Last week I had the pleasure of travelling to Scarborugh for the 8th Annual Micro Biz Matter Day – this time a full festival over a few days to celebrate micro business Britain. Tony Robins OBE and Tina Boden founded the day of celebration some 10 years ago to shine a spotlight on, what is, the largest business sector in the UK in terms of numbers. 96% of all UK private business is micro in size – that is 0-9 employees. We know that about 60% of those don’t employ, so a huge proportion of those micro businesses are sole trader/single Director businesses.
Over the time that I have known Tony and then Tina, they have worked hard to campaign for, and give voice to, those millions in an effort to raise their profile and value to us all. Tony has been talking about his ‘Pay in 30 days’ campaign for a long time – educating and asking large organisations and public bodies to pay contractors (often micro businesses) in 30 days. This campaign illustrates just how vital it is for micro business to be both recognised but also fully seen and understood. Cashflow is key and there is a lot less flexibility for a talented contractor to manage waiting 60, 90 or more days for payment.
Over the last 2 years, Tony has also been heavily involved in the ExcludeUK campaign highlighting the exclusion of millions of micro business from any of the business support schemes that were rolled out at the height of the pandemic. On top of that, Tony has also published his latest book Happipreneur.
Scarborough was also host to the first UK & Ireland grand final of the Micro Business Awards. This was the first year for the UK awards(the Irish Micro Business Awards have bee growing rapidly over the last 4 years and were founded by Ruairi Devlin), conceived during lockdown and over Zoom. Despite all the challenges of setting up a new awards scheme in such a way, it was great to see finalists and winners join us and even more brilliant to hear their stories – truly inspirational.
I met up with friends that I have only known on LinkedIn and Twitter and was able to share my own story of meeting Tiny many years ago and, for the first time, fully realising that I was a micro business that mattered when I was running my first enterprise.
What the Micro Biz Festival reminded of was that community, connection and sharing stories is at the heart of micro business success. Without businesses like these, communities, infrastructures and supply chains would collapse. Our country is literally built on micro business.
I left re fuelled and filled up by the energy and enthusiasm in the tipi (not room!) to come back to my HQ in Staffordshire to continue their work.
And what is that work? To continue to transform lives through micro business.
Micro business owners are creating businesses and lives that are sustainable both financially and emotionally. Family, community and localities are safeguarded by this way of working. Working practices, living wages and sustainable practice all play a central role in micro business.
For those not running micro businesses, their impact is no less felt. Local High Streets thrive, great service is provided, local apprentices are hired – kids, Mums, Dads, those who are homeless, refugees and many more able to find work, be included and stay where they are loved.
If micro business is something you do or want to know more about, please take a stroll through our website and meet our Simply Club members (we support their work and help them build live they love) or find out how the Simply Club might be a place for you to thrive.