The COVID-19 pandemic has steered the banking industry worldwide towards digital transformation. Traditional financial services became redundant overnight leading to a historic rise in the adoption of fintech platforms across the world. Cashless payments became more popular due to the need to lead our daily lives in a contactless manner.
From the time of your initial idea, you will have been thinking of all the very many steps necessary of turning your vision into reality. One of the first steps when starting up is to consider how you will build your market, and as you scale this will remain at the forefront of all that you need to do.
Here’s an interesting fact, companies founded by women bring higher returns from investment. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, the return from each dollar invested in a 'woman-led business' is nearly twice as high, and the total revenue over a five-year period exceeds the earnings of male-run businesses by around 10%.
I would be lying if I said that raising capital as a female Founder is an easy process. Even those that make it look easy, have faced invisible barriers that aren’t present with their male counterparts. What I have learnt, however, is that having this knowledge - that I am a woman (and woman of colour) and that I am on the backfoot - simply doesn’t help me at all.
This article could have been entitled ‘data and financials’ but so many of you would not have got even this far. But the truth is that data and your financials are not just numbers, as without a clear understanding of both of these then nothing else stands much of a chance. Data needs to be properly collected and analysed, and any assumptions and financial forecasts are then driven from this data.
Millions of Americans have left the workforce due to the ongoing public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Women were particularly impacted since many of them had to sacrifice their job and become the primary caretakers of their children due to school and daycare closures. Many companies may be at risk of losing some of their best and brightest employees if they don’t figure out how to accommodate female workers with children.
It goes without saying that the past two years have been, for the most part, unpredictable. In both our professional and personal lives, we’ve all had to pivot and adapt to situations we never thought imaginable. In fact, according to the World Uncertainty Index (Ahir) we’re living in the most uncertain time in human history.
Hybrid working is happening. At least, that’s what large organisations are telling everyone. We recently examined the publicly stated positions of 150 FTSE and Fortune companies and found that two-thirds were on record advocating some form of hybrid working for their employees, compared to just 6% that had publicly stated their opposition for non-office-based working.
I’m a marketing leader in the tech sector and passionate about diversifying our industry. I care about living my values and keeping women paid, well and thriving. Through Possible Ground I work with people looking to enter the tech industry whether that’s through a job or a business they are running.
We all know how important it is to get that right work and life balance, but as an entrepreneur it can be difficult. As this week is National Work Life Week, we wanted to highlight the many factors that can contribute to your high-stress levels, some such as lack of sleep and getting sick. But did you know that all three of these actually go hand-in-hand?
When people think about mentorship in business, it’s usually along the lines of the following: a seasoned professional offering advice and support to younger and less experienced colleagues or associates. But mentorship can be so much more than this. In this challenging post-pandemic era, it is an essential ingredient, not only in building a successful company financially but also one that has a positive social impact. To understand just how important it can be, here are some ways mentorship can be considered and implemented:
There’s always been something rather bittersweet about the back-to-school season. On one hand, it marks when the mornings start to feel a little more crisp, the return to the grind after that last bank holiday until Christmas. On the other, there’s a sense of hopeful optimism – a chance for new beginnings and an opportunity to return to work feeling refreshed.
For anyone starting a business there is that delicious and intoxicating mixture of excitement tinged with fear. Both these are driven by stepping into the unknown and doing something new. Doing anything new or different will always present new challenges, and the further outside of your personal experience or comfort zone any new enterprise is, then potentially the larger those challenges will be.
Autumn is already upon us and the nights are drawing in - Christmas is only just round the corner. However, this isn’t always a reason for small businesses to celebrate. The calendar year-end can often coincide with tricky cashflow gaps for smaller companies which can lead to some less than silent nights for business owners. Here are some tips on why it may be worth thinking ahead now and looking at company finances in advance, to avoid getting some unsightly lumps of coal in the company stocking instead of a winter celebration.
Chronic disease is rising rapidly in America and throughout the developed world. Today, according to the CDC a shocking 71.6% of adults are either overweight or obese. Moreover, over the last few decades, rates of hypertension, diabetes, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s, major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, insomnia, and multiple other chronic diseases are rising over time. Likewise, medical costs are rising over time year after year and today costs the US a staggering $3.8 trillion (or about 18% of GDP) per year.
Have you ever thought of setting up your own business? Have you already done so? What made you want to do this? In truth, the answers are very different for each of us but, looking at government statistics and Companies House records, more and more people are choosing this route; especially since the turmoil in the last few years caused by the pandemic.
LinkedIn has announced their annual 2021 Top UK Startups, a list of the best emerging startups to work for. Using a four pillar methodology, they have measured and ranked employment growth, engagement, job interest and talent attraction. The top companies are fast-growing and have successfully embraced flexible working, thus pioneering a new vision for the future of work in the UK.
London is the leading destination to grow a technology business outside of Silicon Valley, according to a comprehensive ranking of international startup hubs compiled by Startup Genome for its annual Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021. Despite Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, London maintained its second-place ranking tied with New York for the second year in a row.
The backlash against the recent decision by OnlyFans to ban content depicting 'sexually explicit conduct' from its platform - and its subsequent U-turn in the face of that backlash - can serve as an important lesson for startups in how (and how not) to communicate news around big business decisions that might impact their customer base.
Whether these businesses will opt for working from home full time or hybrid working - where employees split their time between home and the office - remains somewhat unclear at this point. For some, a return to pre-pandemic office life is on the cards, but for others, there's simply no going back to the way things were.
The modern companies that are looking to get maximum returns on investment have to concentrate on developing human capital difference by using effective training and development programs for their staff to improve their productivity. The workforce of an organisation is a valuable asset for any company.
Imagine stepping into a health shop after a long day at work. You’re on the hunt for a multivitamin that will kick the fatigue that’s been following you for weeks. You want to be engaged and productive, but you wake up tired, and you have trouble focusing when you need to give it your all. Let me introduce you to Feel. We caught up with founder Boris Hodakel to find out more on the startup.
We don’t often address mental health in male-domintated sectors, despite well-being becoming a more accepted topic in mainstream media. There is a lingering macho stoicism surrounding the conversation about the toll that raising capital can take on business leaders, which is perhaps no wonder in a field where the pursuit of work-life balance is seen as a weakness.
COVID-19 introduced new changes and accelerated already existing ones in the ways we work and interact with one another within our organisations. As we adjust to the new ways of working and work at breakneck speed to return back to normality, Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, Chief Strategy Officer at FinTech company Blend Network, argues that it is more important than ever for businesses and their leaders to champion inclusive growth.
When it comes to holistic living, doctors, psychologists, and life coaches have a lot to say. It’s not really the place of business founders to be handing out lessons, after all, they’re known for being work-obsessed and putting in long hours. But, they do know a thing or two about what it's like starting and growing a business,
Rocket Academy, a startup providing online coding courses, has announced it has raised $1.1m in pre-seed funding. The investment comes from a consortium of 50 marquee tech investors and venture capitalists including entrepreneurs Darius Cheung from 99.co, Marcus Tan from Carousell and Stanley Tang from DoorDash, former Singapore Ambassador to the UN Kishore Mahbubani, SEA tech leaders’ investment network XA Network, and VC firms Taurus Ventures and Hustle Fund.
Chances are, you have probably had some sort of engagement with a chatbot in the past. These technologies are used by an array of organisations, usually in an attempt to create a much more efficient customer experience, and in many circumstances, cut costs along the way. However, these solutions are not always up to the task.
With its recent launch across the Nordic and Baltic states, we caught up with Jonas Sellberg, Co-founder and COO of Staccs, a premium streaming on-demand service for concert video and music documentaries. The new home for concerts on demand, Staccs is set to offer music fans the opportunity to relive their favourite concert moments. Jonas explains to us what Staccs is all about, the journey so far and what lies ahead.
With less than three months to go till COP26, the UK, in particular, has a unique opportunity to establish itself as a global hub for sustainability, a world leader in green technology and investment, and a place where all tech businesses join forces to tackle one of the greatest issues of our time.
The pandemic triggered a serious economic shock, giving rise to great uncertainty. CEOs, CFOs, investors and shareholders have had to restructure their financial plan to get to the next stage of growth and recover sales. Moreover, in every company there comes a time when a change is required. This is where we welcome the interim CFO, or in other terms, the prototype of a modern day CFO.
The mental health of employees should be a concern for all companies, regardless of size. Creating a culture that supports mental health is not only a moral - and often legal - imperative, but also business savvy. The consequences of a workforce with poor mental health are expensive. Proactive, innovative strategies in relation to employee mental health should therefore be part of all company toolkits.
Hannah Holland, Managing Director and founder of HLD Management, HLD Models, HLD Studios, Levelled Up: The Podcast, a leading female lead management company, is a strong powerful female entrepreneur. Since its inception in 2019, HLD has quickly grown to become a leader in the female Talent Management industry. We caught up with Hannah to find out more about her, her journey and HLD Management.
Trade shows, trade fairs or exhibitions – whatever your preferred term – the format is not to every business owners’ taste and in many cases get a bad rap. However, some of the biggest entrepreneurs including Phil ‘Shoe Dog’ Knight, founder of Nike, and Patagonia’s owner Yvon Chouinard, relate pivotal points in their businesses having taken place at B2B trade shows.
There’s no denying that high-profile influencer marketing, when executed well, can drive a mass of traffic and word of mouth hype. But now thanks to ASA laws, influencers now have to be transparent when working with brands on these campaigns, which can leave customers feeling unsure as to whether an influencer is being authentic. As a result, a brand's reputation can take a massive hit.
Four cutting-edge UK technology startups will now have the opportunity to develop minimum viable products (MVPs) to help industry titans digitise and improve their manufacturing processes, after being selected to go through to the final stage of Digital Catapult’s Made Smarter Technology Accelerator Programme.
Do you ever wonder how long you spend scrolling on social media platforms? Or, have you ever found yourself deep in a TikTok binge until the early hours of the morning? It’s a remarkably common occurrence, and it’s not your fault: social media apps are intentionally designed with addictive features. This comes at a big cost for both our physical and mental health.
An effective SEO strategy doesn't always mean you have to work hard, but it always requires you to work smart. Whether you just launched a website or your website's SEO needs a different approach, there is always room to improve regardless of the business type, size, or industry. SEO expert at UENI, Matt Reevy, shares 7 handy online marketing tips to help you upgrade your website's SEO and help boost your business.
A major part in delivering a successful campaign is to ensure you have the right people behind your brand. By having the best individuals to represent your product or service, the better engagement you’ll have with consumers. When it comes to creating your ideal team, there are some important factors to consider. From personality, knowledge, skills, attitude to experience. If you can tick all of these, then the greater impact your campaign will have.
Apple announced big updates for iCloud and iOS 15 at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference this June, with a particular focus on privacy and data tracking. Newly unveiled features from the tech giant include the ability for users to load remote content privately without disclosing their IP, as well as using 'burner' email accounts to sign up for email offers.
Since the 1990s media artist Chris Hales has taken a solo DIY approach to create interactive film installations and performances that have been shown worldwide. His current interest is in customised film, in which user data (a video grab, a voice recording, selfie photo, or text responses) is incorporated into a short film in humorous ways, giving a personal experience for each user.
The education sector is often called out due to its difficulty to implement change - whether that is because institutions have legacy systems in place, do not have the time it takes to adopt new technologies, or the affordability aspect. To understand how the education industry as a whole can take the necessary steps forward and achieve its long-anticipated digital transformation, we must first look at the key barriers holding it back.
Are you sitting on an idea for a brilliant new app or digital product? Perhaps you have already started the process into making that idea a reality but it is taking too long or just not coming out exactly as you had imagined? At Intrface, we specialise in helping start-ups develop and realise their vision with methods such as Rapid Validation and something we like to call: The Design Sprint 2.0.
There is no doubt that consumer demand for sustainable options is on the increase. It is now becoming a huge factor in the choices buyers make when shopping for goods. A recent survey conducted by Deloitte found that 32% of consumers are highly engaged with adopting a more sustainable lifestyle, with 61% of respondents saying they have limited their use of single use plastic, and 34% have chosen brands with environmentally sustainable practices and values.
The past year has seen many industries navigate a multitude of challenges and shifts to remain operational. However, as we emerge from a post-pandemic landscape, it’s time for organisations to gather their bearings and analyse how their business has fared over the past year and what long-term implications the global lockdown could have had on them.
Education doesn’t finish after school. With further qualifications required to move up in fields as diverse as healthcare, beauty therapy and construction, there’s a huge opportunity for edtech to help employers manage training. But how do you introduce your product to industries with plenty of trainees, but low tech adoption?
With restrictions set to lift imminently, allowing workers a return to the office, workplaces will no doubt be quickly planning their summer office parties. At Just Eat for Business, we’ve already seen a spike in companies planning their get-togethers to increase the social interaction and employee wellbeing we’ve been lacking post- work from home.
Companies providing services like home workouts, high-end meal kits and even crochet tutorials all have boomed during the pandemic. Not everyone has had a smooth path through the pandemic though; businesses have had to become more agile and invest in technology. Many entrepreneurs and individuals have adjusted their attitudes, spending more time on worthy causes or making sure they are planning for their own futures.
Innovate UK is releasing new data which reveals the proportion of women setting up businesses has not only remained stagnant at just over a quarter of the total number of new businesses for the last decade, but seen a slight dip since 2010/11 when it was at 28.7%, compared to 27.3% today. Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards looks to help balance the playing field in business by providing more support to female entrepreneurs from across the UK.
As we approach the end of compulsory remote working, many businesses are retaining some element within their operations. Remote working technology enabled virtual connectivity when physical proximity wasn’t possible, but how has this affected business operations in the long-term? Here we explore the impact of remote working technology on business and society.
Are work ethics losing their relevance to the pursuit of profits and ambitious objectives of growth? In contemporary times, there is a paradigm shift in the hiring strategies of most organisations. The great focus of business owners is to hire employees with versatile skills and creative perspectives. Without a doubt, this is the way forward to create an agile and competent workforce. As a business owner, you need an accomplished workforce exhibiting inspiring skills. However, what about their work ethics? Are you underplaying the significance of work ethics?
Fraud has always affected business and it can be particularly devastating for those companies that are in the start-up phase. A recent report has found that fraud (particularly cyber fraud) has increased by 28% in the last year, largely driven by the Covid-19 situation. This article looks at the warning signs, what might be done to stop it and what to do if you expect that it might be happening.
While many industries suffered in 2020 with the ongoing health crisis, cyber crime and in particular ransomware grew significantly. With more time spent online by individuals, and the switch to remote working for many businesses, bad actors recognised the opportunities for increased cyber attacks and grabbed them with both hands. The bad news - this trend is going nowhere in 2021.
The economy has shifted. More and more people are becoming business owners or self-employed, so why are so few entrepreneurial skills taught in schools? From a young age we should all be learning how to innovate, collaborate and communicate effectively so that we are better prepared for the world of work. Edtech is perfectly equipped do this effectively, as well as encourage lifelong learning so that as adults we can all upskill and reskill easily.
Running a small business can be hugely rewarding but also hugely frustrating. You have the perfect product, website and sales process in front of you, but getting in front of the perfect customer, and then scaling this, is a battle that we have all have to face. Often, SMEs will be time poor and resource limited, with individuals covering a range of different roles, making it hard to scale effectively.
The future of the office remains uncertain, and the recent speculation around changes to the right to work away from the office only muddies the waters further. Regardless, many large businesses such as Amazon are already planning their return to an office-centric culture to enable collaboration. Google also revealed that 60% of its workforce would be in the office a few days a week, with only 20% of the workforce working remotely.
Every three seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s. And although there are currently 44 million people worldwide living with the disease, there has been no new treatment approved in the last 14 years and over 400 clinical studies have failed. There has been €540bn spent on Alzheimer’s and Dementia globally. It has also been estimated that the number of Alzheimer’s patients are expected to triple by 2050.
Leading sports travel operator, Sportsbreaks.com, are the first platform to provide match breaks for Chelsea’s 2021/22 Premier League fixtures. With the announcement of their Official Ticket and Hotel Breaks for the upcoming Premier League campaign, Chelsea fans can purchase their tickets from £129pp. Thanks to Sportsbreaks.com, fans can beat the rush, and secure their Premier League match breaks before they go on general sale.
In today’s world where technology continues to innovate, and automation is a large key to success, the benefits of using multiple SaaS (Software as a Service) are phenomenal. From subscription focused ones, such as Profitwell, which works to reduce churn and shows Monthly Revenue Per User to team communication-based products such as Slack, which allow internal and external communication and automation to happen in synchronicity.
More people than ever before are using their smartphones to browse the internet - 90% of the world’s internet population in fact! As such, it is essential that start-ups are equipped to deal with the demand by optimising their websites for mobile and developing apps to help reach and engage with customers more effectively.
Whilst many people enjoy watching the sparring between business angels on TV this type of investing may feel like something for others i.e., the millionaire business owners. Because of this, rather than exploring this exciting asset class, we put our investments into safer options we are more familiar with such as mutual funds and stocks. Gavin Heys, Envestors Private Investment Club explains.
UnderPinned has hit its funding target of over £500k within an hour of going live on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. Having quadrupled their community and launched accelerator programme with day one profitability since their last round, they’re raising to amplify marketing and further enter US & European markets.
Legal & Governance Hub, are a business law consultancy supporting startups, scaleups and SMEs. I am Gulnaz the Founder who trained at a startup boutique law firm, which was my first real exposure to learning about business. I worked in marketing, finance and even sales with my own client following! Starting my career in a startup was a great move, I had lots of responsibility and autonomy.
When launching their business, entrepreneurs get very excited at the prospects of finding clients, but also anxious about how to do it. While there are many priorities for them in terms of business operations, building up the right teams, or maintaining their cash flow, organic marketing isn’t one that should be neglected or postponed.
Do you believe the next generation of tech giants will be European? At Scale-Up Europe, we do. That’s why, a few days ago, our group of stakeholders from across the world of European technology innovation presented a shared ambition for the continent to house 10 technology companies valued more than €100bn by 2030.
Closing the skills gap in organisations and industries around the world has a key role to play in our pandemic recovery. Factors such as geography, poor infrastructure, financial hardship and a lack of public resources are preventing many from accessing training that could transform their futures. Yet recent research shows that if digitally lagging sectors—such as manufacturing, mining, healthcare and education—double their use of digital tools, Europe alone could add €2.5 trillion to its GDP by 2025.
This week (14th-20th June 2021) is Men’s Health Week. Physical and mental wellbeing have been important considerations for leaders over the past year and it is essential this focus is maintained as we build back for the future. Here we have asked five experts for practical tips leaders can implement to create healthy workplace cultures.
Marketing spend has risen to record levels since the pandemic. PR and marketing have become business lifelines, boosting resilience and reputation throughout a challenging time. A large part of the focus has been on retaining customers and marketing efforts have become highly targeted with brand loyalty as a key driver. Approaches are increasingly personalised with customers treated as individuals and humanised to drive authenticity and credibility.
Having a strong reliable team is at the heart of building any successful sustainable business that is why investors say they invest in people not ideas. Many entrepreneurs overthink the ideas, the plans, the strategies, and underestimate the importance of building the team of people who will actually execute and turn these ideas into reality.
The famous Chinese proverb stating that 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step' is often wrongly accredited to Confucius, but whether it was him, Lao Tzu, or it is simply used in everyday life, does not alter the fact that it is, of course, true. And it is just as true that little steps normally lead to big steps.
The way in which businesses across the country work has transformed exponentially since March 2020, with entire workforces suddenly told to operate remotely. Some organisations thrived, with their cloud solutions and unified communication tools empowering them to adopt a remote working ethos with ease. On the other hand, those with more rigid and antiquated processes have found this sudden shift jarring.
In anthropology, psychology, and psychiatry, one of the theories that is often discussed relates to whether certain actions and activities are the result of nature or nurture. In so many ways, this ‘nature Vs Nurture’ question is also the same in business, and how it affects the next steps taken by any business – especially early stage ones that are growing.
Many people see processing a payroll as a monotonous task and one to leave to the pen-pushers. However, having a successful process leads to employees being paid the right amount, on time. Payroll is a large part of the day-to-day running of a business and has over recent years become burdensome on business with the introduction of regular electronic filings and auto-enrolment compliance for pensions. There are also many penalty provisions available to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to penalise for incorrect and late filings.
Sometimes in life it can pay to watch, observe, and to take no immediate action. But there are also many times in life, and in business of course, where by far the best thing to do is to seize the moment. No action, can itself become an action, as events are taken out of your hands or the situation has moved on and left you behind.
Winning any award is nice, but it means so much more when that award reflects a mission you’ve intentionally set out to accomplish. For our team at Plux X Brighton, that’s what it meant to pick up the prize for Best In-House Workplace Mental Health Awareness Initiative at the inaugural Company Culture Awards in April. The building is also on track to become the first in South East England to achieve WELL Platinum accreditation from Wellspace, global benchmark setters for wellbeing at work.
As a startup, it’s easy to find yourself admiring a colossal corporation and begin mentally listing all the ways entering into a partnership with it could help you get where you want to be. There's no doubt that the economies of scale, the vast customer reach, and the global brand reputation of a blue-chip player can help elevate a startup company to another level.
We face a forever-altered landscape of communication and commerce. As a native of Ukraine, I have survived difficult times. As an entrepreneur, I have kept my company alive in the face of war and revolution. And, though the details and depth of our situations differ from day to day and person to person, these steps can offer a port in any storm.
In the traditional sense, a marketing approach is usually used to drive sales and a PR strategy is used to build and maintain a positive reputation for a company. The PRCA states that PR is “all about the way organisations communicate with the public, promote themselves, and build positive reputation and public image”.
Almost every business owner wants to scale their business in one way or another, at one time or another. But that is when the questions start: How do I grow my business? How do I maximise my limited financial resources? What should I do first – hire more staff, spend more on marketing and PR, get bigger premises? So many possible next steps, but which ones are best for you to take first?
So, your business has been doing great locally - but you don’t want to stop there. You want your business to expand on a global scale and reach out to customers across the world. You’ve already taken care of the international process lines you’re going to use to provide global customers with your products or services. But… have you thought about translation?
Thanks to COVID-19, remote working has become the ‘new normal’ for many workers across the globe. While many profess to prefer this way of working, the impending re-opening of offices and a gradual return of many colleagues to the 9-5, is causing increasing anxiety to those who will remain almost, or entirely working from home.
As a start up business owner there is no doubt that you may have overcome challenges to get to where you are today. But one area that many business owners may struggle with is the relentless heightened momentum that is needed to steer a business to success without hitting burnout. Keeping up momentum when you have limited staff and are trying to jump from department to department throughout the day can leave business leaders not knowing what to prioritise.
Over the last 30 years, there has been a steadfast campaign calling for remote working to be offered to employees. Calls for more flexible working options seemed to fall on deaf ears. Businesses were sceptical of change, unable to assess the differing productivity levels of those who worked remotely and those who worked in an office, so they consistently opted for the tried and tested. Us&Co - Professional Workspaces explores.
Business, and the economy as a whole, can be very much like the English weather – sunshine and showers. We all know that long range forecasts are less accurate than short range ones, simply because there are a greater number of unpredictable factors to try and consider, and a small variable in any one of them can change the final outcome quite considerably.
The majority of executives deem sustainability to be important, yet a mere 25% integrate sustainability into the core of their business (according to a BCG/MIT study). The issues stem from the fact that sustainability is considered a business side-branch, and not integrated into the business strategy and model.
As a 90s kid I wanted nothing more than a glittering career in the music industry. I soaked up the Spice Girls’ confidence and felt like I could summon the power within myself to become famous. When TV shows like X-Factor and Popstars gained popularity in my teen years, a career in music seemed within arm’s reach. I believed that if I worked hard and didn’t give up, success would be there for the taking.
As we emerge into this new, post-lockdown, post-brexit world, many businesses feel it's time to take the next big growth step - international expansion. Huge opportunities await across borders, but no doubt everyone's aware that new market entry is a time and labour-intensive process, and can be very costly if not successful.
Musicians reportedly lost out on two thirds of their income in 2020 with the doors to live music venues closed and festivals cancelled across the board. With live music taking a backseat, innovations in the sector came to the fore, with collaboration and creation taking on a truly digital-first approach.
According to the latest statistics, the average business spends between 5-12% of their annual turnover on marketing. While millions of organisations - particularly those operating in B2C sectors - perceive digital marketing as fundamental to driving sales and resulting business growth, other business owners still need convincing of its value, and often have preconceptions of the Return On Investment (ROI) required to make it worthwhile.
It's a shame when brilliant ideas are left in limbo before they are able to come alive because of financial constraints. Did you know that most founders underestimate how much time their startup will need to achieve market validation by two to three times? What if one of these businesses runs out of money before anything viable can be completed, then this means that many great ideas are never given the chance they deserve. How many businesses could have succeeded if they had more time and money?
The number of public sector contracts being awarded to SMEs continues to rise and services are frequently being broken down into smaller contracts to facilitate SMEs. However, where SMEs may not have the funds to offer free value adds or perhaps offer the lowest price, it’s vital that they clearly articulate how they can deliver value.
Remote is an international HR tech startup that enables companies to hire people all over the world, wherever they are located. Remote is the first self-serve platform for global employment, and the startup also supports payroll, taxes, benefits, and compliance for businesses of any size. Here, Startups Magazine speaks to Nadia Vatalidis, Director of People at Remote to find out more.
Thursday 22nd April 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, a day that celebrates our planet and aims to raise awareness about the importance of protecting it. Before the pandemic, events would take place all around the world on this day and in the lead-up for individuals and businesses to get involved in.
As CEO and Co-founder of the UK’s biggest free sharing app OLIO, it’s fair to say Tessa Clarke knows a thing or two about what it takes to start and grow a successful business. She has rounded up her biggest business do’s and don’ts for other ambitious entrepreneurs looking to build a successful new venture.
A week after the next steps out of lockdown were taken the differences are palpable. A very large percentage of the population have been shopping in ‘non-essential’ shops, sat outside a coffee shop, eaten outside at a pub or restaurant, or had their hair cut. In fact, almost everyone that I have spoken to has already done more than one of these.
The year 2020 stands out as what you would call the banner year for remote work. While a good number of people worked remotely before that, the outbreak of the pandemic forced a major shift to remote work. People and companies that hadn’t embraced remote working had it rough trying to adjust to the circumstances.
The last year has shone a spotlight on the long-term future of the UK’s business sector, its reliance on people and the need for business resilience. It was crucial to protect the financial security of consumers so that they could continue to conduct business with each other, and that was understandably Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s priority, with the unprecedented introduction of Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and furlough schemes.
The PR industry continues to go from strength to strength with a steady 5% growth in 2020 and the five years previous to that. This demonstrates that organisations recognise the value that communications play in their overall business strategy. Consumer research has shown that 48% see journalism and earned media to be the most credible source of information.
As part of the last budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the limit for contactless payments is to be increased from £45 to £100. As a large portion of UK businesses have been closed for months, there’s an obvious reason to want to stimulate the economy by making larger purchases easier. While this increase in the contactless limit seems to be a good move on the surface, we must look at the impacts of this change and debate the case for alternative payment methods.
Ethos is the home of social discussion. A socially responsible alternative to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, the channel provides a safe and connected online space that encourages conversations which discuss a variety of social issues. It aims to encourage others to learn from, engage, and interact with unique content that inspires and motivates a new generation. Here, Startups Magazine, speaks to Alejandra de Brunner, Founder and CEO to find out more.
Founding your first startup is no walk in the park. If it was, everyone would do it. There will be long nights of building your MVP and many times you’ll want to rip your hair out. But there will also be incredibly rewarding moments, and, chances are, you won’t regret taking the journey. If the thought of building your own business sparks a fire within you, it’s worth the hard work that goes into it.
There’s no denying that the ultimate goal of launching a startup is for that startup to be successful. However, a significant reason that many individuals never follow their Big Ideas to embark on the founder’s journey is fear of failure. Failure they won’t succeed, failure their product will never take off.
International challenge to innovate the football of tomorrow with inclusion, diversity and sustainability
Banco Santander and the Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft (GSIC) present FootballCan 2041, a joint initiative to create the best innovation solutions to make football more inclusive, diverse and sustainable. This initiative aligns with Santander’s purpose to help people and businesses prosper, and with its strategy to have a positive impact on football and society.
Marketing in the 21st century has become one of the biggest priorities for companies in all industries. Every year, it becomes important to show the general public your company still deserves their dollar and their support. People no longer settle simply for what they have ‘always known’ or what fits best in their budget.
Whilst the UK is home to a large number of innovative startups, and has even been proclaimed the ‘unicorn’ capital of Europe, it also has a disappointingly high gender funding gap. According to a report commissioned by the British Business Bank, for every £1 of VC investment, less than 1p went to all-female teams and only 10p to mixed-gender teams. The initial reaction may be to point fingers at the VC industry, however interestingly the report also noted that in fact only 5% of all pitchdecks received are from all-female teams.
Asides from having a great idea, one of the most important things you need to do as a startup, is consider your budget. It’s important to have a clear understanding of what you can spend, what you can expect to make, and how the two balance out. Without undertaking this process, you risk ending up in a situation where your finances are out of sync, causing significant issues for your business.
A recent study cited by a leading Fintech publication found that whilst 30% of the fintech workforce is female, only 17% of senior fintech roles are held by women and just over 5% of founders are women. These statistics are pretty shocking as Fintech is such a dynamic world of discovery and innovation.
One of the most common questions that entrepreneurs ask at the early stage of a company is - how do you secure funding? After all, it’s one the most crucial steps in developing a company and will give entrepreneurs the ability to hire employees, develop their product and take the company to new heights. And as the company matures, the process can be slightly different along the way – there are different objectives when raising seed funds, versus Round A, B, and C because at each stage the company itself is at a new level.
By now, many of us are aware of the benefits that coworking can bring; from collaborations to new inspirational ideas and the opportunity to work alongside others experiencing similar challenges. That’s why world-wide well over three million people opt for coworking spaces. And despite events of the past 12 months closing many coworking hubs, leading some to see a 50% decline in footfall, that figure is still set to double in 2022.
Matthew Singleton, Investment Director at Throgmorton Capital Management has spent most of his career advising his clients on how to manage their wealth and plan their financial futures. From time to time Matt advises clients on strategies that may involve investing in startups. He is also a passionate champion of startup businesses and has been involved in early-stage businesses himself. Here, he shares his financial and investment advice for any early-stage business looking to grow quickly without exposing themselves to unnecessary financial risks in his six top tips.
Founder of the multinational coaching company Shamila M, Shamila Mhearban specalises in creating and implementing bespoke strategies and solutions to help clients realise their vision of success. Launching the business back in 2017, Shamila has built up an expertise, and here she shares tips on how businesses can rebound after the economic uncertainty of the global pandemic.
Hello Genius is a revolutionary app-based learning system designed to foster closer relationship bonds and empower greater connectivity between parents and their children through intimate, personalised learning experiences that are explored together. Now available globally, the integrated system of dual parent-child apps identifies the individual uniqueness of each child through an adaptive learning journey, while providing parents with insights, opportunities and resources to engage with their children in ways which complement the child’s interests and gifts and optimise their learning and development.
If you’ve read any of my previous articles for Startups Magazine, you may have noticed that anything related to healthcare excites me beyond belief. Fun fact about me: I used to have a massive fear of doctors but I’ve since turned that into an unhealthy obsession with the healthcare sector and I’m now known as the ‘Queen of all things Medical’ by my colleagues. So of course, when I discovered digital training startup, Virti who are focusing initially on healthcare, my blood pressure shot up with excitement and you’ll see why as you read on.
COVID-19 has changed many businesses forever. The rapid transition to e-commerce and limited in-person shopping created an impossible situation for some businesses, 60% of which have closed permanently. However, some entrepreneurs have successfully worked through the challenges, getting help from anywhere they can.
The UK is more environmentally conscious than ever, with 89% of adults prioritising being more environmentally friendly this year. Ahead of World Recycling Day on 18th March, flexible office specialist, Workthere, has shared top tips on how UK workers can be more conscious of recycling in the office.
Some very interesting statistics were released this week relating to trade over the past twelve months. What was so interesting about these two particular sets of statistics is that both of them were unique to looking backwards from spring 2021, and this period will be studied in schools and universities for many years to come.
2020 flipped everyone’s plans for the year upside down, with no corner of the world left untouched. In this state of complete disarray, the primary business challenge for many was to keep customers happy while rapidly shifting staff to remote working. With this now mastered for most businesses and homeworking being the new norm, the next hurdle for leaders will be getting the balance right between the many conflicting desires of those in their workforce.
Nearly a year on since the onset of COVID-19, many companies have realised their staff are able to (almost) work as effectively remotely, as they did in an office. For tech companies and their investors, the transition to remote working was relatively seamless, as the culture and infrastructure needed to succeed was already in place. It has, however, prompted many startups to reconsider whether they need an office at all, and whether high rents in cities like New York, London, and San Francisco can be justified.
Digital transformation means many things to many people, so it’s important to segment and analyse startups developing foundational enabling technologies as well as key impacted applications, such as Industry 4.0 and digital health. Lux Research’s digital transformation experts are continuously monitoring industry megatrends and events to identify innovative startups in the space.
Today, the sales funnel is more buyer-focused. It’s no longer about sales professionals and their understanding of products and services, but rather a concentration on buyers and how a business can fulfill their needs. And if you are a business wanting to get more prospects and clients, you need to put enough information about your brand where your targets spend the most time.
TapTrip is an award-winning online travel management company, founded in 2018 by Thomas Young, Neil Ruth and Jack Timblin. It was the first ever travel tech (and Manchester-based) company to be accepted onto the Barclays powered by Techstars accelerator. Here, two of the founders, Neil and Thomas share some tips for FinTech startups on the hunt for finance.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #ChoosetoChallenge, so we’ve spoken to a host of female leaders doing just that. CEO of Clearbanc, Michele Romanow is using AI to challenge traditional VC investment. With decisions based on data and not ‘who you know’ Clearbanc has invested in 8x more women than men in the UK. CMO of Fiverr Gali Arnon, believes freelance marketplaces are helping to diminish the gender pay gap for women across the world and Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls is on a mission to get more women into coding.
March 8th 2021 marks International Women’s Day, and a Yoopies survey on equality has revealed that 70% our survey respondents believe there is gender inequality in the workplace in various ways. Pay gaps, missing out on promotions and lack of access to positions of responsibility were cited amongst the most pressing issues of professional gender inequality and furthermore, we revealed that women are far more likely to have trouble balancing their home or personal life with their professional one than men.
Women throughout history continue to make their mark creating innovations and discoveries that impact our lives today. To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Miranda Kent, Managing Associate at intellectual property firm, Mathys & Squire, reflects on inspiring female inventors in each decade since 1910 - when the firm was first founded - to demonstrate the significant value that realising new ideas and inventions can bring.
A recent survey by Arctic Shores, which investigated the talent acquisition landscape for the year ahead, revealed that three in four companies plan to review their diversity hiring practices for 2021. These findings are surprising, considering 81% of companies already run unconscious bias training. This would suggest diminishing confidence amongst talent leaders that unconscious bias training alone is enough to ensure fair, consistent and effective processes.
A growing number of people are showing interest in investing. This has been evidenced by an increase in the number of trading and investment accounts opened over the last 18 months and the interest is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Additionally, more and more business and startup entrepreneurs are getting involved as well. This is due to an interest in becoming more financially literate as well as the desire to benefit from investment yield. But how to go about it?
The UK is heading towards a ‘burnout breakpoint’ with search data exposing alarming levels of people seeking help. As we quickly approach the anniversary of the first lockdown, Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent who discovered these findings is urging businesses to support employees and implement practical solutions to prevent similar levels throughout 2021 and hordes of workers reaching their breakpoint.
Research from Ezra, a global provider of digital coaching, has revealed to what extent the current pandemic could change the face of the professional workplace on a permanent basis. The trend of working remotely is one that has been largely forced on us due to lockdown restrictions and concerns over safety. However, for many it means more time at home and a positive increase in the work-life balance.
You’ve heard the maxim that 'failing to plan is planning to fail,' right? I’m not here to debate it. For any complicated initiative, a plan is needed – that’s true. But I do want to suggest that the long-held maxim only represents one side of the spectrum, and that the other side (overplanning) is equally dangerous to the success of a startup.
This Mum Runs is the largest mobile, on and offline running community for Mums in the world, aiming to empower millions of women to feel great about themselves just through moving more and doing it using the power of community. Here we chat to Mel Bound, Founder and CEO of This Mum Runs, as part of our International Women's Day celebrations.
Right now it might feel harder than ever to cut through the noise and get your brand featured in the press. You might also feel that you'd like to secure media coverage but you don't have the budget to employ a PR agency, or perhaps the time yourself to knock up a press release or work out which journalists you should be targeting.
Last year was an incredibly challenging one for entrepreneurs and small business owners. According to a survey from Alignable, 45% of small businesses reported earning less than half of their pre-pandemic revenue. Statistics like these can scare you away from starting a company in 2021, but they shouldn’t.
A new report by Claromentis has revealed that 73% of UK workers want to split their time between home and office working after the pandemic. Unilever, Twitter, Square and many more companies have announced their staff may never return to working a five-day week in the office. But what do workers want?
incspaces, a space as a service operator with locations across London and Manchester, is opening a brand new 24/7 flexible workspace in the heart of Leeds. The 19,000 square foot venue will play host to both young startups and established businesses embracing the ever growing flexibility of the future of work.
As a social impact entrepreneur and investor, I like to think I know a business opportunity when I see one. The 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars provides us with a massive opportunity. Entrepreneurs and investors should be incredibly excited about this new technology and the potential to innovate. As far as I’m concerned, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are the new smartphones.
Small changes consistently applied over a period of time WILL have a big impact on your business. For example, if you simply commit to spending 30 minutes every day engaging with your target audience on social media, this daily activity on your part will gradually compound into a significant impact on your business.
Ahead of the UK’s 2021 Budget and Economic Recovery Plan, new research from Sage has revealed the tough conditions that will be facing Small and Medium sized Businesses (SMEs) well into the second half of 2021. The research highlights how the latest lockdown has further divided the outlook of UK SMEs, with one-third worse off than November, one-third in a similar position and one-third better off.
Love for a tech brand has a massive impact on customer loyalty and recommendations according to a new study. People who love a brand are three times more likely to recommend it to others and will tolerate it making twice as many mistakes as any other, before taking their custom elsewhere. Indeed, according to the Brand Love report, such a brand can mess up almost five times and people will still stay loyal to it.
For many of us, 2021 could not come fast enough. I will not expound on the world’s collective gratitude in 2020 being finished, you can watch Netflix’s Death to 2020 for a much more humorous take on this! As we continue in yet another lockdown, I’d like to frame some of the work that Allia will be working on this year to support the impact start-ups and local businesses that are getting ready to step up and make a difference.
For many, the New Year is a time to focus on personal resolutions such as getting fit, organising the house, or saving money. This year, what if we focused on putting our work life in order too - effectively gaining more space to cope with the demands of super-busy modern business life, make working in start-ups a bit easier or even get that next promotion?
The amount of waste we produce has come under intense scrutiny in recent years, with global annual waste generation expected to jump to 3.4 billion tonnes over the next 30 years, up from 2.01 billion tonnes in 2016, according to report published by World Bank. Businesses and consumers alike are now faced with the challenge of reducing how much landfill our actions generate. With conflicting interests making for slow progress, the circular economy model could change our fortunes. Here we explore why the circular economy is here to stay and why it is set to play a vital role in a low-carbon future.
After being diagnosed with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (a rare genetic disorder) at the age of 22, former investment banker Angus Drummond, was told his mobility would decline over the next few years until one day he would require a wheelchair. Determined to experience the best of what the world had to offer, Angus quit his job in London, and set off with his wife to explore 35 new countries.
The UK edtech market was predicted to increase to £3.4bn by 2021. With £90.9m invested into edtech companies in 2018, up from just £9.9m in 2013, this market is clearly growing. However, when schools first closed due to COVID-19, and again at the start of this year, it became clear that many were understandably underprepared for the enforced radical shift to tech-led remote learning. Teachers struggled with the transition to online work, and many students lacked the necessary devices and connectivity to engage effectively online.
Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) has become significant force in the venture capital market. In Europe, CVCs participated in 1,325 deals worth €19.4bn in 2020 and are active in virtually every sector, and across all stages from Seed to growth equity. In the UK, CVCs participated in some of the biggest deals of 2020 - Hopin, Carzoo, Arrival - and despite significant headwinds due to COVID-19 deal activity remained strong, defying critics who had anticipated a slowdown as corporate balance sheets came under pressure.
If we learnt anything from the past year it’s that having control over cash flow is the cornerstone of business health. The impact of COVID and other external factors like Brexit mean that things are constantly changing for small businesses, meaning they have to continuously adapt. This means that you will need to consistently map your cash flow and review your forecast as things change. For example, things like furlough coming to an end in April will need to be factored into forecasting.
The first lockdown had a profound impact on education as students were told to study at home - a location that doubled as the new office of their parents, ultimately creating a co-working cocktail with a sharp aftertaste. Children were unable to learn in classrooms or see friends while parents were acting as teachers during working hours.
Parenting in 2021 is not easy. Even before the arrival of the pandemic, juggling work and childcare was a challenge and as we spend more time in lockdown, many parents are taking the time to re-evaluate their lives – or come up with ingenious services or inventions aimed specifically at people just like them. According to a 2019 article, Forbes refers to the ‘new mom economy’ as an estimated $46 Billion millennial parenting market, clearly showing it’s benefits and popularity.
The great idea has started to come to fruition. You are excited about the future for your business and yourself. You have a team in place, and you have got the startup started. The investment market has predetermined that you should go and look for investment to drive your business forward. A good majority of startups follow this route without question.
This is arguably one of the toughest times to run a small business. The FSB this month published figures that suggest that nearly 5% of UK small companies expect to be forced to close within 12 months, the largest proportion in the history of the Small Business Index. If accurate it would mean that 295,000 companies will shut down this year. How can you be sure that you’re not part of this statistic?
For small business owners, 2020 was all about adaptability. You adapted the way you do business, the way your team operates, the way you offer support to clients and employees. A lot was asked of you, but the old answers no longer applied. We learned a lot in 2020, but what’s next? And how can we get ready for the twists and turns that lie ahead? Great HR and remote working practices will be key to being a successful employer in 2021 and beyond.
International founders can now submit their applications for the Future Hamburg Award conferred by the City of Hamburg. With this startup award, Germany's economic hub aims to support innovative solutions for the city of tomorrow. Innovative startups from around the world are invited to submit their projects until 31st March 2021 here.
Email marketing is a fundamental part of business communications, but how many are customers actually reading? According to a recent survey by af2m (French Association for the Development of Multi-Operator Multimedia Services and Uses), only 20% – far fewer than most marketing teams would care to admit. Is there a better way to reach your customers? Research by af2m has found that SMS campaigns are blessed with a 90% open rate within three minutes of receipt!
You can’t be what you can’t see. This is a phrase that crops up time and time again. We often see organisations pledge to take action to boost the number of opportunities for LGBT+ professionals to take up leadership positions; however there is still a lack of visible LGBT+ role models across business.
Embracing digital, diversifying products and services and accessing emergency finance – particularly Bounce Back Loans - were found to be the top ways small firms have survived the covid-19 crisis so far, according to a new report from Small Business Britain that offers firms advice on how to be resilient in a crisis.
As I write this, from my living room floor (don’t judge me, since lockdown started I’ve noticed it helps me get creative when I’m writing) we’re still in a global pandemic and I’m just about getting used to all that isolation life has to offer. But as I interview the two brains behind a luxury British accessories brand that specialises in creating stylish contactless payment accessories, Tovi Sorga and Agnes Davis, I can’t help but think about how timely this interview is.
Otta, a startup that helps job seekers find roles at fast-growing companies, has revealed the most innovative companies in London to work for in 2021. Fifty startups and scaleups appear on the Rocket List, including tech unicorns Cazoo, Hopin (now a ‘double unicorn’) and Gousto, along with fintech firms, Revolut and Checkout.com, which are hiring for the most roles right now (79 and 68 respectively).
Since the year began, entrepreneurs have observed a serious global economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses have been impacted greatly by this crisis because they have limited resources to adapt to the changing context. If you own such a business, you must have experienced sales go down as well as an increased difficulty in accessing business inputs. While it might look like the end of your business, you should not despair.
It’s official – London is Europe’s global tech city, with London based technology firms having raised more than $10.5bn in new investment from venture capital firms in 2020. As good as that is, the good news just keeps on coming, as 2021 looks to be even more promising given that London based VC firms have raised record amounts of fresh funds ready to deploy this year.
With most of the country on strict lockdown and no prospect of returning to the office any time soon, 2021 is playing out like much of last year so far, and people all over the country are understandably frustrated and tired. With uncertainty around the future and remote working continuing for most, staying motivated at work is crucial for us to maintain positive momentum and mindset this year.
COVID-19 has put unimaginable pressure on small and medium sized businesses across the UK. For these businesses, now more than ever, cash flow is everything. Expenses play a major part in a business’ cash flow, and if handled correctly, can leave companies with a substantial pot of money at the end of each financial year.
Ales Spetic, the now CEO and Co-founder of Klevio, a smart intercom and smartphone app that lets you open doors and share digital keys using your phone, from anywhere in the world, could be described as a serial entrepreneur. Prior to co-founding four different startups, he was a software engineer before switching to business, where he achieved an MBA from California State University and has also written a book on database programming.
London is at the centre of Europe’s burgeoning tech scene, with new research from Dealroom.co and London & Partners showing that London tech companies helped Europe to reach record levels of tech venture capital funding in 2020. International investors continue to look to London, with the findings revealing that the UK capital received more tech VC investment than any European city in 2020.
Before we can begin to understand AI, we need to learn about the edge. A lot of people have never heard of the edge, but in truth it's a bit like the chicken and the egg - you can’t have one without the other. For clarity, the ‘edge’ we are talking about involves the device on which you’re reading this article.
British businesses have had a tough 2020, with almost all small businesses reporting they had been dramatically affected by the pandemic but with January being historically one of the hardest months in the working calendar, it is important we work together to beat those blues and be the best we can be.
Innovative companies around the world are realising their dreams and going to market with new and creative products and services. As they’re starting out, they often assemble teams of creative minds and experts in areas of product development, research, human resources, marketing, and more. More often than not, one key member of the team often omitted is the expert focused on intellectual property (IP) and patent strategy. This area is typically the last thing on an entrepreneur’s mind as they’re launching their business.
Staying on track financially can be one of the most challenging aspects of creating and managing a startup. If it wasn’t hard enough, the global pandemic has added another dimension of difficulty which even the most robust of businesses have struggled to navigate. However, there are a few key things that startups can do to stay on top of their finances. Below are five tips for startups aiming to become a thriving and profitable business.
As the UK is now in its third national lockdown, consumers and businesses are turning once more to remotely delivered services and digital experiences to survive in the coming month. As the world adapted to the impact of COVID-19, 2020 saw a rapid increase in digitisation, including from age groups that traditionally had been slower to adapt.
Few business leaders at the start of the pandemic would have thought that video conferencing would be anything more than a temporary solution to a temporary problem. Now, nine months down the line, we are still Zooming in order to hold business meetings. What was at first a safe and novel alternative, is now an exhausting chore.
The Global Talent visa is an immigration route to the UK launched in February 2020 to replace the Exceptional Talent visa. It is one of many immigration routes that businesses looking to employ foreign nationals could use but it often appeals to startups and SMEs because Global Talent visa holders do not require sponsorship from their prospective employers.
“What will the new year bring us?” “365 opportunities!” This was the question and answer in a cartoon that was sent to me a few days ago, showing two people sitting on a hill looking into the distance. New Year’s eve this year was not so much a celebration in the normal sense so much as a “Great, 2020 is over so now let’s move on!” But the cartoon perfectly matches my own mood and that of many of my clients and other contacts.
As we approach the end of an unusual year it is safe to say what a year we have had! Although not as we expected, I am a positive person that likes to look on the bright side of life, and with everything going on this year it has been a silver lining seeing a lot of startups and small business, adapt, pivot and even excel.
This year has seen the biggest increase in reliance and need for connected education technology within the education sector in the past decade, and so we spoke to Rahim Hirji, UK Country Manager of leading online learning platform and app, Quizlet, who reflects on the past year in education and looks forward to 2021 to offer expert insight into the future of the education sector.
Advances in technology have transformed the nature of consumption in almost every sector: it isn’t just the products we buy that are different, it is the way we buy them. But there is one sector which remains relatively untouched by the tech revolution, a sector responsible for over a billion trees falling every year, alongside 670 thousand tonnes of landfill in the UK and 10 million tonnes in the US: furniture.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many already-present trends in almost every aspect of our lives. For businesses, this has meant an accelerated reliance on technology. Of course, companies of all kinds have had to rely on technology for decades. But 2020 has forced organisations to entirely shift processes from the physical world to the digital one.
In today’s world, stress has become an inevitable part of professional life. According to a survey conducted by the Regus group, across 15 different countries, the levels of workplace stress have risen over the past two years. Employees all over the world are getting exposed to excruciating levels of work stress. The sad state of employees calls upon employers like you, to take actionable measures for employee stress management. It is essential, both for the well-being of your employees and your organisation.
The 2020 festive period is now in full swing. However, with the UK coming out of lockdown to tighter tier restrictions, it’s fair to say Christmas will look different this year. A work Christmas party is often a great excuse to let your hair down and celebrate the festive season with your colleagues. After a year filled with lots of change, ups and downs and staying at home, now more than ever it is important to celebrate all we have achieved.
The recruitment landscape has changed dramatically. Just before the nation’s lockdown at the end of March, the industry was already feeling a slowdown which was driven by several things, including the looming uncertainty of Brexit. However, when COVID-19 hit, recruitment froze, and the industry became a ghost town; it was an anxiety-fuelled time for firms, their clients and their candidates.
Preparing a new office environment is often an exciting time for everyone involved. In every room, you see opportunities, productivity, and progress. And yet, some leaders tend to get too carried away in the aesthetics and other meaningless factors, and don’t put enough effort into setting things up in a way that’s actually conductive to all that productivity they envision. If you want to keep things running smoothly, there are some modern approaches to certain aspects of office environment setup that you should pay close attention to.
The past year has been make-or-break, not just for individual businesses but entire sectors. Digitisation and market disruption are hardly new trends, but amidst a global pandemic, they have transformed the way we work, shop and live. Many of the businesses that stepped into the gap of legacy businesses have been scale-ups: fast-growth businesses on an upwards trajectory. Think of the likes of Deliveroo, Monzo and Cazoo. The question remains: will these businesses continue to grow once the pandemic has passed?
The biggest marketing trend that we’ve seen throughout 2020 is the drive to build a strong personal brand. Customers are becoming savvy to the ethics and ethos of the businesses that they are buying from. They are being more discerning in their choices driven by the desire to do good and to avoid untrustworthy brands during an unpredictable time.
Founded in 2011, by two Finnish entrepreneurs who were looking for a way to manage their finances, Holvi is digital banking service for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Combining money management tools with an easy-to-use business account, Holvi offers an innovative banking experience that helps you run your business.
The R&D tax relief schemes and R&D expenditure credit (RDEC) have driven greater innovation in the UK, according to analysis by HMRC. A review of these schemes, as well as the Patent Box, highlighted that there were both positive direct and indirect impacts on business for those that utilised the schemes whilst also spurring on innovation.
After a difficult year, there is no surprise that most people are looking for ways to save some money and scrape those pennies together. No matter which part of your life you are looking to tighten the belt in, it can often be difficult to know where to start; particularly if you are a business owner, who has felt the brunt of this year. We don’t blame you; we have all been there! Try not to stress, however, for we have a helpful and effective list detailed here, of ways you can cut costs to your business, without causing any damage to profits.
There's no doubt about it: leadership has been put to the test this year. Over the course of 2020, leaders of businesses everywhere have had to step up to a monumental challenge. Not only have many businesses had to fight to stay afloat, but company leaders have been required to find new, creative ways to work remotely, motivate their team in the face of extreme adversity, and achieve their goals.
Without beating about the hypothetical bush, the future of the labour market in the UK is looking rather bleak. Reports suggest that we are on course for the worst recession in more than 300 years. The Institute for Policy Research meanwhile has warned that more than one million young people could be unemployed by 2021.
As we continue to work towards the government’s net zero emissions by 2050 commitment, businesses are naturally becoming increasingly aware of the need to be more eco-friendly. Other strategies, such as the Clean Growth Strategy, which aims to promote economic growth at the same time as decreasing emissions, mean that the focus on having a positive effect on the environment is now higher than ever.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way the world works, and with UK workers working at home for the foreseeable future, it can be difficult to connect the workforce together. To support workers, flexible office specialist, Workthere, has shared five tips on how you can stay connected to your colleagues, both in and out of the office.
Relationship marketing is significant for all businesses. It is the customers who keep your business running. SEO for big brands can get them the necessary clients. But that is one aspect and keeping them is quite another story. Customer loyalty for your business can go a long way in maintaining a strong relationship with the customers.
A new survey by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has found that brands have become more compassionate in 2020. The majority of senior marketers (74%) surveyed said their brands or clients have shown more compassion and thoughtfulness amid the pandemic - this included 14% who said this increased, with just 6% reported this happening less.
Accenture & Ponemon’s 2019 Cost of Cybercrime Study indicates that the right approach to cyber threats might save companies up to $5.2tn of future revenues in the next few years. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are among the most vulnerable as they only recently became more conscious of clear and present cyber threats.
Businesses, and indeed stock markets, hate uncertainty. Sadly, there is no doubt that 2020 has been full of uncertainty at every stage. And whilst the main focus, for very obvious reasons, has been on Covid-19 and all the trading and other ramifications that that has brought with it, it has not been the only source of major disruption this year.
It should come as no surprise that a strong environmental ethos within an organisation is a driving factor for many jobseekers when choosing where to apply for work. However, a recent report has detailed just how important sustainability aligned with social responsibility really is in terms of recruitment.
A staggering £4bn of investment went to UK tech companies in the first half of 2020. The British Business Bank’s recent Government report, together with recent surveys by leading investment platforms like Stakeholderz, show that despite the challenges posed this year, investors are continuing to back the UK’s high growth tech companies, with many indicating they will invest the same or more over the next year. Tech has long proved to be a lucrative and attractive sector for investors and entrepreneurs.
Kanban has been around as a methodology since the '40s but is now getting more attention partly due to the increase in remote working and the popularity of agile and lean in every sector. While Kanban was originally applied to manufacturing, it can work in virtually any setting. It can be used as a stand-alone tool, or in conjunction with other agile management methods. Implementing it, however, can be easier said than done. Let's take a look at the steps you need to take to implement a Kanban system in your organisation.
The fourth in our six part series of articles harnesses our Associate and Partner network and focusses on Founders and the complexities of relationship between Founders and Co-Founders - for better or for worse. "It's not you, it's me," how do you stop things going pear shaped at the top and what do you do if it does?
“I’m starting to think my profile could be an asset for the business,” a brilliant female founder confided over a virtual Zoom coffee a couple of weeks back (I miss real life, barista made flat whites and hugging clients hello but that’s a sidebar). “I always want to make it about the business but I think I could be a bit of an asset.”
Growing your business without killing the planet: how to stay true to your sustainability goals as you scale
In the world of startups, scaling and sustainability are made to feel like opposites. You may have started with the best intentions, but as businesses grow it gets harder to ensure high ethical standards are met, particularly when faced with outdated industry practices and the pressure to keep down costs. The company values you wrote at your kitchen table start looking more like suggestions than rules to live by, and growth and greenness feel diametrically opposed. Sustainability just seems like a sacrifice you’ll have to make on the altar of profit and progress.
As the UK emerges from lockdown for a second time, it’s crucial we keep up the conversations we’ve been having about the importance of a healthy work life balance. The majority of people who I’ve spoken to have enjoyed the freedom of remote working and are keen to retain some of this newly-discovered flexibility in the future. With this new mindset and the ongoing restrictions, I certainly don’t anticipate an immediate rush back to offices.
Winter alone can have a negative impact on anyone’s mental health. Couple this with spending the best part of the year dealing with a pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns and it's no surprise that according to ONS statistics, the weeks after the clocks went back saw record levels of loneliness in the UK.
While the economic ramifications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are still very much a selection of rather worrying predicted lines and correlations on graphs, there is no doubt the world of commerce and industry is set to be deeply impacted in the long term, and likely changed for good, by the crisis.
Brits are being called upon to offer vital support to small businesses as high streets reopen in time for Christmas. It also hopes to tap into soaring public affection for small businesses, as research from the campaign and its principal supporter American Express shows 59% of Brits support small businesses more than previously, following the major role firms played in communities during coronavirus lockdowns.
Our physical and mental health has been at the forefront of many of our minds during Coronavirus. So should we really also be worrying about financial health? The year of 2020 saw many employees furloughed and even made redundant, causing financial stress. However, there are also many people who have been lucky to be able to continue working during COVID-19.
Considering introducing an employee wellbeing programme in 2021, but concerned about the financial outlay and where to begin? Fear not, as it does not take a huge chunk of cash to create a successful wellbeing programme for your staff. However, you do need to invest some time to plan an initiative that will best suit your team. Here are four cost effective suggestions to get such schemes up and running, and to maintain momentum.
Small businesses in the UK still aren’t offering their people enough flexibility, according to new research from Tiger Recruitment. While the pandemic has required many to work more flexibly from home, more than a quarter of employees questioned say they still aren’t happy with the flexible working options available to them, and men are just as dissatisfied as women.
Thursday 3rd December marks International Day of People with Disability (IDPD), originally created by the United Nations and designed to bring awareness and celebrate the diversity of the global community. This years’ theme is ‘not all disabilities are visible’, something Leeds-based behavioural research and UX consultancy, SimpleUsability, is keen to encourage businesses to consider when interacting with their customers.
If you run a business that relies on vehicles for operations, it can become more and more difficult to manage the fleet as it grows. Keeping the fleet in good working order, making sure that driver safety is a top priority, and saving money on maintenance and repairs can all become much harder to manage as your vehicle numbers rise. Because of this, it’s no surprise that many growing fleet-based companies are turning to fleet management companies. But is this the right solution for your company? Here are some reasons why it might be the best idea.
Two decades ago, London was the place to be. The bustling environment of city life was a haven of opportunity, both personal and professional. Students, graduates, young professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs had their sights set on the cool bars of Soho and classy ‘lunch and learns’ in the hotspots of the capital while enthusiastically scribing their first business plans on whatever napkin or beer mat happened to be available; it was the only place to be.
Co-op CEO Steve Murrells opened a round-table on 26th November with representatives from the Department for Education, National Apprenticeship Service, National Society of Apprentices and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The conversation focused on a brand new report, commissioned by the Co-op group, into the national apprenticeships programme with recommendations on change to government policy.
Of all the industries in the world, the jewellery business is one of the most traditional and old-fashioned. It is also the most reliant on direct interaction between master craftsmen and merchants. The most precious metals and stones in the world pass from hand to hand in a supply chain that has barely changed in hundreds of years.
As Britain’s high streets prepare to return to life in time for Christmas, small business owners have been given tips for coping with a still uncertain winter. This year’s Small Business Saturday - an annual celebration that encourages consumers to 'shop local' - couldn’t be better timed, with 5th December falling three days after the English national lockdown lifts.
If you own or run a small or medium sized business (SMB), chances are you’ve heard a lot about data: how it can give you new customer insights, tell you more about your staff, or help you make better business decisions. All of that may be true, but you’re also likely thinking about one key question: how does data help me boost my revenue?
One of the rules of a startup is that there’s always more to do than there are people to do it! Even when you are hiring, you have to remain lean and startups are usually moving from one round of funding to another. That means you cannot always deliver what you want, and usually, marketing is at the bottom of the list.
Starting a business is hard. You only need to look at the failure rate to confirm it. And that’s in a normal, non-pandemic year. For anyone starting out now or looking to do so soon the challenges are astronomical. This is because as well as all the normal startup hurdles involving financing, staffing, cash-flow and the like, businesses are beset with a legacy of COVID-19 and the wider economic ramifications it will leave.
Xilinx Ventures, the corporate venture programme of US technology company Xilinx, has invested over $125m in more than 30 global startup businesses over the last three years, covering technologies in data center, communications, machine learning, automotive, edge computing, and innovative silicon design. It therefore seemed an ideal port of call for this issue’s Startups Launchpad feature. We caught up with Sagi Paz, Head of Xilinx Ventures, and Patrick Rundell, Manager at Xilinx Ventures, to find out more.
From full national lockdown and the gradual easing of constraints, to a three-tiered regional system of restrictions and then back into another national lockdown. It’s been a long and arduous time for everyone since COVID-19 first reached our shores earlier this year, and even more so for the many hardworking business owners up and down the country trying to keep disconnected workforces operating smoothly.
Podcasts are a great way to build your brand and tell the story of your business. Over the past five years, there has been an explosion in the number of corporate and business podcasts available and with it a growth in engaged podcast audiences. According to a September 2019 Ofcom report over seven million people in the UK listen to podcasts each week, a 24% growth over the previous 12 months.
Mobile phones have become a basic necessity for everyone. With more than 3 Billion smartphone users in the world, equating to 4 out of every 10 people being equipped with smart technology, apps have become one of the fastest-growing markets in the IT industry. This creates infinite opportunities for businesses looking to break into or expand into the mobile realm.
Thousands of new businesses are setting up during the pandemic, a new report has revealed. 'How Startsups Can Kickstart The Economy', published by law-firm, Harper James Solicitors, details how 41,620 more incorporations happened in the first quarter of 2020 than in the first quarter of 2012. This represents an increase of almost a third (32.5%).
With CES 'going virtual' for 2021, one might think that opportunities for startups to launch their public and media presence in conjunction with the world’s largest showcase of consumer technology might fall by the wayside, but according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), just the opposite is true.
Customer service organisations need to prioritise business continuity plans to ensure their customer service efforts remain unaffected by any future disruption. That means investing in digital contact centre technology to emerge from the disruption with both customers and employee satisfaction intact.
Subscriptions seem to be everywhere around us these days; they are here, and they’re growing more than ever. The benefits of shifting to a subscription model is motivating many of today’s disruptive tech companies. Take a look at Apple, for instance; this is a company that used to be known for their premium consumer devices, and now they have expanded their business to offer additional services and subscriptions.
During lockdown, the UK Government awarded over £130m of grant funding for Research and Development (R&D) activity to innovative businesses and their collaborators in the United Kingdom. The awardees were from multiple sectors including creative, engineering, digital health, education and sustainable energy.
OVHcloud have announced a strategic partnership with Google Cloud to accelerate French and European organisations’ ability to digitally transform and reimagine their business. The partnership aims to bring cutting-edge technologies, built on trusted infrastructure, to European organisations to help them meet their growing needs for strict data controls, security, transparency and privacy while deploying cloud native applications. OVHcloud will introduce a new Hosted Private Cloud offering by bringing Google's open source-compatible Anthos technology to its own highly scalable dedicated infrastructure, fully operated and managed in Europe by OVHcloud teams.
Simply put, working in a team means collaborating with other people to achieve a common goal. This, of course, presents several benefits. For starters, working together in a project ensures that work is completed on time, hitting deadlines much easily. What’s more, a team pulls together people with different talents and skills, making problem-solving easier and enhancing creativity and innovation.
We are failing to meet our CO2 emission goals, seeing widespread overexploitation, and entering a sixth mass extinction event. This doesn’t bode well for a strong economic future. The science screams for urgent action, yet society seems to be slumped, dragging its feet towards a more sustainable future.
The word 'disruption' has long been a buzzword in startups and small businesses looking to take on larger rivals, often with a reputation for doing things a certain - old fashioned - way. The global energy market has been flooded with 'disruptors' while the multi-billion pound FinTech industry has long revelled in its 'challenger' moniker.
Hitachi Capital Business Finance recognise that the resilience and strength of the small business community lies in its diversity. We all too often read about how the average UK business is performing, how they are reacting to issues or planning for the future. In truth, there is no absolute average - rather the range and diversity of people setting up and running small businesses is what makes the sector so fascinating.
Since the beginning of the year, wellbeing has been a prominent topic of interest among Brits, in fact, searches for the term ‘wellbeing’ have increased by 257% in the past five months. As people continue to spend more time indoors, Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at FurnitureChoice.co.uk, explains how to create a calming oasis to maintain wellbeing at home.
A 32% increase in downloads in the last four weeks is a tangible indicator that planning is back at the top of the business agenda according to Plandisc, the world’s first digital, shareable and interactive circular planning tool. Usage has soared this Autumn with 60,000 customers across twenty countries worldwide.
The majority of small and medium-sized businesses believe there are financial opportunities in the shift to a greener economy and that they personally can benefit from them, according to new Opinium polling commissioned for a new report by The Entrepreneurs Network and the Enterprise Trust. The findings from the report, Green Entrepreneurship, challenge the historic assumption that pursuing sustainability is a hindrance to businesses and the economy.
The international pandemic has forced every founder to re-evaluate their strategy, urgently! I’ve paid close attention to the media and have noticed that the business model pivot topic has certainly been well covered. The article that surprised me the most, was one by Sifted that referenced a Station F survey of VC funded startups in Europe, the USA and Israel. The stat that grabbed me was this one: 80% of the startups involved had gone through some kind of business model pivot in the last few months. That’s a lot of change, especially considering that startups are also dealing with other challenges related to the pandemic.
Like pretty much everything else that has happened so far in 2020, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are going to look a bit different this year. When we think of Black Friday, we imagine bustling crowds swarming into shops and busy customers, battling to bag a bargain. This year, however, 70% of consumers say that they're not planning on returning to physical shops for the foreseeable future. This means retailers need to take an online-first approach to Black Friday.
Today’s workplace culture has many employees feeling the pressure to turn up to the office at all costs, even when ill; however, the global pandemic COVID-19 has shown it is more critical than ever for businesses to tackle the widespread challenge of 'presenteeism' especially when majority are working from home.
Company culture has a big effect on our overall happiness and wellbeing. A toxic workplace culture can impact someone so dramatically that it affects their performance and can create a ripple effect into their families’ lives. By having a supporting, caring and inspiring working environment, employee health is improved which impacts the business’ bottom line through increased productivity and the creation of positive brand ambassadors for your business.
AgileDisinfect is a new startup founded by graduates from the MBA programme at ESMT Berlin. It aims to tackle COVID-19, by disinfecting indoor spaces by using autonomous robotics and other advanced technologies. Startups Magazine spoke to Mouin EL-Khechen, Co-Founder and COO of AgileDisinfect to find out more.
The Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire all over the world and because of that, it’s becoming more and more difficult for businesses to keep their operations going. Since March this year, 40% of all businesses in the United States have been closed down because of the Coronavirus. Due to that, many businesses are faced with more challenges than usual.
Brexit immigration is one of the shocking events that shocked the world, specifically the UK citizens. The changes that have been foreseen due to these changes predict a huge transition in the economy and the country at large. As the decision was made in June 2016, the majority vote made the UK exit the European Union severely. The Brexit mainly affects the immigrants predominantly leaving them with terms and conditions that they need to follow, and this article highlights some of the impacts of this legal move.
It is hard to imagine a single business that has not suffered disruption and loss as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is therefore no surprise that business insurance and in particular, business interruption insurance, has become a subject of great importance recently in the boardrooms of so many UK businesses. Here, Jonathan Cole, Solicitor at Goodman Derrick LLP gives us this tips on obtaining effective business insurance.
Starting a business can seem like a daunting prospect, given that if you Google 'startups and fail', there are lots of articles on the percentage of startups that fail before they get going, which could put you off even getting started. However, by being well prepared and informed before you start the process, you may be able to avoid some of the common pitfalls and become one of the 2/10 startups that succeed.
In April 2020, the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 49.2% of adults in employment were working from home because of social distancing measures introduced following the COVID-19 pandemic. With remote working now a necessity for many, companies can adapt by staying on top of the latest trends. Here, Ashmita Das, CEO of Kolabtree, the freelance platform for scientists, discusses some of the trends in remote working.
My journey as an entrepreneur began, like many other entrepreneurs, with the realisation of a major and entrenched problem. In 2014, while working in the Medical Devices team at the World Health Organisation (WHO), I became aware of the magnitude of the global childhood pneumonia challenge. I was shocked that in the 21st century, a treatable condition still takes the lives of 1 million young children every year and is the number one killer of children under five years old globally.
After spotting a gap in the market, Stu Jolley and Simon Forster started a beauty brand with a difference; instead of creating products based on people’s insecurities, they would meet people’s genuine needs. They launched their first products in 2016 – a range of tattoo skin care now called Stories & Ink, and The Others Beauty Co. was born. We caught up with Stu and Simon about why they started their beauty business, the gap they saw in the industry, and why they recently pivoted to DTC despite successfully being stocked on retail shelves.
Lockdown changed the rulebook for how we live and work, for all of us. As entrepreneurs, we have the in-built advantage that we’re wired to manage uncertainty and finding solutions is our happy place. Only this time, it was without the backdrop of our gloriously airy EC2 co-working space, surrounded by my talented team and fuelled by yummy flat whites from the local coffee shop. It was happening from my home-office, in isolation, in a London that was quickly becoming unfamiliar.
There is no denying that 2020 has been an extremely difficult year for the healthcare industry. COVID-19 continues to bring challenges to the delivery of all aspects of hospital and community care and the need for innovation has, arguably, never been greater. Fortunately, the healthtech ecosystem in the UK is as vibrant as ever and entrepreneurs across the space have responded by working tirelessly to solve the problems thrust upon clinicians and patients.
Grabbing attention wherever possible is vital as a startup, particularly when it comes to your online marketing efforts, so it’s no surprise that you’re thinking about PPC — or pay-per-click — advertising. Unlike SEO, which takes time to produce results, PPC helps to create instant brand awareness and, when done well, generates all-important clicks. This can be an especially valuable part of your marketing strategy but not an easy one to pull off, and if you don’t put the work in, disappointing campaigns can be incredibly costly.
Social Good Connect is a unique digital platform connecting employers and their employees to volunteering opportunities. Charities need skilled help day in, day out, but they haven’t always got the time or resources to find it. Motivated, skilled volunteers are hard to come by. However, in any one city there are hundreds of businesses with potentially thousands of skilled volunteers who could solve that problem.
At a startup, you are most likely to come across Intellectual Property (IP) due diligence in the form of investors conducting due diligence prior to investing or from potential partners or collaborators seeking to work with your company or license in your IP. It is important to know what to expect so you can present your company in its best light. You may also wish to conduct your own IP due diligence on other companies prior to working with them or licensing them your technology.
Voice Assistants are the trendsetters for voice tech. They have revolutionised the way we live our lives. In 2019, the global user base of voice assistants was 3.25 billion. What might amaze you is that the same is estimated at almost eight billion units, that is, even more than the global population! Here ICarta Technologies tells us more about the voice technology landscape.
Vectorious is a Tel Aviv based healthtech startup which has developed the first wireless and battery-less in-heart microcomputer. The device, called the V-LAP, identifies deterioration in heart failure patients even before the onset of symptoms. We spoke to Oren Goldshetin, CEO at Vectorious to learn more about them.
COVID-19 has made history by affecting each industry in the world. From the lockdown that caused the closure of businesses to people adapting to work from home, there is a need to identify strategies of how businesses will be run going forward. The pandemic has disrupted how people socialise as well as their shopping patterns. To adapt to this new normal, business owners have to make significant adjustments to reach out to their customers or less they risk failure.
Did you know that the first Saturday in October is traditionally Ostomy Day? You probably wouldn’t unless you or someone you love has an ostomy. According to an NHS report, it is estimated that over 13,500 people in the UK have stoma surgery each year. The most common conditions resulting in stoma surgery are colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and accidental injury.
Rising Stars 3.0 is the UK’s most exciting competition for innovative, early-stage tech companies. Designed to showcase the best the country has to offer, we provide the platform for businesses from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to shine bright. Startups will benefit from significant profile raising on both a national and international level, as well as the opportunity to put their business in front of leading investors, influencers and corporates.
A woman’s work is never done. This phrase is now more poignant than ever as we grapple with the new realities posed by the current pandemic. It is, however, especially true for successful female entrepreneurs who are left dealing with the struggles of everyday life whilst trying to run a thriving business.
Code First Girls, the UK social enterprise working to close the gender gap in technology, has today announced it has surpassed its 2017 campaign goal to teach over 20,000 young women how to code in the UK and Ireland. Over the past three years, Code First Girls has become the largest provider of free coding courses for women, having delivered over £14m worth of free technology education. The announcement comes at a critical time to close the IT skills gap, only 19% of those pursuing Computer Science at higher education level are women.
2020 has been the most stressful year in history for the global workforce and people want robots to help, according to a new study by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence, an HR research and advisory firm. The study of more than 12,000 employees, managers, HR leaders, and C-level executives across 11 countries found that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased workplace stress, anxiety, and burnout for people all around the world, and they prefer AI robots instead of other people to help.
The international outlook for R&D is remarkably promising despite strong headwinds, according to research released today by Ayming Group, the business performance consultancy specialising in innovation. Ayming’s second annual International Innovation Barometer (IIB) reveals that R&D departments are being empowered by the creation of innovation ecosystems, new funding methods, and the deployment of technology.
In my previous blog, I considered the steps necessary for business leaders to close the gap between rhetoric and reality on racial equity at work. This time, I wanted insight on what is actually happening on the frontline. I sat down with award-winning business strategist and founder of The Black British Business Awards, Melanie Eusebe. She has risen to the upper- echelons of the corporate world, and in our broad conversation offered her perspectives on corporate responsibility, solidarity, and how we sustain the current momentum.
Some people are doing very well out of the pandemic - the fraudsters. That’s because the chaos COVID-19 has caused makes it far easier for them to operate. Have you increasingly been asked to provide personal data to strangers since March? Have you changed any of your habits? Gordon Ramsey himself couldn’t have created a more perfect recipe for rising fraud. How can you make yourself as safe as possible and if you have been a victim, what should you do next?
Konglomerate games is a video games company specializing in providing healthcare and other serious game development or gamification services. What that means for us, is taking the best bits of video games and applying them to other non-video game scenarios like education, where the main focus isn’t only entertainment. Our current project is a video game designed around the physiotherapy care of children with cystic fibrosis.
The startup world is no stranger to fleeting fads. We’ve seen an influx of monthly subscription boxes, e-commerce savings communities, and even a rise in nostalgic games like Pokemon Go. While those were all fun and games while they lasted, users eventually lost interest and moved onto the next shiny thing.
2020 has required businesses, specifically young startups, to evolve and adapt in so many ways to successfully navigate such unprecedented challenges. With the world shifting towards remote working, company culture has become more important than ever. VC-backed startup HomeHero is on a mission to transform how people manage their homes, all whilst juggling the delicate challenge of retaining company culture when the team is growing fast and personalities are joining HomeHero, remotely, every other week.
Challenger supplier and Which? Recommended Provider, So Energy, has today topped Citizens Advice’s latest domestic energy supplier rankings with a score of 4.6. The quarterly rankings table (covering Q2 2020) scores suppliers out of 5 for overall customer service and considers complaints data, call waiting times, bill accuracy, bill timeliness and switching timeliness.
We are facing multiple attacks on the working world as we used to know it. Technological disruption has forced change into almost all industries. COVID-19, the climate emergency and the need to take Diversity & Inclusion seriously is forcing fledgling companies to adapt at lightning speed if they are going to survive, let alone thrive.
Our latest issue, Women in Tech and Female Founders is just around around the corner, so for our next event, which is now going to be held digitally on Thursday 15th October, we will be donating all profits to the Young Women's Trust a feminist charity set out to help young women. We spoke to Laura Perkins, Director of Fundraising at Young Women's Trust to find out a little more about the organisation.
When it comes to reimagining what the events industry will look like in the near future, these are the four things we should be thinking about according to Wolves Summit’s Vice-President, Mike Chaffe. Mike grew Wolves Summit to become one of the largest tech conferences in CEE. In March this year, when most tech events were put on hold, he made the decision to organise Wolves Summit 11th as a fully virtual event. Over 1,500 participants, 600 startups, and 300 investors tuned in online to be part of the former edition. Since then the Wolves Summit team has also organised other events on behalf of some of the largest organisations in Poland and worldwide. Wolves Summit now offers technical support to CEE & CIS based Hopin clients. Hopin is an event software that has recently secured $40M in funding. We spoke to Mike to find out more about the future of events.
According to research from outsourcing provider, Woven, more than three-quarters (78%) of consumers trust online reviews when it comes to making a purchase. As UK businesses continue to manage the fallout from lockdown, customer service experts from Woven have revealed the significant impact that positive reviews could have in helping small businesses recover.
In September 2020, Citigroup bank appointed a female CEO. Why is this big news? Because in doing so, the firm became the first big Wall Street bank to do so. Barriers are being broken down by female trailblazers in all walks of society and even traditionally masculine environments are being transformed into more balanced ones where everyone, regardless of their gender, has an equal chance at success.
Throughout the pandemic, SMEs have had to adapt to survive - which has been no mean feat. In many cases, technology has proved to be essential in keeping operations running during lockdown. Whether it be shifting entire workplaces to remote working, or using video conferencing tools and cloud accounting software, small businesses have been relying on tech more than ever before.
It’s no secret that women are still widely underrepresented in the gaming industry, particularly when it comes to video and mobile game development. Whilst this has been historically accounted to the common misconception that gaming is a predominantly masculine hobby, women actually make up a significant amount of the industry, representing nearly half of hyper-casual gamers.
Bounce Back loans, the most popular HM Treasury support measure, used by SMEs are running low, finds the latest insights1 from fintech business lender, MarketFinance. These SMEs are aware they can get more HM Treasury support by applying for larger loans through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) but did not know the deadline was end of this month.
Just when the lockdown period seemed to be drawing to a close, cases of Coronavirus took a sharp upwards turn and local lockdowns were enforced. Already, almost ten million people in the UK have been confined to their homes once again. Nationally, too, restrictions have tightened and fears of a second lockdown period are circulating as Health Secretary Matt Hancock refuses to rule out the possibility of another strict set of restrictions being brought in.
When you’re building something from the ground up, it’s essential to have a strong foundation for support right from the start. Your business needs to have one main idea you can use to create a brand identity, to generate strong branding and to produce an effective brand development strategy to reach your goals.
Xero is calling on the government to step in on tech adoption for small firms after its report reveals the impact on the post-pandemic recovery. The resilience and recovery of a small business is acutely impacted by how digitally enabled they are, according to Xero’s new report on the global impact of COVID-19.
A rise in startups born during the pandemic is hugely positive but also not surprising. We’ve had more time to think and do and explore new avenues, particularly where existing business models or employment have ceased to exist. Necessity truly is the mother of invention. But while the pandemic has created new opportunities, the lending environment for startups looks set to be challenging.
As we carry on focusing on female founders and women in tech, we decided to catch up with Kristy Chong, CEO & Founder of Modibodi, a femtech startup that provides people of all ages and body types all around the world with access to reusable and sustainable underwear, swimwear, active wear and maternity wear.
Boosting employee morale is one of the most crucial topics that every leader should consider when finding ways to steer their small businesses to grow exponentially. Low morale can result in poor cooperation, low productivity, and augmented turnover. Several studies have demonstrated that focusing on enhancing morale in the workplace can have a tremendous impact on a company’s growth.
Back in 2015, representatives from nations all around the world met to sign an initiative that would help combat the damaging effects of climate change. This very first globally collective effort in terms of reducing greenhouse emissions, to which 179 countries have formally agreed their commitment, focusses on limiting the rise in global temperature increases by two degrees above its preindustrial measurement.
The return to the office has sparked some interesting debate. Our own research has found that individuals are more concerned about their work-life balance and having to commute than the impact of COVID-19 to their health. And similar themes have been explored around the attitudes of staff in different countries and why the UK is lagging with a proposed return compared to European counterparts.
Founders typically establish a business with one of two game plans in mind. They either want a lifestyle business and one that fits their work life balance, or they want to build a business and grow it with the ultimate goal of building something of value that they can exit when the time is right for them. For any founder seeking to raise finance for their company, or to sell it, whether a lifestyle one or one with more ambitious plans, there will always be the need for a valuation.
In this era where life is fast-paced, customers’ demand and needs keep changing at a rapid rate. If your company is to consistently meet these needs, then it must be equipped to keep changing as the market dictates. In addition, competition is tough, and others are waiting to take advantage of where you are slacking off. If you are to survive the competition, remaining innovative is the only survival tactic. In fact, you should always anticipate future demands and work towards meeting them. That way, you stay a step ahead of the competition.
Here, Startups Magazine’s Lanna Cooper speaks to former NHS surgeon, Dr Owain Rhys Hughes, who handed in his stethoscope after 18 years in medicine to tackle the UK’s broken referrals system, which he noticed was costing the NHS valuable time, money and resources and was contributing to long waiting times.
London’s entrepreneurs have been given a welcome boost thanks to funding from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Virgin Group. The funding will support the not-for-profit organisation - Virgin StartUp – to run its Ready Steady Grow programme which is aimed at supporting London based founders. The funding is valued at £1.7m over three years, half of this will be funded by the Virgin Group with the GLA funds matching the contribution. The extension is distributed by the GLA from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
ATI Boeing Accelerator has opened applications for its second cohort, to invest into sustainability-enabling startups that will benefit the UK aerospace industry across three key areas of focus: Industry 4.0, Lifecycle and Resilience, and Energy. Launched last year, the accelerator was created in partnership by the Aerospace Technology Institute and Boeing, and is delivered by European accelerator Ignite. GKN Aerospace is a corporate sponsor and more partners will be announced in the upcoming months.
British startups Jiva Materials (featured recently on Startups Magazine) and SoluBlue have been awarded a place in the final for the 2020 Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge. The two startups, working to tackle some of the most challenging types of waste pollution, have won at least €100,000 each and are now in the running for the €500,000 grand prize.
It is often said that turnover is vanity and profit is sanity. But, even more importantly, do not forget that cash is king. Put simply, businesses fail because they do not have enough cash or other liquid assets to pay their bills or meet their immediate obligations. So, whilst increasing turnover and growing profitability are what every business owner is aiming to achieve, it is crucial to still have a very strong focus on cash flow and the levels of cash in the business.
Around the world, fertility rates are falling dramatically. Researchers have described the decline as “jaw-dropping” and the impact that it is going to have on societies is difficult to fathom. According to their research, nearly every country is set to see a serious decline in the number of babies being born. To make the shift even more monumental, the worldwide population is also ageing dramatically, and many countries are likely to see as many people turning 80 as there are being born.
It’s received wisdom that successful startups solve real world problems. But there’s a commonly overlooked footnote to this mantra: you can’t try to solve a problem unless you’ve lived it first. Because without gaining the authentic understanding of lived experience, you’ll never find a solution that works in practice as well as in theory.
Before any business is established the founder will of course have spotted a gap in the market, thought of the original idea, conducted research, and come up with the MVP. Taking these basic thoughts and then forming a business around them, with all the necessary steps that regular readers will now be very familiar with, does of course take considerable time and effort.
Superstrata’s 3D printed e-bike, and traditional bike has soared past the company's initial crowdfunding target, hitting £3.3M in pre-orders as more than 2,800 backers from 66 countries have supported the project so far, and due to demand has decided to extend the campaign until Saturday 12 September 2020.
As much as we hate this phrase, Babble was born in the cloud. We don’t have any fixed technology so naturally, when Boris gave the order to stay at home our business found it easy to adapt. Our employees work, collaborate and communicate around one central platform, available on any device, anywhere. Our contact centre isn’t fixed to an office with phones and headsets, and our cyber security isn’t something we ever need to worry about.
As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, many employers are having to think about how they go about bringing back employees to the office, and what this might look like in the future. Anthony Rose, CEO and co-founder of SeedLegals here gives his take on what London's top startups are saying about the office.
The words ‘martech’ and ‘Marketing Technology’ constantly get thrown around a lot. According to research conducted by the martech Alliance, they’re used some 678.7k times a year - but it begs the question… how often are they being used correctly? For anyone who is unfamiliar with the word ‘martech’, it is otherwise known as marketing technology, and it is the term for the software and tech tools that marketers leverage to plan, execute and measure marketing campaigns.
It is that time again! Here is the next article in our series with Liverpool-based tech cofoundery Nova, and this week's startup in the spotlight is picturepath - a digital visual timeline developed to be used by children with Special Educational Needs in classrooms and at home. We spoke to Founder Richard Nurse.
According to a new report by global recruiter, Robert Walters and data provider, Vacancysoft - 'Cybersecurity: Building Business Resilience' - UK SME’s are at risk of 65,000 cyber security attacks daily - with around 4,500 of these being successful - and the figure could be much higher since the beginning of COVID-19.
When you consider just how much of our daily lives is now dominated by electronics, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that globally, e-waste is now the fastest growing waste stream – a problem exacerbated by the fact that we are living in an increasingly ‘smarter’ world where electronics are now integral and essential to daily life, while at the same time, are infinitely more disposable.
Over the past few months, most businesses have had to rethink how they operate and how they reach their customers. At the same time, there’s been drastic changes in customer behaviour, with huge increases in online purchases. For example, Shopify saw a 68% MoM growth of UK consumers estimated to make a purchase online from a UK Shopify merchant for the first time in April 2020.
Artificial Intelligence, VR, AR and machine learning are all some of the hot topics at the moment, especially as our latest issue has a strong focus on AI and emerging technologies, so we thought there isn't a better time to catch up with Andrson, a sound-driven A&R platform, which is a brand new AI and machine learning-powered tool using sound-based search to connect emerging artists to the right industry professionals.
Talking all things AI and new and emerging technologies at the moment, as we prepare for our next issue - out tomorrow! Startups Magazine spoke to Andy Baggott, Marketing Manager at Kafoodle - a fast-growing food tech company launched in 2016 with the goal to simplify food safety and kitchen compliance, helping the hospitality industry manage their ingredients, recipes and allergen information.
In the second episode in our mini-series with Nova, a Liverpool-based tech cofoundery that partners with entrepreneurs to turn ideas into successful, scalable tech startups, in sectors including healthtech, fintech and edtech, Startups Magazine caught up with Bharat Vasandani, Founder of ParentCare.
The debate around the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what it means for humanity is very much alive. It probably has been since 1927, the year Metropolis was released. If you haven’t seen it, the film stars a humanoid robot intent on world domination and human slavery. As you can imagine the robot doesn’t go down too well, and so began our difficult and ever-evolving relationship with AI.
In many ways, startup leaders are the envy of the business world. They are able to create an appealing workplace culture that works employees across different generations, and can attract the best talent. Problems are often solved through creative thinking while there’s typically a flat hierarchy and open communication channels.
Budding entrepreneurs looking to build something new for social good after COVID-19 could find the ideal partner and supporter via the Impact Central accelerator programme, mentor network and angel investor platform. The six-month programme is designed to help new businesses that will help rebuild society and the environment, as the UK tries to find a future beyond COVID-19.
Blenheim Chalcot, the UK-based digital venture builder, and Imperial College London welcomed its first business members to Scale Space on Imperial’s White City campus this week. This new 200,000ft2 facility, will be home to scale ups and innovative businesses across the technology, digital and life-sciences sectors.
I’m going to focus on digital products/services in this article, increasing the contribution of digital products/services only makes more sense for any business in a COVID-19 and post COVID-19 world. All things being equal to grow post COVID-19 we need to manage at least one aspect of the digital customer life cycle better than we were doing before COVID-19.
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has caused large-scale disruption to businesses worldwide, remote working has been a shining example of how to ensure ‘business as usual’, particularly in areas such as customer service. If Gartner predictions are correct that over 40% of all employees will continue remote working post-COVID, businesses must redefine remote working by ensuring customer service staff - contact centre agents and supervisors - are equipped with fit-for-purpose technology to ensure they deliver a truly first-class service to the customer. Anne-Meine Gramsma, Chief Commercial Officer at ContactCenter4ALL, explains.
Forty nine percent of employers are planning to stagger return to work based on employees’ own health risks related to COVID-19, whilst 46% will be staggering employees return depending on how critical their role is to the business. The next most popular strategy is the creation of smaller work groups (40%), followed by changing work hours (34%), a voluntary return scheme (33%), and splitting shifts (28%).
Much like any relationship, co-founders start their journey together full of optimism and excitement for the future. Falling out is far from their minds. But, with research showing that as many as 65% of promising startups fail because of founder disputes, smart founders should put a plan in place to deal with disputes.
As the UK high street continues to battle for survival in the aftermath of lockdown, new data shows that online retail sales are up 72% year-on-year in the UK. It’s the latest evidence that our retail future is going to be online-first, and hence it’s no surprise that, across the country, many independent retailers are shifting their businesses into the digital domain to stay in touch with changing consumer preferences.
Commercial real estate, HR and technology professionals are focused on finding innovative ways to meet the challenges of a post-COVID workplace through safe and effective back to work strategies. John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices, considers what this means for businesses heading back into the office.
The drive for businesses to make positive changes around inclusion and diversity in the workplace is now more important than it ever was before. To encourage businesses to take stand against discrimination and drive forward a progressive future, global workplace providers, Instant Offices have gathered and analysed data into what diversity and inclusion looks like around the world.
Following the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, we have seen widespread business closures, pay cuts, reduced hours, and redundancies, resulting in many workers looking for a new venture. Today, LinkedIn is one of the go-to platforms for budding job hunters searching for a new role, therefore the competition is high. To help those looking to enter a new career field, online educational platform, Preply has provided tips on the things to consider when messaging a recruiter on LinkedIn.
Action, Allies, Achievements, and Accountability are the cornerstones of a strategy for achieving diversity goals. As the CEO of Hyve Dynamics, Cecilia Harvey works with the leadership team to ensure that diversity and inclusion is reflected in our strategy and operations. She does this, not just because she is passionate about it, or because the tech industry is one of the least diverse, but because it makes both moral and commercial sense.
A new index by Business Fibre has analysed 34 of the world’s Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) capital cities to find 2020’s best cities to be a tech student. The index has analysed each city according to metrics such as the number of universities offering technology and engineering courses, total tech companies and employees in each city, the monthly living cost and the top cities investing in tech-related research. An infographic is available here.
Online shopping is arguably one of the best inventions out there. Nothing beats that feeling of joy when your parcel arrives! But what about the times when your parcel isn’t successfully delivered and you arrive home to find a ‘sorry we missed you’ card through your letterbox? iParcelBox solves the problem of missed deliveries, providing a smart, secure and weatherproof parcel delivery solution that users can monitor and control from their smartphone.
Whilst social media and too much screen time can increase the risk of depression and anxiety, technology can also have positive outcomes on our mental wellbeing too - even in our busy digital world. Many us will be familiar and fond of clever apps like Headspace, Calm and Stop, Breathe & Think which can offer support with a number of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Here Natasha Bougourd from TSG, chats to Startups Magazine about tech aiding stress in the workplace.
This crisis period has proven what so many of us in our industry already knew. The UK manufacturing industry is and always has been resilient and adaptable, and has continued to grow even in times of trouble. Overall, the UK’s industrial sector has increased by 1.4% a year since 1948, according to the ONS. Much of this has been down to the fact that we always adapted and moved forward fast; year on year we shifted production from low to high productivity goods, invested more in research and development and adopted automation and technology.
A crisis seems an unlikely time to use for improving growth, but for many startups there’s an unexpected opportunity to slow down and refocus their growth and marketing plans on their fundamental, long term growth opportunity. It’s crucial for startups to build resilience and a path towards sustainable growth by building the right growth marketing framework and strengthening customer relationships.
In the COVID-19 era many people are taking the opportunity to organise and simplify their home working spaces, making good use of the ample time at home. But de-cluttering your virtual space - including your computer/laptop, phone, cloud storage, etc - is just as important as de-cluttering your physical space.
The amount of information we are exposed to exceeds our ability to process it. Out of the about 70,000 thoughts we have per day, our short term memory can hold no more than seven for only about 20 to 30 seconds. How does this relate to branding? Our long-term memory stores our associations with specific brands which is also ultimately the desired effect of marketing campaigns or PR activities - for people to remember your company (or you as a person!) when in need of the products or services you provide.
The home kitchen and dining area have become the most lucrative money making locations in Britain, that combined are generating £37.4bn to the British economy during lockdown - that’s being coined as ‘Kitchen Table Talent’. The research commissioned by Attic Self Storage, revealed that although restrictions are being lifted, 41% of office workers are expected to continue their jobs from home, with 44% saying it’s the most productive place they have ever worked.
Are you working at home and struggling to maintain productivity? For the majority of Brits currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for those looking to do more home working in the future, flexible office specialist, Workthere, has shared 10 tips on how you can create an office space that leads to maximum productivity.
The current situation has taught us a lot of valuable lessons, particularly about the true power of digital. With brands like Primark reducing their revenue to zero as a result of having no e-commerce strategy and B2B businesses that previously relied on trade shows forced to transfer online, the value of having a strong digital brand presence is now more important than ever before.
Today, many businesses are executing large-scale digital transformation efforts to keep up with the changing market demands and fast-paced competitors. In fact, a global survey conducted by McKinsey discovered that more than 80% of respondents stated their organisations have undertaken such efforts in the past five years.
Whilst the UK implements strategies to gradually return to life as normal, the question on everyone’s mind is how we plan to do this safely and effectively. With the process of working from home potentially coming to an end in the foreseeable future, regardless of what sector individuals work in, new safety precautions are essential to put in place to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers remain strong.
Lockdown is beginning to end, but changes in how we do business have only just begun. One country that might be able to shed some light on the upcoming unknown is Germany - having had their ‘Super Saturday’ back in April. Germany has already tackled the next economic phase that small businesses (SMEs) in the UK will have to adapt to.
Even in the bleakest of times, entrepreneurs have found a way to innovate and create disruptive products that have enhanced our daily lives or solved a problem. Take the humble chocolate chip cookie, baked for the first time after the Great Depression. During a period of severe economic hardship, this new treat offered some richness and comfort and remains immensely popular to this day.
Over the past few months, the world of business has been turned upside down due to COVID-19. During such unprecedented times, maintaining customer confidence and loyalty is a key focus for companies. The way in which businesses manage its customers throughout uncertain times is often the difference between losing or retaining clients, and ultimately business survival.
The COVID-19 pandemic has massively accelerated the pace of change in the business world. Leaders and employees have had to adapt to operate in a challenging environment, where the only certainty is change. Not only have organisations had to rapidly adjust to the changing needs of its people, customers and suppliers, but it has also navigated the financial and operational challenges. This has led to many businesses prioritising the now, focusing on reshaping its operations to stabilise revenue and align with short term demand.
No Isolation was founded with the aim of reducing loneliness and social isolation through the creation and implementation of warm technology. Following the success of its first product, the AV1 telepresence avatar, designed to tackle loneliness amongst children and young adults affected by long-term illness, the company brought its second product, KOMP, to the UK in 2019. KOMP - a one button communication device, designed to connect seniors with their wider family unit - has been bought by 3,300 families across Europe.
With all the doom and gloom currently out there, especially for a lot of startups and small businesses, Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars created the Summer Startup Fellowship this year in response to obstacles created, and elevated, by the coronavirus pandemic for current college students and recent graduates. The Fellowship program was developed in March of this year in response to the impacts of coronavirus on student job, internship, and entrepreneurship opportunities (50% - 60% of which were dropped or rescinded).
One of the biggest trends in software development has been the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS). With SaaS, vendors and customers follow a pay-as-you-go subscription model, which eliminates the large upfront payment and aligns their incentives more easily: vendors get more recurring revenue while customers are freed from having to host and maintain their own applications.
A call has been launched for applications to the Startup Leadership Program London 2021. The Startup Leadership Program (SLP) is a not-for-profit organisation which exists to support entrepreneurs on their path to success and make our world a better place. It is also part of the world's largest network of entreprenuers!
Just as monetising mobile was the biggest opportunity of the previous decade, monetising the 3D worlds is the biggest opportunity of the next decade. It’s time to get onboard. From radio to telephone, TV to desktop computer and now mobile, the last 150 years have been filled with technological progress that has transformed our private and professional lives. Today, we are approaching another media transition: spatial computing - commonly known as immersive technology, XR or VR/AR.
Recently I connected with a non-profit civic engagement company called New Union to create a 'tactical urbanism toolkit.' Its aim is to bridge the gaps between governments and their citizens, starting conversations, and ultimately teaching communities that they can and should enact change within their communities – often for little or no cost.
We’re ending our leadership series by taking inspiration from the 1989 film ‘Field of Dreams’ and focusing on your role as a leader in creating a place where people love to work. If you’ve got a vision for what you want your business to look and feel like, you play a significant part in helping to create the environment so that people can deliver that vision and more.
Britain’s small businesses achieved three years of innovation in just three months as they battled to keep trading during the coronavirus lockdown. While such efforts to keep revenues flowing have been successful for some owners, concerns about employment prospects and future investment remain for many as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
We live in changing times. Rapidly changing times. Times always change and move forward but what has been remarkable recently has been the fact that the speed of change continues to increase year on year. It is no surprise, therefore, that many founders, both first time entrepreneurs and serial entrepreneurs, often ask themselves, and me, ‘where do I go from here?’
The world is changing and what we witnessed in the last months all over the world is the creation of a stronger sense of community: people supporting each other and companies getting together to fight the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The old world is over, as its rules. The new world is going to be different, with new rules.
Let’s not beat about the bush: social media has tonnes of benefits. It empowers people to stay connected across huge distances, it has kept people motivated during crises such as the coronavirus pandemic (you thought you could read a blog without that being mentioned?), it empowers quick and simple customer service, and for businesses, it’s a free way to demonstrate your brand values.
Driving disruption, embracing change and new ideas and generally just jostling for place at the bleeding edge of innovation has always been part and parcel for any company in the tech industry, particularly at the startup stage. But how do tech companies ensure they’re always one step ahead, and how do they create agility and disruptive thinking at the strategic leadership level?
2019 was a record breaking year for VC investment in UK startups ($13.2bn, an increase of 44% compared to the previous year) and the amount of VC dry powder in Europe is higher than ever before(more last year’s raises here). Success stories of companies raising millions without a formal pitch deck (Hopin, an online events platform) or still in beta and during lockdown (Clubhouse, a voice-based social media app) do sound inspiring.
With the IMF warning that the ‘Great Lockdown’ global recession will be the worst since the Great Depression, organisations are being forced to reset and reinvent faster than ever before. The race is on for entrepreneurs and business owners to craft new plans, develop new products and deliver new solutions in order to survive.
Quickly responding to the impact COVID-19 and lockdowns are having on tech startups, Capital Enterprise has collaborated with OneTech and Mindful Team, with support from J.P. Morgan, to launch the Startup Resilience programme. Over six months, startup founders will be provided everything from webinars and community slack channels, to mastermind sessions and accountability groups, to be helped through this period of uncertainty.
With almost 11 weeks of lockdown in the UK, we have only just got to grips with our new working conditions. Now, with lockdown restrictions slowly beginning to ease, offices are planning for reopening. A new ‘blended’ model of working will become the norm, with some employees always working from home, in the office or a combination of both.
Wearables allow users to monitor their health, receive alerts for potential health issues, and preemptively contact a doctor. With many people housebound during COVID-19, wearables help people track daily exercise habits and maintain a healthy lifestyle while many gyms remain closed. Here, Emily Clark, Content Developer for The Manifest looks at the market for healthcare wearables and discusses how people use wearables for healthcare and the limitations of these wearable devices.
The world is now facing a public health crisis known as Covid-19 and a financial crisis. The crisis on our hands manifests differently for individuals and companies. The uncertainty over our ability to revert to our normal state creates pressures on mental health, relationships, and business performance.
Europe’s AI ecosystem is consistent with many of the continent’s other expanding startups, with the UK emerging as the most dynamic country for AI: that’s according to new research from PNY Europe in collaboration with 33INSIGHTS. The UK leads the pack with 529 incorporated companies (27%), followed by France with 424 (21%) and Germany with 182 (9%).
When you are trying to navigate the management of a business in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s all too easy to neglect the maintenance of your company culture. Yes, it’s true that other priorities might seem more pressing right now; after all, your clients and suppliers won’t be sending you impatient emails demanding to know how you plan to safeguard your internal team relationships.
In the midst of a global pandemic our leaders are necessarily focused on the immediate. Survival - in life and in work. Entrepreneurs and executives alike are shoring up business, optimising current operations and cashflow; the need to stay afloat taking precedence over the long view. But with the passing of this crisis, may there come a sustained shift in values?
For all businesses operating in the digital arena, there has long been an advantage to be gleaned from better understanding how your customers behave online. Can you identify which website visitors are on the verge of clicking ‘buy’? Can you spot a disgruntled customer desperately searching around an online FAQ for the product support they require? Is it possible to determine whether a prospective subscriber is ready to commit, or whether they need further incentives to push them over the line?
As companies across the globe are closing their physical offices, the business world has transformed dramatically within just a matter of months. More emphasis is placed on business being conducted online. For example, retailers, IT service providers and even personal trainers are utilising their online platforms and video chat software to remain engaged with their customers.
When starting a business it’s easy to get consumed by P&L and that all-important bottom line (understandably so), but as Sezer Sherif, Founder and CEO of brokerage and investment advisory firm Vector Capital Group explains, that doesn’t mean you can’t build a business with a strong code of ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Echo is an online NHS pharmacy which allows patients to order prescriptions directly to their door - and during COVID this has been invaluable for people who are self-isolating and can't risk a trip to bricks-and-mortar pharmacies for the sake of their health. Ana Maria Ciubotaru, Operations Manager at Echo spoke to Startups Magazine about how the team have had to work extraordinarily hard, shifting dispensing and dispatching operations to 24 hours a day, six days a week.
If I was to tell you that water is the most used material in the world, I doubt you’d be surprised. However, if I asked you what material comes second in that list you may be left scratching your head. Plastic? Copper? Carbon Fibre? Good guesses all. However, you’d be wrong – it’s actually concrete.
The founders of Bulb, a green gas and electricity supplier, met five years ago when they were both working in the energy industry and disillusioned with the way the industry treats its customers and how much businesses were charging for renewable energy. Hayden Wood and Amit Gudka are aiming to make the industry better with Bulb by making energy simpler, cheaper and greener.
You know you need cloud skills within your startup, you have prepared the job spec for the right person (see our Cloud Skills Startip for details), and now you want to make sure that the world knows you are looking for this person and that your startup is the best place to work on earth. And preferably, you don’t want to spend a penny finding that person, because your startup is a lean startup. So how do you do this?
We’ve all seen ultrasound images, undoubtedly so if you’re a parent. And while the technology is used for a multitude of other healthcare-related reasons, the procedure has traditionally been the same, involving the patient having to pay a visit to a hospital. However, this could be about to change with the growth of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). Here, Startups Magazine speaks to Nevada Sanchez, Co-Founder of Butterfly Network, a company pioneering such technology.
The world is embarking on a period of great technological innovation. This means that innovators themselves need a place where they can grow their ideas. Technology startups are fast becoming a growth area for semiconductor manufacturers, as they are often at the coal face of design innovation, pioneering the journey towards the fourth industrial revolution.
Many startups know what building a culture means in their startup, and most founders will - smartly - work to prioritise that closely to ensure their company culture is warm, positive, and creative. But few know what building a digital culture means. Without a digital culture, your business will struggle to scale, and will struggle to expand internationally. It’s often ignored and that means you can make it a real positive difference between you and your competitors.
ÜberEnergy develops artificial intelligence algorithms that predict energy requirements for residential and commercial buildings. The artificial intelligence engine uses information such as weather patterns and forecasts, current indoor and outside temperature, human building occupancy, electrical usage patterns, along with a myriad of other data points collected by the system to produce predictions of future energy consumption requirements.
The government’s £500m Future Fund is now open for applications with innovative and high growth British businesses able to secure investment to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak. UK-based startups can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5m, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries.
Space Forge, the organisation leading the space manufacturing revolution, has secured a £600k of funding package from the Development Bank of Wales, alongside Bristol Private Equity Club and Innovate UK. This funding will help the company continue developing their reusable manufacturing satellite, ramp up their capability in Newport, Wales and Bristol and build upon UK and European partnership schemes.