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NEWS - ENTREPRENEURS & STARTUPS

NEWS - ENTREPRENEURS & STARTUPS

Europe’s top tech startups showcase talent in London

October 21 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Europe’s top tech startups showcase talent in London

TechCrunch has launched its Disrupt Europe conference in the capital, highlighting some of Europe’s top tech talent.

TechCrunch opened the European leg of its Disrupt conferences in London last weekend, highlighting the capital’s top tech startups and the huge amount of potential both in the UK and Europe as a whole. Here are just a few of the events that will make this celebration of European tech one to remember for London.

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Startups: the investments keep coming

October 15 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Startups: the investments keep coming

BSkyB is just one of the big investors injecting cash into promising startups as the outlook for tech entrepreneurship grows in optimism.

Considering the pace of growth among some of the world’s most promising startups, it’s hardly surprising that investors are looking for the next big tech phenomenon. In the past week alone, some major rounds of financing have been announced that show venture capital is still flowing into these promising firms.

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Access to finance will enhance entrepreneurship opportunities

October 14 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Access to finance will enhance entrepreneurship opportunities

Entrepreneurs find that access to finance is still the biggest barrier to succeeding in business, a study has shown.

The UK has a strong base of entrepreneurs setting up new businesses every day – and small and medium-sized enterprises are the lifeblood of the nation’s economy. Yet according to a new study from EY, there are still obstacles holding them back from setting up and growing their businesses.

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UK SME confidence levels are at their highest in 4 years

October 13 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

UK SME confidence levels are at their highest in 4 years

New figures show that small businesses in the UK are at their most confident in as long as four years.

Small and medium enterprises (SME) are more confident than they have been for four years, according to new figures.

The latest version of the annual Sage Business Index shows that SME confidence about their own prospects reached a score of 66.29 – 3.74 points above the score in 2013 and the highest for four years. Since that goes back to 2010 when the effects of the financial crisis were still being felt far more keenly than they are today, that’s a very encouraging statistic.

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Great Tech Expedition: UK startups showcase achievements in the US

October 10 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Great Tech Expedition: UK startups showcase achievements in the US

The Great Tech Expedition has taken some of the UK’s best new tech businesses to showcase their achievements in the US.

The UK has been building a reputation as a leading technology hub in the past few years. Recently new figures were published indicating that London tech firms has attracted record levels of venture capital investment, as testament to the high potential of some of the nation’s most promising young firms. An ambitious trade mission has taken a few of Britain’s most promising firms to the US to show off what makes them so special.

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“Just do it”, says Richard Branson to young entrepreneurs

October 09 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

“Just do it”, says Richard Branson to young entrepreneurs

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has told young people who want to set up their own businesses to go for it.

Sir Richard Branson’s name is one of the best-known in the world. Along with the likes of Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and a few others, he’s one of the most recognisable ambassadors that the business world has – so famous that he transcends his Virgin Group empire.

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UN and EU to create support network for startups and SMEs

October 09 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

UN and EU to create support network for startups and SMEs

United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) director-general Li Yong has said the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) should work together on better support for SMEs and startups.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the engines of economic growth in most countries, and they almost always account for the vast majority of jobs. As several of the world’s major economies struggle to get back into recovery mode, and many developing nations seek opportunities for new growth, offering extra support to small businesses is likely to be an important economic tool.

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London hosts Europe’s first property tech accelerator for startups

October 08 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Property tech has got its first dedicated accelerator scheme in Europe – and London is the host.

Lots of attention has been paid recently to London’s fast-growing tech sector, and financial technology (fintech) has led the pack. It makes sense, considering the fact that London remains one of the world’s leading financial centres.

But with the London property market growing rapidly, it may not be surprising that property tech is also on the rise in the capital. In fact, a new initiative aimed at giving the sector a welcome boost has just been launched.

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Virgin founder Richard Branson offers unlimited holidays for staff

September 25 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Virgin founder Richard Branson offers unlimited holidays for staff

Sir Richard Branson says Virgin will stop tracking annual leave for some employees as new working practices look to boost productivity.

It’s a well-established fact that the way we live and work is changing. New technology is making it easier to build greater flexibility and freedom into the working day, and a new generation of millennial workers is prioritising a good work-life balance. Businesses, too, are beginning to understand the benefits that a new approach to work could bring.

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Why are tech startups moving to the megacities?

September 08 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Why are tech startups moving to the megacities?

Silicon Valley might be the global hub of the tech world, but more and more new firms are looking to big cities elsewhere.

When you think of technology hotspots, the chances are that Silicon Valley springs to mind. It’s been the world leader for decades and still sees more investment than virtually anywhere else in the tech world. But the next generation of tech startups don’t seem as interested in isolation as the Apples and Facebooks – instead of famously remote locations, they’re looking more often towards big cities elsewhere.

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Top 3 reasons for SME owners to take a vacation

September 03 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Top 3 reasons for SME owners to take a vacation

The latest SME Risk Index from Zurich reports that one in seven business owners will, in effect, take no time off work this year. In short, holidays, be it a staycation or an overseas break, is off the cards.

One of the chief reasons for a lack of ‘holiday time’ for SME owners is to do with trust. Annual leave is forsaken because many SME leaders feel uncomfortable about delegating responsibilities to anyone else but themselves.

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Mobile apps can help give SME room to grow

August 14 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Mobile apps can help give SME room to grow

Using mobile apps to keep small and medium enterprise (SME) firms efficient can help them reach their growth ambitions.

Technology in all its forms has been a great enabler for entrepreneurs seeking to set up their own businesses. From small online retailers to the massive appeal of social media, startups have turned into small companies and SMEs – and many grown much further – thanks to the internet and other important advances.

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SMEs look to open house events for business growth

SMEs look to open house events for business growth

Open-house events are becoming more popular among some small businesses.

Small businesses often find that their size is an advantage when dealing with potential customers. They have the benefit of being able to inject a human touch into their service, which can frequently lead to stronger and more effective working relationships that keep clients coming back.

But some companies are even taking this a step further by inviting the public to discover where they live and work.

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How SMEs can better manage customer relationships

How SMEs can better manage customer relationships

In an information age defined by an interconnected, always on the go mindset, it can be all too easy for small and medium enterprises (SME) not to keep on top of things and maintain a high level of transparency.

The way small businesses operate has changed, and, with the advent of big data, it is becoming increasingly hard to manage the sheer volume of information that is automatically captured.

To streamline operations and ensure that rapport with customers remain solid and mutually beneficial, it pays to invest in technology. The biggest game-changer over the last 20 or so years has been the evolution of customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

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Relationships between businesses key to success, says report

Relationships between businesses key to success, says report

Businesses need to form relationships effectively if they are to succeed, according to a new report.

Strong links between organisations have often been seen as an important element of successful partnerships. But according to a new report, effective relationships between individuals within companies are a vital element of success in modern business.

The Tomorrow’s Relationships report has been compiled by business thinktank Tomorrow’s Company in partnership with KPMG, Linklaters, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD).

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England’s World Cup exit: How does it affect businesses?

England’s World Cup exit: How does it affect businesses?

An early World Cup exit can spell trouble for a country’s businesses.

There may be three lions on the shirt, but England fans are certainly not roaring. Uruguay and Italy left the national team outclassed and Roy Hodgson’s squad will not be making it out of the group stages. The dull draw with Costa Rica on 24 June was the last chance English fans will get for at least two years to wave their St. George flags at a major international football tournament.

But the disappointment will not only be felt among the fans – businesses around the world are likely to notice the difference too.

Companies will feel the loss in different ways. For example, if less well-known teams make it into the later stages of the tournament, there’s a risk that some viewers will lose interest and not bother tuning in – and that could mean that advertisers who paid a premium for prime slots may not see the return on investment they expected.

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British retail calls on UK government for business rate reform

British retail calls on UK government for business rate reform

Small businesses would no longer have to pay business rates under proposals from the British Retail Consortium, but will the government listen?

Business rates have been a recurring theme for small firms over the past few years, with continual calls for the government to overhaul the current system.

But under proposals submitted to a government consultation on administering company taxes, more than 100,000 small businesses would no longer have to pay the notoriously high fees.

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SMEs and startups reap benefits of crowdfunding

SMEs and startups reap benefits of crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has grown considerably in the years since the financial crisis, and businesses are reaping the rewards of this alternative source of finance.

The years since the financial downturn have seen a considerable rise in the number of new businesses and self-employed people, both in the UK and around the world. Yet at the same time, low confidence and reluctance on the part of many banks to lend to riskier businesses has made it much harder for some small firms to obtain finance.

It is hardly surprising that companies have shown more and more interest in alternative forms of finance.

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Regional SMEs close to matching London growth

Regional SMEs close to matching London growth

Small businesses across the country are getting close to growth rates seen in London.

Businesses in the UK have often said that they are concerned about the dominance of London when it comes to economic growth.

But while companies in the capital remain ahead overall, a report in the Telegraph shows that some smaller businesses across all regions are not far behind London firms’ success.

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World Cup 2014: How can Small Businesses make the most of it?

World Cup 2014: How can Small Businesses make the most of it?

Strict licensing rules may be in place, but small and medium enterprises (SME) can still use the World Cup as a major opportunity.

It’s one of the biggest sporting events on earth, but although it arrives only once every four years, many smaller businesses tend to dread the Fifa World Cup.

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Microsoft accelerator network to support promising startups gathers pace

Microsoft accelerator network to support promising startups gathers pace

Microsoft has established a huge accelerator programme to give promising new firms a headstart.

In the last few years the tech industry has been dominated by acquisitions. In the past few months Facebook has acquired WhatsApp and Oculus, Yahoo has been on a spending spree since Marissa Meyer took over and Googleapparently spent $17 billion in the two years to January – a figure which seemed huge until the WhatsApp deal.

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Confident SME manufacturers mark improving UK economy

Confident SME manufacturers mark improving UK economy

With small and medium enterprise (SME) manufacturers reporting higher levels of optimism, the UK economy continues to show signs of picking up.

SMEs in the UK are reporting record levels of confidence, according to new figures from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), contributing to a flurry of encouraging news on the nation’s economy. According to the latest SME Trends Survey from the business organisation, optimism is at the highest level among small manufacturers since records began in 1988.

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US crowdfunding laws could be changed before they take effect

US crowdfunding laws could be changed before they take effect

Rules governing crowdfunding in the US could be amended before they are even fully introduced.

More and more small businesses and startups are taking to crowdfunding as a means of raising finance without going through the banks. But in the US, small firms are finding this much harder than they are elsewhere, and legislation has so far done fairly little to help.

Changes to US security rules were enshrined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in 2012, increasing the number of investors a private company can have from 500 to 2,000. The law also removed some barriers faced

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UK Small Business Output Rockets

UK Small Business Output Rockets

Figures from Bibby Financial Services have found that small firms in the UK are enjoying a spike in output.

Small businesses make up more than 95 per cent of the UK’s firms, so it is clear that they play an important role in economic recovery. Fortunately, new research has found that output is rising among small and medium-sized companies.

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Leadership Development at Top of Corporate Agenda

Leadership Development at Top of Corporate Agenda

Employers see leadership development as a top priority, a new study has found, but many are struggling to implement it effectively.

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