There are now a record number 4.8 million small businesses in the UK. There is no denying that may be due to the financial crisis. More high calibre individuals creating a startup who otherwise may not have done so. We need to hope that this startup culture get the support it needs. Otherwise we risk losing these risk takers to employment and a “safe secure job”.
Why should you care? Well the increasing number of startup business owners is a growth market you may need to pay attention to. Not only can new customers emerge but also nimble footed competitors.
Startup Culture Matters
We must nourish entrepreneurial culture. The 2012 GEM report from the University of Strathclyde suggests that one of the key areas we fall behind international competitors is in Startup Skills and Attitudes. This is why LibertySpace is proud to support the accelerator initiative from Acorn Enterprise. A free 20 week structured development programme, hosted at the Liberty Hubspace in Rosyth and The Flour Mill Dundee.
When I started out with my own small roofing material business in 2001 there were no collaborative environments, it was a lonely experience. Even when I approached a local Innovation Centre to rent an office I was told we weren’t innovative enough and was turned away!
The Acorn Initiative has just completed it’s 9th successful programme and has just completed its first in Dundee. It offers a sound footing for new emerging businesses. These business owners don’t need to be stellar entrepreneurs in order to get on the programme. The business ideas don’t have to be “off the wall”, normal businesses are a huge part of our economy and also need supporting.
How Can I Help Nurture a Startup?
Ask yourself, how can your business help Scotland’s new starts? Through mentorship, financial assistance, providing the right contacts or by supporting The Princes Trust and other local initiatives. We can all do our bit.
If you want to be involved with the Acorn Initiative either as an attendee or in a supportive role then please get in touch. www.acornenterprise.co.uk
I have to add one last thing, we bought that very same Fife based “Innovation Centre” a number of years ago. It is still home to our small, mundane roofing material business along with a huge range of other thriving successful businesses.