A law firm has launched a technology incubator programme for innovative early-stage businesses and growth technology startups that are able to provide products and services for the legal industry.
Mishcon de Reya has launched its MDR LAB with innovation specialists and investors L Marks, and is now accepting applications from businesses with concepts or products and services that are at a revenue-generating stage.
Funding Circle has secured £82 million in equity funding, enabling the peer-to-peer lending platform to provide financial support to small businesses and create thousands of jobs.
The £82 million round, which was led by venture capital firm Accel and received contributions from Funding Circle’s existing investors Union Square Ventures, Baillie Gifford and Ribbit Capital, comes after the lending platform secured £40 million investment from the Government’s British Business Bank earlier this month.
Tech businesses in the UK attracted more than £6.7 billion in venture capital funding and private equity funding in 2016, more than the amount invested in tech businesses from any other country in Europe, new research from London & Partners has shown.
The research found that over a third of the amount invested in tech businesses last year went to London-based businesses, whilst a total of £4.7 billion in private equity investment went to the UK’s tech sector. This brings the total investment into the country’s tech businesses since 2011 to £9.6 billion.
Small businesses in Scotland are ahead of their UK counterparts when it comes to digital skills, according to the Bank of Scotland’s annual Business Digital Index.
The index surveyed 2,000 small businesses and charities, assessing basic online skills such as managing information, transactions, communication, creating and problem solving, and found that over 67 per cent of businesses in Scotland possess these skills – higher than the UK’s average of 62 per cent.
A record number of recruitment start-ups were launched in 2016, according to figures obtained by Clearly PR & Marketing Communications under a Freedom of Information request from executive agency Companies House.
According to the figures, 2016 saw a 13.7 per cent increase in the number of recruitment businesses, with 4,529 start-ups being registered between January and December.
The Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) has released a checklist outlining the key priorities for achieving success in the accountancy profession in the new year.
The checklist is aimed at accountancy professionals, business leaders and policy makers and consists of a wish list to help professionals deal with uncertainties in 2017, including the upcoming negotiations over Brexit.
The North West is a top area for start-up businesses, with the number of businesses in the region increasing by 10 per cent in 2016, according to research from insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.
The research found that there are now a record number of start-ups in the North West, with an additional 32,774 businesses in the area than at the end of 2015. This brings the number of businesses in the region to more than 347,200.
UK start-ups are being offered the opportunity to secure £150,000 in the UK’s largest ever seed funding competition.
The Start-Up Series is a monthly competition and has returned for January to give early-stage companies the chance to secure equity funding from a £1.8 million Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).
The Co-op is to invest £70 million into a growth project that will see hundreds of new jobs being created in the UK in the new year.
The company will be opening 100 stores for the project, with many of them being located in London and the South East. There will also be new stores in Swansea, Sheffield, Kings Bromley in Staffordshire, and Beverley in Yorkshire.
British businesses are feeling positive about their future, according to a survey from the Institute of Directors (IoD).
The IoD surveyed 34,000 businesses, questioning them on how they believe Brexit will affect their future, and found that 60 per cent of British businesses are “optimistic” or “very optimistic” about the upcoming year.
Small businesses want improved availability of technology, with 37 per cent believing that it will positively impact on growth next year, according to the annual SME Hopes and Fears Index from Barclays.
The index also revealed the other most important factors when it comes to boosting growth, with 30 per cent citing opportunities for exporting and access to international markets, 22 per cent moving their business online and having a digital presence, 22 per cent consumer demand and 21 per cent the condition of the UK’s economy.
A new study from Hitachi Capital Business Finance has revealed what SMEs are looking for from business lenders, with the majority wishing to receive more support and a genuine partnership.
The company’s British Business Barometer surveyed over 1,000 small business owners, questioning them on what they believe banks and other providers in the finance services industry should do in order to help them grow their business.
Christmas can help SMEs in the UK to make additional revenue, with 60 per cent of businesses experiencing equal or higher levels of work during the period, according to research commissioned by freelancing platform Upwork.
The research found that businesses can benefit from staying open during the Christmas season, with over 35 per cent of businesses believing that their income could increase by up to 50 per cent.
There was a decline in small business lending in one year across ten cities in the UK, according to a report from Hampshire Trust Bank.
The SME Growth Watch Report 2016 showed a 6 per cent drop of £2 billion between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2015. However, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) said that small business lending has picked up again in 2016.
Networking can help boost the performance of small businesses, with 50 per cent saying that it has helped them to increase profits, according to research from NatWest.
The research, which surveyed over 630 senior decision makers from small businesses, found that 70 per cent of businesses have secured new business through networking. However, 33 per cent said that they are struggling to form new connections.