Small and Medium Firms Raise over £1bn in Investment through EIS tax incentive scheme

More than a thousand start-ups obtain finance through the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme The government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), which launched in 1993 but was revised in 2012, has funded 2,400 small and mid-sized firms with investment totalling over £1bn, according to a new report. Additionally, EIS sister programme the Seed Enterprise Scheme (SEIS), which launched in 2012, has been found to have backed funding in 1,120 start-ups with investment totalling£83.7m altogether. In 2012 the government reformed EIS, enabling investors to fund larger businesses with more investment and to receive better tax breaks. The changes included increasing the maximum investment to £1m, eligibility to companies with staff numbers of up to 250 and revenues to £15m. Since the changes were int... »

Number of New Businesses Hits Five Year High

Service businesses such as house and pet sitting experience surge, while traditional industries such as hair and beauty and florists rapidly decline Research by Simply Business has revealed a five year high in the number of start-ups with a 24% increase in new companies launching within the UK, compared to 2013. The report found that new service businesses, such as house sitting, facilities management and pet minding firms, are leading the market – experiencing an increase of 527%, 459% and 199% respectively. This is a stark contrast compared to the performance of more traditional services, with start-ups in the hair and beauty, florist and event organising industries falling. The number of hair and beauty consultant firms witnessed the biggest decrease falling by 73%, followed by florist ... »

Number of Start-up Female Board Members is “Depressingly Low” at 8%

Large FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies witnessing impressive growth in female directors According to research commissioned by B2B service marketplace Approve Index, start-up female board members have been gradually declining since 2010, with the average figure dropping to a “depressingly low” 8.37% this year. Whilst start-up companies appear to be failing to improve gender diversity at senior levels, the opposite is the case for larger corporations with FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 firms experiencing impressive growth in female directors (22.8% and 15.6% respectively). The research was conducted with the boards of Fast Track 100 companies from 2010 to 2014, and revealed the gap between start-ups and FTSE 100 companies has quadrupled in the last four years. In regards to regions, start-ups in the N... »

Government Launches New Support Package for Home-Based Businesses

Matthew Hancock announces new business rates and planning guidelines to support entrepreneurs running businesses from home The government has announced new measures that will support home-based companies, including new business rate guidelines and planning laws. The measures will include passing a law to make it easier to start-up in rented housing and updated planning guidance clarifying that planning permission won’t be necessary to run a business from your home. In addition to this, new business rate guidelines will ensure that the majority of home-based firms will be exempt from rates. Business minister Matthew Hancock announced the package today, as part of the government’s long-term goal to support small and mid-sized business growth. The measures are a response to the growing number... »

Students and Over-55s send Start-up Figures Soaring

Students and retirees are turning their back to the traditional job market to set up their own businesses, two new pieces of research have highlighted. The first, a survey of 500 small businesses carried out by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, found that nearly a quarter (23%) of over 55s had set up their own business after being made redundant, while 12% had decided to become an entrepreneur on retirement.   More than a million so-called ‘older-preneurs’ had used redundancy or retirement as an opportunity to go it alone, according to the bank, with many turning a lifelong hobby into a business venture. Saga spokesman Paul Green said older people were more experienced and could often raise significant capital with which to start a business, saying: “They’ve ... »

Start-ups and Micro Firms May Miss Out on Support from Local Enterprise Partnerships

Start-ups and micro businesses may not get the support they need under the Government’s new business support network, the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies (NFEA) has warned. The NFEA has highlighted its concerns in a new report Putting the ‘E’ into LEPs (PDF) which states that start-ups and micro firms may miss out when the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and Business Links are replaced with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). It says that the plans for LEPs have so far focused more on their other functions, such as infrastructure, rather than their enterprise role. “We’re concerned that firms with less than ten employees and start-ups in particular won’t get enough support, as they are the businesses that currently benefit from the local Business Link advice service... »

Government Must Address “ambition gap” to Encourage Start-ups

The “ambition gap” in the UK is holding potential business owners back from starting up, the organisers of Global Entrepreneurship Week have warned. Enterprise UK said that would-be business owners needed more encouragement and that business skills must be “embedded into the school curriculum”. Chief executive, Tom Bewick, drew on figures from the campaigning group’s Global Entrepreneurship Monitor that showed 50% of the population wanted to start a business, but only 5.8% were doing so. A separate report published for Global Entrepreneurship Week revealed that 54% of small-business owners and entrepreneurs thought that the Government should make enterprise education mandatory. Bewick said a major barrier to entrepreneurship is that the school system does not recogn... »

Red Tape No Barrier for Start-ups

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has disputed claims from former Dragon Doug Richard that it is difficult to start a business in the UK, saying red tape is only a burden for established firms, writes Kate Horstead. In his Entrepreneurs Manifesto and Declaration of Rights (230k PDF) released this week, the former Dragons’ Den investor and founder of the School for Startups said that excessive red tape was deterring people from starting in business and that the Government’s Simplification programme was failing. “People should be able to start a business in an afternoon,” he said. “According to the Global Economic Monitor, which measures economic freedom and the ability of countries to support small business – including the number of days it takes t... »

Tax Cuts

Former Dragon wants Tax Break for Start-ups

Former Dragons’ Den investor Doug Richard has called for start-ups to be given a tax exemption during their first few years of trading, in a new report published by the British Library. The idea has been put forward in the British Library’s Enterprising Voices: Supporting the Drive for Recovery report (372k PDF). According to Richard, tax incentives are the most effective way to encourage budding entrepreneurs; “It takes a good 18 months of solid work before a new business starts to really establish itself. If the Government is serious about encouraging enterprise in the UK, then they need to avoid gimmicks like the VAT cut, and offer start-ups a genuine exemption from tax until they get their businesses up and running.” The proposal was also endorsed by founder of ... »

Business start-ups steady in 2008

Business start-ups steady in 2008

Figures released yesterday by Barclays show that the number of new businesses remained at high levels in 2008, rising from 432,300 in 2007 to 436,600, although activity weakened in the second half. The estimates also reveal that the total number of businesses increased by 1% to just under 2.9 million firms. Steve Cooper, local business managing director at Barclays said: “These figures may seem surprising given the current economic climate. There could be a number of reasons for the robust start-up market, including individuals made redundant opting for self-employment. We should also remember that there are always opportunities, even in more challenging times.” In terms of percentage growth women outperformed in comparison to the national average and overtook men. Female-only ... »

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