Posted: Mon 6th Jul 2015
In today's Financial Times, there is a piece questioning the role of representative bodies when it comes to the interests of business. I'm quoted as saying the Federation of Small Businesses represents older industries and is mainly male. This won't have won me friends at the FSB but it's why we launched Enterprise Nation membership in 2014, to support and represent the interests of today's modern business owner who we did not feel were being well served.
Small business and entrepreneurship has changed dramatically over the past decade in which I've been involved. The UK is experiencing record startup rates as people in their millions hold down the day job and build a business at nights and weekends (we call it 'Working 5 to 9' and host our startup class on a Saturday to accommodate all those wanting to become their own boss in their own time and on their own terms.) Technology has been a key enabler and we've witnessed a surge in people of all ages, genders and backgrounds turn a passion for what they love, into a profitable concern.
All these businesses are starting and successfully growing through going global, selling to big retailers and focusing on what they do best and outsourcing the rest.
That's why we formed the Enterprise Nation membership. For a small sum per year, small businesses can join, be supported, and know their views and requests were being taken care of.
In the past 12 months, we've secured changes from the government when it comes to starting and growing a business from home, lobbied on VAT MOSS issues, created a wishlist calling for 10 points from childcare expenses being tax deductible through to a review of benefits for the self-employed (which we were delighted to see the government act on last week) and much more.
Over the next couple of months you'll see yet more action and representation as we announce regional Enterprise Champions and open a new Hub to act as a physical space for small businesses to meet, learn, and tell us how they're operating and what could make business life better.
We feel there's a vital need for groups to represent small business. As the small business owner, it's your choice as to which one most represents your views and matches your identity.
Emma Jones is founder of Enterprise Nation