Small Business Advice | Banks join forces to lend to businesses

The British Banking Association (BBA) has announced plans to form a new taskforce in a bid to stimulate lending to UK businesses. The group, lead by Stephen Green, head of the BBA, has sent a letter to George Osbourne outlining plans to form a group to discuss how the banks can improve businesses’ access to funds. The group will also investigate what changes can be made to create a stronger financial market for business. To read the full story, visit the Growing Business website.

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Small business Advice | 18 places to indulge in face-to-face business networking

Networking can be a great way for business owners to meet with new prospects and re-connect with others they already know, offering the chance to build relationships of partnerships, referrals and resources. So, if you’re looking to network with likeminded entrepreneurs but you don’t know where to start, check out  Real Business’ 18-point guide to finding great business networking events.

networking

Small Business News | London 2012 athletes need help from UK SME’s

An article featured in Real Business announced that with two years to go until the opening of the 2012 Olympics, small and medium enterprises (SME’s) are being asked to support the Team 2012 fund.

The campaign, championed by entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne, to spearhead this scheme is called “Our Team 2012” and aims to raise £15m to provide up to 1,200 Team GB athletes with training and equipment in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics. All in all around 750 firms will be asked to pay £9,900 per annum to take part in a two year programme. Sponsorship provides SME’s the chance to meet athletes, gain access to prestigious venues such as the House of Lords, be invited to networking and black tie events and allowing them to display a special “Team 2012” logo on their website and in their e-mail signatures. Alongside the aforementioned benefits there is talk that association with the Olympics could result in new business opportunities for those taking part. Money raised by the initiative will be used to fund coaching, training and competition support, medical and scientific services, equipment and access to the best facilities for Team GB.

For more information on the programme or to see the article in full, please visit the Real Business website.

Small Business News | New badge for business-savvy scouts

A new wave of business-savvy individuals are creating a competition for the UK’S entrepreneurs and business owners. However instead of suits they wear neckerchiefs and baseball caps and instead of attending board meetings they prefer to go camping! That’s right, Reuters has just announced that from Thursday of this week, a new badge will be created for Scouts to encourage entrepreneurship.

Now, along with the usual badges for knot-tying and map-reading, this new badge encourages scouts to add business start-ups to their repertoire, encouraging the younger generation to enjoy commerce and figures as well as camp songs and sports. The badge is multimillionaire Richard Harpin‘s brainchild. The founder and chief executive of domestic insurance company Homeserve has put up 50,000 pounds to fund it.

Even the idea behind the badge has a Dragons Den influence, with one activity having the teenage scouts presenting their business ideas to a Dragons’ Den-style panel. However this move is deemed slightly controversial for traditionalists who are unhappy that values like environmental knowledge and practical outdoor skills may be preceded by business plans. The first four scouts to receive this badge will be a group of Scouts from Lichfield who set up a mobile barbecue business.

To see the full articles please visit Reuters website

Small Business News | Peter Jones voted top Dragon by SME’s

In a survey of 500 UK entrepreneurs, Dragons Den Peter Jones has been named the most admired Dragon by UK small and medium enterprises.

Conducted by SME telecom specialist XLN Telecom, Peter Jones received 31% of the votes, followed by James Caan and Duncan Bannatyne, who each won 20%, while Deborah Meaden was backed by only 7% of respondents. Over half (64%) of participants claimed they would be happy to pitch their business on the show, with 39% seeing healthy sales figures as the best way to attract investment. When asked about their own businesses, 64% of respondents claimed to have used personal savings when starting up their businesses. Christian Nellemann, entrepreneur and founder and CEO of XLN Telecom,  stated that such results show the UK to be a nation of plucky entrepreneurs. Well deserved and positive coverage for SME’S who play such an integral part in the UK economy.

To read the article in full please visit the SME website.