Worth Staying Up For

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Today we are launching Business Stay-Up: a research project with the Association of Business Executives (ABE) and the Centre for Education Economics that aims to increase understanding about the role of skills, knowledge, and experience in ensuring we have fewer unnecessary small business failures.

In today's City AM, ABE's CEO Rob May gives some background to the project. Here are his key points:

  • Not every failure is due to a lack of demand for a product or service – poor management can destroy what could otherwise be a successful business.
  • UK business policy has pivoted from focusing on startups to scale-ups – from having more businesses to building better businesses. This should be welcomed. There is no point having lots of people starting up if they aren’t going to scale, but before they can thrive many will need to survive. That’s where skills and training matter.
  • We shouldn’t compare Apple with oranges. Silicon Valley is dominated by entrepreneurs and investors betting on catching the next big technological wave. By necessity, many will wipe out a few times, and just like the most ambitious entrepreneurs in the UK, they should be allowed and encouraged to get back on their board. But not all founders are aiming to disrupt an entire market – failure is a luxury many can’t afford twice.
  • Overall survival rates and churn are driven by market dynamics outside the control of entrepreneurs on the ground, but it makes sense to want as many business owners as possible to have the skills to give it their best shot. The better firms are run, the more competitive the business environment, with competition driving efficiencies and innovations that increase productivity, which leads to higher wages.
  • Improving management skills may require a rethink about how business owners learn. Few will have the time, money or inclination to put their business on hold to enter the classroom full-time. Bespoke, accessible, on-demand learning may be better placed to help more people. As with so many areas of our lives, artificial intelligence will no doubt have an increasing role to play in supporting both the edtech revolution and wider support for business owners and managers.
  • And, at the very least, there will be an evolving role for the government in signposting, convening and supporting the right training through the tax system. Entrepreneurs should be celebrated for the risks they take – over the course of this year, Business Stay-Up will try to work out what can be done to help them and the country prosper.

You can read the full article here. And find out more about the project here.

 

Our Survey


APPG for Entrepreneurship: 2018 Survey
Your answers will serve as the raw data on which we base three briefing papers designed to impact policy.
Tell politicians what you think!
 

Our Events



Leap 100 Breakfast with Sophie Eden and Sam Gordon, Founders of Gordon & Eden
How to Secure World-Class Talent
7 March 2018
7.45am to 9.15am
Mishcon de Reya, 70 Kingsway, London
Free
Find out more
RSVP
This event will consider: techniques on how to secure people in a competitive market; pragmatic advice for the CEO/Founder on how they can impact the search process; and how to get the best out of your search provider



Female Founders Forum Launch: Mentoring Matters
15 March 2018
19-23 Featherstone Street, Blooming Founders, London
6pm to 8pm
Free
Find out more
RSVP
Join us for our launch of the 2018 report on the importance of mentoring for female entrepreneurs. We're very excited to announce our keynote as Vin Murria! 


 

News & Views

 

Rohan Silva defends the role of the State in Elon Musk's success...

... while Bryan Appleyard praises the man's "hint of madness" in The Times

Eddie Copeland blogs on innovation in the delivery of public services

Venture investment in UK fintech more than doubles...

... but Karl Flinders worries that fintech funding will suffer if the Brexit deal goes sour

Yessi Bello Perez quizzes Debbie Wosskow about how to scale

Is the NHS too fragmented when it comes to adopting new developments?

City AM profiles the prolific Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates

Richard Reed (Innocent Drinks) shares his tips on winning customers here...

... and his tips for small businesses getting funding here

Benjamin Joffe thinks Sequoia’s Mike Moritz doesn’t understand startups in China...

... which aims to charm tech-savvy Taiwanese entrepreneurs...

... while North Korea lets foreigners run bootcamps for entrepreneurs
 

Friends of the Network

Event


Workshop: Getting the Most from your Network
22 February, 2018
9am to 1pm
Albert House, 256-260 Old Street, London, EC1V 9DD
Cost: Non-members: £150 +VAT; Members £95 +VAT
Find out more
This four-hour interactive session aims to help attendees get the most from their network, ultimately driving success in both business and personal life. 

Competition


The Astra Awards
Deadline: 16 May 2018
Prize: There are various prizes for each category, ranging from co-working space in Blooms London, support from NACUE, access to Toucan's ecosystem and being fast-tracked straight to the Investment Committee
Find out more
Toucan Ventures, Blooming Founders and NACUE are coming together this Spring to bring you The Astra Awards - a competition to champion the creative community, female businesses and the very best students that the UK has to offer. 

Press Coverage: Seema Malthotra MP writes about female entrepreneurship in City AM

British men are nearly twice as likely as women to be entrepreneurs.

This isn’t just bad for entrepreneurship, but society at large suffers when the ideas of half the population aren’t adequately represented. Closing the gender entrepreneurship gap would ensure we no longer miss out on countless innovations, increase productivity, and raise wages...

Read the whole article here... 

Press Coverage: The Entrepreneurs Network launch Business Stay Up

Last year in the UK, 70 new businesses were started every hour.

In just three years’ time, up to 90 per cent of them will have failed.

Business failure is often a personal tragedy, though inevitable in a dynamic market economy.

However, not every failure is due to a lack of demand for a product or service – poor management can destroy what could otherwise be a successful business.

That’s why today we’re launching the Business Stay-Up campaign: a research project with The Entrepreneurs Network and the Centre for Education Economics that aims to increase understanding about the role of skills, knowledge, and experience in ensuring we have fewer unnecessary small business failures.

Read the full article here

 

Immigration Rules the Airwaves Monday, 5 February 2018

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The British public is often accused of obsessing over immigration, but we have a Prime Minister who could bore your average UKIPer to tears on the subject. This was understandable in a Home Secretary – however, Theresa May's job description is a little broader these days.

In the last week we've learned that May will fight a proposal to give residency rights to EU citizens during the transition period after Brexit, and that she's finally changed her mind about international students having a long-term impact on migration numbers. And today, the government has announced an increase in the immigration health surcharge, paid by temporary migrants from outside Europe to use the health service. It will double from its current rate of £200, although this is less than the £600 proposed in the Conservative Manifesto.

Hire Hopes
In its quarterly Enterprise Index survey, Smith & Williamson has found that though 66% of businesses are seeking new hires, only 38% believe that the workforce is sufficiently trained or educated to help them achieve their growth plans. As Guy Rigby concludes: "If Britain is to continue to be a world-leading place for entrepreneurs to start their businesses, and for these businesses to transition to scale-ups, we need to ensure the workforce has adequate capacity. As a lot of this talent currently comes from overseas, Brexit has brought the need for an accessible work-related visa into the public eye."

Import, Export
If there's one thing that the Government obsesses over more than immigration, it's increasing Britain's exports. Immigrants can help with that. A robust new discussion paper shows that Italian immigrants – both of entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs – have boosted trade with their home countries. Immigrants bring knowledge about their countries of origin and retain long-lasting relationships with their co-nationals. Both the size of the diaspora and the number of immigrant entrepreneurs have a positive, significant and economically meaningful effect on exports. The paper also finds that immigrants increase the competitiveness and export flows towards all potential destinations.
 

Our Survey

APPG for Entrepreneurship: 2018 Survey
Your answers will serve as the raw data on which we base three briefing papers designed to impact policy.
Tell politicians what you think!


Our Events

Leap 100 Power Breakfast Rishi Khosla, Co-Founder, OakNorth
From Start-up, to Scale up, to Sale...then Doing it Again
7 February 2018
7.45am to 9.15am
Mishcon de Reya, 70 Kingsway, London
Free (as usual!)
Find out more
RSVP
This event will consider: the challenges of starting and scaling a business; the lessons of exiting; the difference of building a business for the second time.

Female Founders Forum Launch: Mentoring Matters
15 March 2018
19-23 Featherstone Street, Blooming Founders, London
6pm to 8pm
Free
Find out more
RSVP
Join us for our launch of the 2018 report on the importance of mentoring for female entrepreneurs. We're very excited to announce our keynote as Vin Murria! 


News & Views

Friends of the Network

Events

Spark with Michelle Ovens MBE
13 February 2018
7pm to 9pm
Connections at 8 Northumberland Avenue, Central London, WC2N 5BY
Free
Find out more
Spark is a monthly evening networking event that brings the capital’s top entrepreneurs and career professionals together to connect, collaborate and get inspired. 

Getting the Most from your Network
22 February 2018
9am to 1pm
The Office Group, Albert House, 256-260 Old Street, London EC1V 9DD
Cost: Non-members: £150 +VAT
Supper Club Members only: £95 +VAT
Find out more
Attendees of this workshop will learn how to purposefully build network and accelerate personal and business growth.

E2E #ScaleUp2Success
27 February 2018
5pm to 9pm
Spaces, 9 Greyfriars Road, Reading, RG1 1NU
Cost: SCALEUP18 for a the complimentary ticket. Otherwise £30
Find out more
E2E hosts an evening of drinks & canapés in conversation with Tim Weller, Founder of Incisive Media and Rob Law MBE, Founder of Trunki.

Make It Your Business: London
1 March 2018
6.30pm to 8.30pm
The Bull Theatre, 68 High Street, Barnet, London EN5 5SJ
Cost: £10 (Or free if you become a member)
RSVP
Join Make It Your Business for a panel event with guest speakers: Karen Wright (founder, Love Feet); Dr Mandy Kent (founder, Hadley Green Dental Practice); Laura Milligan (founder, Laura Felicity Design) and Louise Bawcutt (owner, The Present)


Competitions

Student Start-up of the Year competition
Deadline: 25 February 2018
Prizes: A host of prizes to help you and your business ideas flourish and grow, including cash investment.
Find out more
Enterprise Nation has relaunched its Student Start-up of the Year competition, powered by Enterprise Trust. The competition provides young people and recent graduates with the opportunity to win a host of prizes to help you and your business ideas flourish and grow. 

Question Time

Today the APPG for Entrepreneurship launches its first survey aimed at uncovering the views of Britain's business owners. Your answers will serve as the raw data on which we base three briefing papers. The reports will be read by Ministers and others with the power to make a difference. You can find the survey here. Also, I would be grateful if you could share within your networks.

Tweet dreams
Are digital distractions harming labour productivity? The evidence is mixed, according to this article in The Economist. Over the next few months, we will be supporting The Economist in its drive to get its content in front of a wider audience. During this time we will share access to some of their key articles, usually only available to subscribers and registered users. I've chosen these articles because I believe they will be of interest to our readers. Click here to read the latest article.

Food for thought
Our friends at The Supper Club have put out a highly useful Talent Tactics report, which may be be helpful for business leaders wondering how to recruit, retain and develop millennial talent.

Calling all female entrepreneurs!
We've been hosting speed mentoring events around the country. The most recent was in Manchester and my colleague Sophie has written about the experience here. Sophie is writing a report on mentoring for the next stage of the project. If you would like to find out more, please drop here an email at sophie@tenentrepreneurs.org

 

Our Events

A Parliament That Works For Entrepreneurs?
Panelists include: Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP & Gillian Keegan MP
31 January 2018
12.45pm to 2.15pm
50 Broadway, Westminster, London
Free
Find you more
RSVP
This event will consider: how MPs can improve their understanding of what entrepreneurs need; how Parliament can better engage with entrepreneurs and discuss policy changes and how entrepreneurs can influence Government, politics and policy.


Leap 100 Power Breakfast Rishi Khosla, Co-Founder, OakNorth
From Start-up, to Scale up, to Sale...then Doing it Again
7 February 2018
7.45am to 9.15am
Mishcon de Reya, 70 Kingsway, London
Free (as usual!)
Find out more
RSVP
This event will consider: the challenges of starting and scaling a business; the lessons of exiting; the difference of building a business for the second time.


Female Founders Forum Launch: Mentoring Matters
15 March 2018
19-23 Featherstone Street, Blooming Founders, London
6pm to 8pm
Find out more
RSVP
Join us for our launch of the 2018 report on the importance of mentoring for female entrepreneurs.


News & Views

Friends of the Network

Events


Make It Your Business: London
23 January 2018
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Airspace, 29-31 Oxford Street, London
Cost: £10 (Or free if you become a member)
RSVP
Join Make It Your Business for a panel event with guest speakers: Katrina Sale, founder, Wisetree; Ada Zhao (Curated Crowd); Alice Wingfield Digby (Wingfield Digby) and Phoebe Gormley (Gormley & Gamble). 


Funzing Talks: Hack Your Mind Through Your Body
24 January 2018
7pm onwards
Trapeze, Shoreditch, London
Find out more
Alessandra Sollberger is uncovering the science that links fitness with productivity. 


Gamification in Insurance
30 January 2018
5pm to 9pm
Rocketspace, London
Cost: Free
Find out more
An Coppens, a leading expert in gamification design for employee and learner engagement, with over 15 years' experience in changing behaviour through creative and innovative solutions, will be giving a keynote into how gamification is relevant in the Insurance industry.


Spark with Michelle Ovens MBE
13 February 2018
Connections at 8 Northumberland Avenue, Central London, London
7pm to 9pm
Find out more
Spark is a monthly evening networking event that brings the capital’s top entrepreneurs and career professionals together to connect, collaborate and get inspired. 


Student Enterprise Conference
17 & 18 February 2018
10pm to 5pm
Aston University, Aston Express Way, Birmingham
Cost: £12.50 (using the code SECPARTNERS18)
Find out more
Join NACUE for two days of interactive workshops, panelled discussions and keynotes. Curated for a creative and innovative audience of 'Creators, Connectors and Captains'. 

Competitions

Student Start-up of the Year competition
Deadline: 25 February 2018
Prizes: A host of prizes to help you and your business ideas flourish and grow, including cash investment.
Find out more
Enterprise Nation has relaunched its Student Start-up of the Year competition, powered by Enterprise Trust. The competition provides young people and recent graduates with the opportunity to win a host of prizes to help you and your business ideas flourish and grow. 
 

Are digital distractions harming labour productivity?

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This article is sponsored content from The Economist. To enjoy more of the same, subscribe to The Economist, 12 weeks for £12.

The evidence is mixed; it seems clear, however, that they are making us unhappier

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FOR many it is a reflex as unconscious as breathing. Hit a stumbling-block during an important task (like, say, writing a column)? The hand reaches for the phone and opens the social network of choice. A blur of time passes, and half an hour or more of what ought to have been productive effort is gone. A feeling of regret is quickly displaced by the urge to see what has happened on Twitter in the past 15 seconds. Some time after the deadline, the editor asks when exactly to expect the promised copy. Distraction is a constant these days; supplying it is the business model of some of the world’s most powerful firms. As economists search for explanations for sagging productivity, some are asking whether the inability to focus for longer than a minute is to blame.

The technological onslaught has been a long time building. Bosses no doubt found the knock of the telegraph boy or the clack of the ticker-tape machine an abominable interruption. Fixed-line desk phones were an intrusion in their day, before the mobile phone brought work interruptions into the home. But the web is different, with its unending news cycle, social networks humming with constant conversation, and news feeds algorithmically structured to keep users scrolling and sharing. The louder the din, the greater the distraction—and the harder to tune it out for fear of missing important information.

Distractions clearly affect performance on the job. In a recent essay, Dan Nixon of the Bank of England pointed to a mass of compelling evidence that they could also be eating into productivity growth. Depending on the study you pick, smartphone-users touch their device somewhere between twice a minute to once every seven minutes. Conducting tasks while receiving e-mails and phone calls reduces a worker’s IQ by about ten points relative to working in uninterrupted quiet. That is equivalent to losing a night’s sleep, and twice as debilitating as using marijuana. By one estimate, it takes nearly half an hour to recover focus fully for the task at hand after an interruption. What’s more, Mr Nixon notes, constant interruptions accustom workers to distraction, teaching them, in effect, to lose focus and seek diversions.

Could this explain the rich world’s productivity slowdown? In a paper published in 2007, Sinan Aral and Erik Brynjolfsson, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Marshall Van Alstyne, of Boston University, analysed firms’ use of information technology and its effects on labour productivity and revenue growth. They found an inverted U-shape pattern associated with multitasking and productivity. An initial increase in multitasking from the increased use of IT seems to raise productivity. But later, the accumulation of balls to be juggled reduces performance and increases the incidence of error.

It does help workers in all sorts of ways. It speeds communication and allows documents to be shared remotely. The web makes finding information far simpler and quicker than it was in a world of paper archives. Productivity surged in the late 1990s and early 2000s as e-mail, digital databases and the web spread. The benefits technology brought, at that time, seemed to outweigh the cost of distraction. Since the mid-2000s, however, productivity growth has tumbled, perhaps because the burden of distraction has crossed some critical threshold.

But this is surely not the whole story. Performance across industries does not fit very well with the idea that distraction is the main cause of weak productivity. Over the past decade, labour-productivity growth in both manufacturing and construction has been particularly disappointing—and the problem can hardly be desk jockeys frittering away time on Pinterest.

Weak productivity is also a consequence of the reallocation of workers from industries with relatively high rates of growth to more stagnant ones. In America health care and education, where labour productivity is persistently low, account for more than half of total employment growth since 2000.

How then to reconcile evidence of the toll taken by new technologies with the difficulty in detecting a productivity cost? One possibility is that firms have not been as strenuous as might be expected in maximising output per worker. Employment does not fall much in response to minimum-wage rises because output per worker goes up. That is partly because workers try harder and partly because firms, faced with a new cost, focus more on tracking worker performance. Similarly, productivity leapt in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, and not because firms laid off less productive workers. Rather, workers appear to have upped their game to convince bosses not to sack them. After a decade of low wages and high profits, firms may be feeling complacent. That, and their consequent failure to invest, may be a better explanation of weak productivity than workers’ distraction.

Tweet dreams are made of this

Whether or not brains fried by constant interruption are slowing growth, the digital deluge takes a toll. Mr Nixon reckons that distracted workers become less empathetic, a serious side-effect in an economy where human connections with customers are cast as a defence against automation. Distraction also appears to reduce reported happiness, and that effect may be magnified if it means that fewer tasks are completed to the workers’ satisfaction—or if the source of the distraction is another distressing news alert. So this is yet another reason to yearn for a truly tight labour market: when firms cannot spare an idle moment they might get serious about trimming productivity-sapping intrusions from the workplace, to everyone’s benefit. Right, time for a tweet.

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This article is sponsored content from The Economist. To enjoy more of the same, subscribe to The Economist, 12 weeks for £12.

Female Founders Forum: Mentoring Matters

Credit: Craig Strong Photography

Credit: Craig Strong Photography

Last year we wrote a report on access to funding for female founders. One of our recommendations was to increase access to mentoring for women scaling their businesses. This year we acted upon that recommendation and have held three mentoring sessions across the UK. Our first session in London was a great success, as was Cambridge, and on Thursday we finally we arrived in Manchester.

The format of the event is similar to speed dating. Each mentee spends six minutes with a mentor, and then the mentee moves on to the next mentor. Mentees seek advice on how to solve their biggest challenges, all of which are shared with the mentors prior to the event to maximise the utility of the six minutes.

After a few speeches, cups of tea and chatting, the mentoring commences. The first six minutes flies by. It’s always difficult to drag the mentee away from their first mentor; it doesn’t get any easier as the day goes on. All the founders always seem engrossed in the sessions – a sure that there should be more mentoring events available to female founders!

One thing that I noticed talking to the female founders on both sides, mentees and mentors, is that a lot of them experience loneliness. This seems to be an aspect of running your own business that few people talk about. Mentoring events like these let entrepreneurs realise that their hiccups and worries are experienced and felt by others. Often, the best paired founders are those in completely different sectors. It’s more about finding a spark with someone, rather than finding someone in the same sector.

The mentoring sessions have been incredibly insightful for our annual report, which this year is taking the form of a practical guide for scaling female entrepreneurs. It will comprise of six sections: why mentoring matters, hiring, innovation, leadership, work/life balance and pitching. The aim of the first section is to inspire female entrepreneurs across the board to take part in mentoring. The other sections are focused around a skill: each section will open with research around those skills, followed by insights from female entrepreneurs excelling in that skill.

If you would like to give you two cents and be featured in the report, please drop me a message on sophie@tenentrpereneurs.org

Press Coverage: The Telegraph, Female Founders Forum Report 2017

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Our Editor and author of the 2017 report on female founder's access to finance, was recently quoted in The Telegraph.

"It's frustrating that a significant proportion of funding goes towards male-founded or led businesses," ... "This is not just an economic discussion, though we know start-ups are vital to the UK economy: we want to see smart, savvy businesswomen getting the same opportunities as their male counterparts."

Check out the full article here. 

No Small Change

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Andrew Griffiths MP is the new Minister for Small Business. He takes over from Margot James MP, who moves to DCMS. Margot's knowledge isn't completely lost though, as she will be overseeing digital policy. Griffiths is Member of Parliament for Burton and Uttoxeter. Prior to getting involved in politics, he worked for his family engineering business and then in property and finance for a High Street Building Society. He was previously Chief of Staff to Theresa May and Eric Pickles. Here's his Parliament page, his personal website and a useful Economia article. I'm sure we will have him in for an event before too long.

Calling all techies!
Tech Nation launches its 2018 survey today. Your responses will be included in Tech City UK’s flagship Tech Nation report 2018, which will comprehensively map the state of the digital tech sector in the UK. Complete the survey here.

Evidence-based businesses
London Business School has released its key findings from the inaugural Leadership Survey (pdf). Employee engagement was the single biggest issue keeping leaders awake at night. There's a lot to unpack from the report, but one finding that interested me was that only 2% of business leaders said interventions executed in their organisations are always evidence-based, while 20% believe it happens often, 39% sometimes, 28% rarely and 11% never.

All-Party people
In case you missed it, check out the APPG for Entrepreneurship's Calls for Evidence on Tax ReformEnterprise Education and Women in Leadership.

 

Our Events

A Parliament That Works For Entrepreneurs?
Panelists include: Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP & Gillian Keegan MP
31 January 2018
12.45pm to 2.15pm
50 Broadway, Westminster, London
Free  (as usual!)
RSVP
This event will consider: how MPs can improve their understanding of what entrepreneurs need; how Parliament can better engage with entrepreneurs and discuss policy changes and how entrepreneurs can influence Government, politics and policy.


Leap 100 Power Breakfast Rishi Khosla, Co-Founder, OakNorth
From Start-up, to Scale up, to Sale...then Doing it Again
7 February 2018
7.45am to 9.15am
Mishcon de Reya, 70 Kingsway, London
Free (as usual!)
Find out more
RSVP
This event will consider: the challenges of starting and scaling a business; the lessons of exiting; the difference of building a business for the second time.


News & Views

Friends of the Network

Events

Make It Your Business: London
23 January 2018
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Airspace, 29-31 Oxford Street, London
Cost: £10 (Or free if you become a member)
RSVP
Join Make It Your Business for a panel event with guest speakers: Katrina Sale, founder, Wisetree; Ada Zhao (Curated Crowd); Alice Wingfield Digby (Wingfield Digby) and Phoebe Gormley (Gormley & Gamble). 

Gamification in Insurance
30 January 2018
5pm to 9pm
Rocketspace, London
Cost: Free
Find out more
An Coppens, a leading expert in gamification design for employee and learner engagement, with over 15 years experience in creating behaviour change through creative and innovative solutions, will be giving a keynote into how gamification is relevant in the Insurance industry.

The Leap Academy – Restructuring for Growth
14 February 2018
8.30pm to 10.30pm
Africa House, 70 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6AH
Cost: Free
RSVP
Join Mishcon for a workshop on how restructuring can best position your business for growth. This session will look at the following: Common reasons to restructure – why do it?; How to prepare for restructuring and how long might it take?; What does restructuring entail, what form can it take?; What are the big tax issues?; What are the big pitfalls/what to anticipate? Speakers include Laura Chandler, Corporate Legal Director and Head of Reorganisations Group at Mishcon de Reya and John Skoulding, Corporate Tax Partner at Mishcon de Reya.

Student Enterprise Conference
17 & 18 February 2018
10pm to 5pm
Aston University, Aston Express Way, Birmingham
Cost: £12.50 (using the code SECPARTNERS18)
Find out more
Join NACUE for two days of interactive workshops, panelled discussions and keynotes. Curated for a creative and innovative audience of 'Creators, Connectors and Captains'. 

Getting the Most from your Network
22 February 2018
9am to 1pm
The Office Group, Albert House, 26-260 Old Street, London
Cost: Non-members: £150 +VAT (£95 for members)
Find out more
In this session attendees will learn how to purposefully build their network to accelerate personal and business growth.  
 


Competitions

Student Start-up of the Year competition
Deadline: 25 February 2018
Prizes: A host of prizes to help you and your business ideas flourish and grow, including cash investment.
Find out more
Enterprise Nation has relaunched their Student Start-up of the Year competition, powered by Enterprise Trust. The competition provides young people and recent graduates with the opportunity to win a host of prizes to help you and your business ideas flourish and grow. 

 

This is taken from our weekly e-bulletin published on 15th January 2018. Sign up here.

Cool for Evidence

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This is taken from our weekly e-bulletin published on 8th January 2018. Sign up here.

Today, we launch a Call for Evidence on behalf of the APPG for Entrepreneurship. Well, actually, three "calls". We are looking for experts to respond to questions on Tax ReformEnterprise Education and Women in Leadership. Please spread the word! The projects are sponsored by Octopus and Santander Universities, and the research and writing of these publications is independent and will be undertaken by the team here at The Entrepreneurs Network.

Ker-Shuffle
The cabinet reshuffle is increasingly looking like a damp squib, with Justine Greening's refusal to lead the Department for Work and Pensions the biggest story. Nevertheless, even for the politically unaligned (like me), there are a couple of positive changes. Matt Hancock is the new Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. He is the most qualified person in the Conservative Party for the role and I expect he'll do a solid job. Also, Kemi Badenoch MP is now in charge of selecting Conservative candidates for 2022 general election. Kemi is smart and principled – hopefully she'll be good at spotting the same characteristics in others.


Our Events

Female Founders Forum
Mentoring Matters in Manchester
18 January 2018
12pm to 3pm
Barclays, 3 Hardman Street, Spinningfields, Manchester
Enquire about a place
Join us in Manchester for our last speed mentoring session in this series. Check out this article on the Barclays website for a taster of what happens. 

Leap 100 Power Breakfast Rishi Khosla, Co-Founder, OakNorth
From Start-up, to Scale up, to Sale...then Doing it Again
7 February 2018
7.45am to 9.15am
Mishcon de Reya, 70 Kingsway, London
Free
Find out more
RSVP
This event will consider: the challenges of starting and scaling a business; the lessons of exiting; the difference of building a business for the second time.

News & Views


Friends of the Network

Events

StartUp 2018
13 January 2018
9.30am to 4pm
Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London
Cost: £10
Find out more
Join Enterprise Nation for a day of talks and workshops.

The Nest 2018
16 January 2018
9am to 7pm
The Andaz, Liverpool Street, London
Cost: Free
Find out more
The Nest aims to engage creative entrepreneurs by providing them with a day of networking with inspiring mentors, listening to engaging speakers and learning more about the Toucan ecosystem. Expect talks from Tom Teichman, Rupert Hambro, Tim Jackson, Fiona Dent and Lu Li.

Founders' Network Summit
18 January 2018
9am to 6pm
Holiday Inn Sheffield, Victoria Station Road, Sheffield
Cost: £25
Find out more
A day long event aiming to support entrepreneurs on their journey. 

Make It Your Business: London
23 January 2018
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Airspace, 29-31 Oxford Street, London
Cost: £10 (Or free if you become a member)
RSVP
Join Make It Your Business for a panel event with guest speakers: Katrina Sale, founder, Wisetree; Ada Zhao (Curated Crowd); Alice Wingfield Digby (Wingfield Digby) and Phoebe Gormley (Gormley & Gamble).  

Back to Business - Taking the Next Steps
25 January 2018
9.30pm to 3pm
Elm Grove, University of Roehampton, London
Cost: £56 (includes lunch)
Find out more
A day of talks, practical roundtables and networking around the following areas: support on social media and content creation, marketing strategy, Google/SEO and funding and investment. 

Speaker Boutique: International Expansion to Scale
28 February 2018
2.30pm to 5.30pm
Central London (TBC)
Cost: £66
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The first Speaker Boutique of 2018 will explore the risks and rewards of expanding internationally, looking at why, when, and how to launch into a new overseas market. Three members of The Supper Club will share their experience and expertise.

This is taken from our weekly e-bulletin published on 8th January 2018. Sign up here.

Parliamentary Snapshot 2017: Press Coverage

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Together with YouGov and Bircham Dyson Bell LLP, we looked at what MPs thought would be the impact of various Brexit deal scenarios for entrepreneurs. We asked a sample of Conservative and Labour MPs what deal they believe will be best for Britain’s innovators. The results are in and it looks like interesting reading. And the media thought so too…

Hard Brexit will be Good for Entrepreneurs, say two-thirds of Tory MPs (The Times: The Brief)

Politicians Could use a Business Lesson from UK Entrepreneurs (City AM)

Two-thirds of Tory MPs think UK Entrepreneurs Would Benefit from a Hard Brexit (Elite Business)

British Entrepreneurs Have Choice of Hard Brexit or High Taxes (Forbes)

MPs Need to be More Enterprising to win the Hearts of Innovators (Adam Smith Blog)

In case you didn’t read the report, here’s a summary.

Tories overwhelmingly (66%) want a ‘Hard Brexit, Labour want to remain in the EU – only 8% of Labour MPs want a ‘Hard Brexit’. And this is puts the MPs at loggerheads with their leadership
Almost a third of Labour MPs think decreasing business taxes would be bad for entrepreneurship, compared to 0% of Conservatives.

Two-thirds (66%) of Tory MPs, but just 8% of Labour MPs, thought a “hard” Brexit would be best for entrepreneurship in the UK. That’s the finding of a new YouGov poll of MPs, commissioned by The Entrepreneurs Network and Bircham Dyson Bell, released today.

In contrast, over two-thirds (71%) of Labour MPs thought it would be positive for entrepreneurship if we remain in the EU, with just 10% of Conservative MPs thinking it would be positive. The stark differences between Conservative and Labour elected politicians show the different moods that exist within the House of Commons and stand in contrast to the positions of their leaders.

This is the fourth annual Parliamentary Snapshot produced by The Entrepreneurs Network and Bircham Dyson Bell. As in previous years, Labour MPs are more likely to favour supporting schemes that come with increased government spending, while Tory MPs favour cutting taxes.

The greatest divergence between the two main parties was on the question of whether lowering personal taxes would be good for entrepreneurship in the UK. While 91% of Conservative MPs thought it would have a positive effect, just 26% of Labour MPs thought likewise, with 30% thinking it would be negative for entrepreneurship.

However, the parties are more united in their support for making it easier for entrepreneurs to move to the UK (79% of MPs are positive and just 4% negative), as well as making it easier to hire skilled workers from abroad (62% of MPs are positive and 14% negative). 70% of Labour MPs support making it easier for firms to hire skilled workers from abroad, up from 53% when we first undertook this survey in 2014. Half (50%) of Conservative MPs support making it easier for firms to hire skilled workers from abroad, up from 40% in 2014.

When asked what they thought about specific initiatives MPs were also aligned, with Business Rates Relief getting positive responses from 78% of all MPs, Enterprise Zones saw support from 75% of respondents and 70% favourable to the Regional Growth Fund.

Although we have seen improvements in knowledge among MPs, large numbers of the schemes remain unknown. Over half, 54%, of the MPs have never heard of Venture Capital Trusts or don’t know enough about it to know whether it’s effective, while 61% have either never heard of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) or don’t know enough about it to know whether it’s effective. SEIS offers tax relief on investing in smaller companies and is seen as critical for entrepreneurship in the UK.

Radio Jarvis

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Once a week I do the papers review on Sam Delaney’s Drive programme on talkRADIO. Sam and I mull over the day’s big stories and the amusing ones…

This Week: 

This week I discuss childhood obesity, Toby Young’s appointment and the NHS. Click here for the link! Start listening at 3m 40secs from 4.30-5pm! (03/01/18)

Previous:

This week I discuss alien invasions, Brexit (of course), Donald Trump’s visit to the UK and whether Facebook is a publisher. Click here for the link. I’m on from 4.30-5pm. And I start at 4m 55 secs! (13/12/2017)

The Budget: Everything Entrepreneurs Need to Know

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Tax

  • VAT registration threshold will be maintained at the current level of £85,000 for two years from April 2018.
  • Reducing business rates by £2.3 billion over the next 5 years

Access to Finance

The Budget announces an action plan to unlock over £20 billion of patient capital investment to finance growth in innovative firms over 10 years by:

  • Doubling the annual allowance for people investing in knowledge-intensive companies through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the annual investment those companies can receive through EIS and the Venture Capital Trust scheme, and introducing a new test to reduce the scope for and redirect low-risk investment. 
  • The British Business Bank will seed the first wave of investment with up to £500 million, unlocking double its investment in private capital. Up to three waves will be launched, supporting a total of up to £4 billion investment; backing new and emerging fund managers through the British Business Bank’s established Enterprise Capital Fund programme, unlocking at least £1.5 billion of new investment;  backing overseas investment in UK venture capital through the Department for International Trade, expected to unlock £1 billion of investment.
  • The Pensions Regulator will clarify guidance on investments with long-term investment horizons. With over £2 trillion in UK pension funds, small changes in investment have the potential to transform the supply of capital to innovative firms.
  • Changing the qualifying rules in Entrepreneurs’ Relief to remove the disincentive to accept external investment and consulting on the detailed implementation of that change.
  • Launching a National Security Strategic Investment Fund to invest in advanced technologies to contribute to the national security mission.
  • The British Business Bank will also support developing clusters of business angels outside London through a new commercial investment programme.
  • The government will support businesses to get the finance they need by extending the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee to March 2022 and expanding the programme to support up to £500 million of loans per annum. 

Travel

  • Both short-haul and long-haul Air Passenger Duty rates will remain frozen for economy passengers will be frozen. The rates for premium economy, business and first class will, however, increase by £16 and for those travelling by private jet by £47.

Economy

  • GDP downgraded to 1.4%, 1.3% & 1.5% in subsequent years before rising to 1.6% in 2021-22
  • Growth forecast for 2017 downgraded from 2% to 1.5%
  • Productivity growth & business investment also revised down
  • Annual rate of CPI inflation forecast to fall from peak of 3% towards 2% target later this year
  • £3bn set aside for Brexit preparations
  • Another 600,000 people forecast to be in work by 2022

Education and skills

  • £600 to schools and colleges for every extra pupil who decides to take Maths or Further Maths A levels or Core Maths.
  • £27m to expand the successful Teaching for Mastery maths programme into a further 3,000 schools.
  • £84m to fund 8,000 computer science teachers by the end of this Parliament.

Tech

  • Introduction of further ground-breaking approaches to regulatory frameworks for AI and driverless cars, in order to attract the world’s most innovative companies
  • Backing innovators and investing in R&D – the government has already committed to the biggest increase in R&D spending by any government in the last 40 years. The Budget invests a further £2.3 billion in R&D in 2021-22 from the NPIF, and increases the R&D expenditure credit to 12%, demonstrating clear progress towards the government’s ambition to raise the level of investment in R&D in the economy to 2.4% of GDP. This means that, based on current forecasts, total support for R&D will increase by a third by 2021-22.
  • The government will create a new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to enable and ensure safe, ethical and ground-breaking innovation in AI and data-driven technologies. This world-first advisory body will work with government, regulators and industry to lay the foundations for AI adoption, which estimates suggest could benefit households across the UK by up to £2,300 per year by 2030, and increase GDP by 10%. The government will invest over £75 million to take forward key recommendations of the independent review on AI, including exploratory work to facilitate data access through ‘data trusts’. The government will create new AI fellowships, and initially fund 450 PhD researchers, to secure the UK’s leading position in the global AI market.
  • Regulators’ Pioneer Fund – To help unlock the potential of emerging technologies, the government will establish a new £10 million Regulators’ Pioneer Fund. This will help regulators to develop innovative approaches aimed at getting new products and services to market.
  • Tech Nation – To secure the UK’s world-leading position in digital innovation, the government will invest £21 million over the next 4 years to expand Tech City UK’s reach – to become ‘Tech Nation’ – and support regional tech companies and start-ups to fulfil their potential. Tech Nation will roll out a dedicated sector programme for leading UK tech specialisms, including AI and FinTech. Regional hubs will be located in: Cambridge, Bristol and Bath, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield, Reading, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow, Belfast, and Cardiff.
  • The government will provide a further £1 million to extend the UK Games Fund until 2020, aiding access to finance and business support for early stage video game developers.
  • Geospatial data – The UK has some of the best geospatial data in the world, and much of it is held by public bodies. The potential economic value of this data is huge. To maximise the growth of the digital economy and consolidate the UK’s position as the best place to start and grow a digital business, the government will establish a new Geospatial Commission to provide strategic oversight to the various public bodies who hold this data. To further boost the digital economy, the government will work with the Ordnance Survey (OS) and the new Commission, by May 2018, to establish how to open up freely the OS MasterMap data to UK-based small businesses in particular, under an Open Government Licence or through an alternative mechanism, while maintaining the OS’s strategic strengths. The Budget provides £40 million a year over the next two years to support this work.

Immigration

  • To support its ambitions on innovation and R&D, the government is encouraging the best and the brightest international scientific and research talent to work in the UK. The government will: change immigration rules to enable world-leading scientists and researchers endorsed under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route to apply for settlement 47 after three years; make it quicker for highly-skilled students to apply to work in the UK after finishing their degrees; and reduce red tape in hiring international researchers and members of established research teams, by relaxing the labour market test and allowing the UK’s research councils and other select organisations to sponsor researchers. This is alongside the expansion of the exceptional talent route, benefiting current and future leaders in the digital technology, science, arts and creative sectors.