Findings Nima

On Wednesday, NatWest's Accelerator hosted us and the prolific author Nima Sanandaji for an event on Brain Business Jobs – that is, the jobs in sectors with a high proportion of knowledge-intensive occupations.

Nima has measured this across 31 countries and 278 regions. He finds that 8% of the UK working age population are employed in knowledge-intensive sectors, which put us highest among large European economies, but lower than Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

In terms of intensity, the leading regions of the UK are Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire (17.9%), London (17.3%), North Eastern Scotland (11.3%), while the lowest are Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (3.4%), East Anglia (3.2%) and West Wales and The Valleys (3.2%).

This is a good news story for innovation and entrepreneurship in the UK. So what's driving these knowledge-intense jobs? Nima finds that innovation capacity is the dominant determinant for their concentration. Innovative capacity is the ability of a country to produce and commercialise a flow of innovative technology. Clearly there's a lot that goes into this – perhaps most critically R&D spending, the intellectual property regime, and the education system. There's room for improvement, but we shouldn't forget to celebrate our successes.

We're working with Nima to drill down further into his dataset. If this is the sort report you would be keen to support or get involved with, just let me know.

Bright Future
It's a sign of the times when an Instagram influencer's story leads to more people seeing your report than an article in national paper. But whether you heard about our Future Founders report as one of Grace Beverley's 1 million followers, or Octopus Group's Simon Rogerson's article in City AM, or via the excellent James Hurley in The Times (paywall), or on the Financial Times's Sifted site, or the 101 other places it appeared, we hope you enjoyed our report that we undertook with Octopus Group on the entrepreneurial ambitions of young people. If somehow you missed it, here it is.

Total Package
Nesta has a new study out on the incentives for FTSE 350 executives. It suggests that remuneration packages are dominated by measures that inhibit corporate innovation.

It finds that just 16% of total FTSE 350 annual bonus conditions encourage spending on innovation compared to 39% that discourage it. The report recommends that companies examine their remuneration packages to encourage the pursuit of innovation and long-term value creation. While investors are encouraged to use their power to demand better incentives for investment in innovation.

The takeaway question for a business owner of any size is: how do you incentivise innovation?

Party Time
As part of the Female Founder Forum project we run with Barclays, we will be in Brighton at the Labour Party Conference on 23rd September, and in Manchester for the Conservative Party Conference on 30th September. Don't worry if you don't have a conference pass – we are hosting our events outside the secure zones.

Watch this space, or drop us an email to register your interest. Also, please forward this on to anyone who lives in or near either city who might want an invite.

Read the whole e-bulletin here, and sign up here.