From out of the gloom has risen a new breed of entrepreneur

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THE economic slump had a drastic effect across Yorkshire but caused many people to start up their own business ventures and those brave decisions are now paying off.

Small businesses across the country are enjoying record levels of confidence, according to a recent survey which has highlighted their role in the economic recovery.

More than half of those surveyed for the Federation of Small Businesses expect to grow over the next 12 months, with many likely to take on new staff.

The results mean that although the dramatic economic slump of recent times had a drastic impact across Yorkshire, for many the outcome has been surprisingly positive.

A number of people were suddenly faced with life-changing decisions. And the path they took in setting up their own business, while at times daunting and fraught with pitfalls, has led to exciting personal, as well as financial, rewards.

Family and friends have been cited by many entrepreneurs as a huge support to new ventures, as has the expert help which is also available, from banks such as RBS which has business managers based across the region to support new start-ups, and help set people on what in many cases has been an exhilarating journey.

The FSB helps promote and protect the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. Formed in 1974, it has around 200,000 members.

Simon Williams, FSB North Yorkshire regional chair, said that those who overcome the initial fears, often regard self-employment as the best thing they have ever done.

“Setting up and running a business can be a daunting prospect, and it is a lot of hard work.

“But it is also one of the most rewarding things that you can do and can be one of the most positive changes you can make for yourself and the community you live in.”

A number of entrepreneurs have become household names in recent times, with programmes like Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice giving viewers some understanding of how to become self-employed.

Mr Williams said: “In a society dominated by celebrity culture, celebrity entrepreneurs have emerged as inspirational figures. But we at the FSB believe that anyone who has a good idea and takes a risk to put it into practice and grow a business is an entrepreneur.

“To start a business I would suggest having a good idea and a good business plan.

“Whether these are developed with professionals or friends, choose people you trust to tell you when something needs changing or that it is a great idea and go for it. If the idea and plan are good you will never look back.”

The economic climate is improving and this has opened the door to more opportunities for those wanting to start a new business.

But with many potential pitfalls, especially on the financial side, it is always wise to seek expert support.

Banks such as RBS have business managers who specialise in different types of business, as well as covering different parts of the region.

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