Minecraft off-limits for marketers

Minecraft is one of the most prolific and popular online kids games with more than 70 million copies sold. That’s a powerful and appealing audience for marketers but now Microsoft and Mojang have pulled the plug on brands advertising or promoting unrelated products on the platform, Venture Beat reports. The new rules don’t apply to so-called Minecraft experts who make money from how-to videos on YouTube. As Microsoft explains in a blog post: Minecraft is so big now that it “has become a viable place for companies to advertise unrelated products or for organizations to promote their causes. We want to empower our community to make money from their creativity, but we’re not happy when the selling of an unrelated product becomes the purpose of a Minecraft mod or server.” The new rules also give Microsoft more control over how people use Minecraft to sell products to minors, notes Venture Beat.

Saudi’s pump $3.5bn into Uber

Yesterday we spoke of Saudi Arabia’s attempts to move away from being completely dependent on oil revenues. Today we hear that the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund is betting big on Uber - pumping $3.5bn into the car service, the BBC Reports. Uber will invest $250m into the Middle East market - notably in Saudi Arabia where the company says 80% of its users in Saudi Arabia are women (who aren’t allowed to drive of course). 

Why Novozymes understands sustainability is big business.

“Sustainability is becoming business mainstream. Companies are going beyond just reporting their financial, social and environmental results. They are now integrating sustainability practices into their operations.” That’s the key takeaway from a Huffington Post column written by Novozymes’s head of corporate sustainability, Claus Stig Pedersen, in which he outlines the potential of companies addressing and embracing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. As Pedersen writes: “This is a great gift to business because they can only be achieved through private sector solutions. The SDG’s are a powerful, long-term signal providing direction and a great framework for business to release its powers of innovating and developing solutions for the world. In short, they are driving business to become an even stronger force for good.”

Levi Strauss launches sustainable entrepreneurship fellowship

Apparel maker Levi Strauss has made major strides in sustainable production in recent years especially in terms of reducing water consumption. Now it is launching the LS&Co. Collaboratory, an annual fellowship program for socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs who understand that design and sustainability are inextricably linked and want to create a more sustainable apparel industry. The fellowship is being run in conjunction with the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program and fellows will have the opportunity to work at LS&Co.’s Eureka Innovation Lab and “tap into the company’s deep network of people and resources to bring their aspirations to life,” a company press release says.

From $4.5bn hero to zero

Finally today, last year Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes led the Forbes list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women with a net worth of $4.5 billion. Now the business publication has reassessed her worth in the wake of a series of scandals surrounding her company and concluded that, actually, she’s worth nothing. Reputation, as always, is everything.

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