the small report 2020

Although 2019 brought its fair share of challenges for small businesses in the UK, the close of the year saw a record number, breaking 5.8 million for the first time ever. With a background of Brexit, consumer spending down and a tumultuous political climate, the spirit of entrepreneurship endured and continues to win out. More than 680,000 businesses were started in 2019, according to research by the Centre for Entrepreneurs. Britain’s appetite to start-up shows no signs of waning.

The Small Report 2020 gives a comprehensive view from small businesses and industry experts of the State of the Nation, and key opportunities for the next decade. Over 1,000 small businesses gave their insights to develop this research, and it shows that the british ambition for business is alive and kicking in 2020.

Our small businesses are a heroic part of the UK economy. And that speaks to an outstanding part of our national character, the guts to go for it. This is how we should look at ambition.

For a small business, ambition might mean running a business to look after my family and that is what "I" define as ambitious. Or that I want to create a business that to me is a dream but might seem a nightmare to others. It is why ambition defined through the narrow lens of revenue growth misses much in explaining the vitality, endurance and contribution of small businesses to the life of the nation. Profit is a consequence of purpose – creativity, making a difference and a can-do attitude that is vital in delivering jobs the length and breadth of the country.

From sole-traders to those on a mission to create tomorrow’s market champions, we should celebrate the inspiring achievements that sustain our vibrant and diverse small business community. And, if I could give our small firms one piece of advice, it would be, be ambitious on your own terms – but make sure those terms are driven by an ambitious purpose.

Michael Hayman MBE DL, co-Founder, Seven Hills

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With thanks to TSB for supporting this research: