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Economy

Young Entrepreneurs Lead The Growth Charge

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Young entrepreneurs aged under 35 are on average twice as ambitious about their company’s growth prospects and four times as likely to hire new staff than older generations of business owners, according to a new report launched by Albion Ventures.

The third Albion Growth Report, designed to shed light on the factors that both create and impede growth among over 1,000 SMEs, showed that one in six (14%) under-35s predicted their firm would grow dramatically over the next two years compared to just 8% of 45 – 54 year olds.

Interestingly, 42% of under-35s would raise external equity versus the overall average of 35%, which suggests a generational shift in the approach to equity investors.

Reflecting their strong growth ambitions, almost a third (29%) of millennial entrepreneurs have attempted to raise finance in the last year compared to 14% of their middle-aged counterparts.  However, over the same period the former were five times as likely to see their applications rejected than the latter (15% vs 3%), potentially reflecting an unwillingness of lenders to extend finance to business owners with shorter track records.

As a result of this, younger business owners are taking greater risks to finance growth: one-in-four (23%) of under-35s have used their credit card to fund their business compared to 5% of older business owners and 15% have mortgaged their property to do so versus only 7% of 45 – 54 year olds.

By revealing how under-35s are choosing to deploy new capital the Report shows them to be far more focused on growth than the older generation: for example, under-35s are more likely to seek finance to invest in R&D (14% versus 5%), hire new staff (13% versus 3%) and to bring about a change of ownership (13% versus 6%).

While the younger generation is more ambitious, they admit that their skills shortages are holding them back.  One-in-four (23%) cite a lack of mentoring as a major challenge to growth, while 16% and 23% said they would benefit from better financial management and business planning respectively.  This could explain why a much higher proportion (17%) of under-35s would be willing to exchange equity for hands-on support compared to just 7% of 45 – 54 year olds.

Patrick Reeve, Managing Partner at Albion Ventures, said: “The younger generation is by far the most optimistic and ambitious about the future.  This pro-growth sentiment is excellent news for the UK economy as the under-35s will become increasingly influential over the years to come.  The greater willingness of younger business leaders to use equity rather than banks to secure the funds they need suggests we’re shifting towards a more entrepreneurial model as seen in the US.

“That younger entrepreneurs are honest about their skills shortages and are in most need of mentoring is a call of help that we shouldn’t ignore as it’s in our collective interests to encourage their long-term success.”

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Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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