THE BLOG

It Only Takes a Minute

10/05/2013 11:26 BST | Updated 10/07/2013 10:12 BST
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Forgive me for I must. I must use the words of Take That to say, "It only takes a minute" for people all over Britain to place the most brilliant of bets on themselves and their own abilities to make it.

Today in the UK around 1,800 businesses will register to start trading. Put it another way, that's 75 an hour or just over one a minute.

And by setting up, these young firms join the wave of entrepreneurs starting a phenomenal odyssey of adventurous independence and a life lived on their own terms.

So, if this is your story I want to use this column to salute you and the endeavour you are embarking upon. For Britain is on track to deliver over 500,000 new businesses this year. It will be a record and will deliver momentous change to the future of this nation. Change that is very much for the good.

It's no longer a job for life or the deference of knowing your place. To misquote that greatest of crooners Frank Sinatra, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere; it's up to you UK.

So, who are the faces behind these booming numbers?

Last night I met some of them at the launch of the third of StartUp Britain's pop up shops on the King's Road in London. I co-founded StartUp Britain just over two years ago. It's phenomenal to think that a few hundred days ago we were a start up ourselves. Last night our CEO Emma Jones opened a retail store for start ups on one of the most prestigious shopping streets on the planet. By doing so we have provided unparalleled opportunities for new businesses to launch their brands.

The store was completely packed as twelve businesses launched themselves to the market. I met (and spent!) with a great many of them.

Let me tell you about Obi Nwosu, one of the founders of a brilliant new fun watch brand called Clicloc. I met him and thought we were just having a chat. Five minutes later, I'd bought two watches. Great salesman with an outstanding product. He's the sort of guy that will get to the top whatever he chooses to do. He has chosen to work for himself.

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Michael Hayman with Intuit's John Midgley at the StartUp Britain pop up launch on the King's Road last night

Let me tell you about the super stylish Alexandra Van Berckel, who has backed herself by setting up an inspiring business handcrafting some of the most gorgeous shoes you will find.

If you thought pop ups were today's version of car boot sales think again. This is a retail revolution that will create the new generation of designers, artisans and entrepreneurs that will be tomorrow's household names.

What is also great is the tribal nature of entrepreneurs. A great many successful people want to see small businesses do well. I spotted the founder of Pret-a-Manger, Sinclair Beecham, engrossed in conversation with one aspirant retailer.

Last night Will King, the King Of Shaves, agreed to come into the store to provide a master class for the retailers on building a challenger brand. This is a man who knows how to do it, ask Gillette.

Big firms were involved with the financial software giant Intuit, reprsented by John Midgley, providing their mobile payment solution Intuit Pay to all the retailers.

Government is also looking at the scheme with interest. The Deputy Mayor of London, Kit Malthouse, was there to kick off proceedings as well as the brilliant new Department for Business entrepreneur-in-residence Rekha Mehr.

Last night was a glimpse of what the front line of economic recovery looks like. There were entrepreneurs there who had been laid off and started anew, there were those who had left well paid jobs to see if they were as good as they thought they were.

In these uncertain times it is wonderful when you find groups of people with undiluted optimism and the fierce determination to succeed.

So, if you're thinking about going for it in business take a look at your watch and think what others are doing every minute. For, as those musical bards Take That so truly wrote, "Today, this could be the greatest day of your life."

Michael Hayman is a co-founder of the public relations firm Seven Hills and a co-founder of the national campaign for entrepreneurs StartUp Britain. You can also follow Michael on Twitter.