A large survey of small businesses in the UK found that a majority (82%) expect to invest in skills and technology as their business returns strongly to the 2022 pandemic.
A survey by the Small Business Support Network, Enterprise Trust, and TSB Bank, which surveyed a company founded by more than 250 women, found that two-thirds (66%) expected their business to grow, fueling the question. . on skilled workers.
But 69% of respondents said there are not enough candidates in the market with relevant skills that companies plan to invest in training their employees over the next 12 months.
Emma Jones, CBE, Enterprise Nation founder, said: “It’s clear that women-run companies are struggling to hire the right level of skills. The strong recovery and optimistic outlook for the next 12 months means they are getting their hands dirty and planning to invest to ensure their growth targets are met.
“For many, they are entering a new territory and transitioning to training requires them to build new internal structures to make it work. Recruiting and training employees is key to growth and avoiding burnout. This is good news and a sign that the resilient small business community is maturing and growing.”
“Skills investment is exactly what we need to see in the UK as we enter a new phase of sustainable growth from 2022 onwards,” said Helen Booth, Director of the Enterprise Trust, founded by FTSE 250 entrepreneur Richard Harbin.
“The women who run this business actively plan to invest in their workforce, but they need support and access to advice. “The more businesses grow, the greater the hunger for skills, and if we fail to achieve that goal, the economy will suffer.”
On the issue of access to experienced employees, 63% said they felt it was their responsibility to invest in relevant training, but 80% admitted that they do not have a structured employee training program.
While the majority (26%) said they wanted to use appropriate private training courses, the second quarter said they would consider hiring candidates and training from government programs such as Skills for Life (23%) and 16% said they would provide training. Through apprenticeships.
Kay Subamas, founder and CEO of Leafage, a London-based company that promotes mental well-being through interactions with plants, hired a new employee in 2021 using an already closed KickStart plan. With limited resources and time. It was an important decision.
He said, “I was very busy, but I also wanted to increase my ability to do more work.
“We had a demand, but our resources and people are limited. The KickStart scheme was really excellent. You get paid to train someone, and also money to pay the salary.
“It’s a big risk until you find out if this person is going to be okay. KickStart took that risk.
“Obviously I don’t want to be a small business owner forever. I want to grow While I had no experience in fundraising yet, I felt that if I could get someone to help me run Leafage, I could focus on growing the business and attracting more sales. So the next step might be to raise funds.
The survey found that 46% of women-led companies developed new products or services during the pandemic and nearly a quarter (24%) changed their business model. Most agreed that they took advantage of the pandemic opportunity to expand their business, but felt they were spending all of their time working.
Although the experience of the pandemic increased resilience (66%), at least half said burns were a major concern, along with political uncertainty (55%) and economic instability (51%).
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