LSBF Blog | Global Matters – LSBF

LSBF Blog - Global Matters

India’s new MUDRA bank looks to fund small businesses

March 06 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The new bank announced in India’s latest budget could aid lending to small businesses.

India’s most recent yearly budget announcement revealed plans to set up a new bank that will aim to lend more to the nation’s cash-starved small companies. As these micro and small businesses account for around a fifth of India’s economy, it’s a clever move from the government that could rekindle growth through the Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) bank.

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Startup Gathering event to showcase entrepreneurship in Ireland

A weeklong gathering is coming to Ireland to showcase startup sector to over 15,000 people.

The Startup Gathering will be a national week in Ireland of over 50 events in five different cities, with the goal to promote entrepreneurship by showcasing the startup sector to more than 15,000 people. During the five day long program in October, Startup Ireland, the not for profit organisation, will lead the event in partnership with the Bank of Ireland.

With a theme of “Start, Scale, Succeed from Ireland” the initiative forms part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.

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UK pilots ‘Costar’ SME cybersecurity scheme

Britain is among the first countries to launch a scheme to boost SME cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses but a new scheme aims to help better prepare Europe’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The co-ordinated cybersecurity taskforce and response (Costar) project is being piloted this year and the UK is one of the first countries to trial it.

It comes amid growing fears that Britain’s small businesses are ignoring the dangers posed by cyber crime and are not doing enough to guard against it.

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Ecommerce will dominate African retail market, says report

March 05 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The African retail market will be dominated by e-commerce over the next few years, says report.

A recent report notes that online marketplaces could dominate the retail market in Africa within the next few years, according to reports.

Global consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan, estimated that the e-commerce market will be worth $50 billion in 2018, compared to its 2013 worth of around $8 billion. It’s no surprise then that these digital retailers are beginning to offer greater numbers of products and services to African consumers.

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UK small business profits reach seven-year high

Small businesses in Britain are achieving turnover and profits last seen before the financial crisis in 2008.

As UK living standards return to pre-crisis levels, small businesses are also reporting their best performance since 2008.

Britain’s small firms have increased turnover, raised profits and expanded workforces over the last 12 months, according to the latest survey from the government, with businesses forecasting this positive trend to continue in 2015.

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Britons back sustainability and green energy, reveals survey

March 05 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Nature and the environment is especially important to the British public, according to a new survey.

Nearly a third of the British public consider themselves to be very environmentally friendly, according to a recent survey commissioned by Nationwide Building Society.

It seems that nature and the environment is becoming increasingly important to residents of the UK, especially since almost two-thirds of respondents said they were willing to pay more for environmentally sustainable products.

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Graduates look for more than salary, EY research says

March 04 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Money is no longer all that attracts graduates to a company, according to EY.

Salary is no longer the main attraction for graduates that are considering their employment options, according to a new survey from Ernst and Young. The poll of more than a thousand students found that salary and benefits was no longer the number one consideration for graduates, despite coming joint top in last year’s survey.

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India's ambitious solar energy goals within reach, says minister

March 04 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

India’s goal to produce 100 GW of solar power is easily within reach after investors pledged enough money to fund double that.

Further funding for India’s massive solar power plans has been pledged from a number of potential investors and brings within reach the nation’s goal to produce 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy by 2022, according to Indian energy minister, Piyush Goyal.

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Robust UK manufacturing data highlights strong start to 2015

March 03 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

UK’s Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI data jumped to seven-month high in February.

Manufacturing activity in the UK continues to post robust growth and highlights that Britain well and truly started this year strongly, according to the latest manufacturing purchasing managers’ index from Markit/CIPS.

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Xero aims to eliminate payroll difficulties for small businesses

Xero announces cloud accounting and payroll solution that simplifies the payroll process for small businesses.

Online accounting software company Xero has announced its new cloud accounting and payroll solution at its annual fintech conference; Xerocon.

Xero’s managing director Gary Turner says that the company will be able to do for payroll what it has already done for accounting.

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Renewable energy investment rises in the UK

March 02 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Investment in renewable energy is rising, putting the UK on track to meet its clean energy commitments.

Clean energy in the UK continues to be a hot topic, especially since the government committed to produce 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Investors in renewable energy range from venture capitalists and the government, to crowdfunded initiatives like the Trillion Fund, which means there’s a lot of money being pumped into sustainable energy.

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Everywoman set to celebrate successful women in business

March 02 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

An organisation dedicated to advancing women in business is preparing to hold its annual technology awards ceremony in London later this month.

everywoman, a globally recognised organisation which drives the development of women across all business sectors, will be honouring women’s contributions to the technology sector at its FDM everywoman in Technology Awards.

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UK government SME spending exceeds £11bn, says report

February 27 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Direct and indirect spending by the UK government topped £11 billion during 2013/14, according to a report.

The UK government’s spending on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accounted for 26.1 per cent of all purchases made by Whitehall during the 2013/14 financial year, which meant the government exceeded its goal for 25 per cent of its procurement to go through SMEs, according to the latest figures.

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500 Startups launch new entrepreneurship fund in South Korea

February 27 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Kimchi, the latest microfund, has been announced by 500 Startups and is set to launch in Seoul, South Korea.

500 Startups, the well-known US accelerator for startups, has just revealed details of its latest venture, 500 Kimchi, which will take $15 million to fund early stage startups in South Korea’s mobile space. The newest microfund from 500 Startups will deepen the firm’s reach into South Korea, which has already several investments from the company, according to the online tech magazine, TechCrunch.

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Now you can send money via Twitter with Barclays app

February 27 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Barclays has teamed up with Twitter to offer instant mobile payments through the social network via its Pingit app.

The UK banking giant, Barclays, has announced a partnership with the social network, Twitter, which will allow anybody in the UK to send or receive money by using a person’s Twitter handle. It’s another innovative solution for instant payments and will work via the bank’s mobile payment service app, Pingit.

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6 priceless online resources for SME and startups

February 26 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

We take a quick look at some of the most useful online resources for SME and startups.

In order to stay on top of industry news, trends, and general happenings, it’s imperative that business leaders and startups keep themselves in the loop. However, we know that time is one commodity that is increasing in its scarcity, which is why you should check out these online resources that can help you make the most of your precious time.

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Kaspersky launches new cybersecurity startup accelerator

February 26 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

A new accelerator aimed at cybersecurity startups has been announced by Kaspersky Labs.

The launch of another cybersecurity accelerator highlights the rising popularity of this industry for investment, this time coming from the well-established security firm, Kaspersky Labs.

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UK digital economy sixth best in EU: European Commission

February 26 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Britain has the sixth best digital economy in the European Union according to a new report from the European Commission.

The UK’s digital economy continues to rank among the best in Europe, according to a new report from the European Commission (EC), which places Britain in sixth place.

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UK real wages set for first rise since 2007, says EY

February 25 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Workers in the UK this year will experience real wages rising for the first time since 2007, according to a report from the EY ITEM Club.

The UK’s workforce will see its first pay rise in eight years during 2015, according to a new report on labour from the EY ITEM Club. The research forecasts that inflation will turn negative this year and average wages will increase around 1.9 per cent annually, fuelling the first pick up in real earnings since before the financial crisis.

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Google boosts mobile payment unit with Softcard acquisition

February 25 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Google has signed a partnership with Softcard to further its efforts in the mobile payments arena.

Google has stepped up its battle in the mobile payments arena by forging a deal with Softcard, the mobile payments app that is owned by the three biggest wireless carriers in the US. Furthermore, the online giant secured a distribution deal with the carriers to get its Google Wallet payments app pre-installed on their phones, according to a Google Commerce blogpost.

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FTSE 100 index breaches 15-year closing record

February 24 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

UK’s top 100 share index breaks above the record closing high from 1999.

Britain’s leading share index sailed past the 1999 record closing high, lifted on a generally upbeat tone in the markets throughout Europe. Investors now eye the all-time index high as the next target, which lies around 6,950.

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4 essential Twitter tips startups can't get wrong

February 24 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

We look at a number of essential Twitter tips to take away to promote small businesses and generate custom.

Small businesses and startups will already know that social media is a powerful tool to promote brands and drive interest in consumers. However, many fail to do it correctly.

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UK tech sector continues robust growth, says report

February 24 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

British tech industry growth continued to gather momentum in the final quarter of 2014.

Business activity in the UK’s tech sector continued to experience strong growth in the final quarter of 2014, despite less than favourable global economic conditions, according to the KPMG/Markit Tech Monitor survey.

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Dell UK begins accepting payments in Bitcoins

February 23 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Computer giant Dell has begun accepting payments via Bitcoin in its UK online stores.

Following a successful launch in the US last summer, Dell is now accepting payments with Bitcoin in its online stores in the UK. A partnership with payment processor Coinbase will bring the technology to the UK, and also Canada, which will make Dell the largest retailer in the UK to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.

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Ireland state-backed investment bank to fund SMEs

February 23 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

A new state-backed banking initiative will offer SMEs in Ireland loans at discount prices.

In a bid to kick-start lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the new state-backed Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SCBI) aims to provide funds at a discount to current market rates.

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