Small Business Grants: No-strings-attached SME financing done right

GrowthBusiness.co.uk’s sister website SmallBusiness.co.uk has introduced a new initiative giving away £5,000 in a regular competition.

Business growth is almost entirely dependent on healthy cashflow. Research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that more than 35 per cent of small businesses to run into cashflow difficulties, forcing one in three to use their overdraft facilities.

At the more extreme end of the situation, cashflow issues can cause businesses to fail. The FSB estimates that this issue has caused more than 50,000 businesses to close annually.

Read the full Article, written by Praseeda Nair, here.

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Bank of England hints at interest rate hike in ‘coming months’

The Bank of England has signalled it may hike interest rates in the “coming months” to cool surging inflation as economic growth shows signs of picking up.

Members of the Bank’s nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee voted 7-2 to keep interest rates on hold at 0.25%, as widely expected.

But the Bank gave its strongest signal yet that a rate hike is on the horizon as it said all policymakers believed “some withdrawal of monetary stimulus was likely to be appropriate over the coming months”.

Read the full article here.

 

 

Firms urged to enter awards to showcase small businesses

East Anglia’s outstanding small firms are being urged to enter awards which recognise their contribution to the region.

Entries for the Celebrating Small Business awards, run by the Federation of Small Businesses, can be made until December 1.

Regional winners will be named in 12 categories in March, and then go forward to the national final in May 2018.

Get all the details you need here.

 

Are you an easy hacking target? Cybersecurity tips for Small Business

Small businesses and self-employed people are big targets for hackers, and the financial implications can be crippling. Gone are the days of thinking “It’ll never happen to us”. A total of 61% of all data breaches this year occurred in businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Estimates vary on how much a breach truly costs, but it can often be millions of pounds.

To read the full article, written by Sam Nixon, click here.

Akoni, SMEs and the Staircase Tax

Many in the country are outraged by the changes that the VOA has made in regards to assessing staircases and how the business rates are calculated as a result of this assessment. It also affects Akoni in the sense that what we do is try and lighten the load on SMEs with our services.

We are all about providing a service to SMEs that gives a solution to one of the disadvantages they face when it comes to getting the best rates on their cash holdings. Large corporations have the chance to make more money on their cash holdings simply because the service is provided to them or they have the resources to invest in this sort of market research. Our platform gives SMEs that same opportunity and therefore levels the playing field.

When we then, hear about yet another obstacle placed in the way of Small businesses to grow their business, because taxes are increased, we cannot help to be frustrated by this.

The main change seems to be that each floor of a building will be assessed separately if the staircase connecting these floors is shared with others. If however, the staircase is private and only belongs to the business then all floors will be treated as one entity. Taxes then, are higher for those who share a staircase. The first thing that comes to mind is that companies that can afford a building with private staircases will have a relatively lower tax than companies who, due to their financial disadvantage, share the space.

We cannot understand why SMEs have to consistently be faced with such hardships in comparison with large corporations, when it is clear to everyone that Small businesses constitute the bedrock of our economy.

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

 

Running a startup in the UK: What you need to know

If you’re thinking about launching your own startup it may seem like a daunting task. You’re going to need to put in lots of hard work, carry out your market research and somehow find investors interested in your idea.

We spoke with four UK startups to see what they’ve learnt from their experiences and whether the future worries them.

To read the full article, written by IT Pro staff writer Zach Marzouk, click here.

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Felicia Meyerowitz Singh – Cofounder of Akoni

Our very own CEO Felicia Meyerowitz Singh was interviewed by Fintech Profile. They asked all the relevant questions that will provide you with everything you have always wanted to know about us. Felicia gives you the full story of Akoni’s making, what we believe in and what problems Akoni solves for SMEs with our Cash Management platform

Read Akoni’s full profile here.

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Akoni’s Interview with The Banker

Last week we were invited by The Banker to do a video interview about Akoni. For those of you who are not familiar with The Banker, it is part of the Financial Times Group and the interview was held in the Financial Times building. They have a series of interviews, which are done by The Banker’s Joy Macknight providing insight into the world of rising financial technology (fintech) start-up companies that will likely shake up the financial services industry.

It was great to be there and we had a chance to talk about Akoni’s new Cash Management platform, which allows SME’s to shop around for the best interest rates that will allow them to maximise the return on their cash holdings. In addition to easy access to up to date market information, business owners will be able to move around their money with just a few clicks, saving them a lot of time and resources. We talked about how it will provide a solution for SMEs and small corporates to earn more money, which will drive the economy, particularly after Brexit.

In addition, we had an interesting conversation about the impact of PSD2 and told them a bit about our inspiring experience at the Accenture Fintech Lab.

Of course, we will share the video with you once it’s out. In the meantime, enjoy a few of the pictures of our day at The Banker.

 

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register free at AkoniHub.com and follow us on Twitter

Blockchain: The quiet revolution for next generation SME businesses

Blockchain is, slowly but surely, reaching corporate consciousness. As the Harvard Business Review has put it, blockchain is a “quiet revolution.”

First used with bitcoin in 2008, it has gradually grown in use as the technological underpinning of cryptocurrency. However, whilst interest in bitcoin has waned, blockchain has found more and more application in industries outside of finance.

Concerns relating to trust and risk are allayed by the very structure of blockchain. Often described as a digital ledger, it is actually a distributed database that supports a continuously growing list of ordered records called blocks. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block; all blocks are linked together and encoded using cryptography, so there’s no central point of failure.

One of its major benefits is that its structure offers protection in the growing battle against cyber warfare.

Because blockchain enables the recording of transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way, its use in financial services has helped to lower costs and reduce complexity, and, perhaps more importantly, it has had a distinct impact on improving transparency and regulation.

Keep reading, to see how that would benefit SMEs, here.

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register for free at AkoniHub.com

Midlands Engine: £120m SME debt finance launched for businesses

The British Business Bank has announced the first wave of its £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund, with the launch of £120million worth of SME debt finance, in a move designed to provide greater support to the region’s smaller businesses, accelerate economic growth and promote job creation – in line with the Government’s Midlands Engine Strategy.

The fund’s launch has been marked with the publication of a new report on the current state of the regional economy and funding landscape.

Spotlight: The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, draws on the British Business Bank’s own research together with other publicly-available data. It highlights the opportunities for ambitious, fast-growth businesses across the Midlands Engine area to reach their economic potential.

You can get more insights here. 

Akoni helps businesses make the most of their cash. Register for free at AkoniHub.com