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Posted On Saturday 27th May 2017 10:31 AM


In developed countries plus China and India, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generate about a half of the GDP and jobs. In other developing countries, their share in the economy averages 33%. In Russia, SMEs make up 20% of the GDP, employing just a quarter of the population. While China has more than half of its exports coming through SMEs, in Russia this figure does not exceed 7%. The Russian authorities are taking steps towards giving SMEs a more pronounced role, viewing it as a way to improve the structure of the economy, spur innovation, and promote higher employment.

Small and medium-sized businesses drive many economies worldwide.

* According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), SMEs provide jobs to between 60% and 70% of the employed population in developed countries and to 80% in China.

* The SME contribution to the economy is around 50% in the US, 47% in the UK, 57% in Germany, 60% in China, and 45% in India.

* In China, small and medium-sized businesses account for 65% of patents, 75% of innovations in technology, and more than 80% of new products.

* According to the World Bank’s estimates, over the next 15 years, SMEs will be creating four out of five new jobs in developing countries.

A considerable share of products made by SMEs is exported.

* The OECD estimates that share at 25% to 35% for developed countries, adding that for certain economies the number can be even higher: around 40% in South Korea, more than 40% in the US and Germany, and over 50% in China.

In most co


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Posted On Friday 26th May 2017 12:31 PM


Working on promoting an SME can be one of the most rewarding PR roles out there; catapulting a small business into the public eye and boosting their reputation so that they’re sharing column inches with bigger entities is an addictive buzz.

That said, as with any PR function, an important part of the role of an SME PR is managing expectations, to ensure that clients have realistic ideas of what can, and should, be achieved for the benefit of their business. Here we look at some of the most common misconceptions among small businesses when they take on a PR firm.

“I want to be on the front page”

Many small businesses want to appear in the national newspapers, without really knowing why. The misconception is that the bigger the publication, the more beneficial it’ll be to your business – but this is not always the case. A publication could have monthly visitor traffic of 1 million, but if few of them are interested in what your business has to say, what’s the point? Conversely, another publication could have just 10,000 readers, but, because that particular publication is read by your target audience, the chances are, they’re listening.

“I want to be on TV”

Many SME owners want to become famous, believing that fame alone with drive their business to success. In fact, a more tailored approach to PR, such as press coverage in appropriate outlets for your business, is more likely to achieve the positive results that you so desire. Although broadcast media can be a helpful tool to promote your product or service, it may not always be the most beneficial outlet for you. A good PR agency should identify the most useful outlets to your particular business, explain w


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Posted On Thursday 25th May 2017 11:35 AM


While small and medium businesses are expected to face teething trouble in complying with the Goods and Services Tax regime, the new tax system will also open an opportunity for them to access credit as GST filings are set to become a significant data source for flow-based lending.

Both banks and digital lending players say GST filings can be the best trove of information to lend to small businesses and will also reduce risks and cut costs while scoring these businesses for credit worthiness.

“GST will help make invoicing and data analytics around businesses more credible. In the long term, it will be beneficial for both SMEs and lenders,” said Rajeev Ahuja, head of strategy, retail and financial inclusion at RBL Bank.

“For banks like us, it will help reduce costs of doing business. Today, assessing small business involves feet on street and operational work. With GST, there will be a significant opportunity for many service providers to leverage that data. There will be more authentic information on small businesses, which can also help reduce risks in lending,” he added.

GST, which is set to roll out from July 1, is expected to see eight million taxpayers come under the new tax regime, with more than 2 billion invoices expected to be filed every month.

The GST filings are expected to be one of the most significant data points for flow-based lending, given the authenticity and complete information of an SME’s financial health. Flow-based lending entails lending based on cash flows of a company as opposed to collateral or asset-bas


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Posted On Wednesday 24th May 2017 11:39 AM


Women entrepreneurs may have been few and far in the previous decades, but their tribe has steadily increased, and has reached an astonishing number today. Driven by a wish to exercise more control over their career and be their own boss, women are putting their skills to good use successfully. Not only are they multitasking, they are now more confident and not afraid of taking risks.

If you are one of those self-willed women, desirous of starting or expanding your business unit, this article is for you. Handling a business is not an easy task. Apart from the inflow of ideas and planning of resources, a major part of any business is dealing with finances.

Here are some finance options available to grow and sustain your business.

After starting off with personal funds, you will find the need to look for more funding and as your business grows.

Bank Loans: Taking finance from banks is one of the safest options. Various schemes are being implemented by banks and financial institutions to cater to the financing needs of the Micro, Small & Medium sized businesses. Several banks even have special cells for female entrepreneurs. They provide on-ground training and counseling to women entrepreneurs and show them avenues for promoting and marketing their businesses.

A well-prepared business plan is all that the banks look for. It is important to note that the business plan must be based on realistic assumptions and must not be over ambitious or designed merely to secure bank loans.

Angel Investors/ Venture Capitalists/ Private Equity Players: Angel investors are affluent individuals. They take on the business from the seed stage and facilitate mentoring for budding entrepreneurs. VCs finance for start-ups and do


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Posted On Tuesday 23rd May 2017 2:31 PM


Small businesses may struggle to adopt new technologies, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want their accountants out of the loop, too.

A new report from SME cloud accounting company Xero, in conjunction with World Wide Worx, found that South African small business owners want their accountants to have the latest technologies and warned that several technologies are critical for SME accountants and accounting platforms to stay relevant and retain customers.

We are entering a period of rapid technological change within the accountancy profession, reflected Colin Timmis, Xero’s South Africa head of accounting, in a statement. From automation to artificial intelligence, accountants are having to upskill and evolve their offering.

“The report has shown that South African accountants are preparing for change, but they need to ensure they’re clued up on the next big tech innovations and affirm their status as the SME owner’s most trusted advisor,” he continued. “If they can do that, the future looks bright, as 42 percent of accountants peg South Africa as the country to watch for future innovations in the profession.”

It’s an interesting statistic, with Xero finding that South Africa surpasses the U.S. and U.K. as the leading market for innovations in the accounting industry.

Xero’s 2017 State of Accounts report below:

93 percent of SME accountants admit they could add more client value with the spare time they have every da


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Posted On Friday 19th May 2017 11:01 AM


Getting into business is easy, selling is difficult. Business is about generating revenues and cash flows. If you can sell, you cannot be in business.

In business, only the right story wins the sales deal. In today’s fast-paced business environment, the best financial results are obtained when a good marketing strategy meets an equally efficient sales strategy.

Marketing and sales teams must work together. The alignment of marketing strategies to sales efforts is key for organisational success.
Today we engage in a conversation to help small business grow their sales and marketing capability.

Have a clear marketing strategy

The primary role of marketing is to create a support structure on which the sales effort will be built. Without a marketing plan, it will be difficult to generate sales. Marketing strategy deals with how your business intends to generate sales leads.

Your marketing strategy must deal with issues of customer relationship management, and the marketing strategy must be simple, effective and easily implementable. Here are a few tools one can use as marketing tools.

Use strategic e-mail lists

Creating a database of emails of potential customers is incredibly valuable for a business. It provides your marketing effort with the ability to target specific segments of the market and individual clients can receive specifically tailored messages.

Getting the right product information out to potential customers at the right time can be extremely profitable for a business. However, avoid spamming potential customers and avoid sending out generic blanket or group/bulk emails.

Potential customers are likely to respond to personalised emails. You must, therefore, take time to


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Posted On Tuesday 9th May 2017 10:51 AM


 

Digital transformation is not just about replacing the old with the new. It is about harnessing technology to create a culture that will enhance every aspect of an organisation. It involves reshaping and redefining businesses from the ground up and pulling together all parts of the business towards a single goal. This year, SMEs must take bold steps to put their digital transformation plans into concrete action that will ensure their business survive and thrive against disruptions in the era of digital. According to Capgemini Consulting, companies that become digital enterprises can look forward to a 26 percent increase in profitability, a 12 percent increase in valuation, and a 9 percent increase in revenue to asset ratio. The Singapore government has created the new Government Technology Agency to help drive digital transformation in the public sector, underscoring the importance of technology innovation in both public and private sector. How can local SMEs embrace this notion and incorporate what may seem as a far-reaching idea into their business processes?

Align for agile delivery

In order to react quickly to market changes and exploit opportunities, SMEs need to remain agile. This includes adopting continuous development cycles that inspire incremental improvements, balancing between speed and quality of innovation. SMEs must roll out digital platforms and put processes in place that will allow them to continually refine existing products and seamlessly rollout new initiatives without impacting core operations or customer experiences. This helps create the conditions for companies to lead with entries into


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Posted On Saturday 6th May 2017 11:42 AM


The Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill was passed with a full majority in the Lok Sabha on March 29, 2017, and on April 6, 2017, in the Rajya Sabha. President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee on April 11, 2017, signed GST bill and made it a law, introducing the biggest indirect tax reform in India. The expected rollout date of the GST was April 1, 2017; however, it is now scheduled to be implemented from July 1, 2017.

At present, the structure of indirect taxes in India is very complex as there are many types of taxes levied by the Central as well as State Governments of India on goods and services. Some examples are - Entertainment Tax on movies, Value Added Tax (VAT) on products and services, Excise Duties, Luxury Tax, Import Duties, Service Tax, Central Sales Tax, and so on.

Wouldn’t it be convenient for both of the buyers and sellers if there is just one unified tax rate in India instead of multiple taxes?

This is possible with GST! If you are not aware of this standard taxation policy which is soon going to be implemented all across the country, here is everything you should know about it:

GST: A Brief Introduction

GST (Goods and Services Tax) is a “single taxation” system which is expected to abolish all forms of indirect taxes on goods and services in India. Any individual, who is supplying, providing or consuming goods and services, has to pay GST.

It is collected at each stage of the supply chain on value-added goods and services. Once implemented, the manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers will have to pay the applicable GST rate. They can claim it back too, via tax credit mechanism.

GST is levied at the place where consumption of goods and services takes place. It can be char


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Posted On Tuesday 2nd May 2017 12:39 PM


How can SMEs harness the digital wave to their advantage?

Issues discussed at the SME Centre Conference 2017 centred around how SMEs can utilize digital to transform the business and improve people and resource management.

Jointly organized by the SME Centres and supported by SPRING Singapore, the conference focused on how SMEs can transform their businesses to embrace today’s fast changing business climate,

Benefitting from the digital wave

Technology has many apparent benefits, from better organization and archiving of information and data, to automating and streamlining procedures and processes, which are highly beneficial with the looming labour shortage in Asia.

“Transformation isn’t easy. It is complicated and expensive,” said Arrif Zaiaudeen, CEO of The Chope Group Pte Ltd. “Many factors need to happen together for transformation to happen, and all of them won’t happen at the same time.”

When asked about the top two pieces of advice he can give, Zaiaudeen brought up perseverance and timing. ”Time it right so that all the right trends are coming in at the same time. Timing is everything.” he said.

Making the best of human resource management

With companies competing for the same talent pool, it appears that MNCs have an edge over SMEs with respect to brand awareness and job security. However, SMEs are able to individualize the career paths of their employees, providing more varied


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Posted On Monday 1st May 2017 2:41 PM


Owner's Equity is rarely enough for running and growing a business. Every business owner thus aspires to make his or her business attractive for capital providers. Before approaching these capital providers, be they equity investors or lenders, it helps to do plenty of homework.

Capital providers undertake rigorous assessments of the business to ensure that their investment is protected. While there are a lot of commonalities in the criteria used by equity and debt providers, there are some aspects that one category focuses on more than the other. An equity provider will look less at liquidity and more at long-term growth prospects given the longer horizon. Strategic aspects of the business's product or service will also get more attention from equity investors. Debt providers meanwhile will have a hawk-eye focus on liquidity, short-medium term prospects, leverage levels, and promoter credibility. Let's look at the most critical aspects that a business owner needs focus on before approaching a lender.

To put it simply, any lender will focus on the '3 Cs': Character, Collateral, and Cash Flow.

Why is CIBIL so important?

CIBIL is a tangible proxy for the first 'C', Character.

Prior to 2006, lenders relied on their credit teams to perform detailed assessments of a business's creditworthiness. This was especially true for MSMEs, which typically did not have an independent credit rating.

CIBIL collects and maintains records of an individual's payments pertaining to loans and credit cards. Banks and NBFCs submit details to CIBIL on a monthly basis and these submissions are used to create Credit Information Reports (CIR) and credit scores. These scores are provided to credit institutions to help them evaluate credit w


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Posted On Thursday 27th April 2017 11:41 AM


Start-ups and SMEs may feel under pressure, or confined by their workloads, especially a start-up which booms and needs to take action to rapidly expand in order to meet demand.

Having appropriately trained staff is a must but apprentices shouldn’t be brushed aside without thought. As it happens, the benefits of taking on an apprentice as an SME could outweigh the costs involved in taking on an experienced member of staff.

There are a number of ‘hidden’ benefits that apprentices can bring to an SME that a larger corporate organisation wouldn’t have the same experience of :

Grow your perfect employee from the start

It’s no secret that the best employees are individuals who believe in the business and the work they are carrying out. Bringing in an apprentice during the initial years of a business provides the opportunity to shape the person into the perfect employee for the company.

Within a larger organisation there’s a high possibility that an apprentice will simply get lost in the numbers, delegated to a line manager who is already dealing with existing employees.

Increased productivity

A government survey this year revealed that three in four SMEs report seeing an increase in productivity and results as an outcome of taking on an apprentice. While many SME owners may view apprentices as a distraction requiring attention they can actually provide a much needed fresh opinion to a small business with limited points of view.

Digital natives plug the digital skills gap

The widely reported digital skills gap still exists, while measures have been taken to help close the chasm through training there’s stil


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Posted On Wednesday 26th April 2017 2:19 PM


Units that begin their lives in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector must want to grow up and leave the nursery one day. If they forever remain small that would defeat the purpose of supporting them in the first place. Yet most of them live and die trailing a toy truck without real ambitions to adult life.

This tendency is overlooked, even considered precious, because of the general belief that “small is beautiful". Consequently , instead of gaining in maturity and muscle tone, MSME share in the national economy is, in fact, declining.

Their contribution to total manufacture in this country fell from 42% in 2006 to 37.3% in 2013, and is slated to go down even further. During this period, importantly , MSME's addition to the total GDP also dropped ­ from 7.7% to 7%.

At the same time, take a look at this paradox. In terms of the number of units, it is estimated that 18.7% more have been added to the MSME sector between 2014-15 and 2015-16. The number of employees in them too has shot up from 81 million to 117 million between 2006-07 to 2015-16.

But as unregistered micro units are roughly 13 times the number of registered ones, the average employment per enterprise is just about three persons, maybe lower. A higher admission rate, all right, but a persistently poor pass out grade! Obviously nobody wants to leave school, or come out of their baby clothes.

Instead of numbers rising in the higher classes, such as in the medium and small sector component, it is the micro industries that keep burgeoning and yet contrib


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Posted On Monday 24th April 2017 12:20 PM


The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) employ more than 80 million people in India and contribute to around 40% of total exports and 37% of total GDP. Yet it is not easy for most of them to thrive owing to lack of funds, obsolete technology and poor production capacity. It is, therefore, not surprising that Indian small enterprises are unable to withstand global competition.

Small enterprises are known to support the vitality of markets by complementing large-scale industries, provide a large number of low-cost jobs (especially for low- or medium-skilled workers), create wealth by contributing appropriately to the GDP, and go on to become large enterprises in the future. With India needing to do significantly better in all these areas, it is imperative to build competitiveness in this sector.

Countries that have competitive small industries witness a high degree of innovation. For example, the US has had 50% of all innovations and 94% of all radical innovations—since the Second World War—coming from new and small firms. The number of patent applications, another indicator for innovation, validates this theory further. Small enterprises in China, which due to their low product prices have worried Indian MSMEs, file 80% of intellectual property applications in China, as compared to a mere 15% by Indian small enterprises in India.

Studies reveal that small enterprises which achieve better innovation performance also achieve better economic performance in the form of higher growth in sales turnover. The Global Innovation Index (GII) placed India at the 66th spot globally in 2016, and it can be safely assumed that building innovative capacities of small enterprises will go a long way in enabling India to leverage the full potential of its industries.


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Posted On Friday 21st April 2017 12:51 PM


Marketing is incredibly important when it comes to running a business. Yet, when it comes to marketing, many small businesses make common mistakes that could easily be avoided with just a little bit of knowledge and expertise. Here, Rob Staathof, CEO of Liberis, highlights some common mistakes that should be avoided in order to increase the chances of success.

Expecting to get something out of the business without putting anything in

Many of small businesses start up expecting everything to work out right for them from the outset. Both effort and money need to be put into any new business whether that business is large or small. If the effort isn’t there then the results that they expect won’t be either. Making an effort to work should be a ‘given’ but if putting enough funds into the business is a struggle, then taking advantage of a merchant cash advance for SMEs is a viable option to aid in the quest for business success. With effort put into marketing the brand from the beginning, and money being funnelled in to achieve these goals, it will be much easier for a small business to be set apart from the rest.

Not knowing who to target and how to target them

Plenty of small businesses start with no marketing plan at all which is a major mistake. The best place to start is with a simple marketing plan, no matter how small. Breaking the whole market down into segments and then identifying the ideal area to target is a good start: then you can investigate the relevant ways to reach them. The aim of your marketing plan should be to highlight which strategies or t


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Posted On Wednesday 19th April 2017 11:39 AM


The word “free technology” is a myth, it is never really just about buying a tool and installing it. The very IT industry and its various service branches are proof to the fact that tech adoption at any level involves multiple costs; be it with regard to installation, integration, testing, maintenance, employee training & acclimatization – adopting technology is never a one-step process and definitely not free.

Apart from these, there are also hidden costs in the form of disruption to established workflows, irrelevance of certain functions and employees in the new order, that need to be taken into account before any major investment. The true challenge lies in de-risking adoption of technology by lowering these upfront costs and enabling greater accessibility of the new setup to talent through proper training and support.

However, despite these challenges, it is also true that when compared to the past, the cost of owning and developing technology/software is rapidly falling. There are multiple choices now and the speed at which these choices are becoming available is also increasing.

Cloud & mobile technology have made technology more accessible and available through flexible models such as Saas, Paas, etc. And SMEs too are not ignorant of the benefits that technology can bring to their operations and solutions.

The question now is not whether SMEs will benefit from tech adoption, it is more fitting to ask whether technology has rendered these businesses more relevant or not, given the fast pace in which the technology environment is growing and changing world over. Without a doubt, technology has and will render SMEs more relevant especially in today’s context where, economies of scale is fast losing groun


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Posted On Monday 17th April 2017 10:57 AM


Marketing is an ever-changing practice, where adaptation and development can either make or break a business.

Understanding and implementing current marketing trends is crucial to success, as it allows business owners to stay at the top of their respective industry and ensures objectives are achieved.

Below are some key current technological trends to keep in mind when putting together your marketing plan.

1. Native and live videos

Video-based advertising campaigns are now the new frontier of product promotion. With videos flooding the feeds of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users worldwide, marketers need to adapt and evolve with this trend. Video is now on track to be the answer to many business goals this year, whether you’re looking to increase customer reach, leads or sales.

Short videos, particularly those that are part of a series have become popular among audiences as they are easy to digest. Livestreaming and 360 degree videos have both been successful as the immersive experiences enable customer engagement. It’s crucial to integrate videos in all marketing campaigns as they connect with online customers immediately and the message is often a lot more memorable than static words in a newsfeed.

2. Make personalisation a priority

It’s no industry secret that consumers want to be interacted with on a personal level and the quality of their customer experience is dependent on this aspect. Customers are seeking a service that conti


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Posted On Tuesday 11th April 2017 12:19 PM


Every year SEO gets more complicated as Google rolls out updates and changes the rules. This is especially frustrating for small business owners who don’t have the time or resources to stay current in, what they believe to be, an esoteric and confusing industry.
Here are seven small business SEO tips to help earn more business through traditional organic search rankings.

1. Onsite SEO is Necessary But Not Sufficient
Yes, optimizing title tags, site structure (keep it flat) and load-speed are important. Many experiments have shown these elements are in the Google algorithm.
Don’t obsess. Hire someone to run an assessment and tune up the site; then move-on. Far too many small businesses get stuck at the starting line.

2. Website Content & Experience Are Critical
We have all read that “content is king,” but what does that really mean?
Your website must have engaging content for the end-user. The importance of this can’t be overstated. It will impact time-on-site, conversion and SEO (engaging content is more likely to be shared and linked to).
It is also critical because it orients the small business webmaster towards offering something of value. Thin content leaves a bad footprint, both onsite and offsite.

3. Use Content Marketing to Earn Backlinks
Most small business owners are savvy enough to know that 70 percent of their search engine rankings are the result of backlinks. Being a pragmatic bunch, they then ask “where can I buy some?”
Don’t buy backlinks – it also leaves a bad footprint.
Small business marketers need to earn links, and content marketing is extremely effective for gaining earned links. The trick is in the trade. Something of value must be offered.
Quality content containing humor, information, controversy, politics or training u


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Posted On Thursday 6th April 2017 12:46 PM


It is not unusual for SME owners to wear multiple hats within their businesses, from bookkeeper to HR manager, and all points in between. At the same time, owners are often the most time-poor, struggling to fit everything that needs to be done into the hours available.

The problem can be compounded if a business owner becomes caught up in many non-core but essential functions of the business, which limits time available to focus on the core business – growth, innovation and improvement.

In doing so, many SME owners fail to recognise the value of their own time as a key asset to business growth and development. Most SME owners will be familiar with the following conundrum: your business needs a diverse set of skills to operate smoothly and remain competitive. Further, it’s likely that the smaller your business, the smaller the pool of skills available to you, which leads many to have a hand in all business functions, regardless of their importance or relevance to the core business.

That’s why learning what activities can and should be outsourced is key for any SME owner who wants to be set up for success, irrespective of business size. The concept is not complex. Efficient outcomes are achieved by matching tasks to the individual with the skills most suited to performing the task.

If an SME owner has developed a product over many years, that owner’s time is likely to be best applied to continuing product development, and marketing or selling that product.They may not gain significant benefits from spending their time wrestling with an accounting system, tackling complex taxation concepts or designing a website, for example. They need to leverage from specialists to achieve efficient outcomes in these areas.


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Posted On Saturday 1st April 2017 11:51 AM


Small businesses which were hit the hardest during demonestisation are bouncing back smartly , at least if their demand for credit is anything to go by. Bankers say that unsecured business loans portfolio, which is a lifeline for these small business entities, is showing a 15-18% growth over the past three months.

“After demonetisation, there was a slump in this section of business, but credit demand for unsecured small-ticket business loans has been steadily growing to around 15% to 18% now,“ said Shanti Ekambaram, president, consumer banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Before the note ban in November last year, there was a steady growth in loan demand, which clocked almost 20%, she said.

The government's push to weed out cash from the system and replace it with plastic money had hit this segment the hardest as they mostly dealt with cash. Now with cash creeping back into the system and increased level of digitisation in their businesses, things seem to be falling back into place. “They use it largely for their working capital needs, unsecured loans are typically shorter tenure loans and are ammortised. So the players use the funding in keeping with their business cycle,“ said Ekambaram.

While banks do their own due diligence and also use their own decision-making engines to lend to this segment of the population, there are a lot of technology platforms emerging which are trying to enter this space by facilitating the SME segment to access easier loans.

“We are seeing a rapid pick-up in the segment for unsecured small value business loans f


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Posted On Tuesday 28th March 2017 10:40 AM


Personal Allowance Increase :

This April will see the personal allowance increase to £11,500 and the higher rate income tax threshold to £45,000. The Treasury says this means the amount someone can earn tax-free in 2017-18 will be over 75 per cent higher than in 2010.

How will this affect me? This is good news for employees of SMEs, as they will take home more of their monthly salary than in the previous tax year. Businesses will need to ensure they have the correct tax code for their employees.

National Living Wage :

Keeping in line with Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement pledge, the National Living Wage is set to rise to £7.50 an hour from April 2017.

How will this affect me? SMEs will need to ensure they are paying all employees the correct new hourly wage from 6 April 2017.

Cash Basis of Accounting for Trading Income :

From April 2017 the entry threshold for the cash basis will increase from £83,000 to £150,000.

How will this affect me? The measure will increase the cash basis entry threshold to give more SMEs the choice to benefit from the cash basis simplification, which is an optional and simplified method for calculating taxable profits for trading businesses with straightforward tax affairs.

Productivity Puzzle :

The Spring Budget saw the allocation of funds targeted at improving infrastructure – both physical and digital. The Chancellor announced transport spending of £90m for the north of England, £23m for the Midlands to address pinch points on roads, £16m for 5G mobile technology and £200m for local broadband networks.

How will


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