A very big Saturday

On the 23rd November, small business network Enterprise Nation held the biggest ever startup Saturday with more than over 200 wanna-be entrepreneurs spending an eight-hour stretch honing their business skills ready for the exact moment they start-up.

New start

Enterprise Nation founder and best-selling author Emma Jones MBE, took a jam-packed audience at the British Library through their paces, starting off with a gentle introduction to the basics, followed by a more detailed investigation of topics including finances, social media and testing the market.

Business ideas included pop-up restaurants, nutritional advice apps, independent finance funds to fashion designers and photographers. Many wanted to build a business while holding down a day job, others had already started and wanted to brush up – one had quit her job and is now basing herself in the Enterprise Nation pop-up in Chancery Lane.

Emma’s StartUp Saturday concept sees her travelling the country to help people unlock their inner entrepreneur. It’s designed to be friendly, inspiring and informative whilst making sure people leave with one clear message: they can do it.

On trend

According to Government statistics, SMEs generate £1.6bn – just under half of all private sector turnover, with the number of VAT-registered businesses already back to pre-recession levels.

Start-up rates are at an all-time high - and bankruptcies at a six year low. Enterprise Nation’s own study found that 70 per cent of all new businesses are started at home, often by people who want to turn their passion or something that they are good at, into a money-spinning business.

Emma said that’s why StartUp Saturday is so successful: ‘There are more and more people out there who want to explore entrepreneurship. They’ve got an idea and they just need to know how to make it happen.’

The day followed a StartUp Saturday UK tour to libraries in major cities including Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh.

The event was the last in Global Entrepreneurship Week, a week which celebrates all things start-up and enterprise - and it helps raise awareness of support available to help start-ups grow.

The day-long event concluded with a panel discussion, hosted by Emma and included TV’s Tilly Walnes, founder of dress-making website Tilly and the Buttons and also appeared on the Great British Sewing Bee; BBC journalist and photographer Eddie Botsio who now puts on successful exhibitions of his own work and food entrepreneur Philip Crilly, who gave himself three months to get started after attending a previous StartUp Saturday event.

Five top start-up tips

So, if you’re keen to start but not sure what to do, here’s 5 simple tips to get you started:

  • Base the business on something you enjoy
  • Start small and fund growth through cash flow
  • Have a plan
  • Tap into social media to cheaply promote your new brand
  • Use your day effectively: don’t waste time on side projects and always keep your business goals in mind.

To book a StartUp Saturday event, head over here

Enterprise Nation is a small business network. It helps people turn their good ideas into great businesses. Enterprise Nation was founded in 2005 by Emma Jones MBE who also co-founded StartUp Britain and a founding member of the new think tank Centre for Entrepreneurs.