March 01, 2013
£500K pot for social ventures using 'innovative tech'
The Tech for Good Challenge is calling for entrepreneurs to come up with innovative uses of technology to transform the lives of young people. It is offering £500,000 of investment and mentoring to turn early-stage ventures into successful enterprises delivering sustainable social and financial returns. Ventures that fit the criteria are being invited to submit information about their enterprise, product or service via the Big Issue Invest website. Applications close on 15 April. Up to 20 teams will be selected for an intensive mentoring programme, with ten finalists chosen to receive investment of up to £50,000 as well as ongoing support.
Yahoo! ban on home-working sparks criticism
Yahoo!'s decision to ban employees from working from home has been met with surprise from many quarters. Speaking at an event to promote Anywhere Working, Transport minister Norman Baker MP said: "I think that's a very unfortunate position to take and I think it's out of line with the evidence which has been shown by the other companies that have embraced this agenda." Andrew Millard of Citrix said: "Our research shows that flexible working boosts productivity and is desirable for staff looking to address the work/life balance." You can read John McGarvey's blog on the issue on the IT Donut.
The insider's guide to ecommerce
A new book about ecommerce aimed at SMEs offers business insights for online retailers and those looking to build a web store. Written by Donut expert Chris Barling, The Insider's Guide to Ecommerce covers all aspects of online selling, from how to generate traffic and sell products to managing fraud and processing orders efficiently.
HMRC shares expertise on YouTube
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published 21 new videos on YouTube aimed at helping start-ups and growing businesses. They cover subjects such as PAYE, VAT, corporation tax, record keeping, registering as an employer, payroll systems and trading with other countries. They also include case studies from real businesses. Also on YouTube are HMRC's live online webinars, designed to help small businesses to get their tax right.
February blues for retailers
The latest retail figures from Ipsos Retail Performance show another decline in the number of trips being made by UK shoppers to non-food stores. The Retail Traffic Index (RTI) shows that shopping visits fell in February by 3.6% compared to February 2012 and by 7% against January this year. Northern England and London and the South East were worst affected. Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance, said: "The statistics don't lie; the first two months of the year have been quiet for retail outlets, though the seasonal fall in February was not as severe as last year. We expected 'more of the same' in 2013 and it has started out that way."