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1.UK – SMEs
“The UK start-up revolution shows no sign of ending. Last year nearly 660,000 companies were established, up from 608,000 in 2015, according to the Centre for Entrepreneurs, a think-tank. This year it looks likely that the record will be broken again, according to the CfE’s Startup Tracker. “Other than the US, the UK is unrivalled as a place to start and grow a business,” says Simon Rogerson, chief executive of Octopus and overall winner of this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year UK award, alongside co-founder Chris Hulatt. Some observers attribute the positive numbers to government-sponsored initiatives introduced after the financial crisis in 2010 to encourage people to set up businesses. The coalition government backed StartUp Britain, a business-led campaign launched in 2011, which sponsors the CfE’s work, and introduced or increased tax breaks for investors and owners of small businesses. It also set up a Start Up Loans scheme in 2012, which has handed more than £300m of loans to more than 46,000 start-ups through the British Business Bank, a government-owned development bank. Statistics compiled last year by the government show the number of businesses has jumped by 2m since 2000, rising from 3.5m to 5.5m. However, most of these employ fewer than 10 people and a rising proportion are sole proprietorships. Some people question government commitment. The prospect of leaving the EU worries many SMEs, with their biggest concerns being labour shortages arising from potential curbs on EU immigration, and possible tariff barriers.”
2. UK – FinTech
Accenture invites applications for its Fintech Innovation Lab in London, reports Crowdfundinsider.
“Noting that 2017 is a year that is experiencing a surge in Fintech investment, Accenture’s Innovation Lab Londonis now open for applications. The deadline for applications is October 20th. The Lab begins in January 2018 and entrepreneurs will ultimately present their business cases at an Investor Day in March to financial service executives and investors. The three-month program is open to both early and growth stage companies. Accepted Fintechs will receive mentoring and will accelerate their business development working directly with top financial institutions.
Accenture states that this year’s Lab has introduced a new stream to help Regtech startups develop their business strategies and fine tune their tech. RegTech is growing in importance as banks will be compelled to embrace Open Banking and PSD2 and data protection regulations (GDPR) coming into force next year.”
3. UK – FinTech
“At a presentation by the City of London, a report by KPMG entitled The Value of Fintech, was distributed along with a discussion on the need for the UK to do more to maintain and improve their global Fintech prominence, according to Crowdfundinsider.
“Speaking for the City of London, Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman, City of London Corporation, commented;
“Fintech is a real asset for the UK’s economy and we are a global leader in our own right. The City has supported this growth and we have seen the services provided move on from traditional banking services to other forms of financial services like insurance, asset management, capital markets and regulation. It is the latest evolution of financial services and while there is a lot of focus on the customer end provided, businesses, not just those in financial services, need to embrace it too. I hope that industry and Government seriously consider these recommendations in this report, especially the possibility of a sector deal. If they do then I am sure that fintech will continue to go from strength to strength in the years to come.”
4. US – P2P
“P2BInvestor (P2Bi), a leading marketplace lending platform that offers crowdsourced, asset-secured lines of credit to growing companies with big ambitions, announced today the launch of a bank partnership program. The program gives growing businesses an innovative way to quickly access capital while allowing banks to increase their addressable market and improve their conversion rates. To kick off, P2Bi teamed up with New Resource Bank, a triple-bottom-line bank serving values-driven businesses and nonprofits that are building a more sustainable world.”
5. US – Real Estate
“Marketplace lending platform Lending Home announced on Wednesday it has expanded operations by opening its new office in Pittsburgh. The online lender revealed it plans to bring a total of 50 well-paying financial technology jobs to Pittsburgh over the next year.”
6. US – AltFi
“Digital alternative provider Finova Financial announced the launch of an industry-first prepaid card, the Finova Automobile-Secured Prepaid Card. The company stated that unlike traditional prepaid cards, the Finova Prepaid Card allows consumers to use cash or equity from their automobile to fund the card.”