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Finance

Two in Three UK Small Businesses Have Plans to Grow

15th November 2017

UK small businesses need to build partnerships in order to achieve their growth ambitions, according to a new report.

Pivoting your Products, a new study conducted by Enterprise Nation for RB, has found that 78% of UK businesses plan to scale and grow – both domestically and internationally – over the next two years; and 63% of British companies are “confident” or ‘”very confident” about developing a new purpose for their product or expanding it to a new audience segment.

However, significant barriers are stopping business owners from moving forward. Nearly half (41%) say they can’t find the right partner. There are also concerns over lack of expertise (25%), knowledge of how to market to a new audience (23%) and understanding of process (21%).

The findings show that UK businesses are looking for support to expand, with 66% saying they would partner with a multinational organisation to scale their business or take it in a new direction. UK SMEs with growth plans are looking for partners that can inject market expertise (43%), marketing and PR (36%) and product development (19%) as well as direct funding (57%).

However, while small business owners often consult peers (52%), online business networks (50%) and friends and family (44%), only 4% say they have approached large corporates.

More here

Potential £75,000 pension boost for self-employed

15th November 2017

Extending auto-enrolment to gig workers could boost their retirement income by at least £75,000, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Pensions Policy Institute, on behalf of Zurich, used YouGov data to model applying auto-enrolment to gig workers, a key recommendation from the recent Taylor review.

They found that gig economy workers could boost the size of their pension pot by up to £75,000 if a form of auto-enrolment were extended to cover all workers. And their retirement income could rise up to £100,000 if the current auto-enrolment system was applied.

Read more here

Over 50s in “Unemployment Trap”

15th November 2017

A report from charity the Centre for Ageing Better has revealed that the over-50s are more likely to be out of work than other groups, and have more trouble finding new jobs. Nearly a third of 50- to 65-year olds are unemployed, with statistics on economic inactivity and longer-term unemployment falling behind other age groups. Senior programme manager Jemma Mouland said: “Employers too need to value their older workers more, offer them greater support and flexibility and stamp out ageist employment practices.”
For more BBC News

Centrica Hunt for South East Start-Ups

16th October 2017

We spotted this new scheme on the BQ Live mailing this week.

Centrica is launching a £100,000 ‘Active Ageing Challenge’ prize fund for start-ups. to drive energy tech innovation that helps people thrive as they grow older.

The poll, by Ipsos MORI for the energy and services company Centrica, shows that a third (33%) of people aged 60+ either own or are interested in buying a smart connected home device. Of those that already have the devices, 58% are using smart phones to control appliances like their heating, lights and security systems.

17% think the technology can improve their lives, while more than one in ten (13%) view using such technologies as they get older as empowering them to look after themselves and their homes better.

Despite the appetite among over 60s for smart connected home technology, Centrica thinks elderly people are being overlooked by IoT companies. The research also reveals that a third (33%) of over 60s have heard of smart home technology, but know nothing about it.

Sam Salisbury, Investment Principal at Centrica Innovations, commented: “Age is not a barrier to adopting technology. Living an active life as we get older is one of society’s biggest challenges. More needs to be done to engage over 60s and to develop tech solutions that meet their living needs and ambitions. We see a huge opportunity to collaborate with the start-up community to drive innovation and create new services and products for our customers.

“We’ve created a prize fund to help understand the role that technology can play as we age.  We want to collaborate, explore and find solutions to help people thrive as they get older.  We want to partner with the start-up community in the South East to address some of the biggest issues facing older people such as remaining independent, loneliness and health issues like dementia.”

Centrica is meeting the issues associated with ageing head-on, with the launch of its Active Ageing Challenge. This offers a total prize of £100,000 to innovators that help people thrive in their homes as they grow older, and solve living problems faced by the elderly. The challenge launches today at the first WIRED Energy event in London, with applications closing on 31st January 2018.

Sam adds: “This challenge is about more than just offering money. We are looking for enterprises we can partner with to serve our customers. To help make this a reality, we can provide mentorship, networking opportunities and help to create business plans for continued growth, and further investment.”

A recent report from the Campaign to End Loneliness shows that 9 in 10 people fear being alone as they grow older, while the London School of Economics estimates that the UK’s loneliness epidemic costs £6,000 per person for a decade of an older person’s life in health costs and pressure on local services. The Lancet Public Health medical journal also reports that in eight years’ time there will be 2.8m people in the UK aged over 65 needing nursing and social care, and unable to cope alone.

The Ipsos MORI research showed that 14% of people aged 60+ believe IoT technologies could help them to stay in control of their life as they age, while 17% also cited the benefit of such devices in keeping them connected to family and friends.

Find more details on how to apply  here .

The Business Show 2017

10th October 2017

The Fastest Growing Business Exhibition in Europe takes place on 16th and 17th November 2017 at  Olympia, London

Enterprise has never been more fashionable and it is reflected at this show. If you have a product or service that is suited to business owners this show may be for you. From free face to face business coaching by Google’s Digital Garage to bidding for funding in the Angel’s Den there is a lot on offer.

After 17 years of running The Business Show they are proud to have established a reputation as the country’s leading business exhibition built on an exciting blend of highly respected speakers, interactive features and industry leading suppliers.

The two day event attracts more than 25,000 businesses who attend with the primary agenda of improving and expanding their business. Masterclasses are available to prebook online so why not check out the selection here?

There are complimentary tickets available for this event so if you are interested in attending then please register here

Surrey Economic Prospects – February 2017

10th March 2017

Please see the February Economic Prospects for Surrey by clicking on the link below.

The headlines this month

  • An application to build 134 homes at Guildford Cathedral has been rejected.
  • East Surrey College’s 2016 A Level performance ranks in top 10 nationally.
  • The unemployment rate in Surrey has increased from 0.6% to 0.7%. This represents the highest number of claimants in nearly two years.