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11 Nov

Craft business: StartUp Saturday

The biggest ever StartUp Saturday is taking place on 23rd November at The British Library - and it could help you and your craft business.

An online business network is set to launch the biggest ever StartUp Saturday event for would-be entrepreneurs during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Enterprise Nation has teamed up with the British Library to host the mammoth start-up event on Saturday November 23, which it hopes will help hundreds of people to become their own boss.

The start-up day follows a StartUp Saturday UK tour to libraries in major cities including Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham where entrepreneurs have been busy starting-up across the UK.
Record numbers of people are starting businesses in the UK. Last year more than 484,000 new businesses were registered with 70% of those starting small at home.

The day will be hosted by best-selling author and small business expert Emma Jones who is the founder of Enterprise Nation and co-founder of national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain.

We caught up with Emma to find out more about it.

What can you tell us about the event?

"It's going to be the biggest StartUp Saturday ever! Attendees will pick up all they need to know to start a business, from coming up with an idea to making sales and keeping their finances in order. What's special about this is we have also invited back three previous StartUp Saturday attendees to ask how their business plans have progressed since they were in the learning seat!"

How successful have previous Startup Saturdays proved?

"I know I'm biased but they are great events. They sell out months in advance and on the day it's a very intimate experience in that 35 people come together to share their ideas for a business and, by the time they leave five hours later, they have the content they need to make it happen and what you can positively see is they also have more confidence to make it happen. For me, StartUp Saturday is successful as it helps people realise their dreams. My challenge on 23rd November will be to ensure the experience retains its intimacy with lots more people in the room!

What sort of business ideas have you come across at these events?

"Incredible ideas!  I had a welder who has come up with a new invention for heating baby food, a young screen print textile designer, a Russian lawyer wanting to go her own way and an entrepreneur who is rapidly building her reputation as The Shoe Consultant. From shoes to screen printing, literally hundreds of business ideas have come forth at StartUp Saturday. The ones I like most are the niche ones - people with a clear product or service they expect to sell to a well defined audience."

What's the first thing you need to do when thinking of starting up a business?

"To have a plan. I refer to a business plan as a route map as it helps you to figure out which way you're going. It's easy to remember what to include as it spells I'M OFF:
• I - what's your Idea
• M - which Market are you going to serve
• O - what Operations do you need to get started
• F - is for Finances and involves doing a basic cash flow forecast and seeing if there's a gap which requires raising funds
• F - the final F for Friends ie surround yourself with a support network"

What advice do you have to help creative businesses set themselves apart from the competition?

"To tell your story and have an opinion. Oh and to also use great imagery that accentuates your brand. With social media and the ability to blog, produce ebooks, appear on webchats, it's perfectly possible to quickly become an expert in your field. This will get you noticed."

What pitfalls did you come across as a first-time business owner?

"Mmmm, I don't think there are pitfalls as such but you do have to go into business with your eyes open and knowing it will take hard work and commitment. I also suggest people spend roughly a third of their time on three things to avoid any so-called pitfalls. Those three are:

Keeping customers happy
Finding more customers ie business development
Balancing the books - making sure cash is coming in on time and you're up to date with the tax man!"

What support is available to creative entrepreneurs from Enterprise Nation?

"Enterprise Nation offers expert advice through our blog posts, peer support through member meet-ups and a voice to government. There are also lots of events we host; from StartUp Saturday to a series to help you grow. We have lots to offer to creative entrepreneurs - all at 

Why the collaboration with Tilly Walnes?

"Tilly was a former StartUp Saturday attendee so I wanted to invite her back so she could share with everyone what she's been up to since .. and whether being on the TV has gone to her head!"

How will this event differ from previous StartUp Saturdays?

"There will be more people attending and we have three special guests. Apart from that, the event is the same in that it will deliver all the tips and techniques people need to know when starting out. It promises to be a most lively StartUp Saturday - I can't wait!"

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