Micro businesses urged to join #MicroBizMattersDay on 9 Jan 2015

2 years ago

#MicroBizMattersDayMicro business owners are invited to join the global #MicroBizMattersDay on 9th January 2015 with ‘9 minutes of action’.

Enterprise Rockers is a free to join in movement and Community Interest Company, co-founded and co-funded by Tina Boden and Tony Robinson OBE.

It is the largest, fully independent, informal ‘network of networks’ for micro (0-9 employees) enterprise owners, anywhere and has one aim; ‘To make life better for micro enterprise owners, everywhere’.

Today it announced the first, annual #MicroBizMattersDay which will take place on Enterprise Rockers’ 3rd anniversary, 9th January 2015. The co-founders call it ‘Unleashing the Power of Plenty’.

This power of plenty is the influence exerted when thousands of self-employed and business owners take concerted action to support and promote each other. #MicroBizMattersDay, a social media led campaign, will call on all people who work for themselves, their suppliers and customers to take concrete actions for 9 minutes on the day to make business life better for others. The actions fall under the hashtagged categories of #Customers, #Cashflow and #Chat.

Co-founders say it has taken 3 years to get to this launch

Tony Robinson, who received his OBE for services to small firms in 2001, says: “These tiny drops in the ocean will create a tsunami of micro business improvement through the Power of Plenty – the power unleashed when many micro business owners take actions to help each other in a concerted way.”

Enterprise Rockers CIC, organisers of #MicroBizMattersDay was established in 2012 after a year of recruiting global entrepreneurs to give their time to the cause ‘of helping each other to make life better’.

The ‘Rockers’ as they are known describe themselves as having more the popular appeal of Rock and Roll than the exclusive hauteur of Classical music. They admit to being disruptive, have no political affiliation or corporate sponsorship, are not politically correct and have no interest in lobbying. They are only interested in helping each other through actions not words.

Enterprise Rockers’ CIC status makes it a voluntary coalition of business owners and its influence has spread so that now there are 25,000 active connections which communicate Rockers’ campaigns to their networks.

Tina Boden, who has run her own businesses for 20 years and is a micro business specialist, says:  “The Enterprise Rockers movement has achieved a great deal to help the self-employed to survive and thrive, but much more can be achieved by many hundreds of thousands of people giving nine minutes of positive, helpful actions on one day each year.”

Growth of micro enterprise

In most countries around the world, over 90% of all enterprises are micro (0-9 employees). In the UK this is 95%*. In many countries self-employment is increasing year on year and the majority of new jobs are provided by the self-employed. In the UK there are half a million start-ups each year and over 4.5 million micro enterprises which compares with around 7000 large businesses (above 250 employees) which receive the majority of government funds.

Research by RSA** shows that there are over half a million more micro enterprises in the UK since 2008 and that their employees will outnumber those in public sector work by 2018. This growth in micro business provides the “Power of Plenty” that #MicroBizMattersDay plans to unleash on Jan 9th 2015.

Happy but poor?

Government support, however, does not reflect the emerging political and economic significance of micro enterprise. ‘Happy but finding it harder to make ends meet’ is a fair description of life for most people running their own business today.

For example in the UK, the RSA research shows that real earnings for micro enterprise owners has dropped by 20% since 2006/7, and today they earn 40% less than their counterparts in waged work. 70% don’t have a pension and 20% find it difficult to get a mortgage due to their self-employed status.

Research by Populus*** shows that 2 in 3 micro business owners feel that Government does not encourage or support them. Despite this picture of decline in conditions, motivation among micro business owners remains high with 73% becoming self-employed by choice. This snapshot of a badly supported, highly motivated group of business owners shows the gaps in government policy and the emerging economic and political significance of the self-employed and micros which #MicroBizMattersDay aims to redress.

Benedict Dellot, Senior Researcher at RSA says: “Micro businesses are the new political force to be reckoned with, but the government has yet to win their favour. Business support remains confusing and superficial. This, despite small business owners being the country’s biggest job creators.”

How #MicroBizMattersDay works?

#MicroBizMattersDay is the worldwide call to fill the gaps in policy and support by ‘Rockers doing it for themselves’. All business owners are asked to choose actions to take in 9 minutes in one of the 3 hash tagged categories of #Customers, #Cashflow or #Chat. Here are 2 examples of possible and useful actions under each category, and more become available daily on the #MicroBizMattersDay website.

#Customer Actions – examples:

1. Use social media to promote the name of a micro biz(s) whose product or service you’ve loved: e.g. tweeting: Loved the chocolates & fast delivery from @OWoWChocolates #MicroBizMattersDay
2. Persuade others to pledge to buy at least 25% of their goods and services from independently owned and run businesses (not chains and corporates) using the hashtag #Indie25ER

#Cashflow Actions – examples:

1. Promote the Enterprise Rockers free, 40 minute ‘What Makes Enterprise Rock?’ video on YouTube by sharing the link on social media or embedding it into your blog or website (like below). The video contains lots of survive and thrive tips for business owners everywhere, was made by award-winning film maker Asta Philpot and 20 business owners gave time and money to make it.

2. Recognise, on social media, those organisations that are fair payers of supplier bills. For example in England we know that Sage (UK) Limited, Lloyds Bank, Leeds City Council. VINCI and  Morgan Sindall Group all have fair terms of trade, and will pay suppliers within 30 days.

#Chat Actions Examples:

1. Spend 9 minutes helping another micro biz owner by providing an idea or an offer of collaboration that will help their business.
2. Retweet on the day any tweets from @EnterpriseRocks @TonyRobinsonOBE @MicroBizGirl and any you see with the #MicroBizMattersDay hashtag (like the one below):

 

Boden and Robinson say: “The #MicroBizMattersDay of actions will enable more micro enterprises to survive and thrive around the world. Micro enterprises already create most new jobs, more innovation and more support to their communities, so the future success of micro enterprise is #Rocking Good News for everyone, everywhere!”

* Source BMG Research, Dept For Business Innovation & Skills
**Source RSA Research
***Source Populus Research