LSBF Blog - Global Matters

Research shows Easter holidays cost home-run businesses £220 million

Do holidays have an adverse effect on work-from-home entrepreneurs? We look at the positives and negatives of home-run businesses.

According to the BIS Business Population Estimates and BIS Small Business Survey, there are around 2.9 million UK residents running businesses from home.

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A guide to 2015’s ‘UK Basket of Goods’

March 24 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

This year has seen some interesting additions to the UK Basket of Goods – and the removal of some others. We look at what the ‘basket of goods’ entails.

Beginning in 1947, the UK Basket of Goods was created by the Office for National Statistics to calculate inflation. It is also used as a useful reflection of society’s changing buying habits, technological improvements and attitudes, with the basket being revised each year to represent what people in the UK are buying.  

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India set to be world’s fastest growing large economy: IMF

March 24 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The second most populous nation in the world is thought to be the fasting growing too.

India is set to surpass China this year as the world’s fastest growing large economy, according to Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). And now, following a spate of statistical revisions, data backs this claim up.

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Asian cities climb financial hub rankings

March 24 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

The importance of Asian financial hubs continues to increase and narrow the gap with cities from the West.

Cities in Asia continue to demonstrate their importance as global financial centres and are fast taking on the well-established hubs in the West. Such Asian cities as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul are closing fast on their Western competitors, according to the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).

 

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Many online marketplaces earning over £1 million, says report

How a number of e-commerce sellers have become millionaires.

Online marketplaces foster a growing number of e-commerce businesses, and some are finding staggering success.

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Growing internet use has positive impact on developing economies, says research

Increased internet and social media usage in developing countries might be beneficial to their economies, suggests Pew Global research.

Recent research from Pew Global has shown that people in developing countries believe that the internet and social media is having a positive effect on their economy, with 52% saying that it is a good influence.

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TSB agrees to £1.7bn takeover by Spanish bank

March 23 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Lloyds and TSB have agreed to a £1.7bn takeover by the Spanish Banco de Sabadell.

TSB, which rejoined the stock market less than a year ago, has agreed to a £1.7 billion takeover by Spanish bank Sabadell. The deal will also see Lloyds sell its remaining 50 per cent stake in TSB to Sabadell for 340p per share.

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FundBox raises $40m to invest in SMEs

An alternative lending startup has received $40 million in Series B round funding.

The rise of financial tech startups has been a hot topic of late as a number of schemes, both government and private, have been set up to support these budding new businesses. However, few small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) take it upon themselves to raise money in order to fund others - but that’s what FundBox aims to do.

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5 innovative startups from Cleantech Forum 2015

Five top innovative startups have emerged from this year’s Cleantech Forum in San Francisco.

The theme of this year’s Cleantech Forum centred around the adoption of renewable energy, and how utilisation of the cloud, big data, and the internet of things could help further this goal.

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How US interest rates hike will influence business

March 20 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The US central bank changed its stance on rate increases, but how will it affect the economy and businesses?

After years of rock-bottom rates the US Federal Reserve has finally modified its stance on interest rates and opened the door to a potential hike this year, perhaps even as early as June, although the likelihood remains rather low. An increase in interest rates is definitely on the US horizon, but how will this impact the American economy?

 

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OECD puts UK 2015 economic growth at second fastest in G7

March 20 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

OECD’s latest growth forecasts puts UK economy in second place out of G7 nations.

According to forecasts from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) the UK’s economy is set to record the second fastest growth rate in 2015 out of the G7 countries. Economic growth in the US is predicted to take the top spot, with Britain coming next, despite a slight downgrade to expectations.

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ONS report reveals UK employment has hit record high

March 20 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

The British economic recovery was further showcased by the latest round of labour data.

Britain’s healthy economy received another boost on Wednesday after labour figures showed a record number of UK residents are in work. It’s welcome news for Chancellor George Osborne ahead of May’s general election, and great news for the economy.

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The essential 2015 UK Budget breakdown for businesses

March 19 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

With the chancellor’s 2015 Budget revealed this week, what effect will it have on UK residents and businesses?

In the run up to the Budget, Chancellor George Osborne promised ‘no giveaways and no gimmicks’. But has he done enough to persuade voters that all the books have been well and truly balanced, in what is likely to be his last chance to boost his reputation ahead of the election?

Here is a rundown of Wednesday’s announcements and how they will affect businesses.

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Companies should turn to cloud services for protection, says Gartner

The growing prevalence of cyber security threats has been highlighted at Gartner’s Identity and Access Management (IAM) summit 2015.

At the London-based event the research group outlined how it believes in the likelihood that companies will end up having to utilise cloud-based security services in order to focus on bigger issues.

As we’ve noted before, cyber security is one of the biggest challenges facing the modern business. There are existing schemes ensuring that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are better prepared for digital threats.

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UK trainees to receive pay rise by October 2015

March 18 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Apprentices across the UK are set to see their pay boosted by a fifth this October.

The 20 per cent increase on apprentice pay packets has been announced following the rise in the national minimum wage, with the British government exceeding the recommendations for apprentice pay from the Low Pay Commission (LPC).

The LPC suggested a 7p increase in the hourly rate for apprentices, which applies to those aged 16 to 18 and those that are aged 19 or over and in their first year. However, the government has managed to secure an increase of 57p an hour in the trainee rate.

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More City of London jobs than applicants, says recruiter

March 18 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

The number of job vacancies in the City of London is almost double the amount of people seeking employment there, according to recruiter, Robert Walters.

Robert Walters claims that London’s financial district has more jobs available than candidates to fill the positions. The recruiter noted that the shortage of jobseekers could prevent finance firms from achieving their full growth potential unless more workers are encouraged to change jobs.

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London startups to reach record levels, says research

Recent research has shown that the London startup scene is likely to grow to record levels in 2015.

A combination of research from Startup Britain has highlighted that UK startups enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2014, particularly in the London tech sector, which bodes well for their performance in 2015.

Startup Britain, run by the Centre for Entrepreneurs think tank, found that 581,173 businesses were registered with Companies House in 2014, which easily surpassed the previous record of 526,446 in 2013. Furthermore, nearly a third (32 per cent) of these businesses were set up in London, illustrating the importance of the UK capital as a hub for entrepreneurial activity.

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Small businesses in India receive sustainability advice from EU

March 17 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Experts from the EU and UK head to India on a mission to give green guidance to SMEs.

Green initiatives will be introduced to India following a project with backing from the UK’s Aston University and Kolkata’s Jadavpur University.

The project will bring experts from the UK and the EU to India to bring their expertise and knowledge of best practices in the supply and value chain.

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Business performance increases by having more women on company boards, says study

March 17 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Study finds business performance is linked to the number of women on the board.

The number of women on the board of a company can be correlated with business performance, according to a recent study. The report, Diversity Matters: Adding Colour to Boards in APAC, found that businesses with at least a tenth of board positions taken by women see, on average, a 3.6 per cent higher return on equity (ROE).

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List reveals UK's fastest growing women-run businesses

March 16 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

A list released by the Centre for Entrepreneurs has highlighted the UK’s fastest growing women-led companies.

The Centre for Entrepreneurs report states that Britain is “without a doubt” one of the world’s best countries for women in business. Their recent Fortuna 50 index aims to draw attention to the quality of British businesses that are run by women.

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British economy will continue to flourish, predicts research

March 13 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Britain’s economic recovery continues to flourish, according to new economic forecasts from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).

Both forecasts indicate that the UK’s economy is rebounding from a disappointing fourth quarter in 2014. This news will be welcomed by the Chancellor ahead of this year’s budget announcement next week.

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Top 3 SME expectations from 2015 UK general election

What are the three top expectations that UK SMEs will be looking for after the results of the general election?

Ahead of the election, promises are already being made as political parties attempt to secure the support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the 50 per cent of the private sector that they employ.

The main difference in this year’s general election is that this time round, the UK’s small business community knows what it wants and has voiced its expectations for what the new government should bring.

So what is it that they will be looking for?

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Challenger banks are on the rise, but can they disrupt the big four?

March 12 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Traditional and well established banks control the majority of the market, but is the sector ready for disruption from challenger banks?

 

It seems like the theory is sound, as well-entrenched institutions are more often than not wracked with inefficiencies. However, with control of 77 per cent of the personal account market and 85 per cent of small business banking, the established banks won’t go down without a fight.

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49 new tech start-ups per day coming from China’s Silicon Valley

The number of new tech start-ups coming out of China’s Silicon Valley rises to 49 every day.

 

China’s technology hub, Zhongguancun, is producing 49 new start-ups every day, according to Wan Gan, the minister of science and technology in China.

Speaking at a briefing for the National People’s Congress in Beijing, Mr Wan outlined how the region now has over 1,600 technology incubators, making it no surprise that entrepreneurs are flocking to the area. 

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Uber aims to create one million jobs for women

March 12 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Plans to recruit one million women drivers by 2020 were recently announced by Uber.

The taxi app company, Uber, has revealed it plans to hire one million women drivers by 2020 in a collaborative effort with the United Nations (UN) sub group; UN Women. It would be a significant move towards gender equality and go a long way towards rectifying the negative publicity the firm has received during the last few months.

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