LSBF Blog - Global Matters

HSBC to launch £450 million lending fund for SMEs

April 19 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

HSBC is to launch a £450 million lending fund to meet demand from small and medium-sized businesses in Scotland.

The fund, which will be the largest package of support for SMEs in the country, is an increase on the £400 million fund that the company provided for Scotland last year.

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Charity launches digital project in pubs across Cornwall

A charity has launched a pioneering scheme to help people learn and share computer skills whilst enjoying a drink in local pubs across Cornwall.

The Cornwall Rural Community Charity set up the Digital Champion project, which is funded by Cornwall Council, to help people improve their IT skills and gain confidence when using a computer.

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Plans for new business centre in Essex unveiled

Plans to create a £1.3 million business centre in Harwich, Essex, have been unveiled.

Over 25 businesses have already shown an interest in occupying space at the centre, and the project could help to create over 85 jobs in the area.

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First ever UK Employability Day launched

April 17 ,2016 | by Thiago Kiwi

The first ever UK Employability Day has been launched. The event, which was co-ordinated by the Employment Related Services Association, took place on 15 April.

The event was celebrated by employment support providers from throughout the UK, with over 70 employment centres across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland being opened. 

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Amazon’s Edinburgh development centre to increase staff

April 16 ,2016 | by Erin O’Neill

Amazon is planning to expand its research and development centre in Edinburgh by taking on over 30 new employees.

The online retailer will be recruiting at least 35 managers, software engineers and scientists, who will join around 100 staff already working at the centre. 

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Small business growth restricted by lack of leadership, says FSB report

April 15 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

The potential growth of small businesses is being hampered by a lack of leadership and management skills, according to a report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The report, “Leading the way: boosting leadership and management in small firms”, found that whilst over 55 per cent of small business owners update their business knowledge and skills every year, there is still a lack of management training. 

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East Sussex County Council secures funding for growth hub

East Sussex County Council has secured over £200,000 of government funding for the Business East Sussex growth hub for the next two years.

The hub, which was launched last year, provides support for companies that are at any stage of growth, including start-ups and companies that are aiming to expand.

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Freelancers to receive £40 extra from UK state pension

April 14 ,2016 | by Erin O’Neill

Freelancers can now receive up to £40 extra per week after changes to the UK state pension system were introduced last week.

The new state pension changes apply to people who reach state pension age on or after 6th April 2016. This includes women born on or after 6th April 1953 and men born on or after 6th April 1951.

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UK digital agency to offer support to global entrepreneurs

A UK digital agency is to become part of a support programme for global entrepreneurs.

David Henderson Design (DHD) partner with LA-based start-up factory Wonka Lab to provide development opportunities for 25 early-stage businesses across the world.

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Government to provide support for UK’s FinTech businesses

The UK Government has unveiled plans to support financial technology businesses as part of a scheme to make the UK the “FinTech capital of the world.”

UK Treasury Economic Secretary Harriet Baldwin announced that three initiatives will be launched to provide support for businesses in the industry.

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Businesses urged to sign up for apprenticeship event

April 13 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

Businesses in Droitwich are being urged to sign up for a free event that will highlight the benefits of offering apprenticeships.

The Droitwich Apprenticeships Employer Event, which is being held by Wychavon District Council and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, will take place at St Andrew’s Town Hotel, in St Andrew's Drive, on 4th May between 12:30pm and 2:00pm. 

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London-based company backs European entrepreneurs

A London-based investment company has raised an additional £100 million to enable early-stage entrepreneurs across Europe to grow their companies.

Octopus Ventures, which is part of the Octopus Group, provides support for companies through all stages, from start-up stage to later growth. The company’s early stage funds are now in excess of £400 million.

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IT company to create 400 jobs with new Birmingham hub

One of the largest software providers in the UK has opened a new hub in Birmingham, which is expected to create 400 jobs.

Advanced Computer Software’s new flagship hub is based in Birmingham’s Mailbox complex.

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Small Business Forum launched in Bristol

April 12 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

A new group has been launched in Bristol to enable local business people to share tips and advice. The Bristol Small Business Forum was launched in March, and monthly meetings will now be held at the Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre.

The group was launched to provide local people with the chance to experience the benefits of becoming a member. The launch featured local public speaker, Julian Okoye, who opened the event with his talk, “How judo helped me in public speaking: tips for small businesses.”

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North West businesses urged to attend exporting events

April 12 ,2016 | by Erin O’Neill

Businesses in the North West are being urged to attend events during Exporting is GREAT week, a programme that is part of the Exporting is GREAT campaign, which aims to inspire businesses to grow overseas.

A range of events is being organised by UKTI North West and its partners during the week, with over 300 delegates expected to participate across the UK.

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North West SMEs set to invest double the UK average

Small and medium-sized businesses in the North West are remaining confident despite the uncertainty of the UK referendum.

According to the latest SME Confidence Tracker, they are set to invest almost double the UK average.

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Blackburn pub to be transformed into centre for entrepreneurs

A former pub in Blackburn is to be transformed into the county’s first “fab lab” to provide support for entrepreneurs, artists, and inventors.

The pub, which was formerly known as Bentley’s, is expected to be transformed by autumn 2016 with an investment of over £725,000.

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Accountants in demand as skills shortage hits companies, shows research

April 10 ,2016 | by Thiago Kiwi

Accountants are one of the many types of workers now in demand as a skills shortage hits companies.

According to research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), companies are searching for skilled workers such as accountants, project managers, sales staff, engineers and quantity surveyors to fill permanent positions. 

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CABA helps record number of accountants, according to report

April 09 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

The Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association (CABA) helped a record number of accountants in 2015, according to its latest report.

The charity, which provides support for members of ICAEW, supported over 13,000 people in 2015, an increase of 135 per cent on 2014. 

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Lloyds Bank pledges support to first-time exporters in Yorkshire

Lloyds Banking Group has pledged to support local companies become first-time exporters. As an effort to support and encourage SMEs, Lloyds will be supporting 5,000 exporters in Yorkshire in 2016 and intends to support a total of 25,000 first-time exporters by 2020.

The bank’s campaign has been launched in support of the government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign, which aims to help up to 100,000 businesses trade overseas.

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Vodafone to provide regional support to East of England businesses

April 08 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

Vodafone has announced its plans to establish a number of regional business hubs across the East of England to support local business owners. The telecom giant also announced that it will continue investing in mobile infrastructure in Suffolk and Norfolk.

The company stated that by having teams of business support specialists in its business hubs, it would allow the company to provide faster and more specialised services to SMEs. 

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UK SMEs targeted for global space market

The UK’s Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS) has said that SMEs will be vital for its long-term plan to increase its share of the global space market.

In its UK Space Innovation and Growth Strategy 2015, the IGS announced that it is on track to increase its share of the market from 6% in 2009 to 10% by 2030. This share will generate £40 billion in revenue from the sector and now SMEs are being targeted for investment. 

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Kabbage-Santander programme offers UK SMEs same-day funding

April 07 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

The US online lending firm Kabbage is partnering with Spanish bank Santander to provide same-day funding loans to SMEs in the UK.

A joint announcement by the two collaborators said that the pilot programme will launch in the next two months.

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Barclays backs social payment app for money transfer

Barclays has become the first major bank in the UK to support a new Android and iPhone application that allows users to transfer currencies through various media using bitcoin.

The app has been created by US-based digital payment company Circle and allows users to send emojis, written messages and even animated GIF videos when they transfer money to recipients.

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John Lewis opens applications for retail startup accelerator programme

Department store John Lewis has announced that it is ready to start receiving applications for its ecommerce startup accelerator programme, JLAB, which supports and develops innovative ideas in the retail industry.

Jointly run with L Marks, an innovation consultancy that works with startups and corporates, the programme will help to hasten the growth of retail startups by providing micro-funding of £200,000. Finalists will also get an opportunity to forge a commercial partnership with John Lewis. 

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