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Finance

Tax and the future of work

Many breathed a sigh of relief when Philip Hammond dropped plans to raise self-employed national insurance. But as the number of freelancers keeps increasing, how will taxes change?  Philip Hammond’s first budget at Chancellor of the Exchequer was a bit of a rollercoaster. On 8 March, he announced a 2% rise in self-employed NI contributions. A considerable backlash followed and, …

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Fashion Finance Food Lifestyle Retail Workshop

Chasing the god squad: meet the companies targeting Muslim and Jewish consumers.

Young Muslims and Jews are emerging as a lucrative and untapped source of customers. But how exactly should a business pitch its religious creds? Trying to ‘keep kosher’ or buy halal (consuming items that are ‘permissible’ in Judaism and Islam, respectively) has so far existed outside modern mainstream consumerism. Choice has been scant, quality has been poor and products have been sold through niche …

Finance Workshop

Building a budget bank

The hardest part of creating a bank for people on low incomes appears to be running call centres. Most startup ideas tend to take aim at the affluent. In fact, it’s a growing concern that the fruits of innovation are commonly made by and for those people with lots of disposable cash. One business that’s not following that script is …

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Finance Workshop

How much money a startup needs to raise – and how to spend it

Exactly how much money do you need to raise and how do you spend it without crashing? Matt Robinson is on his second company, Nested, and reckons he’s hit on a formula. In some ways, GoCardless and Nested are quite similar. Both of the businesses Matt Robinson founded operate as digital middlemen; the former is a means for companies to take …

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Brexit: Startups and the sterling sting

The weak pound is bad news for startups importing goods from Europe – but does the currency crash have positive outcomes too? The dive in sterling from $1.47 on June 23 to $1.29 two weeks later has had a severe impact on British businesses reliant on buying foreign products. It reached its lowest level against the dollar in three decades following …

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Brexit: Startups fear for EU funding

Mammoth amounts of funding for arts and tech startups are set to be lost when the UK leaves the EU. Who will step in to fill the gap? So far, the UK government’s given no indication that it will replace EU funding initiatives, meaning certain startups engaged in research or technical innovation could lose grants they’ve depended upon for their …

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Brexit: All eyes on fintech

The most immediate startup victim of Brexit is the financial technology sector. So-called ‘passporting’ allows financial firms to carry out services licensed in one EU country across European borders. That’s all been thrown into jeopardy. The ‘fintech’ sector has in recent years been earmarked as London’s trump startup sector; a number of companies doing innovative stuff around financial services have …