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End of Holiday Season

28th August 2013

Is it just because the kids are going back to school?  Is it just because you can now get hold of those elusive customers, who, for the last few weeks, all seem to have been away on holiday all the time?  Is it just because Oxfordshire and the region are enjoying some really quite nice late summer weather?

Perhaps not; maybe there is some hope that the economy is picking up, or at least stabilising at a level of activity that allows those of us operating in the world of SMEs actually to plan!  Uncertainty has dogged the business world since 2008, but arguably now is the best opportunity we have seen for some time to dig out those innovative ideas which been gathering dust, and look at putting them into practice.  Admittedly, raising finance is still not easy, but there are one or two lenders here in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire who are keen to support start-ups and expanding businesses.  And, despite the early signs of a nascent upturn, the central banks seem to be sending the message that interest rates will stay low for the foreseeable future.

Of course, if borrowing is not right for your business, do not despair, as Oxfordshire has an active, healthy community in which equity can be raised to support growth and innovation.  This morning I'm off for my regular stint on the "Dry Run" panel at Oxford Early Investments, helping another batch of exciting entrepreneurs to hone their pitches in time for next week's presentations to potential investors.  Even lacking a revenue stream or any form of security, an environment exists which allows these businesses to seek out the capital they need to bring about the next generation of wealth-creating enterprises.

I, for one, am feeling optimistic!