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US Business Climate: Small Business Optimism Takes a Dive

Led by a severe drop in sales expectations across the country, the Index of Small Business Optimism from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) slid from 105.3 to 103 in September. “The temptation is to blame the decline on the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, but that is not consistent with our data,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita ... Read More »

Google & Intuit Partner in Small Business Cash Management

Google and Intuit are pairing up to help Australian small businesses (SMBs) get a better grip on cash management.  Reports Wednesday (Sept. 13) said Google and Intuit Australia announced news of their partnership at the Google Cloud Summit, which was held in Sydney. As part of their initiative, Gmail now supports integrated eInvoicing using Intuit tools. The Google Calendar App also ... Read More »

US Credit Climate: Small-Business Optimism Heads for Record Levels

A surge in capital spending and high sales expectations have caused a streak of historically high performances dating back to November to continue in the Index of Small Business Optimism from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).  The percentage of small-business owners who plan to make capital expenditures in the near term is at its highest level since 2006. ... Read More »

Blockchain: The Quiet Revolution for Next Generation SME Businesses

Blockchain is, slowly but surely, reaching corporate consciousness. As the Harvard Business Review has put it, blockchain is a “quiet revolution.” Finance professionals must now compete on a new stage.  First used with bitcoin in 2008, it has gradually grown in use as the technological underpinning of cryptocurrency. However, whilst interest in bitcoin has waned, blockchain has found more and ... Read More »

Global SME Finance Forum 2017

Will Robots Replace Bankers as the Best Advisors for SMEs? The Global SME Finance Forum 2017 is excited to announce our debate on the role of robots and AI and the future of SME banking. This exciting session will be moderated by Silvia Pavoni, Economics Editor, The Banker magazine at Financial Times. Would you trust a robo-advisor for financial and business advice? ... Read More »

Russian Risk Climate:  SME Access To Funding Remains a Challenge 

The lack of financial inclusion for sole entrepreneurs in Russia continues to be a challenge.  Transparency is the key issue for banks to extend financing According to a report issued by the European Central Bank it is widely acknowledged that one of the weaknesses in the Russian financial sector is the lack of long-term financing. Such resources, especially in local ... Read More »

Cyber Threat: 71% of SMEs Unprepared for Cyber Risks

Small and medium sized businesses increasingly feel that they’re vulnerable to cyber threats but most aren’t prepared to meet them. A new survey from endpoint security specialist Webroot finds that 96 percent of businesses with 100 to 499 employees in the US, UK and Australia believe their organizations will be susceptible to external cybersecurity threats in 2017. But although they recognize the ... Read More »

Alibaba Is Taking On Alexa, Google Home, DingDong and Little Fish with New Smart Speaker

In its latest effort to keep up with its American big brother Amazon, Alibaba has announced the debut of its own smart home speaker. With this addition, each of the Frightful Five will have its own voice-controlled speaker:  Amazon with its Echo family of devices; Google with the Home speaker; Apple with its new HomePod; Microsoft with the Cortana-powered Invoke ... Read More »

Alibaba to Bring US Businesses Online to China

Riding on the coattails of its first annual conference in Detroit aimed at connecting U.S. businesses with Chinese consumers, Alibaba Group has launched a new website to support the effort. Dubbed the Taobao Global U.S. Merchants Network, the company said it will provide small and medium-size businesses in the U.S. with access to more than 500 million consumers that are ... Read More »

Why Amazon’s Growth in Small Business Lending Threatens the Banking System

Amazon could strangle the competition in small business finance, but also all other third parties who are part of traditional supply chains. Amazon has recently announced that it had surpassed $1 billion in small-business loans to more than 20,000 merchants involved in its Amazon Marketplace in the U.S. UK, and Japan during the past year. In fact, since Amazon Lending began in 2011, it ... Read More »

Publicis Groupe and Alibaba Strike Partnership

Publicis Groupe and Alibaba Group have struck a partnership to create a new Uni Desk, which is part of Uni Marketing, Alibaba’s data-powered marketing framework. The collaboration will look to benefit clients of Publicis Media, Publicis Communications and Publicis.Sapient. According to the agency, the move also reinforces its commitment to leadership in digital, data and technology. The partnership will focus ... Read More »

Tracking Changes in Small Business Risk Profiles Challenges Lenders

LexisNexis Risk Solutions launches LexisNexis® Small Business Monitoring that checks for targeted, material changes and updates  LexisNexis® Risk Solutions has identified a growing trend among lenders that serve small businesses—namely, the difficulty of tracking changes in the status of their risk profile.  A suite of products, including Small Business Monitoring, assists lenders with client account management by monitoring for changes in ... Read More »