Category: Project Management

FTSE 100 rises above 7,000 for first time in over a year

The FTSE 100 rose above 7,000 this morning for the first time since the end of last February, shortly after the pandemic triggered sharp falls in global stock markets.

The index rose for the fourth session in a row, adding another 46.02 points, or 0.7 per cent, to reach 7,029.52. It was led higher once again by its travel, banking and mining companies, which have been revitalised over winter in anticipation of a sharp bounceback in the global economy.

IAG, the British Airways owner, rose 5½p, or 2.6 per cent, to 212¼p; the high street bank Barclays rose 4½, or 2.5 per cent, to 189¼p; and the Russian steelmaker Evraz gained 12p, or 2.0 per cent, to 626p.

Ivan Sedgwick, investment director at the boutique finance house LGB & Co, said: “With the FTSE’s big weighting in resource stocks and financials, and its exposure to old economy companies, it isn’t … Read the rest

Made in Britain: Hampshire Event Props

After spotting a gap in the market while working in the wedding industry, Kimara Middleton of Hampshire Event Props made it her mission to make special occasions even more special.

What is your business all about? 

I am the director of Hampshire Event Props which provides decor for events including weddings, birthdays etc. These props extend to flower walls, light up numbers, neons and much, much more.

I started the business as I saw a gap in the market from working within the wedding industry. I work at a golf club that hosts weddings and I saw that many weddings were asking about if we had any props they could use, venues don’t tend to supply much as people often want different styles so I decided to take the opportunity!

What is your role in the company?

I am the director of the business and do the marketing, driving, setting Read the rest

‘Scraping’ the barrel? The risks of publicly available data

The social media giants have found themselves in the news again, and not for positive reasons.

Earlier this month, it was widely reported that details of more than 530 million Facebook users worldwide have been made available online, including phone numbers and some email addresses. The data supposedly even included CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s own mobile number. And just days later, the data of up to 500 million LinkedIn users was alleged to have been put up for sale online.

The companies’ reactions were similar. Both denied any wrongdoing on their part or even that there had been any breach of their security. Instead, they argued that the data came from publicly available sources. Nevertheless, a number of regulators around the world have opened investigations into the Facebook incident. So what exactly is going on?

In a detailed response, Facebook argued that this data had been ‘scraped’ from publicly available information, … Read the rest

Getting To Know You: Business networking strategist, Andy Lopata

A specialist in professional relationships and networking for over 20 years, we talk to Andy Lopata, who was called  ‘One of Europe’s leading business networking strategists’ by the Financial Times.

What do you currently do?

I am an author, podcast host, speaker and mentor on professional relationships. That’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it?!

In short, I focus on how people in business can build, nurture and leverage professional relationships, whether for their career or as part of their role. In my book ‘Connected Leadership’ and ‘The Connected Leadership Podcast’ I look at how those relationships underpin executive success; while I work with a number of clients, either delivering presentations or in a mentoring capacity, on developing deep relationships and strong influence with key stakeholders.

My most recent book, ‘Just Ask’ focused on the role of those relationships in supporting us through challenging times, encouraging readers to surround themselves with people … Read the rest

Strong support for coronavirus vaccine passports

Most Britons back vaccine passports if they mean the end of social distancing.

A survey showed strong support for Covid status certificates in every setting except shops, though a significant minority would be reluctant to visit pubs and restaurants if they had to show one, suggesting a threat to hospitality revenues if they were introduced.

The government said last week that Covid certificates “could play a role in reducing social-distancing requirements”. Any final decision is months off, so pubs and restaurants will initially open with distancing rules in place such as people from different groups staying at least one metre apart.

Polling by YouGov last week found that 61 per cent said they backed certificates being introduced if it allowed venues to lift social distancing, compared with 29 per cent who did not.

For music festivals and sports stadiums, 62 per cent were supportive compared with 28 per cent against, … Read the rest

Debenhams to briefly reopen 97 stores in closing down fire sale

Debenhams is to reopen 97 of its high street stores on Monday for a closing down sale to clear stock before they finally shut their doors on 15 May.

The department store, which collapsed last year, said it would be offering up to 70% off fashion and homewares and up to 50% off beauty and fragrance in its final closing down sale.

The stores, in England and Wales, will begin to close their doors on 2 May and the process will be completed 13 days later. Debenhams’ 15 Scottish stores and its flagship shop on London’s Oxford Street will not reopen.

Debenhams’ exit from the high street after more than 200 years will leave gaps at the heart of many town centres around the country alongside the closure of all Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton stores as well as some Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser and John Lewis outlets.… Read the rest

Facebook will not notify over 530m users exposed in 2019 breach

Facebook has not notified the more-than 530m users whose details were exposed on a hacker forum in 2019 and has no plans to do so, according to company representatives.

Business Insider reported last week that phone numbers and other details from Facebook user profiles were available in a public database. The social media company acknowledged in a blogpost on Tuesday that “malicious actors” had obtained the data prior to September 2019 by “scraping” profiles using a vulnerability in the platform’s tool for syncing contacts. Facebook has said it plugged the hole after identifying the problem at the time.

But a Facebook spokesperson said on Wednesday that the company would not be notifying users affected by the hack and that it was not confident it had full visibility on which users would need to be alerted. He said the company also took into account that users could not fix the issue … Read the rest

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