At this very moment, you could be forgiven for feeling as though there is very little to be celebrating. The weather is unseasonably grim - and the global economy is in decidedly choppy waters.
But last week, I am delighted to report, StartUp Britain, the national enterprise campaign, of which I am co-founder, celebrated its second birthday in the most optimistic way you can imagine!
The iconic BT Tower shone a birthday wish from above, spreading the start-up message around our capital city - and sending a clear message of support for what we do from BT Business, our newest sponsor.
This unexpected injection of optimism told us that not only that we're doing all right, it also told us that no matter how grey the world may feel sometimes, there is always a glimmer of hope.
In fact this random act of kindness - because that really is what it felt like - did us all a big favour. It made us smile. In fact it made us laugh and gave us the adrenalin hit we needed to make sure the day went with a bang.
Even Boris Johnson showed his support:
Happy 2nd birthday to @startupbritain - 75% of all start-ups last year were registered in London making us the enterprise capital #SUB2
StartUp Britain was launched on March 28 2011 by the Prime Minister David Cameron to celebrate, accelerate and inspire enterprise in the UK.
In two successful years it has taken the start-up message to thousands of Britons looking to become their own boss.
Last year, 484,224 businesses registered at Companies House (unaudited figure), almost 10 per cent up on 2011. There was a 14 per cent increase in companies with shares changing hands and a 50% increase in early stage entrepreneurial activity amongst people aged between 18 and 29. You can see where I'm going with this.
It's incredible progress and what the BT Tower's message has taught us is that it's actually OK to talk about success - and to shout it from the rooftops.
So...this year the campaign hopes to see 500,000 businesses started up in the UK. If it happens, that's most definitely something to shout about!
BT Business is part of a collective of forward-thinking big businesses that have invested in the British economy by helping start-ups to grow and flourish via the campaign's work. These also include PayPal, Intuit, iris,Viking and Zipcar.
Part of what we do is encourage more people to consider starting a business, but also to encourage more big businesses to help small ones, a welcome contribution to the start-up eco-system.
Last year StartUp Britain visited 40 colleges and universities, delivered free events for fledgling businesses about finance, social media, tech, design, marketing, fashion and food. It has 121 local champions in towns and cities across the UK helping to spread the word.
This year we'll be on the road again and recruiting more champs and getting out there to more people again. Birthdays might not seem that important. But they are. And for that, we are thankful. Bring on another 12 months!Suggest a correction