Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day
In recognition of the valuable role small businesses and the self employed play in economies worldwide the UN has designated today Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day (those employing up to 250 people but generally fewer) to raise awareness of the contribution made by these enterprises, which according to data provided to the UN by the International Council for Small Business, amounts to 60-70% of total employment and 50% of GDP.
Across the countryside sector many people are striking out on their own and building small consultancies, indeed it was such a venture that saw the creation of CJS. The impact of these small businesses is seen in so many of the projects running across the country: ecologists carrying out environmental impact assessments and mitigation, countryside contractors working on rights of way maintenance, freelance rangers leading guided walks and teachers running environmental education activities; often on their own, sometimes as part of a bigger project and occasionally as sole contractor on the job for a larger organisation. Our landscape would look very different without them all.
If you're thinking of joining them here are a few articles to help.
In our Focus on Employability Richard Compton of Ecology on Demand wrote about making the leap into self employment, outlining some of things to be aware of when starting out but also lots of very helpful hints on how to prepare and to succeed. [here]
Oonagh Nelson of Contract Ecology, another of the SME consultancies, wrote about interview skills to help you become a valued member of a team. [here]
And to help you on your journey to employment, or to promote your own freelance and small business, James Common explained why writing for free might just be the perfect opportunity for you. [here]
If you are already a freelancer then you can advertise your services free on our sister site Countryside-Careers.Com and if you find yourself in need of a helping hand but don't want or are not able to advertise a full job then see the freelancers already advertising their availability and skills.
I may be the editor of CJS but we’re a micro business and everyone pitches in help with what's required we've all learnt new skills along the way, from how to assemble desktop furniture and office chairs to writing our small sections of computer code, Amy's a dab hand with the hoover and right now for me now it's time for me to mend the printer (again!), you need to be a jack of all trades and with luck a master of one or two.