LSBF Blog - Global Matters

UK fintech startup competition seeks to further financial literacy initiatives

Financial institutions seek startups to deliver cutting-edge, innovative solutions in The Future of FinTech competition from Innovate UK.

The latest competition to hit the FinTech scene comes from Innovate UK’s IC Tomorrow program and works with some of the industry’s leading financial firms. It challenges startups and small businesses to come up with commercial, creative and technical innovation that deals with any of a range of themes, such as financial literacy and compliance.

 

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Twitter looks to expand in China with Hong Kong office

Twitter has opened a new office in Hong Kong as it looks to expand its reach in the Chinese market.

Twitter is looking to develop closer ties with businesses in China with the launch of the social media firm’s first office in Hong Kong.

Despite currently being blocked in mainland China the company seems keen to exploit Asia’s biggest economy. Even if users cannot access the site, its physical presence in Hong Kong will enable the San Francisco-based company to tap China for potentially huge advertising revenues.

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Apple unveils range of smartwatches

Tech giant Apple has revealed its latest range of products - the smartwatch.

Apple’s new collection of smartwatches was brought to the public at a press event in San Francisco and immediately the internet burst into a flurry of mixed reactions.

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UK Treasury nets £500m from Lloyds share sale

March 10 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

The UK government has sold further shares of Lloyds, raising £500m from the sale.

A further tranche of Lloyds Banking Group shares have been sold by the UK government as part of its plan to return ownership of the part-nationalised bank fully back to private investors.

The government took advantage of a recent jump in share prices to sell another one per cent of its stake for £500 million and lowering its overall ownership to 22.9 per cent.

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Low oil prices could fuel UK jobs growth, says PwC

March 10 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Prolonged low oil prices would boost employment in the UK, according to a PwC report.

The UK could experience an employment boost of 121,000 by next year if oil prices settle at $50 per barrel, says a PwC report, when compared to a scenario where prices remained around their mid-2014 highs at $108 per barrel. Furthermore, a prolonged period of low oil prices would increase overall economic activity in the UK.

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Disney launches £95K fitness app competition

A £95,000 competition to create a healthy living app using Disney characters has been launched by the media giant.

Disney has opened up a £95,000 competition in partnership with Creative England, to find a software specialist that can come up with a new app that uses Disney’s characters to encourage healthy living. It seems the media giant is looking to take advantage of the recent trend that has seen fitness related wearable technology and apps gain popularity with consumers.

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The 5 top cities in Latin America for startups

Five of Latin America’s best hubs for starting a new online-driven small business.

The past ten years has been witness to an entrepreneurial boom in Latin America and is fast becoming a rival to counterparts in America and Europe, according to a recent press release from Dafiti.

As internet and mobile technology sweep the continent, there are a huge number of opportunities for startups, not to mention the added benefit of excellent funding programs and networking potentials.

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UK should prepare for driverless cars, say MPs

March 09 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The British government should commence plans to introduce driverless cars to the roads, say MPs.

A variety of factors need to be considered and prepared for if the UK government wants to bring driverless cars to Britain’s roads, according to a report from the House of Commons. The main considerations will be designed to reassure the public over safety concerns.

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Video: Great Minds Series - LSBF interviews McDonald's UK CEO Jill McDonald

March 06 ,2015 | by LSBF Blog Staff

In this interview, LSBF speaks with Jill McDonald, McDonald's UK CEO, who discusses some of the main challenges and achievements of the global restaurant chain.

Ms McDonald was appointed chief executive for McDonald's UK operations in 2010. Since then, the brand has seen a growth in sales and profitability and, more importantly, an increase in trust of the brand and its products.

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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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