MOOC: The Importance of Money in Business

MOOC to develop your commercial awareness & financial knowledge, starts 7th March

mooc money in business2Free Future Learn online course for greater understanding of the role money plays in business success.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur in the making, or you’re looking to work for an established business when you leave University, here’s an opportunity to improve your commercial awareness by completing a Future Learn course in conjunction with the University of Leeds.

Over four weeks you’ll get insights from business professionals and entrepreneurs from adidas, PwC, FitFlop and M&S (to name but a few of the companies involved) about dealing with financial matters and understanding financial strategies for growing a business.

By signing up to the course you’ll have access to videos, animation, interview and top tips. You’ll also have the opportunity to map your skills and demonstrate your commitment to developing your commercial awareness – a crucial skill required by many graduate  employers. This isn’t just a course for future accountants and financiers; understanding the importance of money in business development is relevant across a variety of career paths.

Find out more about the course here and sign up.

Free online webinars with HMRC for those self assessment nightmares!

Are you filing your self assessment returns this week?sa tax return2

If you’re struggling to fill out your self assessment tax forms this week, and are dreading the thought of spending endless hours waiting for HMRC to answer your call, log on to their online sessions and get the advice you need.

Although they won’t be able to give you assistance with your personal details, HMRC representatives will answer your general questions and queries on the following dates;

  • 28th January 2016 – 1pm – 3pm
  • 29th January 2016 – 10am to midday
  • 29th January 2016 – 1pm – 3pm
  • 30th January 2016 – 9am to midday
  • 31st January 2016 – 10am – 1pm

Don’t worry though, if you can’t make any of these times, there are some short videos on the HMRC YouTube account which cover topics like: registering for Self Assessment, paying your bill, important dates and what to do when you can’t pay your tax bill.

Click here to access HMRC guidance.

Gain £3k for your social enterprise with Shared Future & UnLtd

Shared Future CIC holding North Lancashire PIP Awards: 4th Feb 2016

shared futures2

Shared Future CIC, local Lancaster based community interest company, are running the North Lancashire PIP Awards Programme; a unique opportunity to pitch for up to  £3000 funding for your social enterprise.

What is a PIP?

A participatory investment programme enables organisations to generate new income through social enterprise by taking on contracts, receiving social investment and loans as well as entering into new partnerships and collaborations. Investments made through this programme are non repayable, but should facilitate social and environmental benefits and change.

How do I apply?

Applications for a PIP award are welcome from new social enterprises from start-up to 1 year in operation who are based in and around North Lancashire. Funding will be awarded in two levels and applicants may request up to £500 or £3000. You must demonstrate how an award will enable you to generate future income through trading in goods or services or new public sector contracts for a social or environmental benefit.

In order to apply, you should submit a short application by 1pm, Wednesday 20th January. Successful applicants will then be invited to pitch their idea at the event on the evening of Thursday 4th February where an expert panel and audience will vote to decide which projects should receive funding; up to £20,000 will be distributed on the night, so don’t miss out.

Download the application form and guidance information on the Shared Future CIC website here.

Where can I get more information?

It is recommended that you get in touch with the Shared Future team before applying to confirm your eligibility and find out further information about the award and event.

Startup Loans available to new businesses

Changes made to Startup Loans are good news for businesses


Businesses less than three years old are now eligible for Startup Loans – with a quick turnaround, free business mentoring, and flexible lending period.

Startup Loans are available for up to £25,000 and applicants 18 or over can apply for funding to support their new business with a 60 months repayment period; good news for early stage startups in need of a cash influx. This is a government funded scheme which provides advice, loans and mentoring – by taking out a secure loan with the company, you have access to a comprehensive support package to ensure your business success.

Find out more here.

A fair days pay for a fair days work?

Jon Powell on minimum wage, living wage, CEO pay…liv wage2

The Chancellor recently announced the introduction of a National Living Wage. This isn’t going to replace the National Minimum Wage and isn’t on a par with the Living Wage, so what is it?

From April 2016 the National Living Wage (NLW) will apply but only to those aged 25 and over and will be set at £7.20, 50p more than the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for 25 year olds but less that the Living Wage (LW) recommended by the Living Wage Foundation of £8.25.

Assuming 233 working days of 8 hours that equates to an approximate salary of £12,500 on the NMW, £13,420 on the NLW or £15,378 on the LW.

So a 25 year old on the NLW will receive a salary of £13,420, but a 20 year old doing the same job would be salaried £9,880 (£5.30 hr on the NMW). And that doesn’t take into account the full cost to the employer e.g. NI, pension etc.  The salary will be 36% higher for the 25 year old. And don’t forget the employer cannot discriminate on (w)age and just employ the younger applicant.

So that begs the question of a fair days pay for a fair days work. Does the 25 year old doing the same job deserve a 36% higher salary?

With all the confusion over what employers should legally pay their employees, what about the moral viewpoint? Dan Prince CEO of Seattle based tech company Gravity announced earlier this year that he would raise the salary of every employee to $70,000 (£47,000) and cut his own salary to the same amount. The figure was based on research by the University of Princeton, which found that an income above that point did not have a significant impact on a person’s happiness.

So if you are an employer that now has to pay more for the same “fair days’ work” or an employee that will benefit from an increase in salary as a result of the National Living Wage, do you feel any happier? Or are you still wondering how much your CEO is taking home and wishing you worked for Dan Prince…..


Jon Powell is the LU Enterprise Team Manager and a Director of Enterprise Educators UK, Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce and Employer Solutions Ltd.

Xerox Entrepreneurship Scholarship

Win a £2000 entrepreneur scholarship from Xeroxxerox scholar

If you’re a full time undergraduate or postgrad, studying a business related degree and have an entrepreneurial dream, Xerox want to hear from you; you could be eligible to apply for a £2000 scholarship to support your enterprising ambitions.

If successful, you’ll receive money to cover the costs associated with your studies; course materials, accommodation or tuition fees are all eligible expenses you are incurring to study a business degree at Lancaster. Alongside this financial support, you’ll also earn mentoring, a 12 months Xerox subscription and skills coaching.

Students of all ages are encouraged to apply – though you will need ABB grades or above in A Levels or equivalent qualifications. To submit an application you’ll need to demonstrate academic achievement and evidence of enrolment at LU, as well as a letter of recommendation from a referee and a 700 word max essay on how the Xerox scholarship would help you work towards an entrepreneurial path.

Applications close on 19th July 2016 so you’ve got plenty of time to develop your application and fully explore what you want to achieve in the future.

Find out more here.

Make It Happen – Show me the Money!

Show me the Money! – Friday 20th November, 9.30am-11am


Enterprise Team Manager, Jon Powell, will introduce the many different options for financing your startup or business growth.

Key info:

  • Time: 9:30am – 11:00am
  • Location: Green Lane, Long Room
  • Pathway: Entrepreneurship
  • Lancaster Award points: 5pts

What’s this event about?
This workshop will be a series of quickfire presentations introducing different options for financing start up or business growth.

Hear from Santander, LUSU Innovation Team, the Enterprise Team and others who can help you to find funding for your enterprise idea.

Bacon sandwiches and refreshments will be provided – please email with any dietary requirements.

Book your place here.


Have you noticed all our Make It Happen events are now on Target Connect?

How to calculate your freelance hourly rate

What price should you put on your time?


Knowing what to charge your customers is tough; to overcharge is bad for reputation and attracting customers, whilst to undercharge not only underestimates your business, but often leaves you out of pocket.

Survival rate pricing – charging low whilst hoping to attract the masses – is extremely risky as it does not recognise fluctuations in customer numbers throughout long periods. Charging enough to cover your costs, and make a profit, ensures your business can thrive; being able to find this balance of costs, however is a difficult task.

View this simple infographic to make a start on your pricing strategy.

Funding opportunity for new student businesses

Chance to win a bursary of up to £1,000 with Quality Formations

Quality Formations funding

Quality Formations are offering six students an award of up to £1,000 for start up business activities, as well as the opportunity to form a limited company, free of charge.

If you have an idea for a business, but lack the start up funds you desperately need, Quality Formation can help. Current degree students (including International students) are eligible for the grant and can apply by submitting a 1,000 word proposal explaining your startup and how the money would help bring your idea to life.

Applications are open until 5pm on January 29th 2016 so you’ve plenty of time to work on your proposal. Winners will be selected by February 26th 2016.

If you’d like help with your proposal or want to discuss your idea first, don’t hesitate to drop us a line or meet us at a drop in.

Found out more about the opportunity here.