Posted: Mon 25th Mar 2013
As I write this early on Monday morning and prepare for another big week, it occurs to me that every week has become a big one in terms of events and support on offer for start-ups and growing businesses, writes Emma (left). There was concern when the government closed down Business Links that their closure might have a detrimental impact on the creation of new companies, but the private sector has stepped in and the StartUp rate at a record high.
The week to come is packed with inspiration and opportunity and looks a little like this:
This is a triple whammy day with the start of Finance Week, three days of free events to help small businesses with everything from raising funds to managing money. Then there's a roundtable session hosted by BT to mark the start of a new campaign focusing on the value of mentors in business. To round off the day is the Future of Retail event where small businesses and large corporates will gather to hear what's happening on the high street and, critically, meet each other to do business.
A StartUp Workshop at IKEA marks the Swedish company's entry into the world of small business as they launch IKEA Business to make life easier (and better furnished) for companies across the land. Please join us in Lakeside to find out more!
Finance Week continues and it's good to see in the diary the launch of new business, Craft Candy. Boss lady, Zoe Arch, attended an Enterprise Nation event in 2011 and was sufficiently inspired by MOO's Richard Moross and Moonfruit's Wendy Tan White to write and say: "15 months on from that event and I'm launching Craft Candy, a craft events listing website and smartphone app with GPS, which is exciting and scary. I've attached an invite to our launch taking place in Covent Garden on 27thÂ March We are a start-up business and our lovely local sponsors are, too. It should be a fun night with music from DJs 'Spinning Yarns', drinks supplied by Jenson Bermondsey Gin, cakes supplied by the Teas Knees (from Tooting) and a Gingerbread sculpture from the Maid of Gingerbread" Collaboration in action!
A big day for StartUp Britain as the campaign turns two. Launched by the Prime Minister on 28th March 2011, and with high government support, the campaign has been fully private sector funded. Over the past two years, we have been on two national tours, hosted StartUp Days and Industry Weeks, recruited an army of Local Champions and filled empty shops with small businesses. What has been achieved to date has not cost the taxpayer a penny, and Thursday will be a moment to reflect on what more needs to be done to ensure the UK remains a great place to start and grow a business.
No day off just yet as we launch the House Beautiful book at the Ideal Home Show as part of judging an Ideal Inventor competition. Even leading magazines and trade events are opening up opportunities for entrepreneurs to shine and sell, and recognising them in awards, too.Â
The above is a tiny reflection of the work being done to help successful companies get started and keep growing. For any aspiring entrepreneur, it proves the point that support is available at every turn. Wishing you a happy and enterprising Easter! Emma