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World Entrepreneurship Forum held in France

The fifth annual World Entrepreneurship Forum was held in Lyon, France last weekend (October 24-27), bringing together freelancers, small business owners, policy-makers and stakeholders to focus on new developments and sustainability. The main topic of discussion over the weekend was the idea of an "entrepreneurial ecosystem" in which small businesses could prosper and encourage more start-ups to flourish. ...

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Get more done: A guide to beating procrastination

Whether you get most of your work done at home or in the office, it can be difficult to stay focused, especially when you're the only one who calls the shots! As the Harvard Business Review released some of its top tips last week, we've decided to put together some of our own favourite techniques. 1.      Get creative. If you're not invested in what you're doing, you'll never put all of your concentrat ...

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Microbreweries among most successful small businesses

The number of British microbreweries has risen to above 1,000 for the first time in over 70 years, in sharp contrast to the financial crisis reaching larger businesses in the brewing industry. While the UK's production of beer has dropped from 39 million barrels in 1974 to 27 million in 2011, over 130 breweries have opened in the past 12 months alone. Smaller businesses are taking a more traditional approac ...

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Avis undertakes multimillion-pound ad review

Avis Budget Group, the car-rental company, is undergoing a £15 million review to analyse its global advertising structure, and is meeting with agencies next week to determine a new strategy. The group has already undergone major changes this year, changing its branding significantly with the help of digital marketing company Leo Burnett Business. It changed its US tagline from "We try harder" to "It's your ...

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Britain leaps out of double-dip recession

With the fastest rate of growth in five years, the UK economy has shown definite signs of recession recovery between July and September this year, official figures have shown today. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by one per cent, marking an end to the declining numbers over the last three years. Experts had predicted a rise of 0.6 per cent, but this unexpected rise is the largest in a quarter since 2007. ...

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Two-thirds of US small businesses concerned about growth

A new survey by The Hartford insurance group showed that only one third of small businesses owners surveyed were feeling optimistic about the economy's development, down from the 61 per cent who felt the same way in spring 2011. Almost 60 per cent of the 2,000 asked stated that they had not added any new staff in the last 12 months, while 67 per cent had no intention of doing so in the year to come. About 5 ...

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HSBC to review global media scheme

A review of HSBC's media strategy and creative agency requirements could herald the end of its relationship with Mindshare and JWT, as marketing director Chris Clark determines a new branding method for the banking group. The review, which is believed to be a closed one at present, is likely to look at its creative needs, and consider the possibility of appointing several creative houses rather than using j ...

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O2 bring back vouchers to save British High Street

Mobile phone network O2 is offering a free scheme to all small retailers in the UK, allowing high street stores to stock money-off vouchers. The move is in response to the growing number of people opting for online or super stores rather than small businesses, and is hoped to bring people back to the high street. Retailers can register for the scheme in just three minutes, as long as they meet the set crite ...

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North-east sees growing number of businesses in crisis

The north-east has seen a rise in critically struggling companies compared to those in the south, according to a new study released today. The report, produced by Red Flag Alert, showed that the so-called "zombie companies" - businesses which are in debt and only just making enough to stay afloat, or which need constant bailing out  - are stifling growth across the UK, most noticeably in the north-east. Me ...

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UK companies seek cost-efficient marketing

Around 23 per cent of companies say they have reduced their marketing budget within the last year, according to a new survey by IPA Bellwether, the advertising industry association. Compared with only 18 per cent who reported increases in advertising spend, the survey shows that fewer businesses are finding it cost-effective to maintain marketing costs. This makes it unlikely that the UK's total spend on ad ...

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