One of the UK's leading small business advice hubs says that Britain's entrepreneurial culture has developed faster than ever this year meaning that there has never been a better time to start your own business.
Ingenious Britain says that recent research, which has shown that more than 90,000 new British businesses were created in the first half of 2013, up 3.4% year on year augurs well for future economic growth. Almost half of those businesses were set up with less than £2,000.
"We are seeing confidence returning to the small business sector," explains Ingenious Britain director, Mark Moore. "Most surveys are now showing optimism among small companies rising, in some cases to the highest levels for many years."
But, adds Moore, it is the increase in the numbers of people – particularly young people – looking to start up their own enterprise that is especially exciting. The latest RBS Enterprise Tracker showed that nearly twice as many people aged between 18 and 30 are now in the process of starting up in business compared to a year ago.
"Job insecurity seems to have persuaded people that they have less to lose and potentially much to gain from giving their own concept a go. Perhaps because the last few years have been so bleak, we seem to have become more comfortable as a society with taking qualified risks when starting up a business than perhaps we were pre-2008. Business failure no longer has quite the stigma it used to have and more people are using that experience to create more sustainable businesses second time around."
And, says Moore, young people who understand the digital landscape are creating a new generation of online and offline businesses that leverage the potential that technology is offering.
"Because they have grown up in a digital world, our young people know the potential that it has to help start up businesses inexpensively, keep overheads low and give new enterprises the best possible chance of success. More and more are leaving education and looking to take the entrepreneurial route rather than bang their heads against brick walls trying to get openings in larger organisations."
Moore also cites Youth Business International's recent "Entrepreneurial Environment" report which reported 50% of British entrepreneurs expecting their revenues to increase by 30% or more by 2016 while 90% expecting an overall increase in revenue as evidence of a sea change in the small business sector.
"This isn't just good news for the business owners. It's potentially good news for the economy. The UK's five million SMEs are vital to the economy, as they are at the heart of economic growth, providing 60% of private sector jobs and half of private sector turnover and if each of them were to create just one new job we would eradicate unemployment in this country. That's got to be something worth supporting."
Ingenious Britain offers a free, collaborative approach for small businesses via its online portal (www.ingeniousbritain.biz) offering insight, experience, peer support and best practice exchange to provide advice and support to encourage SME growth. More than 25,000 SMEs have signed up to receive Ingenious Britain content and more than 600,000 small businesses have been exposed to Ingenious Britain through its combined platform in print, online and social media platforms.