LSBF Blog - Global Matters
Innovate UK will provide a £210,000 fund in a bid to drive innovation in wearable tech.
The UK continues to be a hotbed for innovation and will be further boosted by a £210,000 fund aimed at innovation in the wearable technology sector. The fund will be provided by Innovate UK, the UK government’s technology strategy board, and will be awarded to six winners of the wearables competition it is organising.
Successful applicants will have created products that appeal to a wide commercial market and will then go on a trial with Innovate UK’s industry partners for three months. In order to ensure the success of the winners’ companies, Innovate UK will mentor the new firms, offering advice and support to accelerate the startups into achieving success.Read more >>
Research shows that Britain may see massive boost from the continuing fall in global oil prices.
The decline of oil prices could give the UK economy a huge growth boost, according to research from Oxford Economics. The report estimates that a collapse to $40 per barrel in early 2015 could add around 0.6 percentage points to the overall GDP growth in the UK.
Recently the price of Brent Crude oil, the international standard for tracking oil prices, fell to a new six-year low around $48.50. Since June 2014, the price of oil has plummeted by more than 50 per cent and this dizzying descent has analysts predicting prices as low as $35 per barrel.Read more >>
The number of UK SMEs and startups is increasing as the British economy continues to grow.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are thriving in the UK’s economic recovery, as outlined in the recent British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Quarterly Economic Survey (QES).
However, while business is booming and the number of new companies being created is increasing, the recovery remains fragile and UK SMEs should ensure they have everything in place to expand, succeed and survive any potential economic slowdown.Read more >>
UK small businesses revenue growth was fastest since 2000, according to Barclays’ Small Business Income Index.
Small businesses enjoyed a more liquid 2014 as cash flowing into the bank accounts of these firms increased at its fastest rate in over 14 years, according to the Barclays Small Business Income Index.
In the year to October of 2014, the Barclays index recorded an eight per cent rise in the value of payments into small businesses’ bank accounts. The data also shows that, since 2000, the index as a whole has risen by 20 per cent.Read more >>
Businesses in the UK enjoyed a strong Q4 in 2014 and are confident about prospects in 2015.
It seems that British business continues to enjoy a productive climate as firms reported strong growth in Q4 of 2014 to conclude a positive year for traders all round, according to the British Chambers of Commerce’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey report.
The survey is the largest of its kind and includes responses from just under 7,000 businesses across the UK.
Despite recent signs of a slowdown, the UK’s manufacturing and services sectors recorded increases in the balances of domestic sales, growing 36 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively.Read more >>
Mid-sized firms in the UK will increase their research and development (R&D) expenditure in 2015.
The latest Agents of Growth report from Grant Thornton suggests that 2015 will see UK mid-sized businesses (MSBs) as the drivers of innovation.
British firms that employ between 50 and 499 staff will become the nation’s largest investor in new technologies over the next year, as almost a quarter (23 per cent) of UK MSBs expect to increase their investment, according to the report.Read more >>
A recent report from The Cloud highlights the growing trend of spending time online through WiFi.
It seems the UK is fast becoming a nation that increasingly chooses to spend their time online, according to data from The Cloud’s network of over 22,000 public hotspots. The figures showed a 78% increase in the amount of time logged on to public WiFI in 2014 when compared to 2013.
While access to public WiFi has improved, the results still illustrate how many more residents of the UK look to log on when out and about. In fact, last year alone, 28 billion minutes were whiled away online through The Cloud.Read more >>
Stocks in Europe rose on mounting expectations that the ECB will commence quantitative easing.
European stock markets shares rose on Wednesday to end a three-day decline, following data that illustrated prices in Europe are falling.
Inflation in Europe was shown to contract by 0.2 per cent on a yearly basis, the first time inflation has been negative since October 2009, according to official statistics from Eurostat.Read more >>
KPMG aim to bring cloud based accountancy support to small businesses by investing £40m in its Enterprise program.
It seems that KPMG are now looking to bring their services to small businesses as they invested £40 million in the KPMG Enterprise programme, a subscription-based cloud platform for accountancy support.
This investment is designed to target growth in the mid-market, of which smaller firms hold the majority market share.Read more >>
The International Consumer Electronics Show 2015 (CES 2015) held a dazzling array of wearable tech which is set to be the trend of 2015.
It seems wearable technology is set to be the big trend of 2015, as companies displayed a vast variety of every imaginable wearable gadget to command the centre-stage at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES)this year.
While the CES is not always the most reliable guide, it does reveal what industry leaders believe the next desirable gadget is for consumers. Indeed, this coming year we can expect wearables designed for everything, from calorie counters to meditation aids, and for them to start coming in forms other than watches and glasses.Read more >>
Some points you should consider and tick-off before creating your own startup.
The entrepreneurial climate in the UK continues to grow more welcoming and is highlighted by figures from Companies House, which saw over 580,000 new businesses being registered in 2014, a record high.
“Starting a business is easier, quicker and cheaper than ever thanks to new technology,” said Luke Johnson, chairman of the Centre for Entrepreneurs.Read more >>
CFOs see the UK as a good place to do business, according to Deloitte’s latest CFO survey.
Prospects for UK earnings growth and business investment in 2015 are positive, according to Deloitte’s latestsurvey of 119 chief financial officers (CFOs) of UK companies. The vast majority of those surveyed view the UK as a good place to do business.
Most of the CFOs surveyed expect wages to increase by around 2.9 per cent in 2015, which is much faster than current levels of inflation, meaning workers can expect their pay packets to be worth more.Read more >>
Seven out of ten UK SME online retailers are in a positive mood for the year ahead.
The majority of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the UK’s online sector believe that 2015 will see sales increase, with seven out of ten respondents expecting sales growth, according the the Royal Mail’s annual tracker study. Moreover, the optimistic outlook on growth comes despite three quarters (76 per cent) of SME online retailers believing that market competition is more intense when compared with 2014.Read more >>
24 per cent of students in the UK are starting a business while studying at university, according to a study from Santander Universities UK.
The UK’s entrepreneurial spirit is well and truly flourishing and it seems the drive to start your own business is occurring earlier and earlier, as highlighted by research from Santander Universities UK. A study of university students showed that almost a quarter (24 per cent) of those surveyed already run their own business or plan to start one alongside studying for their degree.
Additional findings also estimate the collective turnover of these businesses as more than £44 million annually, an impressive figure considering these entrepreneurs need to ensure they don’t let their studies slip.Read more >>
The City of London employed 18 per cent more people in 2014 when compared with the previous year.
It appears that London’s job market is making a comeback as 33,063 new jobs were created in the City in 2014, as highlighted by a recent report from recruitment firm Astbury Marsden. The creation of over 33,000 jobs in 2014 was an 18 per cent increase when compared with the 27,915 new roles of 2013.
Read more >>
Speaking to LSBF, BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie said that he does not feel the benefits of a diverse workforce are something which need to be debated.Read more >>
Rob Sowerby, LSBF’s Director of Professional Programmes, reviews the December 2014 ACCA Exams
I am restricting the review to the new paper formats on skills level because this is where the significant changes have taken place. Specifically F4 has moved to a computer based exam (CBE) format of wholly objective testing and F5, F7, F8, F9 have revised the exam format to allow for varying degrees of objective testing. Essentially the syllabuses have been relatively unaffected beyond normal updates.Read more >>
Five new year resolutions from smallbusiness.co.uk to ready your SME for business in 2015.
It’s time to review the progress made over the past year and look ahead to what might help you further grow your business in 2015. To aid your small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) in this, smallbusiness.co.uk has created a list of five new year resolutions that will set you up for the perfect entry into the coming year.Read more >>
Techworld have come up with four forecasts for techs that could take the UK by storm in 2015.
Having just enjoyed a bumper 2014 for startups and tech in general in the UK, one might expect 2015 to be packed full of new advancements and delights for the user. Technology continues to be an important part of businesses and further progress in this field could help drive the growth of firms as they look to create more efficient and better targeted strategies.Read more >>
High street retail sales in the UK are expected to reach an all-time high in 2014.
The British retail sector can look back fondly over 2014 as it celebrated a record-breaking year, according to figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The report shows that sales for the year are expected to reach £342 billion over the year, that’s a £48 billion increase from 2010.Read more >>
Users of the hyperlocal Brixton currency ‘Brixton Pound (B£)’ in South London will be able to pay with contactless technology.
Contactless terminals are set to be rolled out throughout Brixton for users of the hyperlocal currency, the Brixton Pound. It’s thought this will speed up transactions and make it more convenient for users to pay in the local currency.Read more >>
Great news for professionals and graduates as CBI survey shows UK firms plan to hire in 2015 and experts predict larger pay increases.
It appears that 2015 will be a fruitful year for British employees and jobseekers alike. A recent survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) showed that around half of UK businesses are looking to expand their workforce. This was then followed by a prediction of increased pay awards for employees from Martin Weale, a member of the Bank of England’s (BOE) monetary policy committee.Read more >>
The value of Instagram has overtaken that of Twitter’s, putting it at a whopping £22 billion.
Citigroup recently raised the valuation of Instagram to £22 billion, or $35 billion, which is almost double what it was valued at previously. By comparison, Twitter has a valuation of £15 billion based on its current share price.Read more >>
A quick rundown of 20 startups that will impact 2015 as selected by Startups.co.uk.
Startups.co.uk has selected its pick of the new businesses in 2014 for its top 20 startups, a list of firms that will make an impact in 2015. The climate for startups has been steadily improving and this year’s crop of firms highlight the potential for success in the UK these days.Read more >>
Sales should total £636m on Christmas day and £748m on Boxing Day, according to predictions from Experian-IMRG.
Total online sales over Christmas and Boxing day are predicted to amount to £1.3 billion, according to new estimates from the online retail association IMRG and information services group Experian. Sales on Christmas day are predicted at £636 million and Boxing day takings are expected to reach £748 million.
Boxing day has typically been the busiest online shopping day of the year, however, it now faces a new challenger to the title as internet shoppers are thought to have spent £810 million on Black Friday, in a discount-fuelled spending spree.Read more >>