FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Our election panel on Business Zone, yesterday, did forewarn the danger to Labour of failing to engage with the 'new normal' of working people - 5 million self employed and micro (0-9 employees) businesses.
In Labour's 10 years of Government and 5 years of opposition they have only developed policies to support the 195,000 'SMEs' and ignored the largest and fastest growing occupational group in the economy. The Enterprise Rockers, a free to join in, global, indie group of micro business owners, which I co-founded and co-fund, with Tina Boden, has tried to engage with all political parties to make them aware of the micro enterprise revolution which will continue throughout the world.
Politics today makes it a difficult task to get to political leaders through the Establishment's web of corporate and 'think tank' lobbyists and special advisers. Yet, we have certainly made a lot of noise including our annual #MicroBizMattersDay. They haven't listened to us.
As I have blogged and given speeches on throughout the last 5 years political parties have chosen to ignore the major characteristics of these 5 million independent business owners. Namely; that 75% of these businesses have only one person running them; 50% of them are working from home (60% in Scotland) and they are earning 20% less than they were in 2008 - most earning less than the living wage if taken on an hourly basis. They are however, generally happy, positive and creating most of the new jobs in our economy.
Utilities, telecoms, postage and transport costs; universal credit, exemption from costly new regulations and taxes, faster broadband speed, substantial incentives and training support to take on their first employee; test trading support for start ups, #PayInThirtyDays - are all vital issues that the Labour Party could have engaged with these 5 million on.
Although I voted Labour - for change, I wouldn't be at all surprised if many of my self employed and business owner colleagues got into the polling booth and in the absence of an alternative, credible offer, voted for the traditional party for small business - Conservative.
Tony Robinson OBE is known as the Micro Business Champion. He is an authority on microenterprise and is a professional speaker, broadcaster and writer on this subject. He also writes poetry and fiction with his latest novel (November 2017) being 'Loose Cannon' and his most well-known work being the fictional satire 'Freedom from Bosses Forever' which also contains over 80 practical tips for micro business owners' success.
Tony is on a never-ending tour with his one man, one hour 'Let's Get Enterprising - Micro Myths and Magic Show' which suggests that for the majority of business owners there is a better way than the American Way to start up, survive and thrive. The show has been booked by organisers in London, Chesterfield, Newcastle, Yorkshire and Devon. Tony's aim is now to reach as many prospective and existing micro business owners with his show. As well as paid engagements with the show at business conferences and exhibitions he presents 2 UK shows a month, free of charge (expenses upfront) to Charities and genuine Social Enterprises.
Tony has also founded and directed a number of social enterprises to improve the quality of learning and support for new enterprise owners. The most well known of these is the SFEDI Group which includes the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs which he founded in 1996 and still co-owns. The most recent is Enterprise Rockers CIC which promotes the #MicroBizMatters global movement and the annual #MicroBizMatters Day. He co-founded this with Tina Boden in January 2012.
This independent, informal, free to join in, no contact details required, #MicroBizMatters Movement. @MicroBizMatters is part of Enterprise Rockers CIC and has one aim and five campaigns.
The aim is to make life better for micro (0-9 employees and up to £2million turnover) enterprise owners around the world and the campaigns are #PayIn30Days; Indie25ER; #NotAnSME; # CallOutTheBizBullies and #MicroBizMatters Day. The fifth, annual #MicroBizMatters Day is hosted by the City of Hull on January 11, 2019. The first three took place in London and the last was in Manchester. It is the only major day of recognition and action backed by all the national small business membership organisations in the UK.
Since launch, they have attracted many Friends of the Enterprise Rockers. These are networks of microenterprise owners within membership organisations and client/customer groups. Hundreds of thousands of self-employed and business owners have been helped by this informal, self-help movement.
#MicroBizMatters Day the biggest social media event for business owners and trends on twitter for over 7 hours. The day presents 8 learning hours and is truly a day of Recognition, Action and Learning.
Tony and Tina's famous friends have supported #MicroBizMatters Day throughout and they include Tim Campbell MBE, Sway (Mercury Award winner), Kanya King MBE, Penny Power OBE, Emma Jones MBE, Chris Percival, Charlie Mullins OBE. Michelle Dorrell, Laura Henry, Kate Hardcastle, Janice Gordon and Elaine Clark.
Tony and Tina have individual micro enterprises, both for longer than 20 years, and are well known in the UK for their work to support and promote start-ups and business ownership. Tony is and has been a Small and Micro Business Ambassador for a number of organisations, including Investors in People, and served on many Government Committees and Task Forces. He is currently an Ambassador for the Business Books Awards and a Judge for the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
Tony received an OBE for services to small firms in 2001 and received two lifetime awards for enterprise in 2012 (from the IAB at the House of Commons) and 2013 (from Start Your Business Magazine). He founded the SFEDI Group in 1996 and remains a co-owner. He is co-founder and a Fellow of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs. He is Patron of the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank. He is a long-serving NED of Yorkshire in Business, the enterprise agency for the Yorkshire Coast Region, which provides low cost and free enterprise support and has 5 buildings of workspace for prospective and existing micro business owners.
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