NEWS - BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Hertfordshire has been shortlisted in two categories for the 2016 Better Business for All Awards. The awards are part of the Better Business for All programme, which was set up to create partnerships to identify problems faced by local businesses and provide them with support.
A shortlist of locations has been revealed, with Hertfordshire being shortlisted for the Partnership category for “establishing a strong partnership and producing tangible products and positive outcomes” and the innovation category for developing its own training programme.Read more >>
BT is to create 50 apprenticeship and graduate jobs in the North West in 2016. The telecoms and TV company will employ around 1,400 apprentices and graduates in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, research and innovation.
The company said that it will be recruiting apprentices in Accrington, Ellesmere Port, Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester. EE and Openreach, both subsidiaries of BT, will also be taking on new apprentices and graduates.Read more >>
A Leicester-based software company has recently received funding from Barclays, enabling it to go ahead with plans to grow.
Synety Group, a specialist software firm that provides cloud-based computer telephony integration for lawyers, accountants and recruitment companies, has secured a £900,000 loan as part of Barclays’ finance and innovation scheme.Read more >>
Business leaders in Lancashire are backing calls for the self-employed to receive more support. A recent study carried out by businesswoman Julie Deane showed that self-employment in the UK has reached an all-time high, with over four million self-employed professionals in the country.
Deane has now called for self-employed professionals to receive the same rights as company employees, stating that they should not be disadvantaged.Read more >>
A new business hub in Chard is set to be given a boost by councillors. The £227,200 hub will be located at the Holyrood Lace Mill and will help to provide extra office space for businesses and more employment opportunities in the area.
The project aims to provide support for 12 start-up companies in the area and help the development of 30 other businesses. The hub is expected to create 15 new jobs.Read more >>
Business experts have said that companies should consider training to “reduce wage inequality”.
The national living wage is set to increase to £7.20 an hour from April, but research from the Social Market Foundation has found that one in four businesses will face “significant productivity challenges” as a result of the change.Read more >>
The UK’s digital businesses are growing 32% faster than other sectors in the economy, according to research from Tech City UK.
The latest Tech Nation 2016 report, which surveyed 2,000 digital businesses, showed that the they had a combined annual turnover of £161bn.Read more >>
A new business hub to help entrepreneurs build up their business has been launched by NatWest. The company has opened the Entrepreneurial Spark business hub at its Hardman Boulevard office in Manchester.
Research carried out by market research company Populus for NatWest showed that 23 per cent of people in the North West wish to start up their own business, but over a third believe that the process is too risky.Read more >>
A new £20m Dundee Waterfront hub will help to create jobs and grow the economy, according to developers. Plans have been announced for the creation of a new city square, which will include a “Design and Innovation Quarter.”
The project is being developed by Our Enterprise and will help to provide opportunities for the city’s graduates and entrepreneurs, as well as hosting a variety of businesses. The development also aims to attract creative industries and provide extra jobs and living opportunities in the area.Read more >>
Consumers are looking for business owners who are “visible and engaged”, according to a report by Brands2Life.
The report showed that British consumers are looking for more high-profile business leaders, such as Sir Richard Branson.Read more >>
Two groups in Cambridge have teamed up to form a new project that will help to tackle the skills gap in the city.
Whilst the city’s economy is growing fast, businesses have said that they are facing the challenge of attracting employees with the right skills. Young people are investing in higher education but are unsure of what their employment opportunities will be.Read more >>
The UK economy grew at its fastest pace in the West Midlands and East Midlands for six months, according to a report by Markit for Lloyds Bank.
Research showed that output increased in January as the services sector performed well, but some areas, such as the North East, experienced slow growth due to job losses. Scotland was found to have experienced the slowest economic growth as a result of the oil price collapse, which has led to job losses.Read more >>
The UK’s small business finance market is on the road to recovery, according to the British Business Bank’s Small Business Finance Market Report. The report showed that bank lending is still the most popular form of finance, with growth increasing for four consecutive quarters.
Figures also showed an increase of 43% in equity finance deals in small UK businesses up to October 2015, along with a significant increase in peer-to-peer lending.Read more >>
The UK economy showed improvement in the three months to December with a growth of 0.5%, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Overall growth in 2015 was 2.2%, a figure that was predicted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Whilst the annual growth rate has been slow over the past few years, the UK economy is still one of the fastest growing of the developed nations.Read more >>
Wales is the UK’s top spot for business growth in the finance sector, according to research from accountancy firm, Nixon Williams. The number of start-ups in the financial services sector increased by 11.2% in 2015, higher than in any other location in the UK.
Research showed that the total number of financial services businesses, including services such as banking, fund management and insurance, rose from 2,400 to 2,695 between 2014 and 2015. Scotland came in second, with an increase of 10.9% since 2014, whilst London, north east England, Yorkshire and Humberside reached third place at 9.7%.Read more >>
Rentals in London are now so high that even young professionals in the financial sector are unable to keep up with costs, despite the average wage being 30 per cent higher than in other sectors.
Business experts have warned that rising costs could affect the city’s role as a leading financial centre, as young bankers may end up being unable to afford to continue living in the city.Read more >>
A UK vote to leave the EU will cause an economic and financial shock for the UK, analysts at Credit Suisse have warned. Whilst analysts predict that the UK will vote to stay in the EU, they say that the consequences will be “drastic and long lasting” if a Brexit does occur.
Credit Suisse economists, Neville Hill and Sonali Punhani, said that a drop in business investment, hiring and confidence is expected.Read more >>
PwC has acquired Praxism, the specialist identity and access management consultancy based in Edinburgh.
The move is the latest in the Big Four firm's extensions of its own cybersecurity practice and a further recognition of the importance of the issue to the financial sector.Read more >>
The creative industries contributed £84.1billion to the UK economy in 2014, which is a rise of £7billion from 2013.
The sector grew almost twice as fast as the wider economy, according to figures released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.Read more >>
In what could be seen as some more good news for the UK economy, Government spending dipped in December to stand at £7.5bn, which is £4.3bn lower year-on-year.
However, the official figures show that the running total is above the £68.9bn forecast by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) for the whole fiscal year ending April 2016.Read more >>
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released figures that show the British car industry's output hit a ten-year high last year.
Although the news is good for the UK economy's recovery process, the numbers were actually lower than had been forecast, in part due to decreasing demand in Russia and China.Read more >>
The UK LGBT equality charity Stonewall has given EY their coveted Star Performers award for being one of the most consistently LGBT-friendly firms to work in across all sectors of the UK economy.
Also in Stonewall's Top-100 Employers 2016 rankings, PwC ranked 11th and KPMG was in 44th position.Read more >>
Countries should consider introducing a voluntary tax on leisure activities, a new United Nations (UN) study says.
Football matches or music concerts could have a levy that raises funds needed by the organisation for its humanitarian operations, the international body suggests.Read more >>
In a move that could have repercussions for the UK economy in its own drive towards expanding shale extraction operations, leading firm BHP Billiton has written down the value of its US shale assets by £5bn ($7.2bn).
The news comes on the back of the company having already had to deal with a fatal dam collapse in Brazil and other falling commodity prices.Read more >>
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned that the continued fall of global oil prices could force the country to revise its 2016 budget.
The continued slide in the value of oil means that Russia must be prepared for a "worst-case" economic scenario, Medvedev said.Read more >>