Have you missed any small business news this week? Don’t worry, here’s our quick roundup of stories we’ve covered in the past seven days.
Last Friday marked International Women’s Day, celebrating women’s rights across the world. To coincide with this year’s event, Boost Capital launched a new £10 million fund for female entrepreneurs, aiming to give better access to finance for female-run businesses.
Monday kicked off National Apprenticeship Week, and new research revealed the true value small businesses can gain from hiring apprentices. It emerged that the average apprentice can boost business productivity by an average of £214 per week, and as high as £414 per week in some industries.
Next we found out that small business confidence is on the rise ahead of next week’s Budget announcement. FSB’s Voice of Small Business Index showed an increase from -5.6 to +6.3 on the small business confidence scale in the first quarter of 2013. The Budget will be announced by Chancellor George Osborne on March 20th.
On Wednesday it was announced that the Start-Up Loans Scheme has been granted an extra £5.5 million to lend to entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30. This follows the announcement that the scheme reached its £10 million lending target in its pilot and has benefited 1,000 small businesses in the last month alone.
And yesterday we found out that there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of tradesmen operating over the past four years. New research revealed that the amount plumbers, bricklayers and window cleaners has reduced by up to 25%. However, the study also found that female-run trade businesses are on the rise.
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