According to the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), small businesses are the life-blood of the UK economy and account for 99.9% of private sector companies while providing 60% of private sector jobs.
Credible data in a crowded information-overloaded world.
I have the pleasure of working with companies large and small, global and local, and am continually impressed in particular with the SMEs (small and medium enterprises).
While they’re all individual, they also have several distinct characteristics in common:
- Ambition – they know what they want, are already on the right path to achieve it, and have no intention of stopping until they do.
- Bravery – it takes guts to set up on your own and go for it and they have this in spades.
- Creativity – smart ideas come from smart people who think way outside the box and beyond.
- Drive – determination and hard graft is what turns a small business into a medium enterprise and the potential for it to be snapped up by a multinational. Think Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!
- Energy – day in and day out they seem to have an insatiable appetite for what they do and maintain a consistent level of high energy.
- Fun – and perhaps this is why all of the above is possible; they have fun!
It’s not all a breeze, however, with ever-increasing hurdles in the form of access to finance (or lack of), complex employment legislation, tax bureaucracy and red tape… But as many SMEs prove, if you want to make a difference you will.
In the words of the late Apple founder and entrepreneur, Steve Jobs: “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”
So let’s hear it for our SMEs; the unsung heroes of the UK economy.