Small businesses are often described as the “backbone” or “engine” of our economy. Over 99% of all companies registered at Companies House are SMEs, and between them they employ over 15 million people across the UK.
They’re also a key market for our profession; the majority of small businesses use external accountants, and many regard their chartered accountant as their most trusted business adviser. So we play a huge role in the growth and success of SMEs, helping them to build their resilience and durability, ultimately contributing to employment and prosperity.
Around half a million new small businesses start up in the UK each year. The process can be a daunting task with many challenges, to such an extent that 60% of them cease trading by the end of their fifth year.
It’s crucial that these new businesses, who are often strapped for cash and low on resources, are able to access the advice and support they need, in a timely and hassle-free way.
With this in mind, we’ve teamed up with Enterprise Nation to develop a new Business Advisor platform, which launched earlier this week. The primary function of the platform is to identify areas that businesses might need help with, and match them with a relevant advisor to offer that support.
By registering as a business advisor on the platform, ICAEW members will be able to easily connect with entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of the support, guidance and expertise for which we are renowned.
For businesses operating on low margins, obtaining easy access to the right people with the right advice could be the difference between success and failure, and hopefully lasting beyond five years.; If businesses are helped to thrive and reach their full potential, we all benefit through stronger economies.
Specifically for ICAEW, it’s important that we promote the value that our members can provide to businesses, and this platform will present a fantastic opportunity for members to exhibit their skills.