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Stay informed with our handy news bulletins, which include special announcements regarding the Breakthrough programme's Masterclasses, trade missions and Breakthrough Live events.
David Cameron leads major trade mission to China
UK PM David Cameron has announced he will put his “full political weight” behind a proposed EU-China trade agreement that could be worth £1.8bn to the UK alone. Speaking during this week’s trade mission to China, along with a 120-strong delegation of UK leaders from businesses both large and small, he said:
"Building on the recent launch of EU-China negotiations on investment, and on China's continued commitment to economic reform, I now want to set a new long-term goal of an ambitious and comprehensive EU-China free trade agreement.
"And as I have on the EU-US deal, so I will put my full political weight behind such a deal which could be worth tens of billions of dollars every year."
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, in a written statement, said the talks had been "highly productive", adding that the UK and China had become "indispensible partners for each other's development".
"On infrastructure, the two sides have agreed to push for breakthroughs and progress in co-operation on our enterprises in nuclear power and high-speed railway," he continued.
Mr Cameron says eliminating the highest sector tariffs, such as vehicles, pharmaceuticals and electrical goods, could save UK exporters £600m a year.
Santander’s Breakthrough programme is helping Britain’s fastest-growing SMEs achieve global business ambitions through funding, financial advice, round tables and live events. Breakthrough international trade missions give groups of UK businesses unique opportunities to meet and forge links with potential global partners. Its second Women in Business trade mission to New York took place on 10 November. For more information on trade missions see here.
Investment and advice to help small firms grow
On 6th November, the Government launched ‘Business is GREAT’, a new initiative to support business start-ups and growth across all business sectors, which Santander UK is proud to support.
Business is GREAT is a series of initiatives designed to support Britain’s SMEs and start-ups. With small businesses making up 99 per cent of all businesses operating in Britain, they are vital to economic recovery and, as such, the Government is committed to offering them as much support as possible.
Funding is key for growth and the British Business Bank – launched to reconcile funding from the private and public sector for the benefit of SMEs – has a pot of £45 million, which can be accessed by businesses looking for capital for investment and growth.
“The first investments from the British Business Bank will help build a fairer economy, providing choice to small businesses looking to secure vital finance to help invest,” says Vince Cable.
To coincide with the Business is GREAT campaign, the Government is publishing a strategy, which will outline its plans to help the growth of the UK’s 4.9 million small businesses. As well as funding, there is also an emphasis on support and mentoring. The initiative will offer ongoing advice to SMEs, including a £1 million sector-specific mentoring scheme, and a coaching programme – Growth Accelerator – targeted at small businesses that have high growth potential.
The Government has also launched a business support websitewww.greatbusiness.gov.uk as part of the scheme. This is a valuable, one-stop resource for businesses looking for funding, advice and mentoring.
Santander UK welcomes the launch of the Business is GREAT campaign which aims to provide support for British SMEs in the UK and internationally. The ambition for the campaign complements the approach that Santander UK has taken with the Breakthrough programme.
Small businesses are calling on government to simplify the tendering process for public sector contracts after a survey revealed many think they are overlooked in favour of bigger firms.
Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards have launched and Santander is sponsoring the Small Business Award category to highlight SMEs who are excelling in addressing CSR issues in their business.
It’s never too early to start capitalising on Japan’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games – that’s according to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
Santander reveals the potential engines of growth
Economic growth won’t lead to rise in employment
With the UK set to experience continued economic growth over the next few years, it would be natural to assume an accompanying rise in employment. However, businesses are warning that this will not necessarily be the case.
The results of a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests that most employers are setting their sights on increasing productivity rather than taking on more staff. Whilst some businesses are recruiting now to cope with immediate pressure, most do not foresee a significant increase in staffing levels over the medium term.
Businesses will be looking to capitalise on economic growth by focussing their attention on raising levels of productivity to cope with demand. Existing staff may be required to shoulder the burden in terms of increased responsibility or working hours but it will still be some time before businesses are ready to commit to a long-term recruitment drive.
Use all resources at your disposable to recruit the right person for the job
Santander Breakthough Internships help SMEs find top-quality graduates looking to expand their skill-set.
The number of people without a job in the UK has fallen by 46,000 during the second quarter of this year, official data revealed today.
Santander partners with News UK for SME Campaign
Santander has teamed up with News UK to create a new content hub for SMEs. The multi-channel resource offers small businesses a wealth of information, advice and networking resources, under The Times brand.
The campaign is called Successful Modern Entrepreneurships and has been created through the close collaboration between Santander, New UK Commercial and The Times editorial team. The content is sourced from business experts at The Times, as well as high-profile entrepreneurs and successful SMEs and is available across multi-media platforms. Case studies offer insights into real-life entrepreneurial journeys – like Julia Gash, whose company Bag It Don’t Bin It (BIDBI) is part of the Breakthrough Programme.
The campaign aims to support the UK’s SME community – a sector that is particularly important to the UK economy as it pulls out of recession – and is composed of three key elements: print, online, and Live events. The media partnership enables Santander to own a content platform populated by industry expert content and commentary.
You can see the hub at www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/smehub.
When an eco entrepreneur’s requests for financial support went unheard, she bagged herself a new banking partner.
Around 1,000 businesses are set to benefit from a new scheme, launched this week, which targets people who plan to launch socially-beneficial businesses.
Breakthrough Growth Capital aims to provide fast-growth SMEs with the finance they need in order to grow.
See if you are eligible to be considered for Breakthrough capital funding and register your interest.
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