Business Connections

Kitchen-table companies score smash hits

Indie businesses in the creative sector are making major label waves, writes Virginia Matthews

Mind the gap: the business of recession

Having been in business for nearly 40 years, Graham Bultitude has seen no fewer than four recessions. Each has been different, of course. But there are nevertheless general conclusions to be drawn. “For a lot of small companies, recessions can be a good and a bad thing,” explains Bultitude, who started Bristol Batteries, selling mainly car batteries in 1972, just in time to be hit by the oil shock and resulting recession of the early 1970s.

Business Extra: News in Brief

Energy boost

Cella Energy has been named the 2011 winner of the Shell Springboard Awards, which support small businesses with ideas for combating climate change.

Soapbox: ‘SMEs are exploiting the benefits of unified communications solutions to deliver a more personal service’

As we face the threat of a prolonged economic slowdown, the whole of Europe continues to look toward small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to pull us out of the recession.

Recovery doesn’t come cheap – we’re going to need a bigger Budget

Continuing political unrest in the Middle East – and, with it, a real risk that furtherrises in an already high oil price could hold back any economic growth in Britain–means that Chancellor George Osborne has rather limited room for manoeuvre in his Budget, due to be announced later this month.

Business analysis: ‘Is business success really all about innovation? Imitation can be just as important’

Innovation, we are constantly told, is the lifeblood of business. Would-be entrepreneurs, in particular, are seen as innovators – seeking to gain an advantage over established players through coming up with new ideas for products or services, or at least new ways of producing or providing them.

Want to grow your business? It’s time to get social

Only a little while ago, networking for most growing businesses meant squeezing a few hours out of an already busy day to attend an indifferent lunch with a few other business people of various kinds in a nearby hotel or restaurant.

Business Extra: SMEs after the budget cuts

Small and medium-sized businesses can rarely have enjoyed so much attention as they are gaining at the moment. It seems that hardly a day goes by without a minister or other opinion former marking them out for playing a key role in the shake-up of society that is expected to be part and parcel of the Coalition’s attempt to bring down the national deficit.

Business analysis: The green, green shoots of recovery

As a former Royal Navy submariner who worked for the investment bank Goldman Sachs before joining his wife’s family’s garden centre business, Shaun Lewis probably has a wider perspective then most.

Business Extra: News in Brief

Training to win

A 25-year-old entrepreneur from Wolverhampton has been named Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010, winning a £10,000 cash injection for her business, Freelance Training and Consultancy.

Soapbox: People are the path to profit at all times

SMEs are facing a tough and uncertain future. To survive, they need to maximise every resource they have to hand.

Adventures in Micro Business

Each month, Professor Russell Smith answers your queries

Small Business Profile: The Riverside Hotel

Brenda and David Milne took over Riverside Hotel in 2001

Business Extra: News in Brief

Internet Made Easy

The internet has done much to fuel the growth in small businesses. It has made it much easier and cheaper to start a business and has produced many opportunities.

Business analysis: breaking the glass ceiling, one networking event at a time

It is unfortunately still noteworthy when a woman reaches a senior position in a big company. When interviewed they generally have to spend as much time talking about the unusual position in which they find themselves as they do about the performance of their business. Over the years, there have been various initiatives aimed at improving the numbers, while in some cases women themselves have formed networking groups as a way of giving each other support and inspiring each other to press forward and upward through the glass ceilings that are still so prevalent in many sectors.

News
Rich, young Russians won’t dump their English lives unless they have absolutely no other option, says Jim Armitage
News
It’s not a question of if, but when... interest rates have been kept artificially low for long enough, says Hamish McRae
News
There may be trouble ahead … David Levy has very rarely been wrong in his forecasts
David Levy’s family has correctly called every major financial event in the US for decades. Now he’s warning of a global recession next year. Bernard Condon investigates
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
The retailer is on its knees, thanks to a German war veteran who turned the family grocers into the Aldi chain, writes Tony Paterson
News
It was Paul Fisher’s job to oversee and implement quantitative easing
Paul Fisher has left the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee after five years. He tells Ben Chu what Threadneedle Street got right and why the Bank behaved properly over forex
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are big fans of an out of print 1960s business book. Seth Stevenson explores why
News
News
Analysis: Some feel that Philip Clarke didn't get enough of a chance to prove himself
Voices
Mr Osborne, who is on a two-day trip to India with Foreign Secretary William Hague, said the two countries would see greater investment in each other’s economies and more job creation.
The young have been hurt the most by recession. They don't vote Tory and can't buy a house, so who cares?, writes David Blanchflower
News
One of the lines on the Metro do Porto network crosses the Dom Luis bridge
An interest rate swap arrangement has ended up costing a Portuguese state-owned transport company a fortune. So did it really understand the pages and pages of algebra in the contract, asks Jim Armitage
News
Is the new bank likely to be of much use? The emerging countries have done pretty well without it, says Hamish McRae
Life and Style
The value of Ruby Roman grapes has rocketed since they were first put on the market in 2008, finds Beckie Smith
News
Shopping centres, like the Hammerson one proposed for Leeds, have created opportunities, but more needs to be done
The death of traditional industries has left the region in need of regeneration. Retail developers are moving in – but is the Government doing enough to help? Laura Chesters investigates
News
After being hit by the smoking ban, recession and cheap supermarket booze, the pub industry is finally fighting back. Matthew Boyle finds a new breed of investor is moving into the sector
Voices
A strong currency isn't everything
At one time, presiding over a weakened currency would get you the chop... but things have changed, says Hamish McRae
Voices
Chancellor George Osborne (C) wears a high visibility jacket as he makes a visit to the Prysmian Group factory and speaks to factory manager Steve Price
Could a surprise drop in manufacturing output have wider implications, asks David Blanchflower
News
Six in 10 small businesses are owed late payments and the average small business is currently owed £38,186 in overdue bills, Bacs says
SMEs are today owed £39.4bn in overdue bills. The figures are nothing short of a scandal, says David Prosser
News
Network Rail (NR)
Politicians don't trust Network Rail, are fed up with late trains and don't think UK suppliers get a fair shout, says Mark Leftly
News
A worker arranges pasta at a factory in Allahabad. India’s finance minister said he hoped that growth would soon reach 7 or 8 per cent
A budget targeting growth and reducing the deficit has been praised, but will it be enough to help the country regain its economic footing?, Andrew Buncombe in Dehli
News
Can you mix business with pleasure? Matt Gingell explores
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Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game