Startups Weekly Round Up: 6 March

The Windsor Framework reshapes the relationship with Northern Ireland, why women need to talk investment, and cybersecurity

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Welcome to Startups’ Weekly Round Up, where we bring you the latest headlines to keep you in the loop with everything that’s affecting smes in the UK.

The highlights this week:

  • Business leaders react to the Windsor Framework
  • Government announces the launch of the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology
  • Why talking money is key to advancing female representation in entrepreneurship
  • Cybersecurity talks in Parliament

Some Stats to Start Up your week

  • 75% of employees who receive recognition are satisfied in their role and employee appreciation leads to a 31% increase in productivity
  • 72% of women want to own their own business, according to a survey of 9,000 women in 15 countries
  • Customer acquisition can cost five times more than customer retention, whilst increasing customer retention 5% can increase profits from 25-95%
  • Only 33% of workers felt engaged in 2022 because of employee experience

11 Downing Street and the UK economy – What should startups know?

🖥️ Banking on British fintech → the launch of a national hub for FinTech, known as the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) has been announced by the government. Its aims are to drive growth of the sector on a global scale. The CFIT is supported by £5.5 million of Treasury and City of London Corporation funding and supports around 2,500 organisations in the UK.

Charlotte Crosswell OBE, Chair of CFIT, said, “This organisation will enable us to come together as a sector to start breaking down barriers that the FinTech sector is facing while creating a clear path for our homegrown FinTech companies to achieve global scale, impact and success.”

♀️ Is the gender gap in business narrowing? → new research shows the proportion of British microbusinesses owned by women has surged during the cost of living crisis and since the start of the pandemic. The gender split of British microbusiness founders in the last 12 months is 46% female against 53% male. This is down from the general microbusiness gender split of 38% female and 60% male.

However, challenges remain. 82% of female business owners say they are responsible for most domestic household duties and 44% say the costs and expectations associated with childcare are a barrier to female entrepreneurship.

🤖 Cybersecurity Talk → business leaders in the cybersecurity sector will get together on March 13 to discuss the UK’s readiness to defend itself against growing threats posed by ransomware in parliament. Key topics will also touch on the UK’s chronic cyber skills shortage and the threat it poses to national security.

Nick Van Someren, CTO of Absolute Software, explained, “The rise of remote and hybrid working has also given hackers new routes to enter companies undetected. Tackling these threats requires collaboration between the cyber industry, the government and businesses to ensure the highest standards are in place.”

Money Talks – Why women need to talk more about investment

70% of women don’t talk about investment, and instead are more likely to be asked about their weight or marriage status. This could be holding women back from investing as 60% of women say they lack confidence in talking about investing, compared to 40% of men.

This is set against a gender investment gap of almost £600bn between men and women in the UK. However, statistics show that women are more likely than men to start investing after talking to someone about it, illustrating a disproportionate benefit to conversations about investing between women.

Reframing Brexit – The Windsor Framework

Last week, the government announced changes to Northern Ireland’s Protocol that will change the nation’s place within the EU’s single market. It eradicated some EU-imposed checks that had to be carried out on goods heading west over the Irish sea. This continues to reify Northern Ireland’s unique position as having privileged access to the single market, compared to Scotland, Wales, and England.

Businesses have reacted with optimism. Khalid Talukder, co-founder of London fintech firm DKK Partners, said,“This new approach unlocks international trade and avoids a hard border which would have had catastrophic consequences for the Good Friday Agreement.”

James Bentley, Director of Financial Markets Online, was also positive. “With one of the most toxic – yet least understood – legacies of Brexit apparently put to bed, the Pound has leapt into relief territory,” he said, continuing, “As Westminster and Northern Irish politicians pore over the fine print of the Windsor Framework to work out who will be the winners and losers, the currency markets have already made their snap judgement; UK trade will be a winner.”

Funding Opportunities

Global climate tech accelerator Subak is offering £130k grant funding to 14 not-for-profit climate startups across the UK, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Subak has already funded and scaled 15 startups who have raised £13M in follow-on funding and achieved significant consumer and policy impact. You can apply here. Applications close on 17 March.

Written by:
Fernanda is a Mexican-born Startups Writer. Specialising in the Marketing & Finding Customers pillar, she’s always on the lookout for how startups can leverage tools, software, and insights to help solidify their brand, retain clients, and find new areas for growth. Having grown up in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi, Fernanda is passionate about how businesses can adapt to new challenges in different economic environments to grow and find creative ways to engage with new and existing customers. With a background in journalism, politics, and international relations, Fernanda has written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to how businesses can retain staff during a recession. She is currently strengthening her journalistic muscle by studying for a part-time multimedia journalism degree from the National Council of Training for Journalists (NCTJ).

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