A meeting was held at 10 Downing Street on Thursday 7th June, where small business owners from around the UK met to discuss new ideas on how to help small businesses grow. The meeting was chaired by Jimmy McLoughlin, formally from the institute of directors and now a business adviser to the UK prime minister.
Handlr’s founder, Aaron Henriques, was invited to the meeting by Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation, an organisation which aims to support small businesses start-up and scale.
At the meeting, it was suggested that there needs to be more education for small business owners. There are 600,000 startups a year, however, 80% fail within the first 5 years. This problem is particularly severe in the UK.
Aaron suggested implementing a free programme for small businesses to help owners on their journey to entrepreneurship. He stressed that there needs to be a focus on educating before jumping into building a business. Through our own market research here at Handlr, we discovered that 43% of small businesses don’t answer their own sales phone line. This is a huge problem and shows that many small businesses are overstretched and need help to scale.
The government seem to really take small businesses seriously, and readily invest in helping them scale and overcome challenges. They offer great start-up schemes, such as Startup Direct, a government-backed loans company who have helped many small businesses startup. Small businesses are, after all, the backbone of the community, and it’s great to see that the government recognises this.
Aaron said “it was a great opportunity to discuss ways to help small businesses and Jimmy McLoughlin was incredibly receptive to our ideas. It’s good to know the government really are aiming to support startups and small businesses, especially with Brexit just around the corner.”