We’re well into summer, and with it the season has brought plenty of headline stories that have kept us glued to the computer.
We’ve rounded up the best of the news that affects small and medium businesses everywhere – from new stats about family support to the online flourish of companies in the North. Read on for the whole scoop.
Feature of the Week
Smallest businesses benefiting from family support | SmallBusiness.co.uk
Britain’s microbusinesses are looking towards friends and family for vital support, says new research by Lloyds Bank Insurance.
Nearly two thirds of microbusinesses have family and friends working for them for an average of six hours a week. While some of these are paid workers, a massive 51% are doing this pro bono. A worrying one in ten of the businesses getting this help say they would not be able to go on without this support. Read more from the research by clicking the link above.
Facebook builds drone for internet access | BBC News
Facebook has branched out into aerospace, with the announcement that they have designed and created a solar powered drone that will deliver internet connection to remote areas of the world.
Named ‘Aquila’, the unmanned aircraft will have the wingspan of a Boeing 747 and reach heights of 90,000 feet, beaming down internet connection at an impressive rate of 10 gigabits per second.
The idea is to bring internet to hard-to-reach or developing areas, and “accelerate the development of a new set of technologies that can drastically change the economics of deploying internet infrastructure.” Read above for more.
Last week we reported that SMEs based in London could have a promising future of growth ahead – but that may not be the case if your business dwells online.
Cities in the North are thriving when it comes to online business, and Manchester has been named the UK’s top small business online hotspot, while London only made it to 26th place. The research, carried out by eBay, also noted Lancashire and West Yorkshire as top places to be if you’re trading digitally – proving that business success doesn’t just happen in the ‘big smoke’. See this report for more, as well as tips of how to be successful online.
Concern that new international banking rules could squeeze SME lending | SmallBusiness.co.uk
The FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) has spoken out about new proposals that will raise the amount of capital banks are required to hold against certain loans.
The suggestions have been put forward by the global banking standards group, Basel Committee, but have raised concerns that costs of lending to small businesses will increase, despite many already struggling for financing. Read the FSB’s statement in the news piece above.
The making of me | BBC News
Everyone loves a good success story – particularly when it’s an entrepreneur who’s built a thriving business from nothing.
This round-up profiles a dozen or so entrepreneurs, and how they came to be at the top of some seriously profitable companies. Click above, and get inspired.