04 Dec Overcoming Challenges Faced by Start-Ups in the UK
The United Kingdom is home to several start-ups, small, and medium businesses. Many places in the UK, most notably London, are considered as the launchpad for start-ups. But, despite being so conducive for new businesses, entrepreneurs face numerous challenges here. Some of them are universal, while others are unique to the UK. Jungleprenuer believes that many of these can be removed with the right initiatives.
Let’s take a look at these challenges faced and weigh upon the possible solutions to overcome them:
1. Raising Money
According to Microsoft, investors in the UK are risk-averse, so funding is an issue that start-up companies face far too often.
New businesses have to rely heavily on their ‘networking’, customers, and measures like crowdfunding (raising money through a large group of individuals based on rewards, donation, debt, and equity, prepay services) and matchmaker business (connecting businesses with big corporations and government agencies) among others.
If the government wants to support new ideas and innovations in business – especially the digital economy – it must play an active role in addressing funding gaps. The UK government offers a startUp Loan of £500 to £25,000 but there is a need for more initiatives that are solely dedicated to bringing investors and entrepreneurs under one roof.
Per an August 2020 survey by 3Gem on behalf of Community Fibre, 86% of London SMEs feel they need a faster broadband connection for successful operations. This has taken a new meaning in the wake of the coronavirus as more than a third – which is 35% – of SMEs were unable to fully move their business online during the lockdown.
Poor internet speed, say 49% of SMEs, affected employee wellbeing negatively while 62% feel that they needed better internet speed at work to facilitate increasing video conference calls.
Transport links and office space were found to be among the biggest challenges that are pulling down digital start-up companies in London, as per a Tech London Advocates report.
Dedicated business zones or ‘clusters’, could address this problem by bringing all these ideas in one place. Silicon Roundabout or the East London Tech City is a case in point where the above-mentioned challenges were taken into account.
4. Monetizing innovation and protecting IP
If a start-up is into research and development, protecting Intellectual Property (IP) such as patents, designs, and trademarks could serve as a definite medium for businesses to make money from their innovation. Access to the right patent attorney could fix the problem with funding under initiatives such as the IP Audits Plus scheme.
5. Lack of skills/reform immigration
According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, about 15% of jobs would need a postgraduate degree by 2022.
This is reflected in the 2016 government survey as well. Investing in vocational qualifications yielded better business performance, said 87% of employers who were interviewed in the survey while 78% said that such investments improved staff retention.
As the economy limps back post corona, new training and reskilling could be the answer for a strong workforce. Besides nurturing talent locally, skill crunch can be resolved by easing immigration for skilled resources.
SME’s are the backbone of the UK economy. Redressal of these grave issues could boost the economy and help in the financial fortification of the country.