Well for me it was good to see that it was as busy, if not busier than ever for our members – those organisations helping people all day every day of the year to start up and run businesses which survive and thrive.

I had the pleasure to be at the launch of GEW at the beginning of the week and to hear Michael Fallon, the Minister for Small Business’ intention to recruit two entrepreneurs in residence to support the work of the Business, Innovation and Skills department – sounds like a great idea, but I do wonder who would put themselves forward for that role?  True entrepreneurs will be too busy thinking up and getting the next idea off the ground to be willing to spend too much time in endless meetings, unless there is some real commitment to progressive thinking and ideas – fingers crossed that’s the mindset the department has for the initiative!  You can see the advert here.

I also saw lots of press about the number of businesses which have started recently and how the numbers are ever increasing, on the one hand that’s great news, but there is a note of caution as far as NEN and our members are concerned.  We all know that those people who seek advice as part of their planning to start are more likely to survive, and to grow into businesses which employ people and make more significant contributions to the economy at large.  So an interesting piece today from Cobweb on the difficulties being faced by enterprise support organisations in the current climate where there is little or no funding to support their very valuable work.  You can read it here.

I certainly hope that all those thousands of businesses who have started this year do go on to survive and thrive in the same way as those started by clients who have sought support from our members – because it would be an incredible drain on the economy if they don’t!

I was also really interested in some new data from Barclays, seen on the infographic here.  Lots of food for thought for those people thinking about starting a business, how hard will they have to work, how will it impact on their family and family life, what are their chances of success.  All things that our members talk to their clients about every day, to make sure they have the clearest possible understanding of what they are taking on when the pursue their dreams of self employment or starting a business.

As ever our members will continue to strive to support as many people as possible and will spend as much time encouraging some to consider not starting, as they do those who could and should!  It’s a costly business and one that should only be entered into with the right thinking and planning, and clients can rely on our members for all the help they need with that.