Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Selling Through Online Marketplaces

An online marketplace is a website where you can sell goods in return for a fee or commission. You are responsible for listing your products and sending them to the buyer following their purchase. The marketplace provider will manage the processing of your transactions. It will also take a percentage of sales on any item sold on its platform.

UK shoppers spent £91 billion online in 2013 with internet retailing market growing by 16 per cent during the course of the year (Interactive Media in Retail Group, 2013). Increased use of mobile devices, such as phones and tablets has contributed significantly to the large number of online sales.

Two of the biggest online marketplaces are Amazon and eBay which offer opportunities for small businesses trading online. There are also a number of growing marketplaces including Etsy and Folksy that can offer opportunities for niche traders.

This guide within nibusinessinfo highlights the main benefits of selling through an online marketplace and explains how to start selling on certain platforms/marketplaces.
View Guide >>>>

Marketing ¦ Ardean

Flexible pensions to go ahead in 2015

In his March 2014 Budget, the Chancellor announced that there would be significant changes to allow individuals to have greater access to their pension funds from 2015.

The proposed changes have been consulted on during the summer and the Treasury have now published the outcome, together with draft pensions legislation, enabling the new flexible regime to commence on 6 April 2015.

The flexibility will apply to Defined Contribution (DC) Schemes such as Self Invested Personal Pensions. However, it will continue to be possible to transfer funds from certain Defined Benefit (Final Salary) schemes into DC Schemes to allow access to the new flexible rules. An Independent Financial Adviser should be consulted to consider the full implications of this course of action.

read more >>>>

Business Planning ¦ Ardean

Friday, 11 July 2014

Property fund raises millions within weeks of launch

A new fund to accelerate the recovery of the Northern Irish property market by lending to potential developers has raised almost £2m in private investment, just three weeks after launching.

The Lanyon Capital Bridging Finance Fund launched last month to provide commercial loans of up to £1.2m to investors and developers looking to purchase or develop residential or commercial schemes across Northern Ireland.  Read More >>>

Funding : Ardean

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Insider News Ireland – New fund to boost NI tourism sector

New fund to boost NI tourism sector

The Tourism Innovation Fund has been provided through the Northern Ireland Executive's economy and jobs initiative strategy.

It will be administered by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), with sums of between £20,000 and £100,000 available to companies or schemes attracting tourism.  

Northern Ireland's tourism industry has received a boost with the introduction of a new fund that could provide up to £100,000 to projects that offer visitors a "unique experience".

Read more >>>>

Grant Financial Assistance Advice From Ardean

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Make a Map

Spatial NI allows you to view a wide range of data on detailed mapping and aerial imagery of Northern Ireland. 

This lets you layer data on maps and be in a better position to review, analyse, visualise and understand previously unseen patterns, gaps, issues or problems. Analysing data in this way can lead to improved decision making.

There is no need to buy geographic information software or to train staff to use it. You can download and share the location information you need from the portal, safe in the knowledge that a team of experts are ready to provide assistance if you need it.

Make a Map >>>

Marketing Tips From Ardean

Funding Circle

Business Loans without the Banks, Peer to Peer lending, Be your own bank

Funding Circle is a marketplace where people and organisations can lend to businesses at a rate that suits everyone.  Apply online in as little as 20 minutes and you'll hear from one of the team within 2 working days.

Find out more here >>

Ardean ¦ Funding

New Guidance For Tourism Providers

NIBusinessinfo have launched new guidance for tourism providers, providing advice on starting, running and growing your tourism business in Northern Ireland.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

InterTradeIreland urges NI firms to bid for Seedcorn funding

InterTradeIreland, the cross-border business development organisation, has called for early-stage businesses in Northern Ireland to enter its Seedcorn Investor Readiness competition for a chance to win €280,000 (£230,355).

The competition aims to give small, equity raising businesses a boost and transform them into investor-ready groups.

Companies can enter via one of four regions; Dublin, Munster, Connacht & Leinster and Northern Ireland.

Read More >>>

Ardean ¦ Funding

How to Access European Funding for R&D and Innovation

Fact – the EU is aiming to provide almost €80 billion for R&D by 2020
Fact – companies that invest in R&D and innovation are more successful

At this event you will hear presentations by expert speakers from the European Commission, the Republic of Ireland and the UK on what the opportunities are and how to apply for EU funding. A local company will explain how it successfully secured funding. The seminar will:

• Outline the support available to help with applications
• Give an overview of the opportunities in Horizon 2020 and how it works
• Highlight the opportunities from the Enterprise Europe Network and COSME

You will be able to meet with the Northern Ireland Support Network for Horizon 2020 and Enterprise Europe Network staff at the event. These are the people who can help with applications and creating partnerships in Europe. You will also have the opportunity to network during lunch with the experts. Demand for places will be high so register now.

Tuesday 27 May 2014, 09:30 → 13:45
Olympic Suite, Titanic Belfast

read more

Ardean ¦ Funding

Thursday, 10 April 2014

One4all to include independent stores

Multi-store gift card provider One4all Group is extending its services to independent retailers in Northern Ireland.

One4all currently sells £43m worth of its cards in Northern Ireland every year, which can be used in high-street stores including Debenhams, House of Fraser, Boots and Argos.

It has now expanded to include independent retailers in the region, allowing customers to buy gift-cards to buy products from local stores.

Michael Dawson, One4all chief executive, said: "One4all has a wide ranging appeal because of the breadth of choice we offer our customers in where they can spend their gift cards.

"Our current retail offer covers everything from home to fashion and travel to food. Independent Northern Ireland retailers are an important part of this choice."

Read More >>>>

Ardean ¦ Marketing

Thursday, 3 April 2014

April Call for Innovation Vouchers Now Open

April Call for innovation vouchers are now open.  

Innovation Vouchers Banner
Innovation Vouchers are designed to enable small and medium-sized Northern Ireland businesses (limited companies, sole traders, partnerships) to access knowledge and expertise to develop innovative solutions to business issues. The programme provides a voucher of up to £4000 to enable eligible businesses to engage with one of the 41 universities, colleges and other publicly funded research organisations throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Closing date for applications is 30 April 2014.  Read More >>>>

Ardean ¦ Funding

Early payments platform launches

A new early payments platform has been launched backed by the Department of Business Innovation & Skills and international insurer RSA.

A recent survey of 350 small UK businesses found three in four wanted early payment of invoices, and would take a small discount to get it. But half of them would never ask their customers.

The survey also found:

75 per cent expect to grow by more than 5 per cent in the coming year

66 per cent don't think their bank would support a loan application

82 per cent have suffered extended payment in the past three years

49 per cent said they wouldn't need to borrow if their largest customer paid early

URICA has now been launched in a bid to get businesses to pay earlier.

Read More >>>>>

Ardean ¦ Funding

AIM launches loans scheme for music start-ups

Start-ups in the music industry could receive loans up to £25,000 as part of a new government-backed scheme by the Association of Independent Music (AIM). The AIM Start Up Loans initiative will act as a delivery partner for the Start Up Loans Company, a government-backed scheme which has so more than £76m to UK businesses so far. AIM, which represents over 800 music companies in the UK, will independently assess applications and approve business loans ranging from £1,000 to £25,000, which can be paid back in one to five years. The average loan amount is £5,700 and the interest rate is fixed at 6 per cent. Only companies trading for less than a year will be eligible to apply.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Agri-food loan scheme opens

A new loan scheme tailored specifically to the agri-food sector has made its first call for applications to Northern Ireland's poultry producers.

The programme was developed by the department of enterprise, trade and investment and a number of banks in response to the difficulties faced by the agri-food industry in Northern Ireland.  Arlene Foster, minister for enterprise, trade and investment, said: "The first phase of the 'Agri-Food Loan Scheme' is open for business and applications are now coming through for approval. We have worked hard to create a 'one stop shop' for producers and I commend the participating banks for their commitment in delivering the scheme, and in helping producers to access finance."

Brian Gillan, head of business banking at First Trust Bank, added: "Being the first bank to sanction funds through the fund highlights our appetite to lend to this sector. The Agri-food loan scheme gives the finance needed for producers to invest in their poultry operations."

Read More>>>>

Ardean ¦ Funding

Friday, 7 February 2014

Innovation Vouchers

Innovation Vouchers Banner

A little voucher could make a big difference. What could £4000 do for your business?

A lot more than you might imagine if you’re a small or medium sized business wanting to get that extra edge, or struggling with an issue that needs expert help to solve.

You can apply for an Innovation Voucher worth £4k to allow your business to work with one of our 39 highly respected universities colleges or research bodies.

It will let you tap into specialist knowledge to develop forward-thinking solutions or ideas to expand, improve or create new products, services and processes that will help you compete more effectively.

Please note, however that if there is a solution to your issue that is readily available from the private sector then it is unlikely that a voucher will be awarded.

Read More About The Vouchers Now >>>

Ardean ¦ Funding

Mobile Commerce and Analytics Workshops

Invest NI is continuing its series of practical and interactive ICT workshops with the next two topics focusing on Mobile Commerce and Analytics.

Mobile Commerce

It's fair to say that with the rapid rate of adoption, that mobile is changing things. It's no exaggeration to call it the 7th mass media. So, arguably, mobile is probably no longer a choice. Your customers expect it.

So, where should you start?

This workshop will demystify the hype and buzz and help you define a clear mobile strategy for your company.


Without clear objectives, analytics can result in us drowning in data, there's simply too much. What we need to do is focus on the metrics which matter.

This workshop will help you set clear objectives and with this approach you'll move up from ad hoc reporting to insights which lead to improvements in your business.

Book your place now >>>

Ardean ¦ Marketing 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Partnership set to stimulate NI economy

A document has outlined plans to double revenues from the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors in Northern Ireland to over £2bn per year with the potential to create 4,000 jobs.

The Northern Ireland Partnering for Growth strategy is led by aerospace, defence, security and space trade organisation ADS Northern Ireland and was developed in collaboration with Invest Northern Ireland, the department of enterprise, trade and investment and the department for employment and learning.

David Beatty, chairman of ADS Group in Northern Ireland, said: "This is an important step towards making sure Northern Ireland stays ahead of the curve in these high value sectors.  Read More >>>>

Ardean ¦ Business Planning

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Speakers revealed for Business of Finance Conference 2014

Speakers revealed for Business of Finance Conference 2014.

The full list of speakers for Insider's Northern Ireland Business of Finance Conference to be held on 27th March 2014 has been revealed.

The Business of Finance Conference, now in its fourth year, is a firm fixture in the business community’s calendar. This year's conference will focus on growth, exports and foreign direct investment.

It will bring together some of the biggest, most authoritative and influential voices of the NI business community.

Speakers already confirmed include:

  • Martin Symington, founder of Pure Roast Coffee Ltd
  • Jayne Brady, partner, Kernel Capital
  • Colin Walsh, founder, Crescent Capital
  • Darrel Connell, senior investment manager, Foresight Group
  • David Issot, associate director, HG Capital

Other speakers will be announced soon.

Read More >>>

Ardean ¦ Funding

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

"Business finance picture improving" James Caan

Access to finance is becoming less of a barrier to business growth with the investment environment becoming "a lot stronger", former Dragons' Den star James Caan has told Insider.
Caan, the chairman of the government's Start Up Loans scheme and chief executive of private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw, was speaking after figures released by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) last week suggested that the UK's economic recovery is set to gather momentum this year.
"I don't think [access to finance] is a huge barrier any more, as the investment environment is a lot stronger these days. There are more options, for example crowdfunding, and I believe that a good business will always be able to raise money," said Caan.
The BCC survey, which polled 8,000 businesses, indicated the overall economy grew by about 0.9 per cent in the three months to the end of December 2013.
Caan agreed with the survey's assessment: "I think we are turning the corner now, especially when you consider where we were just a couple of years ago. Sentiment plays a big role in the economy and the general outlook is a lot more positive which is in turn helping businesses." Read More >>>

Ardean ¦ Funding

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Government is lending £20m to British businesses through Funding Circle 
Be your own bank - Funding Circle is a marketplace where individuals lend to businesses at a rate that suits everyone.
By cutting out the high costs and complexity of banks, both sides are better off. Apply now

Ardean : Funding