News in brief: entrepreneurial spirit, Small Business Saturday, broadband

News in brief
News in brief

Entrepreneurial spirit is strong in the UK

A quarter of adults in the UK wish they could start their own business in 2016 but many are held back by fear of personal and financial risk. In a survey of 1,500 people, conducted by social enterprise Cause4, it was revealed that Britain's taste for entrepreneurship is strong. Motivations vary but one in ten people wanted to go it alone because of a lack of motivation or inspiration in their current job.

"The job for life is a distant memory," said Cause4's founder and CEO Michelle Wright. "The appeal of striving hard to benefit corporate goals, all focussed around making money, has lost its appeal for many of us… Entrepreneurs are the new rock stars. For many people the challenge and rewards of starting up and running a business provide independence and fulfilment that they just can't get in their day job. You can set the agenda of what it's important to achieve against your own values - gold dust."

Initiative to drive B2B involvement with Small Business Saturday

This year Small Business Saturday, a grassroots campaign to promote local businesses, is taking place on 5 December. However, according to Love Energy Savings, there is often not much involvement from B2B companies.

As part of an initiative to combat this, Love Energy Savings will be offering £50 cashback to any SME that switches their business electricity or gas tariff with a little help from them on the 5 December.

Love Energy Savings MD Phil Foster said: “Our way of giving back to our community of SMEs on Small Business Saturday is to provide as much assistance as possible on how local entrepreneurs can save money and help their business thrive throughout the festive period and beyond. Ultimately,what we want to see is more local businesses opening their doors and becoming the focal point in their local neighbourhoods.”

SME broadband access lags behind that of residential consumers

Ofcom’s annual infrastructure report has found smaller firms’ access to superfast broadband continues to lag compared to residential consumers.

Although there has been ongoing and welcome progress in delivering superfast broadband to businesses, Ofcom found only 68% of small businesses have access to superfast broadband, compared to 83% of all UK premises. This leaves over 400,000 small firms without access to superfast broadband. Similarly, almost half of small businesses on business parks are unable to receive speeds above 10Mbps.

Federation of Small Businesses national chairman John Allan said: “We know poor access and understanding of the availability of superfast broadband has been a longstanding problem for the UK’s smaller businesses. Progress is being made, but too many small firms remain stuck in the slow lane.

“[This report] underlines the importance of the Government’s new commitment to a 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO). This timely measure will help to set an acceptable baseline for speed and quality which will allow firms to take advantage of the benefits of doing more online.

“When the details of the new USO are unveiled, they should include explicit targets for connecting smaller businesses and delivering a reliable, consistent service.”