Business Link in London

September 2009 press releases

The recession, according to London inventors, has been a major catalyst inspiring them to invent and innovate over the last 12 months, a recent poll conducted for Business Link in London has found.

As the British Invention Show gears up to unveil this year's British Inventor of the Year, over 100 of the Capital's budding entrepreneurs and small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) took part in the poll.

The recession and redundancy are cited as two main reasons why aspiring inventors took the plunge by taking their inventions forward as a business. For example, over a third of respondents were spurred to start a new business because of the economic climate. However, 1 in 5 did so because of redundancy (21%). Seventy-two per cent of these inventors have never invented before.

Similarly, the economic climate prompted almost half (49%) of the SMEs to proactively invent and innovate in the last 12 months. Of these SMEs, women-owned businesses are twice as likely to do so than men (68% vs 38%). Inventions included self-cleaning toothbrushes, cooking appliances and brain-teaser puzzles.

Business Link in London Business Adviser, Jeff Woolf OBE is the chair of the judging panel at the British Invention of the Year Awards in London on 16 October 2009. He is also a two-time award winner of the British Inventor of the Year.

Mr Woolf said: “Business Link has witnessed an increase in the number of clients seeking to turn their idea into a viable business. They are savvy enough to spot gaps in the market and develop new services.”

A large proportion (71%) of SMEs surveyed believe they improved existing products or services through innovation. The introduction of interactivity and the use of animations in business training are just two examples of innovations to services.

According to 83% of SMEs, these new creations will generate additional earnings rather than replace existing sales. This supports the results from Business Link in London's quarterly Diverse Business Confidence Index of over 3,000 London SMEs.

The July Index found that 84% of entrepreneurs are striving to grow their business over the next 12 months by introducing new products as one of their top three strategies for growth.

Kane Kramer, Chairman of the British Inventors Society, said: “We're excited about the results of this poll in the lead up to the British Invention of the Year Awards. Innovation and invention are such important aspects of entrepreneurialism and Jeff's valuable experience will help us recognise and award a talented British inventor in October.

"We encourage inventors to make the most of their ideas and seeking sound business advice will help them on their journey.”

A third of all respondents report that trusted business advice will be essential to turn their inventions into a winning product or service. In particular, established SMEs note that if they could make any decisions differently when launching during a recession, it would include seeking business advice from independent third parties. Which is where Business Link in London's practical advice comes in.

We offer a range of guidance and support for small businesses, including specialised advice from Business Advisers about innovation and invention. Inventors can receive assistance on issues ranging from intellectual property, finding manufactures to build a prototype and learning how to attract funding for their invention.

Business Link in London also offers online guides and maintains a round the clock, 24 hour telephone and online advice service.

For more information, please contact:

Jessica Singh – Senior PR & Communications Executive

T: 0207 111 0372



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