Weekly Roundup – Securing UK Grants, Star Wars Hoverbikes, and Cybercrime

This week for our weekly roundup, we are covering a variety of news that’s positive for UK small businesses. Below you’ll find articles about:
– Small business funding through grants
– The ‘Star Wars’ type hoverbike a UK company is inventing
– The real threat of cybercrime
– and why it’s never been a better time to start a small business.

 

How a small jewellery business secured a government grant

In my opinion, the UK is a perfect place to start a business. In the last year, I’ve discovered plenty of grant schemes that small businesses (not just startups) can use to develop their company. Organisations such as Innovate UK and the SUCCESS Creative Fund are two that spring to mind.

This article expands on how a small jewellery business, called Hoobynoo World, received funding from the SUCCESS Creative Fund. Finding grants can be extremely difficult, and here the business owner of Hoobynoo World explains how she found out about this grant through a women’s networking lunch. The article also provides helpful information such as the application process, interacting with the grant providers, and advice for other small businesses looking for grant funding.

They suggest talking to your local council about grant opportunities which is something I’ve never considered as my go-to place for finding grants is Google!

US military to develop Star Wars-style hoverbikes with British company

When we hear about incredible technology like this, it’s usually by American companies. However in my experience there are also plenty of advances in technology going on in the UK. In this article, we get a ecquainted with a UK company called Malloy Aeronautics and the incredible work they are doing with designing hoverbikes, no less.

The owner of the company came up with the idea in 2011 and following from a successful crowdfunding campaign, he’s been working to turn it into a reality. Currently, they fly unmanned, but considering the success they have had so far, soon enough they’ll be able to take the weight of humans. They’re taking pre-orders at the moment from the price of £545 although the delivery date is uncertain.

Picture of the Hoverbike developed by Malloy Aeronautics

 

A third of UK SMEs have grown over past two years

Out of all the articles I’ve chosen this week, this article excites me the most because it’s fantastic news for the UK economy. It shows that thousands of UK small business are doing extremely well!

I’m sure most UK business owners would agree, but the quote from this article below is very exciting. I’m glad that small businesses are leveraging technology to improve the way they work and to increase sales.

‘Technology is clearly playing an important role in SMEs overcoming some of the traditional barriers to growth and digital competence is becoming the new currency of growth. We hear on a daily basis how our customers are using technology to reinvent not only the way they work but the markets that they operate in.’

As I’ve highlighted in previous blog posts, businesses could streamline the way they work considerably by using task management software like Trello, and introducing Google Docs/Sheets to their team.

Study finds small businesses open to cybercrime

Cybercrime is something I’m very aware of, although I always thought that it would never happen to me. I can imagine that’s how most people and small businesses think about it. However, in the last few months I’ve begun to protect myself as much as possible. For businesses, it’s essential to protect yourself.

42% of small and micro businesses in the UK have reported having experienced cybercrime. 23% of respondents from the survey had suffered from virus infections in their business computers. 22% had suffered from sensitive information such as passwords being stolen. It’s no better time to researching into how you can protect your website and business.

If in doubt on how to protect your company, there are plenty of cybersecurity firms out there who can help cater for your needs. It’s also being aware of best practices that help to keep your information safe online. For example, everyone knows not to use passwords such as ‘password1234’, but we all still do it as it’s easy to remember! On my computer, I have a password manager program that stores all my details so I can store all my long and complicated passwords and makes everything more secure.

Elite comes from information security pedigree – her father was a pioneer in the anti-virus world back in the 70’s and 80’s when only banks and armies were concerned with such things. How the world has changed!

Lord Young: It’s never been easier to start a small business

Recently, Lord Young was appointed as chairman of the Small Business Saturday campaign. At the launch event he was quoted saying:

“There are far fewer challenges than in the past. You can start a business with £5,000 and a mentor. The challenge is you have got to have an idea and focus on it. The whole of business success can be summed up in three words – ‘focus’, and ‘follow through’.” Do you agree?

A campaign like this looks like a great way to support, cultivate, and congratulate what the UK is doing with the business. Here there isn’t just focus on high-tech companies (like what always seem to get covered on online business blogs), but other businesses such as local restaurants, high street shops, and freelancers.

 

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