I believe we have entered a new era and that is the era of the young business. The odds are looking much better for those whose business ideas are at an early stage.
Last year some 484,000 businesses were formed in Britain. It’s a record. There are more start-ups now than at any time in the nation’s history. And it’s going to get better.
So far in 2013, according to StartUp Britain, the organisation I co-founded, there have been 161,000 businesses formed since the beginning of this year. That is 33,050 this month and 1,770 today. That could mean well over new 500,000 firms across the year as a whole.
It is a process that is changing the commercial and social fabric of Britain. It’s not the sort of story you see on the nightly news, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
At a London Stock Exchange event in Shoreditch earlier this week, the Chancellor George Osborne made the point that two thirds of the firms that will make up the S&P 500 in ten years don't even exist today. That means that the world’s leading brands, the Apples, the Microsofts, the Virgins, are right now just thoughts and ambitions in somebody’s mind.
The fate of nations rests with great ideas yet to be dreamt, businesses yet to be formed, and ventures still to be grown. It is with people at school or colleges, unemployed or in jobs, united by the fact that one day they will change the world.
Make no mistake, what we have on the cards today is a global race and it is an ambition race. In a world where tomorrow’s leaders need to be found, formed and furthered it will be those with the backbone to go for it that will succeed. But like any race, it’s not just about the athlete. It’s about those that keep you on the pace, those that train you to go further, those that can help inspire you to be the best you can be.
It was a point made by Joanna Shields this week. She said that Tech City now houses 1,300 businesses. Her point was that these firms now need the support to grow and stay here so that the UK can be a home for realising potential.
These young firms are Britain’s future and also our best bet in getting ahead in the race from recession to recovery. NESTA calls them the vital 6%. The small businesses that create 54% of all net new jobs in Britain and provide a lifeline in the creation of wealth.
Growth isn’t a national divine right. The 0.3% growth in the economy announced by the Chancellor hasn’t been delivered by grandiose plans. It was generated through a myriad of relatively minute decisions and small victories that changed the trading conditions of businesses across the land.
Every pitch won, employee hired and product sold pushes the national needle of progress. So start that business, realise that ambition, and help get this country back in the economic fast lane.