THE BLOG

The Rise of the Micro Business Is Power to the People

08/04/2014 13:59 BST | Updated 08/06/2014 10:59 BST

Starting and running a business is taking power into your own hands.

According to the Government's own statistics one in ten domestic properties are now home to a business and these 2.95 million home based firms are contributing £243 billion to the British economy.

While critics suggest this proliferation of micro firms is a sign of a weak economy, we'd argue that this is simply the new normal - a glimpse of the future.

To those who say 'the start-ups will go back to getting a job' - I say, once people have tasted the freedom and flexibility of self-employment, they rarely return to employment. In a recent Enterprise Nation survey, 99 per cent of respondents told us they were happier working for themselves than working for others. I accept that maybe the unhappy one per cent will be looking on job sites as the Chancellor aims for a full employment economy but the majority and remainder will stay gainfully employed by employing themselves. They are working towards a fully enterprising economy which, in my view, is the safer option which sees people taking responsibility for their own future and livelihood.

One of the reasons the importance of the self-employed and micro enterprises is often downplayed is because they are registered with the Government as having 'no employees'. Yet according to the 10 per cent Growth campaign we conducted with Sage last year, 63 per cent of micro firms said they planned to grow in 2014 by outsourcing and subcontracting work to other self-employed professionals and freelancers.

Small and home based businesses increase turnover, not headcount. They create wealth as opposed to employment - and they spread this wealth across the UK by employing the best people for the task in hand, as opposed to someone located close to the office.

They are innovative, fast-moving and are building companies in new ways and on new models. They are refusing to accept that to be valid, they need to take a job they won't like. One of the oft-quoted phrases I hear at one day start-up class, StartUp Saturday, is 'I've just been made redundant and I'm delighted.'

Technology means there's no longer a need for an office and filing cabinet to run a company. Today, 70 per cent of all new firms are started from home - it makes sense, keeping overheads low and giving people the choice to build the business around a family, or a lifestyle. Small business owners bring little risk to proceedings, with 53 per cent planning to fund growth with their own savings rather than run the gauntlet of lending.

Creating your own value is empowering and it encourages people to take responsibility for their own destiny as well as making the most of a talent.

We'd hate to see the media agenda move away from these important wealth creators. Their role should continue to be highlighted and celebrated.