Recession Fails to Deter Start-ups

The number of newly established business owners and those trying to start a business increased between 2002 and 2009, despite the recession, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor has found. The report from the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University, which surveyed 170,000 adults globally, found that 5.8% of UK adults were either starting a business or running a firm less than 42 months old in mid-2009. This compared with 5.5% in 2007 and 5.4% in 2002. “It’s surprising that new business has been maintained, but in the recession a lot of people lost their jobs and took the chance to create their own business,” said report author, Jonathan Levie.  “Another factor is that resources are relatively cheap, so there are buildings available at low rental costs ... »

Start-up Tax Exemption Must be Extended Nationwide, urges FSB

The exemption on employees’ National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for start-ups, announced in the emergency Budget, should be extended to new businesses in the South East and East of England, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said. Chancellor George Osborne announced the tax break in the June Budget to encourage start-ups in regions where the private sector is not strong. “For the next three years, anyone who sets up a new business outside London, the South East and the Eastern region will be exempt from £5,000 of employer National Insurance payments, for each of their first ten employees hired,” he said. However, the FSB has warned that excluding the South and East from the NICs holiday for new firms would deter start-ups from setting up there, as well as preventi... »

Fifth of Firms Start Up for less than £1,000

A fifth of small-business owners started their firm with less than £1,000, new research from a telecommunications firm has highlighted. The XLN Telecom study of 500 entrepreneurs, which looked at how business owners funded their operation, also found that the majority (64 per cent) had drawn money from their personal savings to get up and running. Bank loans were the next most popular route (27 per cent), while one in fifteen had been helped by friends and family. Just four per cent had received support from investors at the start-up stage. “Many of the most successful businesses are founded on minimal start-up capital saved or borrowed from friends and family,” said XLN Telecom founder, Christian Nellemann. “The popularity of shows such as Dragons’ Den highlights t... »

Crowdfunding Becomes Reality for Startups

Grow VC this week launched its one long-awaited core business model, a community funding model. Under this model Grow VC will pool 75% of membership fees into a community fund that gets invested back into promising member startups. Community fund investments are managed by Grow VC, but all investment decisions are made by Grow VC members who determine how to invest their portion of the fund to other startup companies that they feel have the most potential. Grow VC is fixing the inefficiencies of private seed funding for web and mobile companies with a global social network and crowdfunding. The service includes the tools needed for building a startup from the ground up, to getting funding at the seed level. It introduces startups to investors, experts and other entrepreneurs, helping them ... »

2009 Start-up Rates Higher than 2008

High levels of unemployment and the need to earn a living caused more people to start a business last year than in 2008, Barclays has claimed. Commenting on new statistics on start-up rates produced by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), Barclays’ head of SME research, Richard Roberts, said the total number of businesses started in 2009 will exceed the 525,000 set up in 2008. According to the BBA survey, which measures start-up rates based on new banking relationships, fewer businesses were set up in the first ten months of 2009 – 460,000 compared to 468,000 in the same period in 2008. However, Roberts said that the total figure for start-ups in 2009 is likely to be higher when the last two months of the year are included. “We know from our own figures that more... »

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 ... »

More Support for Start-ups

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has teamed up with Staples as a new partner to support its business start-up pack. The timely partnership will mean all start-ups that join the BCC will now receive a 20 per cent discount voucher* to spend at their local Staples store, helping to give new British businesses a boost. The pack, initially launched to help start-ups during their crucial first year, has been extended to take into account the new challenges that companies are now facing. Part of the development involves the commitment from Staples to support the initiative, which has already won the backing of RBS Group, Blackberry, Dell, Microsoft, BT and AXA. BCC Managing Director John Dunsmure said: “Staples understands what businesses need in terms of stationery and office supplie... »

Big Firms to Support Low-carbon Startups

Startups developing low-carbon products and services can now benefit from free consultancy with two of the UK’s top business and legal advice firms as part of the Carbon Trust’s Incubator Programme. Business advisers Grant Thornton and law firm Mills & Reeve have pledged to give up to 17 hours of free help to firms that qualify for the programme, which accelerates the commercialisation of promising low-carbon technology startups. Their advice, valued at £2-300 per hour, will cover areas that include fundraising, shareholder agreements, manufacturing agreements and intellectual property (IP) licensing. Carbon Trust research suggests low-carbon technology firms typically spend up to £20,000 on IP advice and £15,000 on general legal advice alone. â??Businesse... »

London Start-Ups Offered Free Franchising Help

Small Business News – 1st June 2008 London entrepreneurs considering setting up as franchisees can find out more by attending a series of free seminars run by the London Development Agency’s Business London Franchise initiative. The 20 half-day seminars will provide impartial guidance on franchising in various locations around London from June this year to March 2009. “The workshops will include the fundamentals of franchising, because people know about the branding but don’t really understand the concept itself,” said Anne Stilton, project manager for business support specialist Exemplas, which is involved in delivering the seminars. “Then we help to evaluate whether setting up a franchise is right for the individual, which includes a SWOT analysis, and... »

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