We're ready to grow - when are you going to catch up with us?

We're ready to grow - when are you going to catch up with us?
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise NationEnterprise Nation

Posted: Mon 3rd Oct 2011

A Window of Opportunity: Small Business Report 2011

**Most of the UK's smallest enterprises are shrugging off tough times and planning to grow their businesses, our annual Small Business Report, A Window of Opportunity (PDF), has found.**  With help from BT, we spoke to 1,220 of the smallest enterprises for the 2011 report and were inspired to find that 88 per cent have ambitions to increase turnover during the next year. We also found that 39 per cent are planning to take on staff and 41 per cent are sub-contracting or outsourcing.  It's great news for our sector that so many business owners are determined to grow despite the loss of a lot of business support funding over the past year and so much economic uncertainty. It's also testament to the increasing number of people who are taking the plunge and starting up, even though we have an enterprise culture that seems at times to be discouraging people from going it alone.  In fact, this year's report confirms once again what we already knew - the main factor holding people back from becoming their own boss is lack of confidence and fear of failure. The report reveals that starting a business in the UK is seen as high risk and high cost, with millions believing it beyond their talent and means.  Sadly, TV and media reinforce this impression and the message from the Government's main start-up portal does little to dispel the myth. This actually warns prospective entrepreneurs to prepare for 'personal sacrifice', 'financial insecurity', 'isolation' and 'pressure on close relationships'.  We don't agree. In fact, we think being your own boss is life-changing, in the best way. So much so, that Emma's presented a 10 point plan to the Conservative Party Conference today showing how the Government should be encouraging start-ups and supporting existing businesses to grow.  Among other things, she's arguing for:Â

  • private and public partnerships to increase the availability of super-fast fibre-optic broadband

  • more affordable workspaces to create the right conditions for start-ups and growth

  • the Government to offer start-up loans to students via The Student Loans Company

  • recognition of childcare expenses as a tax deductible business expense

  • an extension and expansion of National Insurance holidays.Â

These are all practical measures that would really give a boost to the growth chances of the smallest enterprises.Â

Here's what Emma told ministers today"¦****Â

"The number of people starting a business is on the increase at the same time as Government funds to support small business is on the decrease. This is a landscape that presents an opportunity for the Government to make cost-effective changes that will have positive impact; the private sector to step in and provide quality products and services, and small business owners to help, support and mentor each other.Â

"The UK faces a clear opportunity to unleash its entrepreneurial spirit. We must act now."Â

"The UK faces a clear opportunity to unleash its entrepreneurial spirit. We must act now to present self-employment as a viable option to the millions of people dreaming of turning an idea into a business. These businesses should be supported by products and services from the public and private sector, enabling technology and peer support from fellow owners."Â  Go Emma!  You can download and read A Window of Opportunity: Small Business Report 2011 here.

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise NationEnterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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