28th Jun, 2018

Invest ethically, why not.

There is sometimes a misunderstanding, a false assumption, that ethical investments are somehow likely to perform less well than unethical ones. It’s almost as if some investors think they can’t have their cake and eat it, that they can’t make ethical investment choices and get a great return on their money. This is definitely not true. In fact, it seems almost obvious that as we, as human beings, become more ethical and considerate of our environment, (we are, which is part of the reason it doesn’t always seem that way, we’re more aware of it now) the companies that will perform best are those that are aligned with the increase in ethics. In other words, good business is more sustainable, more intelligent, more attractive to customers, than blunt capitalism that makes a profit at the expense of life itself. The rise in BCorps is testament to this, as is the clear and obvious dissatisfaction of the millennial generation that have absolute access to the evidence of environmental and humanitarian degradation and are definitely not wanting to be part of it in any way, least of all by investing in companies complicit in it. Investing in something funds it, makes more of it happen, supports it and gives it a clear thumbs up. Investing in local businesses supports them, empowers them, enables them to employ more people, and do more good on the ground.

You’ve come to the right place.

Bird Lovegod


20th Jun, 2018

Pi and Mash

Following the series of successful Fintech North events in Leeds, Manchester, and Liverpool, part organized by P2P lender rebuildingsociety.com, we posed a couple of questions to our contributor network, asking what the greatest opportunities for the tech and fintech ecosystems are in the North. And to keep the scale straight, what the most significant limitations are. Here’s what Toby Jordan from MadeByPi had to say on the matter. Bird Lovegod provides the banter.

 Toby, what are the Norths greatest opportunities, in your opinion?

The North has the greatest opportunity for growth which is supported by the success of the organisations that have already relocated and are benefiting from lower overheads and running costs. The communications network, principally the M62 corridor, with lower land costs and access to skilled talent has driven major growth in distribution and ecommerce businesses. While access to cheaper property, education and entertainment facilities provides a better work-life balance that is encouraging migration out of the overcrowded and expensive capital.

Bird says…It’s a fair point, organisations often do find a lower running cost when locating to the North, indeed, some councils will offer significant incentives if location or relocation is going to bring jobs. With regards to distribution and ecommerce, think Amazon, for sure, location is all about motorway access and the availability of large sites. Until Amazon start dropping orders from skybased warehouses, (they plan this, or at least have patents relating to it.) Work life balance is undoubtably better in the North, cannibalism is up 23% in London this year alone. That’s a joke by the way. Northerners also have a more developed sense of humour. People in the South are too busy ignoring each other on the tube to find their own situation amusing.

And go on Toby, we’re all friends here, what’s the Norths most significant limitations?

Overcoming the infrastructure challenges has been deferred so many times that they are now so large as to require both a major investment and a step-change to upgrade and innovate new solutions. Still the biggest challenge remains the perception of the North which, while improving, is still a great barrier to investment and in attracting and retaining talent.

Bird words…Yep, London gets six times the transport spend of Northern regions. And the HS2 vanity project, which will go over budget by tens of billions, is designed to funnel even more workers into the Capital. Agreed, transport up here is pretty lame at times, Londoners become incandescent if they have to wait more than 3 minutes on the Northern Line. We’re happy if a train arrives at all. With regards to perception, hmmm it’s true, and perhaps the solution is for the North to stop comparing itself to the South. And when we say South, we of course mean Devon and Cornwall. Having lived in London for ten years, I can honestly say policy makers in London, in fact everyone in London, gives exactly zero thought to the North of England. None. Ever. We should probably return the sentiment. Ayup.


20th Jun, 2018

The Future is FinTech

Bird LoveGod, explores the future of FinTech and the opportunities and challenges it presents for the North of England in the Yorkshire Post.

“In ten years the financial sector will be the fintech sector, there will be no finance without technology, it is literally the present and the future of all things money, so for it not to be taught in our world-leading universities is unfortunate. If the North can fix this problem the London fintech companies will beat a track to get here. “

Read more at: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/bird-lovegod-future-is-fintech-and-the-north-must-embrace-it-1-9212000


13th Jun, 2018

Case study – Wisteria Care Limited

A quick chat with Siobhan and Steve from Wisteria Care, a successfully expanding family business.

Firstly, could you tell me, how did you start your business originally, I understand it’s in the care sector, is that right?

The idea to start the business came when Siobhan had children at home and wanted more flexible work. When starting a business it seems a good idea to work from what you know, and as Siobhan had worked in the NHS with the elderly for 20 years as a Ward Manager, care for the elderly was a natural choice. We initially purchased a care home near Yeovil in 2004, which was a success and had a very high occupancy rate, but then in 2009 we decided to branch out into domiciliary care in clients own homes, as there was plenty of demand for high quality care, initially we could use staff from the Care Home, and it involved far fewer fixed costs than expanding into additional care home provision.

And how did you expand from there?

The business has just continued to expand. From small beginnings, it has grown to cover South Somerset and North Dorset and into Wiltshire, and we have contracts with both Somerset and Dorset as well as numerous private clients and operate currently through offices in Yeovil and Shaftesbury. Over the years we have built up a reputation for providing quality care and aim to be considered the best agency in the areas where we work both as an employer and for the care we provide.  We have always been cautious with expansion, as growing the business can initially stretch the cashflow until the money starts coming in, however even so the business has expanded 40% pa for the last two years. While we thought of ourselves as being a small business, the number of employees and hours that the business is doing means that we are now transforming into something more significant and we are looking to expand through additional offices. There are huge opportunities to grow the business by working closely with local councils and the NHS.

What lead you to choose rebuildingsociety for your expansion loan?

A recommendation by our broker as a source of finance for developing the business. The 5 year timeline fits in with our business requirements and the interest rate is very affordable.

Well thank you very much indeed for choosing rebuildingsociety and we hope you have a super fantastic day and a super successful continued expansion!

 


08th Jun, 2018

Information is King – Discover what is available to you!

Communication-Networks-How-is-Information-Transmitted_reference

When it comes to deciding who to lend to on rebuildingsociety.com, you’re presented with lots of information to help you make your lending decision. Prior to listing a loan on the marketplace we carry out some due diligence on the applicant businesses to ensure that a) they meet the lending criteria and b) so far as possible, to ensure the application is genuine and represents a fair credit risk for you. In this post we explain a bit more about what information we collect and what information we are able to share with you.

When we review applications from businesses we collect a large amount of information about the business, their directors and their financial performance. We try and make most of this information available to you so that you have as much information as possible to make a lending decision. Some information cannot be made available on the platform as it may contain sensitive personal information about the director.

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06th Jun, 2018

Transfer Bids

Transfer Bids are a feature unique to rebuildingsociety.com, created to make lending to returning businesses easier and more efficient for lenders who wish to continue to support a borrower.

What are Transfer Bids and how do I use them?

After the first six months of repayments, an existing borrower may apply to re-finance. If one of the businesses you have lent to reapplies, you may re-lend the capital they owe you in the new loan auction. We call this a Transfer Bid because you are “transferring the capital owing from the old loan onto the new loan.” This allows you to bid without having to add more funds to your account. Of course, you can always bid your available funds as normal.
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04th Jun, 2018

North South Opportunity Profile

The North Remembers (again)

Following the series of successful Fintech North events and in anticipation of the forthcoming one in Liverpool, (12th June) we posed a couple of questions to our contributor network, asking what the greatest opportunities for the tech and fintech ecosystems are in the North. And to keep the scale straight, what the most significant limitations are. The responses form a series of articles highlighting the North South divide from the fintech sector perspective, and provide opportunity for those keen and willing to take it. Here’s the first of the series:

What are the Norths greatest opportunities?

“…the North has a much lower cost of living and operating than the South. This coupled with the fact that the North has great universities producing the talent of tomorrow means the opportunity is there for the North to stake its claim to be major player in the fintech industry.” Paul Battye, Moorlands Human Capital

 And on the flip side… What are the Norths most significant limitations?

“…The biggest limitation to fintech in the North is the potential for brain drain to the South. The universities produce first rate graduates but often these graduates don’t know where to find jobs in fintech in the North. As such these graduates drift to the South for work. We in the North need to be better at shouting from the rooftops about our successes and ensure that Northern business successes are known. Businesses need to be better at forming links with universities and other talent incubators to ensure that they can attract the best and the brightest and keep that talent in the North.” Paul Battye, Moorlands Human Capital

Analysis: There’s a clear situation here. The limitation Paul identifies is the inversion of one of the opportunities he identifies, that being the talent pipeline coming from Universities. This potential strength, the input of graduate talent into the fintech ecosystem, becomes a limitation when not nurtured. The talent is here, there’s the opportunity. The talent will go South if not given space to operate in. And there’s the threat. The clear and obvious answer it to nurture the opportunity into a greater strength. In practice this ideally means connecting the Universities with the Fintech ecosystem, and crucially, connecting the students with the fintech companies before they graduate and move South. To further widen the talent pipeline the fintech companies could be included in the lectures and course modules, thereby increasing relevancy and modernity of learning for the students, amplifying employability and providing for a healthy flow of informed graduates directly into the commercial ecosystem. Let’s engage this opportunity and see how it develops…


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