VENTURE CAPITAL is capital committed to an unproven venture. The initial, start-up money is referred to as "seed money" and entails the greatest risk. If the project gets off the ground it may require additional financing at additional "rounds" or the "mezzanine level" before the company is finally brought to the market and the venture capitalist can enjoy handsome rewards. Experienced investors in venture capital situations typically plan on turning away a minimum of 9 out of every 10 proposals which are brought to them, and then they expect as many failures as successes from their selected investments.
BILL OF LADING is the contract between the owner of the goods and the cargo carrier to move the goods to a specified destination. A clean bill of lading is issued by the carrier verifying receipt of the merchandise in apparent good condition (without visually apparent damage or defect). Bills of lading can sometimes be made to cover the whole trip, or separate bills of lading can be prepared for each carrier. Ocean shipments generally require two, an Inland Bill of Lading covering land transportation to the port and an Ocean Bill of Lading covering the ship portion. Bills of lading are negotiable while cargo is in transit.
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE exists when the firm is able to deliver the same benefits as competitors but at a lower cost (cost advantage), or deliver benefits that exceed those of competing products (differentiation advantage). Thus, a competitive advantage enables the firm to create superior value for its customers and superior profits for itself. See also SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
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