Business Connections

Small Talk: Few entrepreneurial role models for risk-averse British

Who are the role models for Britain's aspiring entrepreneurs and small business founders? There are surprisingly few – anyone who works with small and medium-sized enterprises will quickly become accustomed to the same faces used to promote the sector's campaigns.

Small Talk: Let's give a warmer welcome to Vince and his Business Bank

Government isn't much fun – just ask Business Secretary Vince Cable, who in pre-coalition days was routinely lauded as politics' voice of reason, but who today has barely a friend to his name. The latest Vince wheeze to get a kicking is the Government's new Business Bank, which he hopes will be able to turn £1bn of taxpayers' money into £10bn worth of support for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Small Talk: Cameron plan to ease cash flow for SMEs could be a winner

Having failed to force Britain's banks to lend more to small and medium-sized enterprises, it appears the Prime Minister now hopes to persuade our largest companies to do their bit instead.

Small Talk: Helping hand with cash flow – but urgent questions, too

Desperate times call for desperate measures. There is good reason to think the Government's new supply chain finance initiative will be successful – in that sense it is to be applauded. But the fact David Cameron last week felt it necessary to ask the bosses of Britain's biggest companies to back the scheme shows just how dysfunctional the operating environment for small businesses has become.

Small Talk: Give them credit if we want the minnows to do big things

Do this week's third-quarter GDP figures represent an opportunity? Ask any fund manager where in the stock market you should place your bets in the event of an economic recovery and the answer is likely to be the same: most statistical analysis suggests that smaller companies tend to outperform during the first stage of an upswing.

Small Talk: Rollovers don't do SMEs any favours as energy prices soar

Many contracts feature very short clauses in which break clauses must be activated

Small Talk: Only time will tell if sceptics are wrong on StartUp Loans

Elena Mingas is carrying a great deal of responsibility on her young shoulders. A 24-year-old dressmaker from Bury, Ms Mingas has just been named as the first beneficiary of the new StartUp Loans scheme, the initiative the Government launched in the Budget earlier this year to encourage entrepreneurialism among young people.

Small Talk: 'Scrap cheques' call to help SMEs fight late payments

When consumer groups forced the banking industry to abandon its plans to abolish cheques in 2018, it was celebrated as a populist victory. But it turns out that not all customers are so pleased. The British Chambers of Commerce says getting rid of cheques would be one way to tackle the late payments problem that continues to dog so many small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Vince Cable’s new bank
will be up and running
within 18 months and
hopes to lend £10bn

Cable reveals plan for £1bn bank to help small business

Coalition agrees to fund manufacturers directly after pleas to high-street lenders fail

Small Talk: the story of your life – and a tale of modern business

Who says British companies can't be entrepreneurial as well as inventive? Meet OMG, the Oxford-based technology business which will today unveil its first foray into the retail sector: a new type of camera that stands a genuine chance of changing the market.

Small Talk: A cleverer approach to the issue of intellectual rights

This week on Business Connections... David Prosser on making sure you comply with international sanctions. Join our growing SME network at: es-bc.co.uk

Small Talk: Online doors opening fast for small firms seeking funds

This week on Business Connections... David Prosser maps out the road to StartUp Britain. Join our growing SME network at es-bc.co.uk

Small Talk: Entrepreneurial spirit alive and kicking in North

This week on Business Connections... David Prosser reports on issues vital to the small and medium business. Join our growing SME network at: es-bc.co.uk

Small Businessman of the Week: Big companies overcharging SMEs by billions a year

Saurav Chopra is chief executive of Huddlebuy, the deals site that sells discounted business products and services to more than 35,000 SMEs

Small Businessman of the Week: Factoring in a speedier cash flow for small companies

Anil Stocker is director of MarketInvoice, which was set up a year ago to provide an alternative to traditional factoring services. It offers SMEs the opportunity to auction off outstanding invoices to investors, improving their cash flow

News
In with a shout: the auction includes rights to 168 Premier League matches, including – for the first time – Friday night games
Next week’s auction for the rights to broadcast Premier League games could see bids hit £5bn. Nick Goodway reports on the corporate players
News
This coming Tuesday marks 100 days until the general election
Mark Leftly: Can we outsource guns'n'ammo? We're still waiting for an answer
News
Video: Oscar Williams-Grut provides a run-down of the day's major news from the City
News
The profit margin on an iPhone 6 could be as high as 69 per cent
Soaring sales have given the tech giant its most lucrative trading quarter ever. Oscar Williams-Grut reports on the genesis of the world's favourite handset
News
The Athens Stock Exchange yesterday; the new Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, has pledged to avoid a clash with creditors
Whenever there is a political shock, you should beware of instant market reactions, says Hamish McRae
News
Oil prices are at a six-year low but could pick up, analysts say
Russia is in trouble, Greece's future hangs by a thread and oil is tanking. Yet could now be a good time to buy into these markets? asks Simon Read
News
Details of the iPhone 6 are expected to be revealed by Apple chief Tim Cook today in an event that kicks off at 6pm UK time
A closer look at Apple's first quarter results
News
Saudi Arabia’s oil production looks set to be overtaken by the United States within a couple of years. It may have already happened
Up to 80 per cent of shale reserves are uneconomic at prices below $80 a barrel, says Satyajit Das
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Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee