Want to climb out of a recession? Trust the small businesses to lead the way.
Last month, The Telegraph published its list of the 1,000 fastest growing UK SMEs. That’s a lot of successful small businesses, spread right across the country, making a difference to the UK economy. It’s also a lot of small businesses that aren’t quite as small as they used to be.
This is a recovery built on small businesses. The public sector is still contracting, and the blue-chips remain wary of recruiting too fast too soon. So those month on month reductions in unemployment figures are built on the small getting bigger.
Finding help, inspiration and energy at the FSB
Take Happy. We’ve doubled in size since the start of the recession. Karen Lambert, our Happy-in Chief, is a passionate believer in the power of small businesses to make a big difference to the economy and the jobs market. That’s why Karen is thrilled to have been appointed committee member of Happy’s local Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
“My two business towns are Blackpool, home to Happy HQ for almost 9 years, and Burnley – my hometown, and last year voted the most enterprising town in Britain,” she says. “I feel very proud to have been elected onto the committee where I’m using my marketing experience to help develop the role of the FSB in our local business community.
“It’s easy to become rather insular when you’re running your own business” explains Karen. “You’re expected to have all the answers. The FSB is a place for small business owners to feel part of a community. We’ve been members since the company was founded. It can be a great practical source of help, and it can also be a great source of energy, advice and inspiration.”
Supporting our entrepreneurs
Ask Karen about the place of small businesses in the economy and she is clear where the balance of power lies. “There are around 5 million businesses in the UK. Three quarters of them are sole traders. But many of the businesses that now fill the FTSE 100 started out that way too.
“The jobs being created in the UK right now are borne out the entrepreneurial skill that exists in our small businesses. They have the agility, energy and ideas to do things differently – and that’s why they’re succeeding. But if we want those businesses to take the next step, they’ll need more than entrepreneurial flair. They’ll need the HR, PR, marketing, finance and other help that can turn a small business into a not so small one.”
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