At Santander we’re committed to investing in the innovators of the future, connecting them with the right people to grow their business ideas. For the last 13 years we’ve run an annual entrepreneurship awards programme which is now recognised as one of the UK’s largest early-stage business pitching competitions.
Once they find a consistent and successful revenue stream, many small businesses ‘settle’ and become reluctant to look for new avenues to growth. While consistency is good, relying on one income stream comes with many risks –the Covid-19 pandemic is a prime example of how a business can become compromised overnight.
A survey conducted by Open Energy Market of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) at small businesses in the UK has shed light on a significant shift in the business landscape. CFOs are increasingly recognising the importance of sustainability projects and the positive impact they can have on both financial performance and long-term success.
While it may seem wise to cut back on spending during a business cycle contraction, counterintuitive moves can prove to be the most profitable. During economically uncertain times, as a demand shock occurs and spending drops to a minimum, businesses tend to cut their budgets, especially their marketing expenditures.
Embracing sustainability as a startup is not only a responsible decision for the environment but can also contribute to your business's long-term success and reputation. The concept of sustainability has transcended its status as a buzzword, and has transformed into a fundamental ethos that drives businesses towards responsible practices, long-term viability, and positive societal influence.
AI has emerged as a prominent focal point in the minds of startup businesses in 2023. The remarkable advancements in AI are impossible to overlook, capturing global attention and dominating headlines worldwide. Around 15% of all businesses have adopted at least one AI technology, which translates to 432,000 companies.
Launching a startup is difficult to say the least. Common thought is that the average time it takes for a company to begin turning a profit is three years – and some of the largest companies today have been through the so called “valley of death” – when a startup is still generating negative cash flow.
When an idea begins to take shape, it often exists as a vision within an entrepreneur's mind, a business plan breathes life into this vision by converting thoughts into goals and objectives. It compels entrepreneurs to dive into market research analyse industries meticulously and gain insights about customers. Through this process clarity emerges, transforming what once seemed elusive into a defined path.
In the dynamic world of startups, many embark on their entrepreneurial journey driven by a compelling idea and unwavering passion. Teams invest their valuable resources—time, money, and talented individuals—wholeheartedly into bringing that idea to life. However, the unproven road they tread carries inherent risks and uncertainties. Is it truly worth sacrificing one's life savings and devoting endless hours to an idea that may not yield the desired outcomes?
It seems strange to me that a parent, teacher or family friend will ask a young child, often just four or five, a grown-up question: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ Perhaps one in 100 kids will go on to become a firefighter, a doctor or an astronaut, but do we really expect someone so young to have the clarity required to answer that question?
In today's fast-paced and data-driven workplaces, striking the right balance between being fair and understanding towards employees is crucial for a thriving work environment. With the increasing integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in various aspects of business, employee performance assessment and wellbeing initiatives are undergoing significant changes. In this article, we will explore how AI can enhance fair assessments while highlighting the importance of empathy in creating a supportive and happy workplace for employees.
Since the days of silent movies, Los Angeles has been synonymous with Hollywood and creating great cinema. But red carpets and dazzling spotlights are no longer the only art form claiming authority over Tinseltown. Since the name Silicon Valley was penned in the 1970s, the tech world has also been making a name for itself in this sun-soaked city.
The brain is the most complex part of the human body. It has 86 billion neurons that allow people to feel, taste, smell, and see. It controls thoughts and memories, interprets emotions, and makes sense of the world around us. And, in cases of extreme emotions or pain, it can even disassociate from a situation as a protective mechanism.
The UK economy suffers a loss of £1.5 billion every year due to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) skills shortages, and the future of engineering has never been more important. With a shortage of 173,000 workers, 49% of engineering businesses are struggling to recruit skilled workers.
Startups and small businesses usually thrive on innovation. But what if they could apply novelty to their marketing efforts? The Metaverse is a growing marketing tool for companies worldwide. While it may seem like a domain reserved for large corporations, startups can also capitalise on it to enhance their marketing strategies, offer immersive audience engagement, and extend their brand in virtual reality (VR).
Isn’t it funny how two opposing things can be true at the same time … ?
So, when it’s said ‘there’s never been a better time’ to start a business as a woman, that’s absolutely true, and the stats show us that more women than ever are taking that bold leap into entrepreneurship to start something of their very own …
When the UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said that teachers are more important than screens, she brought up an old debate about digital versus human educators. Good education isn't about choosing between technology and teachers - teachers all over the world use technology to enhance their teaching.
As the University of Southampton’s on-campus start-up accelerator, our goal at Future Worlds is to help researchers and students transform their ideas into globally scalable and impactful tech startups providing them with the tools, skills, and enabling environment they need to become successful founders.
Businesses across various industries are benefitting from digitisation in multiple forms and are taking advantage of ever-developing technologies. And with the Government’s digital strategy paving the way for more businesses to transform and become resilient in competitive markets, an increasing number of companies are getting involved.
Calling all Mancunians! If you’re looking for a co-working space "up North", then look no further than Colony. With five locations situated around the city and a sixth opening in May 2023, Colony was founded in August 2017 to provide an optimal work environment for self-employed individuals, startups and small businesses.
“How is it lunchtime already?” A familiar phrase echoing around the office around the midday hours. It often feels like by the time you can finally get through all the admin, emails and calls to make time for value-adding activities, the end of day is nearing. And for SMBs, time can feel even more precious, with thinking time crucial for planning, strategising and innovating in a hotly competitive market.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has quickly become a presence, in the business world fuelling innovation simplifying operations and enhancing efficiency. Its capacity to analyse data, make informed choices and acquire knowledge through experience has proven to be an invaluable resource for companies in diverse sectors.
Charac believe that a holistic approach and rapid digitisation will help independent pharmacies safeguard their businesses and create new revenue sources amid pressure from the NHS. The platform enables pharmacies to digitise current processes by providing repeat prescription and consultations via phone, video, desktop, or mobile.
The first time I laid eyes on artificial intelligence, it was like looking at a shiny new toy with a gazillion instructions. Mighty promising, but not so easy to master. Now, with chatbots being more than just a tech buzzword, we've got ChatGPT shaking things up in the digital bazaar. If you're a CEO or a VP aiming to ride the digital wave, this is your surfboard.
Startups was lucky enough to interview Jay Dodds, co-founder of new dating app BONKERS about all things online dating, safety, and what the future holds. Bonkers is the first UK app to welcome people of all sexual orientations to search for both casual fun and long term dating whilst integrating personal safety technology into its user experience.
The latest trend to haunt the hybrid world has been dubbed ‘productivity theatre’. This is basically when your people are faking it at work. The term covers a range of dodges to make it look like you’re busy when you’re not. It has its origins in work arounds to dupe technology which monitors activity in the digital world.
In times of economic uncertainty, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may contemplate reducing their prices to attract cost-conscious consumers in search of a bargain. However, this short-term tactic may prove unsustainable in the present economic climate and prior to cutting prices, businesses should focus on customer acquisition and loyalty.
In today's business landscape, small businesses need every advantage they may get to thrive and stay competitive. This is where the power of artificial intelligence (AI) comes into play. Practical applications of AI for small businesses and AI-powered tools may revolutionize efficiency, elevate customer experiences, and empower intelligent decision-making.
Karen Carney is one of the UK's most popular footballing personalities. A member of England’s team for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, which came third place in the tournament, she is now an ITV and Sky Sports football pundit covering men's and women's games. Prior to England's crunch World Cup match with Cameroon, England Manager Phil Neville said: "She's a big moment player". Her impressive record at both domestic and international level has seen her twice named as FA Young Player of the Year and she has earned 144 caps for England, the third most capped in history, behind Fara Williams and Jill Scott in both male and female football.
In today's digital age, data privacy and security are of utmost importance for all businesses, including startups. According to research, cyber-attacks against small and medium businesses in the UK soared by 15% in 2022, with more than half (54%) of SMEs experiencing some form of cyber-attack last year, up from 39% in 2020. The findings also uncover that 18% of SMEs said their business was not protected with cybersecurity software.
Jargon, buzz words, and constant technical developments can leave businesses overwhelmed with choice when it comes to selecting a communications system. In a digital age, using a comprehensive phone system is crucial to remaining competitive. But how do businesses decide which one is right for them?