Shane Donnelly's Posts

UK Now Has More “High Growth” Firms than at Time of Dotcom Boom

UK Now Has More “High Growth” Firms than at Time of Dotcom Boom

The number of “high growth” businesses in the UK has reached record levels – with more “high growth” firms now than there were in the dotcom boom – a report by the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) has found. Defined as businesses with average annual growth of 20% in employment from 2012 to 2015 and at least 10 employees, the report suggests there are now 11,855 “high growth” firms in the UK – the most since the early 2000s. Interestingly, small and medium-sized businesses in the home nations and regional areas are achieving this “high growth” status twice as fast as small businesses based in London. Excluding the capital, England saw its number of “high growth” firms rise by 36% while over the same period, the number of high growth firms in London rose by just 15%. Scotland increased... »

UK Alternative Finance Market Grows 84% in 2015 to hit £3.2bn

UK Alternative Finance Market Grows 84% in 2015 to hit £3.2bn

The UK alternative finance market grew by 84% in 2015 and facilitated £3.2bn worth of investments, according to research from Nesta and the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. Peer-to-peer (P2P) business loans accounted for the equivalent of 13% of all lending to small businesses in 2015 while the equity crowdfunding market grew 295% with crowdfunding said to be “2015’s biggest success story”. Investments via equity crowdfunding have jumped from £84m in 2014 to £332m in 2015 with crowdfunding now said to account for 15% of all UK seed and venture finance. Despite this growth, the research claims that there are signs the alternative finance market is beginning to slow down with overall growth down from 161% in 2013 to 84%. Concerns were also raised in the report that the risk of fraud... »

Online Retail Businesses see Sales Double on Last Year

Online Retail Businesses see Sales Double on Last Year

Online retail businesses have enjoyed a good start to the year with e-commerce sales for January 2016 having doubled to 15% from 7% in January 2015, a report by IMRG Capgemini has found. Sales via smartphones were found to have risen 96% year-on-year in contrast to just 26% recorded in the same period last year; signifying the increasing need for small businesses to make their websites mobile friendly. E-tailers specialising in clothing and electrical items saw the biggest rise in sales with both recording 15% growth – the highest annual growth for the electrical sector since November 2014. The strong performance of the online sales suggests that the ‘Black Friday effect’ – which appeared to influence a lingering downturn in sales growth in first quarter of last year – has not ... »

“EU Dependent” Small Businesses Fearful of Potential Brexit

“EU Dependent” Small Businesses Fearful of Potential Brexit

UK small businesses are fearful of a potential British exit from the EU (Brexit) and 82% see the European market as important to their growth, a new report by RSA has found. More than half (56%) of small businesses complain that uncertainty around the upcoming Brexit referendum is already holding back their growth – with two thirds (66%) calling for greater clarity on the UK’s future role in Europe. Three-quarters (74%) of respondents believe the perception that small businesses are local by default is outdated and damaging, with the same proportion saying that international growth is important to their business. Almost nine in ten (88%) of the small companies surveyed said the ability to grow internationally is increasingly important to small businesses as a whole. North America (67... »

Small Business Finance: What you need to know

Small Business Finance: What you need to know

For any business, initial funding is a crucial element of success, but raising finance will almost certainly be the most difficult element of starting and running a business. Thankfully, you have an array of options open to you when it comes to raising finance. Before proceeding to raise finance, you should first ensure your business plan is economically sound. If it is, you should be able to build a solid financial base if you know what you are doing. This article should serve as an introduction to financing your business. It will cover how to assess your funding needs, then explore the multitude of different funding options – exploring your options for external investment, bank finance, and other finance options. How do I know how much finance to seek? To identify your funding needs, fol... »

UK Businesses to be Hit with “£29bn in Extra Costs”

UK Businesses to be Hit with “£29bn in Extra Costs”

UK small businesses will be hit with over £29bn in extra costs following the introduction of new government policies, research by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has claimed. The national living wage and apprenticeship levy are among new legislation which business owners believe will have a negative effect on small enterprises. The flagship schemes, being introduced in April 2016 and 2017 respectively, are said to cost British businesses around £9bn every year by 2020-21 when added to existing costs. The findings are a stark contrast to an earlier promise that the government would cut at least £10bn in red tape for small businesses over the next five years. Earlier this year, it was reported that small enterprises in Scotland and other lower paying areas would be the most affec... »

71% of Businesses Don’t Believe Cameron’s Employment Target will be Met

71% of Businesses Don’t Believe Cameron’s Employment Target will be Met

71% of British businesses do not believe that David Cameron’s target of full employment will be achieved in the next five years, according to a new report by totaljobs. The research, which surveyed 100 UK businesses and over 4,000 jobseekers, found that nearly half (49%) of British enterprises expect to experience recruitment problems over the coming years. Almost a quarter (23%) of small businesses said they had already restricted growth due to the UK’s shrinking talent pool, and 55% said they had a skills shortage in their businesses. Despite the negative trend, 95% said the new national living wage won’t discourage them from hiring. John Salt, group sales director, totaljobs, said: “The research reinforces the argument that the UK economy will struggle to maintain long-term sustainable ... »

Brits say Entrepreneurs Are “Lazy” For Not Working Nine to Five

Brits say Entrepreneurs Are “Lazy” For Not Working Nine to Five

One in five Brits believe that entrepreneurs are lazy for not wanting to work a nine-to-five job, according to a report by vouchercloud.com. Of 2,481 consumers surveyed, 16% said they believed that a business owner’s spouse must make enough money to financially cover them and that they did not have financial worries. Despite the seemingly negative perception of entrepreneurship, 21% of consumers said they found entrepreneurs to be an inspiration with 10% believing entrepreneurs to be “rebelling from the norm”. 91% of consumers surveyed said they had never been an entrepreneur, while 47% said the reason they hadn’t started their own business was to maintain a regular income. Those who stated they had been self-employed at one point or another were asked whether they’d stuck to it or not, to... »

Small Businesses Now Make Up 99.8% of the British Economy

Small Businesses Now Make Up 99.8% of the British Economy

Small businesses now make up a staggering 99.8% of the British economy, according to a new report by Xero. While generating 47% of the country’s revenue, the survey found that small to medium sized companies also employ 60% of the British work force. Of the 1,300 small businesses surveyed, 53% said remaining optimistic was the key to running a successful enterprise. While 36% were optimistic of their businesses future, 77% said they still had problems they’d like resolved including managing staff and clients (23%), cash flow management (19%) and having time to work on the business (19%). The survey also highlighted figures from the Office of National Statistics which revealed that in spite of 58% of UK businesses closing before their fifth birthday, drop off rates significantly decline ove... »

Exports for UK Small Businesses Up 6% on 2014

Exports for UK Small Businesses Up 6% on 2014

UK small enterprises saw a rise of 6% in export payments from Europe from 2014 to 2015 , according to the new Barclays’ Business Abroad index. Of the top 10 export destinations for UK small businesses, four-fifths were in Europe. Germany was found to be  the top export destination for UK small firms with a 6% uplift on trade in 2014  – followed by France (+19% uplift) and the United States (+2% uplift) in second and third place respectively. The index also found growth in exports from the UK’s retail and manufacturing businesses in 2015, up by 36% and 10% respectively compared to 2014, despite a difficult year for the manufacturing sector. Exports to China from the UK continued to grow at a steady rate, up 21% in the same period. Steve Childs, head of international for business banking at ... »

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