Category: Global Business

British tech start-up takes on Amazon in the battle for the High Street

Forbes 30-under-30 alumnus goes head-to-head with Amazon with smartphone-based retail checkout solution

In 2015, MishiPay CEO Mustafa Khanwala waited 20 minutes in a supermarket line to pay for a can of drink. The queue gave him time to consider retail’s most persistent pinch point and trigger the development of MishiPay: a high concept Scan & Go solution that promises to truly revitalise retail.

Khanwala wasn’t the only one thinking about the costly problem of check-out queues, but he is the only one to have found a viable answer, and now the Forbes 30-under-30 alumnus is going head-to-head with Amazon with smartphone-based tech that promises to truly revitalise retail.

The checkout queue has been with us since Memphis retailer Piggly-Wiggly introduced it to the world in 1916, and the model has remained fundamentally unchanged for 104 years.

Self-scan checkouts, introduced in 1992, are both unpopular and inefficient, and Amazon Go’s high-tech … Read the rest

Three entrepreneurs join the Board of UK’s leading business organisation

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has made three new appointments to its member-led national Board of Directors.

I.T., cyber security and digital transformation specialist Olu Odeniyi and information management entrepreneur Alison North are joining the Board as Directors.

Meanwhile, recruitment and employment services entrepreneur, Tina McKenzie, is taking up the newly created role of Deputy Chair, Policy and Advocacy (UK).

All three are experienced member volunteers at FSB, and will join the existing national Board of Directors, which is made up of FSB member small business owners.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “FSB is proud to represent the UK’s small business and self-employed community. Our volunteers, alongside a dedicated staff team, work hard to support entrepreneurs right across the country and in every sector, and to give small businesses the big voice they deserve. Tina, Olu and Alison bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm, and I’m delighted … Read the rest

Understanding this could save your business from new cyber threats

The Verizon Business Mobile Security Index (MSI) 2021 reveals that many businesses may have left themselves vulnerable and open to cybercriminals in the rush to ensure their workforce could operate remotely.

Every year, the Verizon Mobile Security Index is renowned for providing unique insights into the current mobile threat landscape and what organisations are, or in many cases aren’t, doing to protect their data and key systems. In addition to analysis from Verizon’s experts, the report includes insights and real-world data from leading security and management companies Asavie, Blackberry Cylance, Check Point, IBM, Ivanti, Lookout, NetMotion, Netskope, Proofpoint, Qualcomm, Thales, VMware, and Wandera.

This year, the Verizon Mobile Security Index 2021 findings are based on an independent survey of 856 businesses across Australia, the US and the UK. It surveyed professionals that are responsible for the buying, managing, and security of mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices for their Read the rest

IR35 changes undermine self-employed at “worst possible time”

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has said that the changes to IR35 self-employed taxation coming into effect today are undermining the sector at the “worst possible time”.

IPSE research has shown that half of freelancers are planning to stop contracting in the UK after the changes – unless they can get contracts unaffected by them. Instead, they are planning to seek contracts abroad, stop working altogether, seek an employed role or retire within the next year.

Clients seem to be reacting badly to the changes too: nearly one in four contractors said in February that their clients were either uncertain or had made no indication of what they would do in response to the IR35 changes.

Meanwhile, a quarter said that their clients were planning to blanket-assess all their contractors as ‘inside IR35’ and one fifth will only engage contractors working through umbrella companies. Nearly one … Read the rest

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Fuller’s to raise cash after burning through £5m every month in lockdown

The pub group Fuller, Smith & Turner has revealed that revenues fell 80% during the past year on the back of coronavirus lockdowns as it seeks to raise cash to see it through the reopening of UK hospitality.

The company said it had burned through between £4m and £5m for every month of full lockdown, when its pubs and hotels were forced to close.

The pubs sector has been among the hardest hit during the pandemic, with restrictions in place since late March 2020 that have ranged from total bans on opening to curfews and requirements to sell “substantial meals” with drinks. Fuller’s said its pubs will have been closed on 73% of the days between 30 March 2020 and 12 April 2021.

Fuller’s plans to raise about £54m via a share placing to give it enough cash to spend on the reopening of British pubs as well as to … Read the rest

Google adjusts remote working as it looks to reopens offices

Google is changing its work-from-home policy as it looks to get more people back into its offices.

The tech firm will only allow employees to work from home for more than 14 days a year if they apply for it.

Google will continue it current work-from-home arrangements until 1 September but will allow people to return voluntarily from next month.

The tech giant was one of the first companies to offer working from home when the pandemic struck last year.

“It’s now been a year since many of us have been working from home, and the thought of returning to the office might inspire different emotions,” Fiona Cicconi, Google’s head of people operations, wrote in a company email on Wednesday.

Google is currently preparing for a broad reopening in September, when employees will be expected to be in the office for at least three days a week.

Until then, the … Read the rest

Special purpose acquisition companies fall out of favour with investors

After an wave of special purpose acquisition companies, known as Spacs, the tide appears to be turning, with some of the highest-profile examples now under pressure

Spacs — or blank-cheque funds — are shell companies that raise money via initial public offerings before listing on a stock exchange. Then they search for an acquisition, typically a private company. Once a deal is finalised, the Spac takes its target public by absorbing it and its investors take a slice of the new company. If no deal is done, the fund is liquidated and investors are refunded.

Two months ago shares in Sir Richard Branson’s VG Acquisition Corp surged to $17.65 when it announced its merger with 23andme, a genetic testing firm. It has since fallen by 42 per cent to $10.20.

Shares in Churchill Capital Corp IV have halved since its combination with Lucid Motors, an electric carmaker, was announced on … Read the rest

Contractors not confident in client IR35 decisions

More than half of contractors don’t believe their end-client is ready for IR35, despite there being just one week before the deadline.

In its survey of IR35 experts also found that contracting professionals felt they were more ready for the changes themselves, with 73% of respondents stating that they felt prepared or somewhat prepared for the upcoming IR35 reform.

The data did reveal some worrying trends that could impact the availability of contract talent in the immediate future. Overall, 69% of contractors said that if they were deemed inside IR35 they would either leave or charge a higher fee, with just 14% stating that they would accept an inside IR35 decision.

This potential exodus of contractors from talent pools is further exacerbated by the struggles this group have faced over the last year. According to research conducted by specialist insurance broker Kingsbridge, a staggering 70% of contractors have gone without … Read the rest

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