turn convention on its head and create a music "industry".

Could he even have invented the gig economy?!

The programme was made in collaboration with the US radio stations WNYC and WQXR

Producer: Adele Armstrong

Clemmie Burton-Hill looks at the little-known story of Beethoven, the entrepreneur.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Business Of Clicks2019090820200130 (R4)

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 the growing cost of delivery and returns, margins are being squeezed and many are finding it a struggle to survive.

In this programme, Adam Shaw investigates how the economics of e-commerce work, what the move to predominantly online will mean for many retailers and what our shopping environment may look like in 10 years time.

Presenter: Adam Shaw
Producer: Alex Lewis

Behind the economics of e-commerce.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Behind the economics of e-commerce

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 many are finding it a struggle to survive.

Behind the economics of e-commerce.

The Business Of Food Waste2017092820171001 (R4)

With food waste a huge global problem, can business find new and profitable solutions?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Business Of Sleep20181220
The Business Of Trust2016010720160110 (R4)

How important is trust, and can it be won back if it is lost? Matthew Gwyther investigates

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Business Of Tutors2018120620181209 (R4)

From stories of teachers in top schools being poached to tutor children on private yachts to single parents taking on extra cleaning jobs to afford a private tutor, tutoring is happening across the social divide - and is growing at a rate never seen before.

Mark Maclaine is one of Britain's "supertutors". He earns up to £1,000 an hour and has tutored the children of royal families, sports stars and musicians. But he also runs a charity giving free tuition to children who can't afford to pay.

Alanna and James are university students, tutoring GCSE and A Level physics to help pay for their studies.

The profile of Britain's army of tutors is varied....but they're all part of a rapidly expanding sector now estimated as being worth £2 billion in the UK. Caroline Bayley looks at the profound effect tutoring is having on children, teachers and schools and asks if this industry is starting to change the very way we educate our children.

Producer: Adele Armstrong

Caroline Bayley delves into the booming industry of private tutoring.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Economic Impact Of America's Opioid Epidemic2018041220180415 (R4)

Ohio is one of the worst hit US states for opioid addiction rates and deaths. Huge numbers of people have dropped out of the workforce and employers say they struggle to recruit the people they need. If automation increases as a result, will unemployment, despair and addiction get even worse? And is drug testing workers part of the solution or part of the problem? Claire Bolderson asks why the opioid epidemic has taken such a hold here and visits companies hoping to develop new medical solutions to treat pain and manage addition. For them, the opioid crisis might just be a very profitable business opportunity.
Producer: Rosamund Jones.

How have workers and businesses fared in Ohio, one of the worst hit states?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Global Trade Referee2018041920180422 (R4)

The World Trade Organisation could soon play a crucial role in how Britain does global business. If the UK fails to reach a trade deal with the European Union after Brexit, it will trade solely under rules set by the WTO. So what does that mean?

Jonty Bloom meets one of the many Brexiteers who believe that reverting to WTO rules could boost Britain's position as a global trade player. Derbyshire clothing manufacturer Christopher Nieper is relaxed about the UK agreeing quotas and tariffs through the WTO, which was created to be a free trade factory.

But at the WTO's headquarters in Geneva, Jonty learns that brokering trade deals can take many years, with bigger players like the European Union, China and the United States dominating the agenda. And there's the added complication that China and the United States are embarking on a trade war that threatens the WTO's ability to settle global trade disputes. Could the UK once free from the EU, be the one to reinvigorate the WTO and global free trade? Jonty goes looking for answers in its long corridors.

Producer: Estelle Doyle
Researcher: Darin Graham.

What can Brexit Britain expect if it has to fall back on World Trade Organisation rules?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Golden Opportunity2018121320181216 (R4)

Will life sciences lead Britain towards a new economic future? Brexit's causing uncertainty. But as Ruth Alexander discovers, there's a dynamic 'golden triangle' now linking medical and other cutting edge research at Oxford and Cambridge universities with London's political and financial power. The government's putting this at the centre of its vision for a transformed economy. So what's behind all this, and can this sector live up to the ambition?

Producer: Chris Bowlby
Editor: Penny Murphy

(Researchers in a lab. Credit: Getty Images)

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Irresistible Rise Of Esports2019041120190414 (R4)

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 sport and this online, virtual version is narrowing, as major companies and some of the world's most famous football clubs are signing up the top Esports players to play in major competitions. A number of video games, including Fifa, Dota2, Call of Duty and League of Legends, have their own international leagues and world championships. The global audience is now estimated at more than 200 million, and growing. Annual revenues from Esports, currently around 650 million dollars for events, continue to rise.

Billions more are generated through video games sales. In the UK the video games sector, from which Esports have sprung, is now worth more than video (films) and music combined. There's even talk of Esports becoming an Olympic sport.

So will dexterous Esporters become the new athletic champions, or is this a business that will play itself out? Who is making the money and how? And why are top football clubs clamouring for some of the virtual action?

Presenter: John Murphy
Producer: Lizzy McNeill

Sport, yes, but not as you know it. The irresistible rise of competitive gaming or Esports

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Italian Banking Crisis2016112420161127 (R4)

Why are Italy's banks in crisis, and what is the impact on business?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Neopolitan Tech Experiment2018091320180916 (R4)

Can tech entrepreneurs revitalise Southern Italy's failing economy? Manuela Saragosa visits Naples - which has seen a huge exodus of its talented young people - to explore if a change of direction might be possible. She meets Neapolitans starting up high-tech businesses against the odds and explores why, rather surprisingly, in recent years the city has attracted significant foreign investment from big tech firms. What has been the city's appeal? She also asks what the business reasons are for building a company in Naples rather than elsewhere. Can the benefits outweigh all the myriad problems?

Producer: Rosamund Jones.

Can tech entrepreneurs revitalise southern Italy's failing economy?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Nhs And Productivity2017011220170115 (R4)

With demand soaring and austerity continuing to bite, can the NHS do more for less?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Nhs: The Recruitment Dilemma2017011920170122 (R4)

The NHS has relied on staff from overseas all its life. Will Brexit change this?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Pub Is Dead! Long Live The Micropub!2019120520191208 (R4)

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, these have flourished. So why have they been able to succeed where others have not? For In Business, John Murphy visits his local boozer - and others - to see what these new pubs have to offer.

Producer: Ruth Alexander

British pubs have been closing down but a new type of pub - the micropub - is popping up.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Second Hand Clothes Trade War2018011820180121 (R4)

Have you ever wondered what happens to the clothes you donate to charity?
Every year, hundreds of millions of pounds worth of clothes from rich nations are exported to Africa.
In Business travels to Tanzania, where second hand fashion is big business. Now the Tanzanian government want to phase-out these cheap imports, which they say are killing the local textiles industry. But if they do, they risk losing a lucrative trade-aid deal that allows them to export to the United States duty free. BBC Africa's Sammy Awami investigates the used clothes or 'mitumba' business, and asks local textiles producers if they are ready to clothe this rapidly-growing nation.

Producer: Helen Grady.

How second-hand clothes donated to charity could lead to an international trade dispute.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Secrets Of Germany's Success2017081720170820 (R4)

From sick man of Europe to world's richest exporter - how did Germany do it?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Transparency Detectives2018012520180128 (R4)

Many fees and charges in the investment industry - which, among other things, manages vast pension fund wealth - have been hidden for decades. Lesley Curwen meets the transparency "detectives" intent on bringing reform to a sector that has long shunned it. She asks why the investment industry has been so slow to embrace change and explores the barriers that might still lie ahead. How much money has been unnecessarily spent and how might more transparency alter the shape and structure of the industry? She also hears the stories of the pioneers who are spearheading this new approach. How difficult has the process been for them?

Producer: Rosamund Jones.

Many investment fees and charges have been hidden for years. Is this finally changing?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Ticking Over

Transforming Trains?2016122920170101 (R4)

With work on HS2 close to starting, what does big infrastructure mean for business?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Turnarounds2016051220160515 (R4)

Matthew Gwyther discovers how to turn around a failing company.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Uganda's Refugee Entrepreneurs2017122120171224 (R4)

You are a refugee in Uganda with no money. How on earth do you start a business?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Unlimited Company

Upending The Pyramid: Remembering Ck Prahalad

Us Jobs: The Ties That Bind2017120720171210 (R4)

Why are so many US workers forced into job contracts that make it hard to leave?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

What Keeps The Chancellor Awake?2017113020171203 (R4)

Jonty Bloom explores the problems that might keep the chancellor of the exchequer awake.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Whatever Happened To Advertising?2016120820161211 (R4)

Matthew Gwyther asks if the digital revolution is creating a crisis in advertising.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Who Are Huawei?20190822

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 infrastructure, fearing that Beijing might use the company to spy, steal trade secrets, or even to wage cyber warfare. Huawei insists that its networks are as secure as anyone else’s, and says that its technology is literally years ahead of competitors, so countries who reject it risk falling behind. As the world prepares for a technological revolution through 5th Generation mobile communications, the BBC has gained rare access to Huawei’s founder and Chairman, Ren Zhengfei, to explore his company’s origins, its rise to global pre-eminence, and what makes it tick. And, to ask if the current security questions threaten its continued growth?

Presenter: Karishma Vaswani
Producer: Michael Gallagher

How has Huawei, one of the world's most controversial companies, grown to be so powerful?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Who Sets Our Standards?

Why Are The French So Productive?2017040620170409 (R4)

Jonty Bloom explores why France appears to get more out of its workers than the UK does.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Women's Work2019121220191215 (R4)

Iceland has taken radical measures to reduce the 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 as well. That's proved to be quite a sticking point in many countries, including the UK; ensuring that the jobs routinely done by women are paid as well as those that men routinely do. Lesley Curwen meets the people tasked with comparing a production line worker with an office administrator, an HR professional with an accountant and a camera operative with a social media marketer. What has the financial and cultural impact been on companies that have had to adjust their pay rates and what do their employees think about the process? Could other countries follow the Iceland model? That's one of the questions put to female council workers in Glasgow who, after more than a decade of fighting through the courts, have finally won their equal pay case.

Producer: Rosamund Jones

Iceland has a radical approach to the gender pay gap. What lessons can others learn?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Working From Home2020041620200419 (R4)

Millions of us are now working from home. What are the upsides and challenges?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Millions of us are now working from home. What are the upsides and challenges?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

Since the Covid-19 lockdown began, millions of us have been toiling away trying to work from 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 good are we at doing it? Caroline Bayley explores the upsides and challenges of "WFH".

Presenter: Caroline Bayley
Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

Millions of us are now working from home. What are the upsides and challenges?

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

So many of us are WFH. Caroline Bayley looks at the history and pitfalls.

Zimbabwe's Food Crisis: Can Old Crops Fix New Problems?2020010920200112 (R4)

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 climate heats up. How can Zimbabwe feed itself? It turns out grains like millet and sorghum could hold the key. Unlike maize, these small grains are indigenous to the region. For In Business, Charlotte Ashton meets the remarkable business people fighting to put them back on Zimbabwean plates. From convincing smallholder farmers that traditional crops are the way forward, to advertising the health benefits of small grains to busy parents, this is a campaign for hearts and minds as much as full bellies.

Producer: Phoebe Keane

Meet the Zimbabwean businesses on a mission to change tastes and survive climate change.

Series about the world of work from vast corporations to modest volunteers

0201Chips Off The Old Block

0504After The Crunch