For pretty much as long as I’ve been a business journalist, mid-November has been all about celebrating small businesses. A total of 180 countries now take part in Global Entrepreneurship Week (this year it’s 08-12 November) but the initiative is actually a UK invention having launched in 2003 as Enterprise Week.
In all those 17 years, entrepreneurship has probably never been more high profile than it is today. As thousands of people turned to running their own business to get through or respond to the pandemic, there was a surge in new companies last year. Companies House data analysed by the Centre for Entrepreneurs showed 772,002 new businesses launched in 2020, up 13.25% on 2019.
Coronavirus made last year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week very different to ones we’ve experienced before. There was no gathering in glamorous venues with hundreds of fellow entrepreneurial types in 2020 as events switched to online. Physical events have started to return over the past few months but looking at the UK events for GEW 2021, the majority are still online or taking a hybrid approach with both a physical and live-streamed element.
My abiding memories of most GEWs are travelling from one event to another to capture entrepreneurs’ and experts’ words of wisdom. I’ve also been on stage myself a fair few times too. I’ve looked back at some of my tweets from previous years to nudge my memory.
2010 was a big year. I stayed in a hotel for the week in London as there were so many events to attend.
So many of the quotes I’ve tweeted over the years during Global Entrepreneurship Week still ring very true today. Here’s a selection:
This one from 2012 is particularly relevant in 2020:
Business tips for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021
I went freelance myself in January 2020 after 20 years as a staff journalist writing about start-ups and small businesses. I’m now experiencing first hand what’s it’s like to run a business and I’m fortunate to have picked up some brilliant clients in my first 18 months as self-employed.
In March 2020, I returned to working with my old friends at Enterprise Nation to help entrepreneurs navigate the government’s coronavirus support schemes. The guides I’ve written for the website have attracted tens of thousands of reads.
Most COVID-19 schemes have now ended but I’m still working with the business support network to cover the news that matters to small businesses (here’s a recent post on what small businesses want from COP26) and interviewing entrepreneurs for tips and inspiration. I urge you to join Enterprise Nation if you’re not already a member and you can connect with me on the platform here.
I also work with the brilliant Bristol Creative Industries, the not-for-profit membership organisation for the creative industries in Bristol and Bath. If you’re running a creative business based in or near those cities, you’ll get lots of benefits from joining. Wherever you are though, the news and advice is well worth a read. Here’s a post I wrote summarising an interesting keynote about the value of luck in business and how brands can stack the odds in their favour.
Hosting events is another of my favourite things to do (get in touch if you’re looking for a host) and I’ve been part of several where great advice has been shared. I’ve been interviewed myself too and shared tips. Here are a selection of the videos and podcasts I’ve been part of:
Networking and creating new leads online
Overcoming the challenges of starting a business
In April this year, I hosted a great online event for Enterprise Orchard featuring a brilliant panel of entrepreneurs sharing their tips for starting and growing a business. Here’s a clip featuring Enterprise Orchard founder Ollie Collard and Banasa Williams, co-founder of plastic free and natural haircare brand, Ksoni.
Interviewing Dragons’ Den investor Theo Paphitis:
For 123 Reg, I interviewed entrepreneur, retail and Dragons’ Den investor Theo Paphitis.
How to pitch your business to journalists
Enterprise Nation runs a Lunch and Learn webinar every weekday at 12pm. I took part in August 2020 and shared my tips on securing press coverage for a small business with Enterprise Nation’s Lorna Bladen. Watch the webinar here.
Meet the Journalists is my favourite Enterprise Nation event and I was delighted to host it in March this year. I chatted to some of my fellow journalists for their advice on how businesses can get coverage. Panellists included Katie Prescott from BBC News and Sarah Bridge from Mail on Sunday. Watch the webinar here.
The Small Business Sessions podcast
I was delighted to host series five of Enterprise Nation’s podcast, the Small Business Sessions, sponsored by Starling Bank. I absolutely love audio and this is the second season I’ve hosted. There’s so much advice and inspiration in the 12 episodes. Listen on your favourite podcast platform.
How micro-businesses can access support groups
Mid-lockdown, I chatted to Thomas Costello from Go Daddy. Lots of the tips are still very relevant today.
Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021 events to attend
There are lots of events to attend this Global Entrepreneurship Week, many of which you can watch online. Here’s a selection:
On Monday at 12.30pm, there’s an interesting event on making entrepreneurship more accessible. Speakers include small business minister Paul Scully.
On Tuesday at 2pm, net zero and small businesses is on the agenda at an event taking place at COP26 in Glasgow. You can attend in person or watch online.
Supporting diversity and inclusion is being discussed on Thursday at 12.30pm with speakers including former Dragons’ Den investor Piers Linney.
See all the GEW 2021 events for the UK here.
Enterprise Nation has 18 events this week including tips on growing your brand on Instagram and boosting your Christmas sales on Monday at 12pm and 2pm and the Next Gen Festival for young entrepreneurs from 10am – 4pm on Friday.
Have a brilliant Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021.
Need a business event host, interviewee or panellist? Looking for help with your content? Get in touch with me.