August 15, 2014 - Rachel Miller

Also in the news this week — 15 August 2014

Entrepreneur gives away global company

British entrepreneur Simon Cohen has announced the results of his unusual exit strategy, which has seen him give away his £1m international communications agency Global Tolerance after a worldwide search for new owners. The company has been handed over to two finalists – Noa Gafni, a digital strategist from the World Economic Forum and Rosie Warin, an award-winning PR director from Forster Communications. Both women are under 30. Cohen retains a 5% stake and advisory role in the company.

Could the fist bump become the new handshake?

A light handshake is better than a firm one, a high five is even better but a fist bump is best of all – that’s if you want to avoid picking up bugs such as colds or even MRSA from business contacts that you meet. UK scientific research published in the American Journal of Infection Control found that clasping hands transferred about ten times more germs from one person to another than a fist bump. Dr Sampson Davis, an emergency room physician at The Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in New Jersey, said: “The fist bump is a quick interaction and decreases germ transmission.”

Internet use soars

Thirty-eight million adults (76%) in Great Britain now access the internet every day – that’s 21 million more than in 2006, when directly comparable records began  according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). In addition, access to the internet using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2014, from 24% to 58%. In 2014, 74% of all adults bought goods or services online, up from 53% in 2008. Fixed broadband internet connections were used by 91% of households. Al Simpson, co-founder of digital marketing agency Fanatica, said: “Consumers don't differentiate between a brand's online presence and its offline presence, so we, as marketers, can't either.”

Trade deficit figures “disappointing” says BCC

The UK deficit on trade in goods and services was £2.5bn in June 2014, up from £2.4bn in May 2014, according to the latest trade statistics. David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), called the news “disappointing” and said: “These figures confirm that the pace of the UK’s rebalancing towards net exports is far too slow, and if this continues we risk missing out on the prime minister’s target of increasing exports to £1tn by 2020. If we in Britain are serious about rebalancing our economy, we must invest even more in supporting and promoting international trade. On its part, the MPC must resist calls for early interest rate rises and reassure businesses that when rates start rising, increases will be modest and gradual to avoid any unwelcome surprises.”