In a month that has left many start up and small business owners wondering what their next move is, The Women’s Organisation in Liverpool have announced a roster of events tailored for start-ups, who they say are key to post-pandemic recovery.
Thousands of small business owners across the country held their breath last month as the Chancellor announced his Autumn budget – only to be left blue in the face when Rishi Sunak made no clear commitment to small business support, funding or addressing the UK skills gap.
Small businesses make up 99.2% of the total UK business population, account for three fifths of employment and around half of the UK’s private sector turnover, according to FSB.
The total combined turnover of the country’s small business community at the beginning of 2021 topped £2 trillion, with the services sector accounting for more than three-quarters of GDP.
The skills gap is one of the primary affecting factors when it comes to businesses successfully scaling up, according to a survey by Scale Up Capital.
Chief executive of The Women’s Organisation, Maggie O’Carroll says that the Autumn Budget was a positive one for large infrastructure projects, but left small businesses and the people on the ground behind.
She adds: “The business rates reliefs announced stand to leave whole swathes of businesses unsupported and this just isn’t good enough.
“Start ups and small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and are absolutely critical to our recovery post-pandemic. They provide jobs and attract investment into individual regions.
“If we are to see the economy begin to recover and thrive, we must first lift it off its knees by investing in funding and support – it’s what we call speculate to accumulate.
“Discounting business rates is an old-hat way of addressing economic development. The reality is that businesses now operate in a far more agile environment, so to still be talking about bricks and mortar is, frankly, absurd.
“It is a strategy that neglects thousands of struggling small businesses and fails to address how we kick start the economy by helping new businesses set up and grow.”
The Women’s Organisation is the largest developer and deliverer of training and support for women in the UK. It has supported more than 60,000 women and helped to create in excess of 4,000 businesses since it was established in 1996.
And The Women’s Organisation have unveiled a week-long series of events to tie in with Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021, which takes place from November 8-14.
Events cover key considerations for new or budding start up businesses, including business planning, social media strategy, finance and bookkeeping, and sustainability.
Global Entrepreneurship Week is now in its ninth year and is set to engage millions of people through more than 35,000 planned events and activities.
The programme is run by The Global Entrepreneurship Network, who manage and deliver projects in over 180 countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business.
Maggie O’Carroll says that now, more than ever, we should be focused on just that.
She adds: “Furlough and people being forced out of work incited a culture of entrepreneurialism, which should absolutely be celebrated and sustained.
“Companies House data reveals that 340,534 businesses were registered in the UK between January and June 2021 – over 30% more than was the case in 2019.
“That is all well and good, but now we must do all we can to help those businesses strategise, scale and succeed.”
The Love Your Business Festival gets underway on Monday, November 8 and offers a week-long programme of events culminating with a ‘sparkling’ speed-networking session on Friday, November 12 – which will offer up the opportunity to make new connections over a glass of Friday fizz.
Liverpool-based solicitors firm Morecrofts have kindly sponsored this year’s festival. Experts from the firm will be on hand on Friday to informally address any legal queries or concerns.
You can find further information on all events and book your spot via our blog https://www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk/loveyourbiz-love-your-business-festival/