Small Business Wonders Campaign launches today to celebrate UK small businesses
Passion is one of the key motivators for people launching their own business, according to a new survey by the Start Up Loans Company.
When asked why they decided to make the leap to start their own business, three in five people who applied for a loan said one of the reasons was to follow their passion.
More than half (57%) said they wanted to become their own boss; more than one in three (36%) said they took the leap because they didn’t have a job; and more than a quarter (28%) said they wanted to spend more time with their family.
The Start Up Loans Company conducted the survey to mark the launch today of its Small Business Wonders campaign, which is designed to showcase and celebrate the huge contribution of small businesses to the UK economy and society.
The UK’s 5.7 million small businesses employ 16.3 million people – equivalent to 60% of the workforce in the private sector.
The Start Up Loans Company is part of the British Business Bank. Its scheme provides low-interest loans and mentoring support to aspiring business owners across the UK who might be struggling to access other forms of finance.
Asked what the most significant challenge was about setting up a business, more than a quarter (28%) of business owners said securing funding; almost one in five (18%) said achieving their first sales; and one in seven (14%) said writing a business plan.
As part of the two-week social media campaign, the Start Up Loans Company will be sharing on its Twitter and Facebook channels the inspirational stories of some of the programme’s loan recipients using #SmallBizWonders.
Among them is Michaela Alexander, a mother of two, who started writing her own children’s books because she was fed up with the lack of diversity in the books she was reading to her children; and Joe Munns, founder of Bakedin, a business making home-baking kits.
Michaela Alexander, the founder of the Miles and Mia book series, said:
“I felt that it was really important that all children can see positive representation in books and in the media. That’s why I started writing the books. I put absolutely everything into the business. I would encourage anyone with a passion to follow their dreams and just go for it.”
Joe Munns, founder of Bakedin, said:
“I wanted to do something that I was really passionate about and for me it was food. We started making baking kits in brown paper bags and giving them to friends and family for feedback and then we began selling them at local food fayres and markets. When you have your own business, you think about the business all the time but if you do something you love then it doesn’t feel like work.”
Backed by the Government, the Start Up Loans scheme has lent more than £468m to start-ups and early stage businesses since it was launched in 2012.
Patrick Magee, the Chief Commercial Officer of the British Business Bank, said:
“UK small business make a huge contribution to the UK economy and wider society but the vital role they play often goes unrecognised. The Small Business Wonders campaign is all about celebrating the amazing and inspiration work of small business owners up and down the country.”