There are plenty of reasons to be confident in the prospects for British entrepreneurship this year. With the recession slowly but steadily receding, a recent report predicted British growth would be the strongest of all major European economies this year and next.
Our strength is in no small part due to a thriving SME sector. The UK is home to an incredible 4.9 million entrepreneurs, of which 1.2 million are employers. This entrepreneurial community is increasing dramatically. In 2013 over half a million new businesses were created. And it’s not just a flash in the pan, or a short-term response to unemployment, but the continuation of a long-term trend towards self-employment over decades.
What this means for British entrepreneurs is the development of a flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem: a network of other businesses to work with and learn from; home-grown business inspiration; and a culture change amongst consumers and government that’s starting to crystallise in more positive attitudes towards small and local businesses.
I never fail to be amazed by the innovativeness of our entrepreneurs. We have a long and proud history of innovation, which I believe we can and must tap into to deal with today’s global challenges. Today though, it’s not just about inventing new products and services, important as that is. It’s about the bigger picture: building whole new markets (in technology for example); as well as behind the scenes innovation – the side most people never see, but which is perhaps more important than anything else. That includes training and developing staff, and improving productivity, quality and service levels for customers.
At Prelude Group, we’re proud to identify ourselves as a British company. We’ve been helping British entrepreneurs share best practice, learn from one another and grow their businesses for over ten years.
Most recently, in the spirit of further supporting enterprise, I've launched growthbritain.co.uk, an online campaign which aims to crowd source practicable ideas that can help accelerate Britain's economic growth. With the support of Lord Young, we'll be taking the best contributors to Downing Street to explore how their ideas might be implemented.
With this in mind, branding our website as British by using a .co.uk domain is an obvious must for us. Being within the British domain simply reinforces our identity to our online visitors, which we also try to make explicit wherever we can. And that identity matters all the more to us given the numerous international companies that are also in the entrepreneur support space in the UK.
In comparison, our focus on British entrepreneurship enables us to match our services to the specific needs of the UK market. There are also more practical considerations to take into account – location, time zone and business culture for example. Our passion and aim is to make Britain the most enterprising nation in the world. In a globalised online space, anything that can help our visitors understand our ethos is enormously valuable.