This week I popped over to Liverpool as a guest of The Good Business Festival…an inspiring event celebrating all things aspirational in how we ‘do business’. With everyone from Deloitte, and L’Oreal to ‘Diary of a CEO’ fame Steven Bartlett in attendance - this was an active 3 day exchange of ideas about how we can all make good things happen faster. I was there representing all things ‘Micro Businesses’ yup, if there’s less than 10 of you in a company then you’re a micro business and it turns out 96% of businesses in the UK are! The topic of our panel discussion was ‘The Power of Micro-Business’
“We may be small – but we are mighty”
The panel was hosted by Kate Hardcastle MBE - a journalist, business mentor and proud marshmallowist customer! I chatted with Shalom Lloyd of Naturally Tribal and Haddy Folivi of Clarity Media about how when it comes entrepreneurial flair it’s smaller businesses that set the pace – be it through sustainable options like refill shops, or engaging on partnerships that impact communities beyond their own – small business owners really do lead the way.
So what was I asked? Well, in front of a packed conference room “ How realistic is it for a micro-business to take on the social consciousness of the world?” GULP! But, don’t worry, I did have an answer because… YES it is pretty realistic that we take on the world’s social conscious. We don’t work or live in isolation. Any business can be a ‘good business’ from sole traders to multi-national companies. I have a small bakery b ut we all know the problems associated with food manufacturing of any size… be it food justice, poor wages, questionable industrial policies and our environmental impact.
I think if anyone is going to run a food company we shouldn’t be adding to those problems. That doesn’t just mean sourcing more expensive or ‘better’ ingredients- but making smaller, everyday steps…it’s about values.
And I was lucky to be alongside some amazing female business owners.. who really put those values into action when it came to their production and ethos. Both Haddy and Shalom spoke about building a brand through your own lens of success and the struggles of having a product based business when cash flow is not, well, flowing…
The afternoon was engaging, inspiring and uplifting. In a week when rising energy costs, inflation and supply struggles have made for depressing business news- this festival gave me hope that thorough working collaboratively and creatively, we can share resources with other small businesses to ride through this tricky time. Big mallow love to everyone who came, participated and energised the discussion.