Posted By Thiago Kiwi
A new state-backed banking initiative will offer SMEs in Ireland loans at discount prices.
In a bid to kick-start lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the new state-backed Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SCBI) aims to provide funds at a discount to current market rates.Read more >>
Messaging app Snapchat is reportedly seeking a new round of funding that would value the company at $19 billion.
The three-year old messaging app, Snapchat, is looking to become the world’s third-most valuable venture-backed tech company as it is said to be in talks for a new round of funding to raise as much as $500 million, which would value the Los Angeles firm at a staggering $19 billion.Read more >>
Details have been released of the 12 startups that entrepreneurship showcase Pitch 10 will be taking to 10 Downing Street this year.
The finalists that made it through to this year’s Pitch 10 event have been revealed and twelve digital companies from all over the UK have been selected to pitch their businesses at 10 Downing Street later this month.Read more >>
Seedcamp has invested in 11 startups following the accelerator’s event, Seedcamp Week, in London.
Europe’s largest pre-seed and seed stage accelerator, Seedcamp, has decided to invest in 11 startups from entrepreneurs that attended the Seedcamp Week event in London. Seven out of the 11 startups hail from the UK and six of the even are based in the UK’s capital.Read more >>
Japanese GDP returns to growth in Q4 of 2014 and lifts the economy from recession.
The world’s third largest economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the final quarter of 2014 when compared with the previous quarter, putting an end to the economic contraction that had plagued the nation for the two previous quarters. On an annualised basis, the economy expanded by 2.2 per cent.Read more >>
Social networking giant Twitter is set to acquire social media talent agency Niche for $30 million.
Twitter has expanded its media ecosystem with the acquisition of the social media talent agency Niche in a deal that is expected to be worth at least $30 million in cash and shares. The value of the deal could possibly even go as high as $60 million if including employee-retention incentives, according to several media agencies familiar with the situation.Read more >>
Banks would appreciate further support from UK government for lending to small businesses.
Lending to small businesses by high street banks in the UK could do with being helped along by government backing, according to Keith Morgan, head of the British Business Bank (BBB).Read more >>
The Bank of England has decided on no change and kept interest rates at 0.5 per cent.
For the 71st consecutive month, the Bank of England (BOE) held off from action to keep interest rates at the historic low of 0.5 per cent. The bank also decided to leave the quantitative easing (QE) program unchanged.Read more >>
A profit was posted for the first time since Starbucks opened in Britain 17 years ago.
The world’s largest coffee bar chain, Starbucks, made a profit in the UK for the first time since the franchise first opened a store in Britain over 17 years ago. Starbucks cited the improvement was down to a turnaround plan aimed at reducing store costs.Read more >>
British firms started the year off surprisingly well according to services PMI data from Markit.
The UK’s economic recovery continues to grow in strength, as highlighted by the latest monthly service sector update from Markit/CIPS. The survey showed the services PMI reading rose higher than forecast to 57.2 in January, up from a 17-month low of 55.8 in December.Read more >>
Apple’s iPhone is likely one of the best product investments in history, with a $150mn investment yielding over $50bn in sales.
The success story of Apple’s iPhone is a shining example of how a product can change a company’s history. Especially since recent figures highlighted that the iPhone must be the most profitable product produced by a company in history.Read more >>
Net lending to businesses is poised to return to growth after contracting for six years following the financial crisis, claims an EY ITEM Club research.
Lending to British businesses is poised to return to growth this year following on from six years of contraction, according to the EY ITEM Club’s latest research. In fact, net lending to businesses is expected to rise up to 17 per cent by 2018, which should see UK companies gain an extra £66 billion of credit over the next four years.Read more >>
Gmail users in the UK will soon be able to attach money to an email to transfer funds.
Soon to be rolled out across the UK will be the Send Money in Gmail feature that will allow those with Gmail accounts to attach funds to emails and transfer it with a simple click of the button. It will work even if the recipient doesn’t have a Gmail account; you just need to link your debit card or bank account to Google Wallet.Read more >>
Cyber London (CyLon) scheme will turn the British capital into a hub for cyber-security startups.
Europe’s first cyber-security accelerator is being launched in London and aims to create a hotbed for startups in the UK’s capital city. CyLon (Cyber London), the not-for-profit organisation, will kick off its first 13-week programme in April with a group of startups in the defence, retail, telecoms and health services industries, amongst others.Read more >>
Last year, the UK economy grew at its fastest pace since 2007, recording a GDP growth of 2.6 per cent.
In 2014 the UK’s economy grew by 2.6 per cent, the largest expansion since 2007 and faster than the 1.7 per cent growth in 2013, according to official figures. The positive figure gave cause for government officials to reiterate that the economic recovery was “on track” due to a dominant service sector.Read more >>
Employment rates near record highs as growth of UK high-skilled jobs outpaces that of Europe.
This week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron stated that Britain is the ‘jobs factory of Europe’. The latest round of employment data saw the unemployment rate fall to 5.8 per cent and the employment rate jump to 73 per cent.
It’s no doubt that the number of employed people in the UK remains close to record highs and unemployment continues to decline, which has the government heralding the data as proof that its economic plans are working.
The figures do showcase improvement in the economy. Furthermore, wage growth is outstripping the inflation rate and should see consumers gain more purchasing power, which would help add extra fuel to the consumer spending powered economic recovery.Read more >>
Inequality leads to stagnation, according to speakers at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2015 in Davos.
The advanced economies of the West have seemingly failed to shake off the effects of the financial crisis, leading to much speculation over the root cause of this secular stagnation. Some draw parallels to the economic situation in Japan, where low growth, low inflation and low productivity runs rampant.
After six years of low interest rates and monetary stimulus, we could conclude that the threat of secular stagnation will not be swept away by only changing macro-economic policies – more is required.
Instead, the remedy to the ailing global economy is being cited as structural reforms. Following the financial crisis, the measures that were put in place to spark a return to growth has seen a rise in economic activity, but at the cost of equality.Read more >>
Hutchison Whampoa enters talks to buy Telefonica-owned O2 for £10.25 billion.
In a move that would create the UK’s biggest mobile group, Hutchison Whampoa confirmed that it is in negotiations to buy Telefonica for £10.25 billion. However, Frank Sixt, the finance director of Hutchison, has said there is “still work to do” as they embark on several weeks’ worth of discussions.
It’s the latest buy in a spending spree by Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, who owns Hutchison Whampoa. Recently, Mr Li also spent £1.1 billion on Eversholt, to put him in control of a third of the UK’s trains.Read more >>
UK investment in China is set to quadruple over the next five years, according to King & Wood Mallesons study.
UK investors will pour four times as much money into China by 2020 when compared with last year, according to a new study from King & Wood Mallesons. The report highlights that foreign direct investment (FD) in China will double by 2020, however, the UK’s contribution to the total will quadruple in five years’ time.
The study, titled Branching Out: Investment Opportunities in China, states that the total investment from the UK is expected to rise to £26 billion by 2020, up from £6.7 billion, as the Chinese economy opens up further to foreign capital.
“With stable development, China has become the fastest growing country attracting the most investment in the world not merely because of the size of the market, but also due to our improving legal environment and increasingly healthy society,” said Wang Ling, managing partner of King & Wood Mallesons in China.Read more >>
Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, says UK economic growth serves as an example to others.
Britain’s economic recovery provides an “eloquent and convincing” example to the rest of the European Union, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.
Christine Lagarde said the UK had shown clear leadership and that the economic recovery was “exactly the sort of result” she would like to see.Read more >>
UK internet sales broke above the £100 billion level for the first time.
Digital sales in the UK continue to rise as shoppers become more adept at navigating retailer’s online stores, racking up a total of £104 billion spent in 2014 to break above £100 billion for the first time ever.
It’s a vast sum of money and further highlights the health of UK economy which has mostly been powered on consumer spending. When comparing 2014 to the previous year, we can see sales grew by an impressive 14 per cent, according to the most recent IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index report.Read more >>
With inflation expectations at safe levels, it’s no surprise that many economies would like to have the UK’s inflation rate.
The surprise fall to 0.5 per cent in the annual CPI rate shocked markets and saw sterling decline, however, it’s likely that much of the world are jealous of the UK inflation rate. While many experts are worrying over deflationary risks and debt-deflation traps, most are missing the bigger picture.Read more >>
UK creative industries continue to blossom, adding £77 billion to the economy in 2013.
Creative industries in the UK are booming, according to the latest report from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The data showed the sector contributing an astounding £77 billion to the UK economy in 2013, that’s one tenth higher than 2012’s total of £70 billion.
Breaking down the figures, the data essentially works out to a jaw dropping £8.8 million per hour, or £146,000 per minute, according to the report.Read more >>
You could help expand the potential reach of your small business by using social media.
Today’s generation seem to have arrived in this world clutching a smartphone, thereby knowing the complete ins and outs of all social media. However, many of us remember the days before public internet usage sky-rocketed, and often require some help navigating the different channels of social media available to us.
Indeed, there are many ways to utilise social media for your small business or startup, allowing you to further your reach and create a huge number of impressions. It’s a definite benefit of the digital age that allows one to easily reach the masses, however, it can be a little more complicated than posting a status to Facebook and waiting for the hordes of shoppers to turn up.Read more >>
UK could see great benefits from lowered oil prices, shows research
News - Sustainable Business
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 >>