December 3, 2023


Supportive Business Potential

Turn your small business ideas into a reality with our top tips

Turn your small business ideas into a reality with our top tips

HAVE you got big ideas for a small business?

New research from ­Virgin Money shows the pandemic has turbocharged our national entrepreneurial spirit.

Aurelija Meakin’s company ­ was an SBS winner in 2019


Aurelija Meakin’s company ­ was an SBS winner in 2019Credit: Not known, clear with picture desk

Driven by a desire to change the way we work, people have collectively come up with 31million new business ideas since March 2020.

But just 37 per cent of would-be entrepreneurs have the ambition to start their own firm. If you’re one of them, Sunemployment is here to help.

We’ve teamed up with Dragons’ Den’s Theo Paphitis, right to get you started.

Today, Birmingham, is the location for his annual #SBS Small Business Sunday event, which brings together the UK’s best small firms.

Aurelija Meakin’s company ­ was an SBS winner in 2019, delighting the former telecoms worker.

Aurelija, from Orpington, Kent, said: “Running your own business can be tough.

“You need to be persistent and resourceful, and not to be too hard on yourself.

“If you have a dream, you have to go for it.”

Here are Theo’s tips for budding entrepreneurs.

  • One of the biggest ­barriers aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners face is a lack of confidence. You must believe in your idea — even more than that, be the one boring your friends to death about it.
  • Never be afraid to make decisions. Once you have an idea, it’s the confidence to make decisions that is crucial to starting and maintaining a business.
  • If you don’t take calculated risks, you’re standing still. If a decision turns out to be wrong, identify it quickly and deal with it if you can. Failing that, find someone else who can.
  • It’s OK not to get it right the first time. My experience of making bad decisions is what helped develop my confidence, making me who I am today.
  • Never underestimate the power of social media, and remember the internet has levelled the playing field for small businesses.
  • Don’t forget to dream. A machine can’t do that!

Working our way back in

THE Government’s Living With Covid plan has prompted more firms to call their workers back to the office.

Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, of SmileDirectClub’s Confidence Council, says: “Returning to the office after months or even years of working from home due to the pandemic can feel daunting.”

Here is her advice:

  • Remember that change naturally causes anxiety. However, we only grow and develop when we come out of our comfort zone.
  • Hold on to the best parts of working from home. If you were going for a walk at lunchtime while working from home, try implementing that into your new routine.
  • Have the confidence to ask to work from home when necessary. If you want to continue working from home for part of the week, ask your employer about it.
  • Ask for support. Chances are you are not the only one feeling anxious about returning to the office. Ask a manager about setting up a support group.
  • Remind yourself of why you are good at your job. Speak to colleagues who inspire you, ask questions and make a point of connecting with your team. All this will help you settle back in – and will assist your professional growth. 


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It’s all the wage

SALARY has overtaken flexibility as the top priority for job seekers, as the cost of living crisis bites.

A new report from recruiters Michael Page reveals 40 per cent of those looking to make a move are doing so to earn more money, compared to 30 per cent who want a more flexible working week.

Overall, 28 per cent of employees are actively looking for a new role, rising to 43 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds.

Doug Rode, MD UK&I at Michael Page, said: “A year ago, flexibility might have overtaken salary in the checklist of job priorities.

“However, with inflation rising and the cost of living crisis putting pressure on workers across the country, it’s clear that the tables have turned once again.”

Earn your spurs

BOOST your net income by scoring a hot new job.

From 10am to 2.30pm today, Tottenham Hotspur is hosting a jobs fair featuring 50 top employers including Google, HSBC, retailer JD Sports, Ikea and the police.

Roles range from entry level, trainees and apprenticeships to graduate and management positions. The event, being held at Spurs’ spectacular stadium in North London, is open to anyone over the age of 18. No pre-registration is required.

Sarah Ebanja, chief executive of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “We look forward to opening our doors to people looking for what could be a life-changing opportunity.”

Find out more at