Collaboration: a distracting buzzword, or vital for business growth?

Idea-sharing can help to encourage creativity and job satisfaction, but small firms risk losing focus on delivery

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Collaboration is one of the buzzwords of the early 21st century. It has become a hot topic among early-stage companies, governments, artists, charities, startups and corporate behemoths. Many see collaboration as a super-pill that can cure organisations’ ills, regardless of the diagnosis. But is it truly as effective as we are led to believe?

Small businesses and early-stage companies should be especially cautious. There is no denying that collaboration is fun, and often intellectually exhilarating; it can also be helpful in generating new ideas and developing projects. However, it can distract from the crucial day-to-day operational focus a young company needs to deliver results in a competitive economy. Success among early-stage organisations is rarely just down to a good idea but to the execution of that idea. To appropriate Thomas Edison, it is “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”.

The ideals behind collaboration are sound and undoubtedly well-intentioned. Literally the word means “co-labour” or “work together”, and its popularity reflects a move in workplace culture towards openness and sharing. Over the past 20 years, the digital age has helped change organisational structures, driving further advances in technology, infrastructure and shifting societal dynamics. However, a new iteration of corporate jargon has emerged. Words such as synergy, strategise and, of course, collaborate, now fill the lexicons of HR departments, politicians and management gurus.

To read the rest of the article click here.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal

Make It Global: Realising Your Potential Two-Day Workshop

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Make It Global

Realising Your Potential

When: Wednesday 9th July and Monday 14th July 2014 09:30 – 14:30 (both days need to be attended)

Where: One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, 10th Floor, London, E14 5AB

Cost: Free

Register: https://realisingyourpotential.eventbrite.co.uk

‘Skills and abilities alone do not predict performance, but ‘what you believe you can do with what you have, under a variety of circumstances, has the greatest impact’. (Albert Bandura,

We are seeking aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, business owners of micro enterprises and SME businesses to participate in the Realising Your Potential programme.

 Programme overview

Taking the first tentative steps to realising your dreams and aspirations can be exciting. However, when change is encountered it can feel debilitating even when we’ve initiated the change for ourselves. To plan and move towards the life we aspire to, practical support is essential, to take reasonable steps forward.

Realising Your Potential draws on a growing body of work in neuro-science, educational psychology and behavioural psychology. The programme introduces the participant to the key principles and a set of practical skills, that when applied consistently and over a period of time, can show results in bringing about personal change and success.

Anchored in research, the programme; helps the participant to take stock of their current position, (re)set their direction, and begin to address their beliefs, habits and attitudes. Drawing on their own inner resources participants are better equipped to identify and move towards the life they aspire to, with higher levels of self esteem, confidence and resilience.

Details:

This is the first time, CEWE and the Make It Global project are hosting the Realising Your Potential programme. One of the key features of this event is that UELs School of Psychology is undertaking a detailed evaluation of the programme to measure and evaluate its benefits for entrepreneurs and business owners.

This is a unique opportunity to experience this already successful programme with like-minded individuals from the wider business community and contribute to the potential development of the programme as a tool for supporting micro and small enterprises, more widely.

Please note, participation is not limited to CEWE and Make It Global. If you know entrepreneurs or SME business owners that can potentially benefit, please pass on these details.

 

Speaker:

Fatima Vepari

fatima

Fatima founded Sukha following 20 years experience working in-house and as a consultant leading teams and projects spanning the corporate, public and voluntary sectors.

Skilled in relationship building and influencing, Fatima has a reputation for successful planning, communication and implementation of complex organisational change projects aligning strategy, people and processes.

Cross-sectoral knowledge and experience as well as time spent working in Eastern and Southern Africa, has given Fatima the sensitivity and expertise to excel in any environment.

A qualified Coach accredited with the International Coaching Federation, Fatima is a practitioner of Myers Briggs Type Indicator and 16pf psychometric tools. Fatima is a Patron of the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Westminster Kingsway College in Victoria and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

 Practical arrangements

 The programme will be delivered over two half-days, the 9th and 14th July, Registration will begin from 9.30am for a 10am start and will finish at 2:30pm, tea and coffee and a light lunch will be provided.

Participants will need to attend both days to best utilise the learning experience and contribute fully to the evaluation – all participants will be asked to complete pre, during and post learning evaluations.

 

For further information about the workshop programme or to register for the programme contact Karen Wilton via makeitglobal@uel.ac.uk or 0208 223 6855.

Follow CEWE on Twitter or #UELMakeItGlobal

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The employee to entrepreneur transition: top 7 tips

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Making the shift from full-time employee to the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship requires a shift in mindset that many overlook.

Check out these seven tips for adjusting to life as an entrepreneur:

1. Learn to say no. Agreeing to do everything that comes along isn’t possible. Stick to your main priorities.

2. Forget about perfection. A startup doesn’t have the resources to get something to perfect.

3. Be prepared to work long hours. The typical entrepreneur often finds they need to work longer and more flexible hours than back at the office.

4. Get ready to take on different roles. You’ll be on your own, so doing your own accounting one hour and marketing the next.

5. Cope with the social isolation. Working alone can be a shock to the system, particularly if you’re working from home. To combat this, keep in touch with former colleagues, work from a coffee shop or find a shared office.

6. Stick to a schedule. Being your own boss does not mean lie-ins every day and long lunches. Create a schedule and get things done.

7. Create an entrepreneur fund. This will act as a safety net so you don’t have to worry about money for the first few months, whilst you’re starting out.

The article was from Enterprise East London.

How to manage maternity leave in your small business

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“Managing maternity leave is a challenge for all employers, but the prospect of a key team member being away for up to a year can be a particular concern for small businesses,” says consultant Cecily Lalloo of Aylesbury-based Embrace HR, which provides HR advice and support to SMEs.

As Lalloo explains, roles within small firms are often more diverse, with one person having many responsibilities, special knowledge and established customer and supplier relationships, which can make finding a suitable temporary replacement problematic.

To read the rest of the article which covers

  • Employer Concerns
  • Proper Planning
  • Statutory Maternity Leave
  • Recruitment and Induction
  • Caution Advised
  • Common Mistakes

click here.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal

Why British businesses should consider exporting to Poland

Warsaw's Arcadia shopping centre

Poland is a fast-developing country benefiting from post-communist economic liberalisation, with a growing appetite for western products. Political freedom led to the country becoming the 22nd largest globally by GDP. Before political liberalisation in 1989, Polish consumers had limited choice when it came to buying products. Nearly everything was developed by public sector organisations driven by politics. These organisations had 30-year business plans which were based on political ideals rather than market research or customer demand. Consumers ended up with homogenous products that didn’t really meet their tastes.

Western products were inaccessible unless Poles travelled abroad, and even then were unaffordable for most people. This is one of the reasons why Polish consumers now have such high demand for western brands. Not only do Polish consumers want the brands, they have the finance to back up the demand.

Research from KPMG shows wealthy Poles spend 18% of their income on luxury goods, and aspirational Poles spend 13% on luxury goods. The total spend in Poland in 2012 on luxury goods was 36.8bn zloty (around £7.2bn), up by over 10% since 2011. This figure is expected to keep rising, hitting 46.4bn zloty by 2015. The Poles’ budget for spending is going up.

As a second generation Pole, every time I visit Poland I’m struck by how quickly the country is developing both economically and culturally. Visiting 15 years ago, it was still difficult to find western products; now, it’s quite the reverse, with shelves stacked full of familiar western brands like Wilkinson Sword and Head and Shoulders.

To read the rest of the article click here.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal

TLA Women’s Group Present Finance For Female Entrepreneurs: Challenges And Oppotunities

 

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Is there a social bias towards female entrepreneurs? What are the funding opportunities for young entrepreneurs in London? Tech London Advocates Women’s Group & Pivotal Innovations at Level39 would like to invite you to discuss these issues and learn about  some of the complexities women entrepreneurs face when raising capital. In the first of a series of events, we explore the big questions facing entrepreneurs, in particular how to  gain access to finance, avoid “pitch falls” and explore the social and cultural biases when  sourcing funding, if they still exist. The evening will include a panel discussion with Dale  Murray, award-winning British business angel investor, Bindi Karia from Silicon Valley Bank and Helene Panzarino from Growth Accelerator. Take part in a collaborative dialogue which aims to challenge and inform current practices by representing both sides of the process:
Investor <> Entrepreneur
Date: 18th June, 2014
Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Venue: Level39 Technology Accelerator, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Register: please RSVP: http://bit.ly/1lMmd2f
For any questions please contact: Iris Margulis – iris@pivotalinnovations.com

Crowdsourcing for startup success

crown sourceIf banks aren’t an option, peer-to-peer investment could offer an attractive avenue for would-be entrepreneurs looking to bring a new idea to market

Widespread job cuts and stricter banking terms have driven aspiring entrepreneurs into the arms of online investment communities in recent months, to the point that crowdfunding has become a mainstream means of accessing money for anyone with a great idea.

Of course it’s not quite as easy as that, but compared to established channels for raising finance, it is repeatedly proving to be a more viable model – certainly for more left-field ventures.

Crowdfunding is a peer-to-peer investment model, typically orchestrated online, where people are invited to put up a very small amount of money (as little as £10 if they like) to help realise an inventor’s dream. The typical scenario, a bit like on Dragons’ Den, is that unless a candidate attracts 100% of the amount needed within the designated time period, they walk away with nothing. The phenomenon has become so popular that the FCA, the financial services industry regulator, has begun introducing controls to protect private investors.

There are no guarantees for those trying to raise the finance, but at least those testing an idea are able to get a foot through the door. And when the money comes, it can flow. Kickstarter, one of the biggest crowdsourcing platforms internationally, has brokered investment pledges exceeding $1 billion since it was founded five years ago.

Edinburgh-based Ryan O’Rorke recently generated more than £150,000 in funding via the Angel’s Den crowdfunding platform. His business,Flavourly, delivers gourmet food (Flavour Boxes) and niche beer on a monthly subscription model. The business became one of the fastest ever to be equity crowdfunded in the UK, reaching its target within 24 hours of appealing to investors. The young startup business is now taking up a stretch-funding option to use surplus funds to drive sales.

Angel’s Den’s crowdfunding platform represents a pool of 6,000 business angels with funds to invest. It was a route O’Rorke only tried this year, having started up with £500 of his own money, winnings from a Scottish business competition, and some seed funding from two private investors.

Flavourly’s ambitions are far from modest. By the end of 2013, after only six months in business, the company had achieved sales of £170,000. With the crowdfunding, O’Rorke hopes to tip £1m in sales within the next few months, and have 10,000 active subscribers by the end of this year.

“2014 is supposed to be the year for crowdfunding, and it’s a good option,” O’Rorke says. “I can’t think of any reason not to go down this route. We chose Angel’s Den because of the Scottish connection and they’re very professional. By going down the crowd route we’ve gained access to a pool of 12 investors who together bring financial, marketing and customer acquisition skills to the table. For a young company like ours, that’s invaluable.”

To read the rest of the article click here.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal

Be image conscious and flexible: marketing tips for small businesses

It is essential you think carefully about the image you want to project and spend time on a marketing plan, says James Caan

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Marketing is essential for the success of any business. It doesn’t matter how great the product or service you are offering is if nobody knows about it. You need to market every strand of your business – and that includes yourself.

Businesses are built by people and their success is dependent on the quality of those people. Both you and your employees represent your company so it is essential you think about the image you are projecting. When creating and implementing your marketing plan, it is important to think about your branding and how you want your business to be perceived, both in the short and longer term. Here are my key tips for successfully marketing a small business.

Know your audience

The way you market your business will depend on your sector, customers and service – one size won’t fit all. You need to make sure you are targeting your campaigns, spending time researching your audience and focusing on the message you are trying to communicate.

Make sure your actions are relevant to your target audience and know the best avenues to reach them. There is no point using a marketing channel that your audience won’t see.

Have clear objectives

It is important that marketing is not an afterthought. Marketing activity needs to be planned in advance if it is going to yield results, so ensure you have a clear target in mind. Do you want to increase sales, drive traffic to your website or simply raise awareness?

To read the rest of the article click here.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal

Capitalising on social media to grow your business

Social media reach

For many small businesses, expensive advertising campaigns or big, splashy PR stunts simply aren’t an option. This means that in the initial phases, business owners are faced with a challenge: how to build the brand awareness your company needs while keeping costs down?

There are a number of efficient PR and marketing strategies that companies can implement to build awareness among their target customers, but one area that is often overlooked by small businesses, or executed poorly, is social media. Social media, when used strategically, can give you direct engagement with many of your target audiences. Twitter now has grown to 241 million monthly active users, while Facebook has 1.2 billion members. Obviously, for those companies starting out, these channels give access to vast numbers of people, whether it’s to raise awareness, create engagement or drive revenues.

The possibilities presented by social media channels are endless, but how can businesses ensure that they use them in the right way, to support their business objectives, rather than wasting time and resources to no end? It is all too easy to think “we need to be on social media” and not get any further than that. Unsurprisingly, however, a successful social media platform needs a strong strategy behind it, if it’s going to generate results.

Like much communication, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are some basic questions that companies can ask themselves about creating relevant and engaging strategies.

Who am I trying to reach?

This might sound obvious, but too many businesses launch into social media without thinking about what they want to get out of it. Unsurprisingly, this rarely yields results. Instead, companies need to think about what they are trying to achieve, and work out their strategy from there. A key part of this is understanding your audience. Are you a business-to-business brand trying to reach CEOs, or are you a consumer brand whose main customers will be mothers? Do you have secondary audiences such as regulators, journalists or NGOs? Establish clearly who your primary and secondary audiences are.

What channels are most appropriate to reach these people?

It’s important to think carefully about what channels are most appropriate for your key audiences. If you’re a B2B brand, for instance, you may find that you have limited success using Facebook.

To read the rest of the article click here.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal

Mother of all inventions – how I used technology to build my business

Toasting successAs a parent and entrepreneur, I need to be constantly connected regardless of location, writes Melissa Edmunds

I have been working on the Safesip invention for a number of years and began trading in 2012. The idea first sprang to mind when my young son knocked over a drink in a restaurant and also when my father was taken ill and hospitalised. I realised that a solution was needed to stop drinks spilling and to make life easier for people who need assistance when drinking. That’s when Safesip was born – a drink cover that is simple to use and stretches over almost any glass, cup or can to stops spills.

After that, my business grew quickly. I gained clients ranging from the general public, specialist retailers and e-commerce merchants to medical organisations and trusts. However, as a mother I also had other more pressing responsibilities to tend to, so communication and contact has never been more crucial.

Using technology to improve communication

As a mother and entrepreneur, I need to ensure I’m constantly connected regardless of location, so I implemented RingCentral‘s cloud-based telephone system. It allows me to run my business through a single telephone number that I can route to my mobile or landline. This means I never miss a critical business call, even when on a school run or on a family weekend away. A year ago I realised how crucial this is for the business. I was away from the office when I received a call from an NHS trust that wanted to do some trials of the product. Getting hold of the right person at the right time in organisations as diverse and big as the NHS is extremely difficult so being contactable when the call came in meant we were able to set up the trial pretty quickly.

I also wanted to ensure I had a professional image for the business and opted for an 0800 free phone number that I could publicise on the website, stationery, business cards and all company materials. The number lends my business professional credibility as there is no cost to the caller.

Keeping a lid on costs

To read the rest of the article click here.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal

 

 

Invitation to Intel’s Supply Connections event on Wednesday 21st May 2014, London

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Intel Supply Connections – Promoting Women at the Heart of Economic Growth  

Date: Wednesday 21st May 2014
Time: 9am to 3pm
Venue: Council Chamber, Battersea Arts Centre, London
Cost: £20 per person + VAT + Eventbrite booking fee
RSVP/register by: Tuesday 13th May 2014

You can register for this event online and find out more information here.

please note, a maximum of two people per company can attend.

It’s no secret that healthy competition leads to better products and services and a strengthened economy. Entrepreneurs have always been the catalysts for economic growth, and Intel has long been a champion of their efforts. To continue this tradition, Intel provides individuals with the technological skills, literacy, and resources they need to help their businesses succeed. Along with this we are dedicated to building an innovative and diverse supply chain reflecting the market and supporting the communities we work in. We believe that when an individual’s ideas are given the chance to flourish, the results are overwhelmingly positive for the entire community. Intel was created by entrepreneurs and supported by the people who believed in them. We are driving a new initiative in the supply chain and giving individuals the skills to compete in any economy. We are hosting a conference in collaboration with Kelly Services dedicated to women owned business to promote women in our supply chain.

This event is aimed at majority owned women’s businesses – those that are minimum 51% owned by one or more women – who provide products and services in the following sectors: marketing, HR, recruitment, catering, training, advertising, merchandise, events, corporate services, facilities management, legal and technology. If your business falls into another sector and you are interested in attending, please contact Maggie Berry at WEConnect International: mberry@weconnectinternational.org.

 

Small businesses gain prestigious free advertising as part of Your Ad Here project

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Over 140 businesses applied online for a chance to be part of the Your Ad Here project which will see posters promoting 35 businesses within the Olympic boroughs placed on empty shop hoardings across Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The project, which was commissioned by the London Legacy Development Corporation and carried out by Moniker Projects and Create London, will give the winning small business owners three years of free advertising.

To read the rest of the article click here.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal

Make It Global Business – Moving Curtains launch an app with the help of a UEL student

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A University of East London student and a businesswoman have launched an innovative app to make choosing and buying curtains a walk in a room.

PhD software engineering student Ivan Semelis designed the mobile app for Moving Curtains owner, Jean French, to make it much easier, quicker and simpler to get new curtains.

The Moving Curtains app, for mobile and tablet devises, has various features including camera usage to capture windows, colours and fabrics and it enables users to mix and match colours, transparencies and apply fabrics or patterns to each image. It can generate reports, save and load projects and can calculate the amount of fabric from your measurements giving a breakdown of costs.

Ivan, 25, who lives in Dagenham, and spent six months designing the app said: “The Moving Curtains project has given me extensive practical and theoretical knowledge in app development and programming generally. I’m delighted the app is now launched, fully working and people are happy with it.”

The pair were introduced by Ivan’s supervisor, Dr Usman Naeem, from the School of Architecture, Computing & Engineering who met Jean through the University of East London’s ‘Make It Global’ project, which supports London-based companies that are majority female-owned and want to expand nationally and internationally.

To read the rest of the article please click here.

To see what student internship opportunities you can also receive from the University of East London please click here.

Make sure you like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and use our hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal, for other updates from the project and external help.

5 steps towards effective business development

Guest post from Tigris Management

BD-photoIt’s the start of the year and no doubt you have asked your business development team to dig out their lists of targets for 2014 and review.  There is a renewed effort to get more meetings and win more business, right?

But how can you check whether you are focusing on the right activities and in the right way?

Here are 5 steps towards making your business development efforts more effective.

1.    Remind yourself of your overall corporate strategy. 

  • Does your business development strategy meet the company’s overall objectives?
  • How do the companies on your list of targets meet the overall corporate strategy?

2.    Review your management information. 

  • What does your sales pipeline information tell you about where your revenue is coming from?  If it doesn’t, what do you need to include to understand this?
  • How profitable is the business you have won?
  • What is your win / loss ratio?

3.    Review your sales and pitch processes. 

  • Where you’ve been successful, what has worked?  Where you’ve been unsuccessful, what feedback did you get?
  • If you didn’t ask for feedback or didn’t record it…why?
  • Talk to clients that you have pitched to successfully and unsuccessfully for their honest feedback.

4.    Understand the behaviours and attitudes of those people in your business who are most successful at winning profitable business and then share this information!

  • Start creating a culture of business development across your business
  • Solicit opinions more broadly across the business, too.  Sometimes the expert is the person sitting next to you.

5.    Identify opportunities to cross-sell and grow business from existing clients. 

  • What are your clients’ overall corporate objectives and how can you help them achieve them?  How is this documented and regularly reviewed i.e. in an account plan?
  • If you ask open questions and listen to your clients carefully, you may hear a cry for help and you might know another team within the business that can support.

This blog post was a contribution from Make It Global beneficiary Rakhee Verma Tigris Management.

A small business guide to alternative funding

Man holding empty wallet

There’s plenty of support for startups and growing SMEs seeking financial backing outside of the banks

Banks seem to be closing their doors to startup businesses, but that shouldn’t deter entrepreneurs from seeking funding. In fact, there are more funding options open to startups than ever before as new services have emerged to fill the gap.

Emily Brooke, founder and chief executive of Blaze, has tried several different sources of funding for her business which provides innovative products for urban cyclists.

Early on she used Seedrs, an equity-based crowdfunding platform, and Kickstarter, where she achieved her target of £25,000 in just a few days. She chose the crowdfunding route for three reasons: “Firstly, proof of concept and the ability to validate the idea before speaking to distributors, retailers and manufacturers; secondly, to get feedback from early adopters; thirdly, to increase awareness,” Brooke says.

She has also used business angels (individuals of high net worth) which she found to be a fairly easy process, as well as venture capitalists (“much more complicated”). Angels provided individual support, though they lacked the “deep pockets” she might have needed down the line. Venture capital was process-intensive and a big decision to take on, but provided “incredibly valuable learning and validation of the business”.

Boundaries between the different funding routes are blurring as crowdfunding becomes mainstream and more traditional funding providers embrace the channel. Angels Den in Scotland, which runs “speed funding” events (where startups can pitch in three-minute bursts to up to 30 investors in one day), now also provides online crowdfunding supported by its angel network.

Meanwhile a newly launched crowdfunding platform, kriticalmass, lets projects court sponsorship and endorsement from major brands and celebrities, in addition to generating funds and sourcing volunteers.

To read the rest of the article click here.

How will the Budget help businesses?

1_fullsizeChancellor George Osborne has delivered his Budget Statement to Parliament, setting out how the government will take further action to secure the recovery and build a resilient economy.

Budget 2014 announces the government will help British businesses by:

  • doubling the annual investment allowance to £500,000 until the end of 2015
  • offering the best export finance in Europe
  • reducing energy costs, to ensure that the UK remains a competitive location for manufacturing

The government is taking decisions that will support businesses to invest, export, and create jobs – laying the foundations for sustainable economic growth. This Budget sets out the most radical reforms to saving for a generation, providing security for families to plan for their future. And it reduces taxes for hardworking people, while taking further steps to tackle tax avoidance.

To read the rest of the article read here.

For more information on the Make It Global 2-day Key to International Trading workshops and to register click here.

What small businesses need to know about exporting

How can SMEs avoid potential pitfalls and maximise their chances of success? Those in the know offer their advice

People walk under Japanese national flag

Although the UK economy is at last delivering growth, many SMEs realised a simple truth during the global financial : domestic markets cannot always be relied on, and exporting not only provides additional revenue – it can diversify risk.

The government is therefore setting industry a target of doubling exports to £1tn a year by 2020. While there is considerable doubt as to how realistic a target this may be, SMEs can at least be confident that help is on offer from government departments as a wave of new companies are encouraged to repeat domestic success in new markets.

For those who have already launched export drives, or who have helped others enter new markets, there are some very clear guidelines as to how an SME can maximise its chances of success.

To read the rest of the article read here.

For more information on the Make It Global 2-day Key to International Trading workshops and to register click here.

Exporting to Turkey: tips on getting started

With its impressive economic growth record, Turkey is fast becoming an attractive country for small businesses to export to. Here’s how to break into the world’s 17th largest economy

Turkey - Jun 2009Turkey has rapidly emerged as a high-growth market and a hugely attractive destination for those looking to do business abroad. Already the world’s 17th largest economy, Turkey has an impressive economic growth record.

With a large and young population, a talented workforce, and an advantageous geographical position, it’s a market which can’t be overlooked by businesses looking to grow and prosper on an international scale. But Turkey has social and business customs that must be taken into account in any market entry strategy. One crucial point to consider is that – in the words of the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) – doing business in Turkey is truly “personal,” with any business venture relying heavily upon relationships and networking.

Meeting likeminded business people in Turkey and hearing their success stories is a huge motivator for success, according to Melek Pulatkonak, founder and creator of the Turkish Women’s International Network. According to Pulatkonak, a combination of online and offline engagement is the “magic formula” to networking success in Turkey. Here are some tips on getting started:

To read the rest of the article read here.

For more information on the Make It Global 2-day Key to International Trading workshops and to register click here.

My breakthrough moment in China

Shaun Pulfrey always had grand ambitions for his Tangle Teezer hairbrush. Six years on he is now exporting across Europe and into Asia. He shares his experience

Shopping in Shanghai

Great Britain has always been an exporting nation. However, the economic challenges of recent years have meant that many small businesses have concentrated on day-to-day survival, rather than ambitious plans for global growth. But, there has never been a better time for these firms to shift their focus from the risks of export to the potential rewards it can bring.

Exporting was a key pillar of my business, Tangle Teezer, from the word go. I had to overcome concerns about trading overseas as I knew the UK was never going to be a big enough market for us. However, the road to export can be a daunting one if you have never done it before. There are numerous hurdles to overcome, from practical considerations such as language barriers and marketing capabilities, to logistical worries about late payment and legalities. It’s easy for firms to stick to their comfort zone and put export in the “too difficult” box. But, I’m a firm believer in seeing the opportunity instead of the challenge and think others should approach business with the same positivity.

To read the rest of the article read here.

For more information on the Make It Global 2-day Key to International Trading workshops and to register click here.

Nearly half of UK SMEs expect growth over next 12 months

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New research released by the BDRC Continental has revealed that only 21% of SMEs see the economy as a major obstacle to the growth of their business, compared to 37% in Q1 2012.

The SME Finance Monitor also revealed that almost half of UK SMEs predict they will expand over the next year.

Shiona Davies, Director at BDRC Continental, said: “SMEs ended 2013 feeling more positive about the economy. However, there are few signs of this leading to an increased demand for external finance.”

“There is little in the way of frustrated demand, as eight out of ten SMEs are ‘happy non-seekers’ of finance.

To read the full article click here.

Make sure you  like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and use our hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal, for other updates from the project and external help.

Chancellor urges UK SMEs to make the most of opportunities in Asia

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In his speech to Hong Kong business leaders on 20 February, George Osborne called for Britain’s businesses to invest in the budding Asian market.

Osborne said: “Britain is not investing enough or exporting enough. We cannot rely on consumers alone for our economic growth, as we did in previous decades.” He signaled moves to stimulate exports, saying he wanted to see ‘Made in Britain’ products visible around the world.

In order to be truly successful internationally, SMEs must think big and invest in the development of language skills such as Mandarin.

To read the full article click here.

Make sure you  like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and use our hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal, for other updates from the project and external help.

SME Innovation, Exporting and Growth

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SMEs which have a track record of innovation are more likely to export, more likely to export successfully, and more likely to generate growth from exporting than non-innovating firms. Both internal and eco-system factors are important in shaping SME innovation and exporting. For SMEs specifically, however, the evidence base remains limited in some areas.

This whitepaper from the Enterprise Research Centre provides evidence on the internal drivers of innovation and exporting reinforces the importance of a number of key UK policy initiatives.

To see the article and to download the report click here.

Digital or bust: the benefits of keeping your head in the cloud

shutterstock_109387343The way we do business has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. As technology continues to advance there are now a plethora of digital tools that can simplify business processes and increase efficiency. Gone are the days of hiring meeting rooms and couriers, this is the era of videoconferencing and the cloud.

Just as the fax was superseded by the email, we’re slowly moving towards the total digitisation of business practices. Tech savvy enterprises are moving a range of day-to-day processes online in order to gain a competitive advantage. Every time a company has to take something offline, such as paying an invoice or signing a contract, precious time is lost and unnecessary costs are incurred. For business customers, lost time and wasted money results in a poor customer experience and, with customers themselves becoming increasingly tech-savvy, companies need to keep up.

The digitisation of a nation

We are now seeing industries rushing to adapt to customer demands for digital business processes. According to a recent study by Accenture, more customers are choosing to bank online which is leading to greater competition between established banks and digital-only players. Mobile commerce is also on the rise, with research from Deloitte finding 68% of shoppers plan to use their mobile devices for online shopping over the holiday period.

To read the rest of the article please click here.

Why don’t you join Make It Global in the 3-day Tech Series taking place on the 13th, 20th and 27th of March in Canary Wharf, for more information and to register click here.

60% of customers wouldn’t trust a business lacking an online presence

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Recent research has revealed the importance of an online presence for growing businesses, with the majority of UK consumers saying they would not trust a business if they couldn’t find any information about it online.

New research from bOnline has revealed that out of the 750 surveyed consumers, almost half (47%) of customers said they expect every small business to have a website, with a further 36% saying it depends on their business type. Only 17% said they do not expect small businesses to have a website.

To read the rest of the article please click here.

Why don’t you join Make It Global in the 3-day Tech Series taking place on the 13th, 20th and 27th of March in Canary Wharf, for more information and to register click here.

New mobile technologies mean better cashflow is on the cards

chip and pin card machinesMany small businesses are benefiting from being able to accept instant card payments through their smartphones

Credit and debit cards have been in use for more than half a century yet they have, until now, made little impact on the cashflow of small businesses.

Card-reading terminals are expensive for banks to provide to merchants and so monthly rental fees, plus the cost of a dedicated phoneline, can equate to a monthly bill well in excess of £50. Contracts typically tie businesses to a provider for two years or longer and so small companies do not have a cost-effective way to discover if the boost to cashflow offsets the set-up costs.

This could be about to change, however, with the introduction of several systems that do not follow the traditional model of fixed card readers which are supplied with monthly rental bills. Instead they use the processing power of modern smartphones to accept credit and debit card payments with very little, or no, upfront cost and no contractual tie-in period.

To read the rest of the article please click here.

Why don’t you join Make It Global in the 3-day Tech Series taking place on the 13th, 20th and 27th of March in Canary Wharf, for more information and to register click here.

6 tips on how to integrate your social media strategy

soc-300x225If your small business is active or considering being active on social media, it’s important to start embedding a social media strategy into wider organisational strategies, business functions and processes. This move will ensure you can connect with your prospects and customers across a variety of touch points in the customer journey.

To read the 6 tips from Enterprise East London please click here.

Why don’t you join Make It Global in the 3-day Tech Series taking place on the 13th, 20th and 27th of March in Canary Wharf, for more information and to register click here.

SMEs to embrace sustainability practices in 2014

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A recent survey from Lloyds Commercial Banking has revealed that one in four small to medium-sized businesses in the UK said they will be making sustainable business practices a priority over the next 12 months.

Questioning 1000 SMEs with a turnover of up to £25 million, the results revealed that the 87% of SMEs already implementing sustainable business practices are only focusing on such things as energy saving and recycling, rather than broadening their environmental activities.

Over half (54%) of SMEs surveyed said they believed their sustainability practices helped reduce costs, with 30% arguing they helped increase profitability.

To read the rest of the article please click here.
Make sure you  like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and use our hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal, for other updates from the project and external help.

Maiden Voyage – A Free Social Network for Women Business Travellers

MV_logo A Free Social Network for Women Business Travellers

Meet like-minded professional women for dinner around the world, stay in female friendly hotels and use our safety tips to ensure your business trip is safe & social

Maiden Voyage aims to connect women who are travelling so that they can meet and socialise in all manner of ways, be it over dinner, a trip to the theatre or even something more adventurous such as roller-blading. The primary aim is fun rather than business, but if business relationships are born then that’s an added bonus. We also aim to bring useful travel and safety information to our readers and recommend products and services which appeal to the female business traveller.

MV IMG_2460It was on a lonely business trip to LA that Maiden Voyage’s founder Carolyn Pearson, came up with the idea of an internet networking site through which business women could meet up with like-minded women to make the most of their leisure time whilst travelling. Encouragement to bring the site to life came from other business women who had spent many lonely evenings in their hotel rooms, often working, usually eating room service to avoid the embarrassment of eating alone in public places and receiving unwanted male attention.

Benefits of joining maiden-voyage.com include:

  • Free membership for both individual and corporate members
  • Secure networking with other professional women around the world
  • Access to a network of international ambassadors who can give you inside information about their home cities, recommend places to stay or even meet or assist you on your travels
  • Access to our database of hotel inspection results, including all the hotels who have failed to meet our female friendly criteria
  • Discounted rates (for UK residents) for pre-booked parking at particpating  Q-Park car parks
  • 10% Discount on Airport Parking, Hotel and Airport Hotel and Parking Package and Executive Style Airport Lounges from APH
  • 50% Discount on a years subscription to Business Traveller Magazine

Maiden Voyage also offer safety tips during travelling, also recommend certified Female Friendly Hotels that have been personally inspected by a female representative of maiden-voyage.com. Only those properties which pass a stringent inspection will be recommended.

Other ways to connect with Maiden Voyage is through the Ambassador Network or connecting through twitter, where you can tweet them a travel related question.

RSA Fellowship: supporting entrepreneurs since 1754

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The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is an organisation that has been committed to finding practical solutions to social challenges for over two and a half centuries.

So much of what has been achieved in this time could have not have happened without our diverse network of 27,000 Fellows.

Joining the Fellowship offers access to a huge, international resource of expertise and experience where you can make valuable connections, share skills and gain access to funding. You will also have access to the library, café and all the meeting spaces at RSA House.

We believe the RSA is the best place to have an idea.

So, what do RSA Fellows do?

Fellows’ projects range from the local to the international:  Catherine Shovelin FRSA has recently been supported to transform the New Cross Learning Centre – a vital community space in South London whilst Blair Glencourse FRSA successfully crowdfunded his idea to build a Wiki page that would help Nepalese citizens navigate government processes. You can read about these projects and many more on the RSA Crowdfunding page.

The RSA and its Fellows are not afraid to question the status quo and create alternative solutions.

We champion those who challenge popular perceptions and offer fresh thinking around emerging, modern problems. Our recent short animation by Dr Brené Brown does exactly this by looking at the difference between sympathy and empathy, a distinction often missed.

Across the Fellowship there are hundreds more examples of how together we are moving forward. Fellowship is open to anyone anywhere in the world who shares or demonstrates our commitment to positive social change.

 If you are interested in any of the ideas or projects above, then we’d love to hear from you.

For more information or if you would like to visit RSA House for a tour of the facilities and a chat about Fellowship then please contact Fellowship Development Coordinator Alex Barker.

How to attract the best talent

James Caan gives us his top tips on how to attract the most talented individuals.

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I have long said that the recruitment sector is a good indicator of where our economy is heading. It is one of the first to suffer in a recession, as businesses cut down on hiring – and one of the first to pick up in a recovery. It is now predicted to surpass its pre-recession peak in terms of turnover, which is a clear indicator of how the job market is picking up.

For those small and medium sized enterprises which are the heartbeat of the economy, this is now a crucial time. Last week, Business Matters spoke about how SMEs can best retain their talent, as employees may be tempted to move jobs now that there is less uncertainty. But just as important as talent retention is talent attraction. A successful business is built on the passion and quality of the people within it, and getting the right people on board is the best way to drive a company forward.

What I often do at Hamilton Bradshaw is look for people rather than a specific job. When I find somebody who I believe has the ability and personality I am looking for, I create a role specifically for them. I do this several times a year and have found this to be the best way of taking my business to the next level.

A lot of SMEs worry that they will not be able to compete with the large corporates when it comes to hiring, but one of the biggest things a small business has going for it is the culture – by nature they are generally more flexible and entrepreneurial. If you can communicate this properly then you will be just as appealing to work for.

Word of mouth plays a key role here. If your current staff enjoy the working environment – which is often less bureaucratic than you’d find elsewhere – then you will find that their industry peers will sit up and take notice. Consider offering rewards for employee referrals. Not only does it encourage your current staff to network, which is always good practice, but it means people who come into the business will have a clear picture of exactly what it’s like to work for you.

To read the rest of what James Caan had to say read here.

From zero to 75,000 Facebook followers in just over a year: One start-up’s top three tactics

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Social media is often heralded as a breakthrough for small business, connecting them directly with their customers and providing them the opportunity to turn them into fans and advocates.

But the bigger your following, the better the investment. So how do you grow it?

Photographer Richard Hirst launched his Facebook page 20 months ago. Since then, he says promoting his work on the platform has become a key part of his business.

“I started with no fans and now I have 75,000. That’s not big for a big company, but for a small business that’s incredible. Building a database that big would take a very long time,” Hirst says.

Hirst only realised the power of the platform after he started sharing his sunrise shots through his page so his friends could follow his work.

Pictures are particularly powerful for developing a following on social platforms.StartupSmart spoke to Facebook’s Australian head of small business last month about his tips on how to use images for boosting engagement.

Hirst says he hasn’t tracked the conversion rate, but estimates almost 80% of his website visits come either directly from Facebook or people who discovered his work on the platform.

He shared his top three tips with StartupSmart. To read the whole StartupSmart article and the tips click here.

How UKTI helps UK companies export

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets by helping them export their products and services overseas.

UKTI has professional advisers both within the UK and across more than 100 international markets.

In this film, Theo Paphitis of Dragon’s Den introduces how UKTI can help your business expand overseas. The film shows you the process of identifying, researching and developing solid international export links to help build your business globally.

Find out how UKTI can really help your business – this film details what UKTI can do for you right now.

The second film in this series explains what UKTI did for a wide selection of UK SMEs. To view please go to http://youtu.be/J8ztd-v_IZs

How boosting your profile is an effective business-winning formula

SME owners are raising their own profile to get ahead, becoming known as experts while boosting awareness of their ventures

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“I need to build my brand because people are, in effect, buying me. I am my brand.”

Chris Beastall doesn’t just manage men’s grooming retailer Niven & Joshua, which he co-founded in 2008; he’s a writer of sorts, penning articles for online men’s magazines AskMen and FashionBeans. Beastall added another string to his bow last year when he became a columnist for men’s style and lifestyle magazine Esquire.

“I’ve been writing for magazines and blogs about men’s grooming for some time now,” says Beastall. “When brands and industry people see my writing, they consider me more an expert in the men’s grooming sector. It’s often resulted in brands asking for my input into products like a new shaver or cream.”

The boosting of Beastall’s own profile doesn’t just make for a sparkling CV; it has proven to be an effective business-winning formula for the Matlock-based company.

To read the rest of the article click here.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal

Why SMEs should go mobile in 2014

As the world continues to embrace mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, it’s becoming increasingly important for small businesses to take advantage of digital trends. Check out this infographic from MDM for advice on why going mobile is key this year.

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Click here for the Enterprise East London site the infograph.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal

Exporting: choosing the right country for your small business

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What do three of the world’s biggest markets – Brazil, India and China – have to offer small business exporters?

For small businesses looking to grow, branching out overseas has the potential to reap huge rewards. Many SMEs, however, remain apprehensive about exporting for the first time.

The UKTI’s National Export Week, which took place between 11 November and 15 November, aimed to change SME owners’ minds, holding workshops and seminars across the country to highlight overseas opportunities.

With a daunting array of countries to choose from, how do you know which markets are right for your product or service?

We went along to the UKTI’s Explore Export event at the Oval in London to find out what three of the world’s biggest markets – Brazil, India and China – had to offer small business exporters.

To continue reading the rest of the article please click here.

To keep up to date with the latest Make It Global news, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Share your own tips with other Make It Global businesses by using the hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal

Why online video is the future of content marketing

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Video is taking content marketing by storm, but you’ll have to do more than just make one to realise its full potential

If it were five years in the future, would you be reading this article or would you be watching it? As online video continues its inimitable rise, it’s an interesting question to ponder.

By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. Video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost trebled. Leafing through a swathe of statistics on the subject, I’m hard pressed to find any indicator that doesn’t suggest rapid growth.

With online video quickly becoming a key means for people to satisfy their information and entertainment needs, small businesses that fail to include it in their internet marketing strategies will do so at their peril.

Video is the future of content marketing. That is, if it’s not the here and now. Various studies show more than half of companies are already making use of the medium – a figure that’s predicted to rise as more and more realise the possibilities. Nielsen claims 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future. It’s not difficult to see why.

When it comes to potential reach, video is peerless. YouTube receives more than one billion unique visitors every month – that’s more than any other channel, apart from Facebook. One in three Britons view at least one online video a week – that’s a weekly audience of more than 20 million people in the UK alone. Video can give you access to all this. Video done well can give you a slice of it. What other form of content can do the same?

To read the rest of the article click here.

Get in touch with #UELMakeItGlobal to talk about your success from Make It Global, we can upload your video and feature you in our next newsletter and blog.

Make sure you  like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and use our hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal, for other updates from the project and external help.

Exporting is GREAT

“Make friends with your UKTI International Trade Advisor” Cundall engineering is an international multi-disciplinary consultancy operating from over 20 locations across the globe, and has used UK Trade & Investment’s help to export.
Carole O’Neill of Cundall talks about the company’s success and gives tips to exporters in this short video. To arrange a meetng with a UKTI international trade adviser, visit http://www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/ukti

 

Santander Responsible Small Business Award

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Responsible Business Awards

The UK’s longest-running and most robust corporate responsibility awards champions organisations that are delivering positive impact on employees, young people, local communities and the environment.  Rigorously assessed by business peers, these awards are an opportunity for businesses of any size to be recognised for their commitment to a wide range of responsible business practices both in the UK and internationally.

The wide range of award categories on offer includes the Santander Responsible Small Business Award which identifies and celebrates businesses that are demonstrating an holistic responsible approach to business in the realms of community, environment, marketplace and amongst their workforce.

The aim of the Santander Responsible Small Business of the Year Award is to recognise and reward smaller businesses that have integrated responsible business practice across their operations.

Criteria

The award will recognise those smaller businesses that are moving beyond short-term gain and are orienting themselves to build resilience and the long-term viability of their business by having a positive impact in all four of the following areas:

  • Community – how the business supports, recruits from, trades with and engages with local communities of greatest need
  • Environment – how the business seeks to improve its impact on the environment
  • Marketplace – how the business develops its products, works with suppliers and markets to its customers
  • Workplace – how the business invests in the diversity, skills and well-being of its employees

The award will recognise the business which can demonstrate the business case for its own organisation of integrating responsible business practice, alongside the positive societal and environmental impacts.

The award is open to independent trading businesses with no parent company, employing fewer than 1500 employees (or full time equivalent) and with a turnover of under £250m. We accept entries from privately owned businesses, as well as financially sustainable social enterprises.

Read more about the awards and a chance to enter here.

Launch of the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

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Launch of the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards seek to encourage entrepreneurial activity and recognise the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. The Awards operate globally across 145 cities and 60 countries worldwide, celebrating those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses.

In Great Britain, entries will be grouped into four regional programmes (Scotland; North; Midlands; and London, the South and Wales) to determine regional winners, with regional winners going forward to a UK Masterclass to compete for the Overall UK Entrepreneur of the Year title. The UK overall winner will then go on to represent the UK at the World Entrepreneur of the Year awards in June 2014 in Monte Carlo. Note: Entries from Northern Ireland are invited at http://www.eoy.tv

The benefits of entering include the following:

  • Opportunity to join a global business network.
  • Opportunities to excel – from regional to national to global success.
  • Significant profile-raising through regional and national media coverage.

The following categories make up the 2014 Awards programme:

  • Emerging – an entrepreneur that is leading a business which has been running between two and seven years with a sustainable business model and the potential to scale or grow their business.
  • International – an entrepreneur who has developed business in international locations either by exporting or by establishing operations in multiple countries.
  • Private Equity-backed – an entrepreneur who is leveraging private equity support to achieve their long term vision and maximise the growth of their business.
  • Social Enterprise – an entrepreneur who trades for social and/or environmental purposes. As with all businesses, their social enterprise competes to deliver goods and services but they are distinctive because their social and/or environmental purpose is absolutely central to what they do.
  • World of Entrepreneur of the Year Award – The year’s country winners from around the world gather in Monte Carlo, Monaco, to be inducted into the World Entrepreneur of the Year Academy and to vie for the title of World Entrepreneur of the Year.

UK entrants must be based or have their chief operations in the UK, and must have been incorporated for at least two years as of 1 January 2014.

The deadline for receipt of applications is 7 March 2014.

To read more information about The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and for the chance to participate click here.

Quarter of SMEs to make sustainability a top priority in 2014

newsimg_sustainability-planOne in four small businesses in the UK plan to make sustainable business practices a priority in 2014, according to a survey by Lloyds Commercial Banking.

The survey also reveals a third of small businesses expect to increase investment in sustainable business practices over the next five years. It was carried out by Gusto Research on behalf of Lloyds Bank and drew on responses from more than 1000 small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a turnover of up to £25 million.

The findings suggest 2014 could be a turning point for sustainability in the SME sector as small businesses begin to recognise the value of green businesses practices in growing their business.
The report found that over half (54 per cent) believe business sustainability helps reduce their costs and just under a third (30 per cent) believe it increases their profitability.

Broaden sustainability
Most SMEs that are already implementing sustainable business practices (87 per cent) are, however, still focused on narrow environmental activities, such as energy saving and recycling.
To read the rest of the article please click here.
Make sure you  like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and use our hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal, for other updates from the project and external help.

Exporting through online channels

Derek Bouchard Hall, Head of Performance Development at Wiggle, one of the world’s largest online retailers for running, cycling and swimming equipment, talks about the company’s e-commerce strategy at the Click:Connect:Sell event.

The Click:Connect:Sell event held in October 2013 looked at how companies could take their products to the world, rapidly and efficiently through online channels. The workshop was aimed at new and experienced exporters looking to break into international markets

The event at London’s Millbank Media Centre, presented a unique opportunity for UK companies to learn how to penetrate some of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies. Companies learnt about what they needed to do to develop a solid international e-commerce strategy and how to choose and build e-commerce systems that will attract and appeal to customers around the world.

Click:Connect:Sell brought together top experts and industry leaders for offering practical advice to help companies increase overseas sales.

Delegates were able to hear from from key online organisations including eBay, Tejuri and Alibaba.

For information about online exporting please visit http://www.ukti.gov.uk/uktihome/item/…

Women In Business Network – WIBN Liverpool Street is re-launching

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WIBN Liverpool Street is re-launching

Tuesday 28th January 2014, 12 – 2 pm
Corney and Barrow, Devonshire Square, London. EC2M 4WY

About this re- launch

WIBN members and visitors form strategic connections, they collaborate to enhance and complement each other’s businesses.

The meetings are structured and effective, whilst also supportive and friendly! Women love to help other women in a non-competitive environment.

Why not attend the next meeting as a visitor, without any obligation, to experience a WIBN meeting for yourself.

Prices

The meeting fee is £20 for WIBN members and £30 for visitors, plus vat (this includes lunch and refreshments).

Your place will be reserved once payment & booking form is received. Payment can be made via credit card, cheque or BACS.

To found out more information check the following link here.

How sharing can help your business grow

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Carrying on from Make It Global’s successful Collaboration for Success event before Christmas. Here is an article from The Guardian on how sharing in business can be useful.

How sharing can help your business grow

Businesses find sharing office space, staff and machinery is good for their bottom line

In difficult economic times, and as working practices and technology evolves, SMEs are finding that it’s good to share. Michelle Henry runsHNS Signs, a signage business in Birmingham. She shares premises, staff and machinery with a printers called Genesis Display run by Steve Turrell. The arrangement has seen both businesses grow.

Henry started her business three years ago after buying cheap machinery from another signage company she worked for that stopped trading. “I was looking at all these different properties and I couldn’t find anything with the roller shutting you need to have access for lorries,” she says. “I was doing a job for Steve and I happened to mention that I was struggling to find new premises. He said that times were hard for them with the recession and would I like to move in with him?”

Turrell had just taken over as boss of Genesis Display and when Henry first joined him it was just the two of them in the office. “It was good we had each other because otherwise there would be no one to cover when we went out on site surveys,” she says. “We know a lot about each other’s business so we can answer any technical questions when we get phone calls.” The agreement has worked so well that they have recently moved to a larger premises together.

Read the rest of the article from The Guardian here.

Make sure you  like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and use our hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal, for other updates from the project and external help.

New Year, New Funding Opportunity…

Happy New Years from the Make It Global team

To start the new year on a high we thought it will be a good idea to provide a funding opportunity from Enact Investment. Please read further details below.

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Launch of the New £10 Million Enact Investment Fund for UK SMEs

The Enact Investment Fund specifically targets small and medium-sized companies with 250 employees or less.

Enact will leverage the combined expertise of its investor base, comprising successful UK entrepreneurs and professionals, with experience from industry sectors such as retail, manufacturing, distribution and financial services.

The Fund has a total investment pot of £10 million available. Individual equity investments will range from £250,000 to £2 million. Typical Enact equity investments are three to five years in length.

Enact also operates an advisory board, providing additional perspective and skills to the Enact investment team. The board will offer a cross section of financial, operational and advisory expertise as well as corporate governance.

Established UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may apply. Businesses may be operating in any sector other than leasing, legal services, property development, hotels, nursing homes and insurance.

Enact’s investment strategy is to invest in companies have a robust business model, but are facing cash flow constraints, strategic or operational issues.

Applicants must meet the qualifying criteria for Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) investments and be demonstrate they would benefit from a hands-on investment approach.

Garry Wilson, Managing Partner of Endless, commented:

“Enact represents a natural expansion of the Endless investment offering. Whilst our current funds continue to focus on the mid-market, we are very excited about extending our reach to finding the hidden gems of the smaller business market, particularly given the absence of funding for these companies.

“Our investment track record and access to such a sophisticated and talented network of investors truly makes Enact a unique proposition in a market desperate for proactive and supportive investment.”

Applications may be submitted at any time.

See the Enact Fund website for more information.

1 day to go: Countdown to Christmas – a gift for the new year: #UELMakeItGlobal’s January seminar – improving your performance whilst travelling overseas

MIG Santa16th Jan event

Make It Global: Managing your personal performance whilst travelling overseas

When: Thursday 16th January 2014 14:00 – 17:00pm

Where: One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, UEL Office, 10th Floor, E14 5AB

Cost: Free to all eligible Make It Global Businesses*

Register: here

International travel is becoming an important aspect of growing your business beyond national borders. Maintaining your momentum during your travel becomes a challenge when your expectations are not met and time wasters accumulate over your stay. Work life balance becomes a real struggle. In this highly interactive workshop, Bettina and Valerie will share practical tips and insights on how to deal with typical stress triggers arising from working internationally. They will help you better manage your stress so that stress does not take over your life. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect and share with their peers their stress challenges. They will experience first-hand practical and simple tools to bring down stress levels and regain your “optimal state” when it matters.

To find out more about Bettina’s and Valerie’s stress management approach and insights, check out their blog.

Bettina Pickering

Working for a major UK consultancy, Bettina spent more than 10 years travelling all over Europe and the US, selling and delivering project ranging from short interventions to complex people and IT change programmes for multinational and local client companies. Since founding Aronagh in 2010, Bettina has worked with clients in the UK, Germany, Denmark and Dubai, as a trainer, facilitator, coach and consultant. Developing and maintaining her own practice based on Qi Gong, Mindfulness and Somatic Psychology enabled Bettina to stay healthy, fit and motivated in times of extensive workloads and weekly travel to more than one country.

Bettina’s profile is available on Linkedin. In addition to stress management, Bettina offers cross culture change consultancy, leadership training and behavioural change facilitation. She also coaches on career transition and emotion management. Check out her website for more information.

Valerie Cheong Took

Valerie has spent most of her career working for international organisations. Business travel has been part of the work landscape for a number of years. Carrying on business negotiations, board meetings, project appraisal, business and project evaluation in different countries was part of her responsibilities. With an agenda that did not allow regular attendance at the gym or fitness classes, Valerie came up with her own  “wellbeing” toolkit so as to continue on performing at work and enjoying life. As a coach and workshop facilitator, she has been working with individuals and organisations based in Mauritius, Tanzania and the UK.

Valerie’s profile is available on Linkedin. In addition to stress management, Valerie offers cross cultural coaching and training. She also coaches on conflict resolution. In addition, she mentors and coaches young people. More information is available on her website.

Make sure you  like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and use our hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal, for other updates from the project and external help.

2 days to go: Countdown to Christmas – take your business overseas in the new year & get support from UKTI to do it

MIG Santa

11402035865_d5fa94c50d_bUK Trade & Investment (UKTI)

UKTI provides access to specialist advice and information for businesses on export. Businesses can benefit from programmes such as Passport to Export, trade missions and research opportunities.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, and encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice.

UKTI has professional advisers both within the UK and across more than 100 international markets.

UKTI has a customer commitment to helping its UK and international customers by providing a range of services, to a high standard and improve customer service by listening to customer feedback.

They also have a co-ordination role across government to establish a more systematic approach to relationships with companies which are the most economically significant investors and exporters.

See how UKTI can help you here.

Follow us in this Make It Global Christmas Countdown where everyday in December before Christmas we shall give you a mini gift which will hopefully be very useful in this holiday period for your business.

Make sure you  like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and use our hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal, for other updates from the project and external help.

3 days to go: Countdown to Christmas – useful tips for a happy e-Christmas #UELMakeItGlobal

MIG Santasize-600x600Tech tips for a happy eChristmas

At this time of year, ecommerce merchants are frantically working on sprucing up their web design and advertising campaigns ready for the big Christmas rush. This is all well and good, but if one of your servers goes down or your website crashes at a critical time, all the sweat and tears that has gone into optimising your site and making it easy to use will have been a complete waste.

Read the rest of the article here.

Follow us in this Make It Global Christmas Countdown where everyday in December before Christmas we shall give you a mini gift which will hopefully be very useful in this holiday period for your business.

Make sure you  like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and use our hashtag #UELMakeItGlobal, for other updates from the project and external help.