LSBF Blog - Global Matters

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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Entrepreneurs and startups flourishing in Aberdeen

Elevator, a business support organisation that works with businesses across Scotland, has said that Aberdeen city and shire are witnessing an increase in startups, and this reflects the robust economy and flourishing entrepreneurial spirit in the region.

The organisation works with startup companies and promotes the growth of existing and new businesses in Scotland. It claimed that the number of startups launched in the north-east during the past year was the highest ever, with 555 new startups opening in Aberdeen and 721 in Aberdeenshire.

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UKBAA and Barclays to launch Angel Hubs in Birmingham

Investment body UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) has teamed up with Barclays to launch Angel Hubs in Birmingham.

The collaboration will host a pilot session for entrepreneurs in Barclays’ Eagle Lab in the city.

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New Enterprise Allowance scheme aiding Britain’s startups

April 05 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

The Department for Work and Pensions has just released new data showing that the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme was responsible for launching 80,830 startups between April 2011 and December 2015.

Of all the businesses launched through the NEA, Liverpool was leading the way with 1,410 startups. Other places that attracted the most NEA-aided startups included Sheffield (1,250), County Durham (1,180), Birmingham (1,140), and Glasgow City (1,140).

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North East Business investment fund receives £17 million boost

Businesses in the North East are set to benefit from an additional £17 million after an EU investment cash programme was given a boost. The JEREMIE programme, also called the Finance for Business North East fund, has received a top up so that it can continue investing in the fastest-growing businesses in the North East until the end of 2016.

The programme was established by North East Finance in 2010 to drive economic growth in the North East; it is made up of a suite of seven investment funds.

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Huntingdon training centre secures £10.5 million in funding

A Huntingdon-based not-for-profit organisation has secured funding of £10.5 million through Growth Deal, which is the funding arm of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills Nick Boles visited the project site of iMET where a new facility will offer training in advanced technical skills in the fields of technology, engineering, and manufacturing. 

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British website trains medical students from Syria

April 04 ,2016 | by Erin O’Neill

A British website is helping Syrian medical students to become doctors by providing the necessary training and information online. The online healthcare training platform works by connecting students to tutors and academics who are based in the UK.

SyriaScholar was founded in 2015 by two British medical students, brothers Kinan and Louwai Muhammed, both of whom were born to Syrian parents in the UK. 

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Big businesses to collaborate with UK start-ups

April 03 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

Big businesses in the UK are planning to collaborate and forge partnerships with small business owners and innovative start-ups.

Some companies are offering free tools and computers, whilst others are offering training, advice and free-of-cost accelerator services.

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Rochdale Council incentivises apprenticeship in the borough

April 02 ,2016 | by Thiago Kiwi

Rochdale Council has announced that apprentices in the borough will receive an additional payment of £1,000 from the council as an incentive to continue their apprenticeship. Employers operating within the borough will also receive an extra £1,000 for every new apprentice they take on.

The council hopes this incentive will motivate more young people to take up an apprenticeship in fields such as informational technology, computing and engineering. 

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Start-ups need early support, says NatWest manager

Start-ups should have “the right early support” to help them overcome their fear of failing, according to NatWest North East Entrepreneur Development Manager Dale Sidebottom.

His comments came after new research carried out by Populus for NatWest showed that 23 per cent of people would like to start their own business, but 57 per cent are held back from doing so because they have a fear of failing. 

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Tyneside and Teesside SMEs receive £285 million from HSBC

April 01 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

SMEs in Tyneside and Teesside have received £285 million in funding from HSBC over the past ten months. The bank first launched its regional SME fund in May 2015 and initially provided £150 million in funding.

The company has now announced that it has increased the size of its fund to meet the demands of local businesses that are hoping to grow.

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Three out of five UK women want to start a business, shows survey

April 01 ,2016 | by Claire Payne

According to a survey carried out by Avon, 60 per cent of women in the UK want to start up their own business.

The company surveyed 2,000 women and found that out of those who wish to start their own business, 45 per cent said that they have been held back because they feared that the process would be too complicated.

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North West workers receive most training, according to report

March 31 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

Workers in the North West are more likely to receive training than in any other location in the UK, according to the Employer Skills Survey.

Over 91,000 companies were surveyed, with 6,700 of those companies being based in the North West. 

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Google to headline Blackpool Enterprise Week

Google is to be one of the headline acts for Blackpool’s first Enterprise Week. The event, which will be hosted by Blackpool Council, will provide a wide range of activities to help local entrepreneurs to grow their business.

Google will be launching its Google Digital Garage at the event, which will be the first time the tech company has taken the workshop outside a major city. 

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Innovation centre to be launched in Northern Ireland

A new innovation centre is to be launched in Northern Ireland.

Enterprise minister Jonathan Bell announced that the latest government-backed Digital Catapult Centre will be located at the Northern Ireland Science Parks in Belfast and Londonderry.

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Manchester received over £136m in European funding, says research

March 30 ,2016 | by Claire Payne

Manchester has received over £136 million in European funding, which has supported investment in businesses and helped to create job opportunities, according to research from Britain Stronger in Europe.

The research found that during the 2007-2013 European Structural Funds Programme, which is made up of the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund, Manchester received £136.2 million in European funding. 

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Do It Digital campaign to help three million businesses develop online skills

A campaign that was launched at the end of last year is now aiming to help three million small businesses in the UK to develop online skills.

Do It Digital was launched by Michelle Ovens, director of Small Business Saturday, a campaign that is held every year to encourage consumers to shop at their local independent stores to support small businesses. 

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Family businesses becoming more successful, shows IFB research

March 29 ,2016 | by Claire Payne

Family-run businesses in the UK are looking to expand after a successful year in the sector, according to research from the Institute for Family Business (IFB).

The research showed that family businesses make a significant contribution to the UK economy, making up 87 per cent of all private sector companies in the UK.

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Peckham to get enterprise centre for entrepreneurs

A new enterprise centre is to open in Peckham to provide support and space for young entrepreneurs.

The Peckham Enterprise Centre, which has been set up by the London Youth Support Trust, will be located in the former Bell’s Garden Community Centre on Buller Close. 

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Number of foreign tech directors increasing, according to survey

The number of foreign business leaders has increased in the UK, according to business research company Duedil.

Their figures show that one in five UK tech companies are now led by foreign entrepreneurs, which indicates that Britain is becoming an attractive location to start up a digital business.

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Business group holds drop-in events to help entrepreneurs

March 28 ,2016 | by Hari Sri

A business group in Ilford is holding drop-in events to provide help and advice to start-up businesses and entrepreneurs in the area.

The Seven Kings Business and Community Partnership (SKBCP) launched its first information event on 7th March at the Seven Kings Library in High Road and will now be holding the sessions every fortnight until May. 

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Deadline for 2016 Startups 100 index extended

The deadline for this year’s Startups 100 index has been extended. The annual initiative, which was launched in 2008 by Startups.co.uk, is a countdown of the best start-up companies in the UK.

Described as “the longest running index of its kind”, the scheme searches for the UK’s most “exciting and innovative early-stage businesses with fast-growth potential, original concepts and forward-thinking founders” that have launched within the last three years. 

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Social media start-up secures funding for expansion

A start-up company based in Hackney has secured funding to continue helping mums to get back into work.

Digital Mums, which provides online social media training and flexible work, has secured £285,000 to enable it to expand.

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UK banks sign up for Women in Finance Charter

March 24 ,2016 | by Erin O’Neill

Several UK banks have committed to signing up for a charter to promote gender balance in the workplace.

Major companies such as Virgin Money, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland are showing their support after the government urged companies to sign up for the charter, which aims to get more women working in senior roles in the finance sector.

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