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Small businesses can win a mentoring session with entrepreneur stars

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Entrepreneur Liz Earle mentors a small business owner
Liz Earle: small businesses must grab all the available resources and training they can to help navigate their way in the online world.

Small businesses’ owners looking for some inspiration have until November 3rd to enter the  ‘Get mentored, Get growing’ campaign a partnership between British telecom company BT and Google, that offers free one-to-one mentoring sessions for UK small businesses and charities covering a range of topics including digital marketing, e-commerce and business strategy.

Caribbean cuisine entrepreneur Levi Roots and beauty and wellness brand founder Liz Earle are leading a new campaign to encourage UK small businesses to unlock the benefits of digital skills training to help drive their post-pandemic growth and prosperity. And a one-to-one mentoring session with Levi and Liz, where they can learn from their experiences of building and scaling a brand as well as adapting to a digital-first world. To enter small businesses with less than 50 employees must enter at Sign Up: 1-to-1 Mentoring with BT and Google by November, 3rd.

Levi Roots mentoring young entrepreneurs

Levi Roots (center) first shot to fame on BBC’s Dragons Den, where he achieved backing for his Reggae Reggae Sauce | Photo: Andrew Fosker.

“Running your own business can sometimes be overwhelming and lonely, so I know from my own Dragons Den experience how game-changing it was, both professionally and personally, to work with someone who could understand and appreciate my challenges and ambitions, and give me personalised, meaningful and actionable advice, as well as practical tools and training to help me build and grow my business. I’m really delighted to get the chance to pay it forward and share my journey and insights with today’s small business community and help them unlock the power of digital to accelerate their growth.” – says Levi Roots who first shot to fame on BBC’s Dragons Den, where he achieved backing for his Reggae Reggae Sauce, a product conceived in his kitchen at home and born from a passion for Jamaican food. From there the Levi Roots brand has grown into a £40m business spanning sauces, ready meals, snacks, soft drinks and pasties, stocked by all the major grocery retailers.

 

For Liz Earle, a health and beauty writer turned into a multi-million entrepreneur, every small business owner must be savvy when it comes to take advantage of all digital tools currently available.

“You have to act like a publisher on your social media channels and be super responsive to customers who want a real-time answer, not a letter in the post! With my later publishing brand, we had to learn a mass of digital skills super-fast and I encourage small businesses to grab all the available resources and training they can to help successfully navigate their way in the online world.” – explains Earle, who was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen, in 2009, for services to the beauty industry.

 

EuroNewsweek is a dynamic news platform featuring lifestyle, sustainability, successful stories, tech, leadership, creative marketing, business, and the unstoppable people behind them.

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Fund to launch and grow a business will help black entrepreneurs in the UK

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Blacl barber looks after a client and his business
Applications are open for funding of up to £15,000 for the most innovative new business ideas and exciting existing companies in the UK 

Future 100 Growth Fund, a programme backing Black British entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses is now open for applications. The £1m partnership between Europe’s leading media and entertainment company, Sky, and the newly launched independent civil rights group, the Black Equity Organisation (BEO), aims to provide funding and support over three years to help overcome the significant barriers faced by young Black entrepreneurs in Britain when setting up businesses.

“We want to share our platform and capability to create lasting change for Black British entrepreneurs. We are pleased to be working with BEO to provide direct assistance and advice from Sky to help make the UK a great place for Black businesses.” – celebrated Dana Strong, CEO of the Sky’s Group. The company has made £30 million commitment to tackle structural inequality and make a difference in communities impacted by racism.

Driving economic empowerment and equity of opportunity for Black people and businesses is one of six key areas Black Equity Organisation will focus on. Research has highlighted that in the 10 years between 2009-19, only 0.24% of the total invested in UK start-ups from venture capital funding went to Black entrepreneurs. Just 0.02% went to Black female entrepreneurs.

Besides offering funding of up to £15,000 for the most innovative new business ideas and exciting existing companies, the initiative aims to create a network of mentors and community organisations to advise and assist new enterprises through direct financial support and products nurturing talent and innovation.

”The Future 100 Growth Fund will back the next generation of Black founders to thrive and succeed. We can’t wait to see what the applicants achieve through this programme as they drive growth across their businesses and for the UK economy.” – says Dame Vivian Hunt, Chair of Trustees at Black Equity Organisation.

The programme is open to applicants between 18 and 30 years old of Black African, Black Caribbean, Black British and/or Mixed-race descent who are UK residents. The fund will support Black entrepreneurs who are looking to bring a business concept to life, have a fledgling business that they want to scale or have the beginnings of a thriving business.

To find out more about the Future 100 programme and for details on how to apply visit the project here.

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Hospitality industry in the UK threatened by staff shortages

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Two housekeepers making a hotel bed
Housekeepers are expected to receive a 7.4% pay rise, but UK businesses still struggle to recruit staff | Photo: Liliana Drew

The hospitality and leisure sector’s post-pandemic recovery, in the UK, could be severely hampered by the lack of staff, a new report from a British bank has revealed.

“UK Hospitality’s Next Challenge”, a study from Barclays Corporate Banking, shows that the release of pent-up consumer demand for socialising, holidays and experiences following the pandemic has given a boost to the sector. Over three quarters (77%) of H&L operators are confident of growth this year, and had predicted an average 30.5% uplift in revenue compared with pre-pandemic levels. This equates to a £36bn² rise in annual turnover over 2019, and a £54bn increase on 2021.

However, the predicted growth could be stifled by soaring supplier costs and a scramble for talent. Hospitality and leisure businesses report that their transport costs have already spiked by over 38% year-on-year on average, and their utility bills by 37%.

Meanwhile, over nine in 10 (94%) hospitality and leisure businesses are struggling to recruit personnel, with vacancies for cleaning staff (20%), front of house staff (18%), and delivery staff (16%) causing the most issues. There are particularly acute shortages of cleaners in the East Midlands and the East of England (28%).

Almost a fifth (16%) of bars and restaurants are finding it difficult to hire waiting staff, and over two fifths of gyms and leisure centres (42%) cannot find fitness instructors. Recruitment issues also extend to back-of-house and C-suite roles: 17% of operators are having trouble sourcing finance staff and 16% said the same about senior management positions.

“Crucially for the industry, our research shows that talent shortages are also a major concern, with businesses in every vertical finding it challenging to fill their vacancies. It means there is now an added imperative for hospitality and leisure firms to find new and novel ways to recruit, reward and retain their staff.” – says Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality and Leisure at Barclays Corporate Banking.

Hospitality and leisure operators are already establishing new incentives to recruit and retain talent, including permanent work flexibility, the introduction of bonuses, and an increase in staff welfare budgets.

Almost one in five employers (19%) have also increased wages given to staff. Senior managers are set to receive the biggest boost to their pay packets, with an average increase of 7.7% – equivalent to £2,014 a year for a full-time worker. Delivery riders, housekeepers and kitchen staff are also expected to see their wages rise in 2022.

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Contemporary artist Demit Omphroy partners with GAP for NTF collection

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Artists Demit Omphroy on the streets
Partnership: the limited-edition is Demit Omphroy’s first digital series of NFTs | Photo: Instagram

Contemporary artist and former professional soccer player Demit Omphroy is partnering with GAP for its third collection of limited-edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

As the brand, founded in 1969, continues to explore new channels to engage customers in the rapidly evolving digital ecosystem, this spring, Demit launched a limited-edition graphic tee collection featuring his unique and recognizable work, and now the artist is launching his first NFTs with Gap. Demit’s art depicts life through vibrant colors and an expressionistic style, seeing the world through his inner child.  

“My work is playful, expressive, and simplistic, yet loaded with emotion. Being able to express myself through a new digital medium and collaborate with Gap, one of the most iconic brands in history, is exciting for me as a creator.” – celebrates the American artist who is also a citizen of Panama and the Philippines through descent.

On June 15, the One of a Kind digital auction will begin, featuring single edition digital art and a custom, hand-painted Gap denim jacket by Demit.  

In July, Gap x DOGAMÍ NFT wearables will launch as the first fashion collaboration in the petaverse. Digital Gap logo hoodies specifically designed for DOGAMÍ avatars will engage players to express their virtual pet’s individual style that will have a direct impact on game stats. 

“Partnering with unique artists and creators is a cornerstone of our NFT program,” – says Chris Goble, Chief Product Officer at Gap. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Demit and to create this vibrant collection of NFTs and product that amplifies his voice and represents his distinct individual style.”  

The Gap Threads marketplace and DOGAMÍ are both built on Tezos, a more energy efficient blockchain, allowing for minimal energy consumption and a low carbon footprint. Customers can also join Gap’s Discord server to connect, engage, and foster a community with other fans of Gap NFTs. The Discord server can be accessed at discord.gg/gapthreads.

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