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BUSINESS: Key to Success by Karen Jinks of www.karenjinks.co.uk


I often marvel at how UK Handmade has grown so fast in such a short space of time. We didn’t set out to have a community alongside our magazine, but it wasn’t long after our first issue that people were asking if they could join us. Thus the forum was born using the Ning platform and, in just 3 short years, we have over 4200 members with new people joining us daily.


UK Handmade started at the beginning of the Credit Crunch, when other magazines were folding because of lack of advertising revenue. We have seen people join us who have been made redundant as businesses make cuts or fold completely. We have seen people join us who have made the choice to leave the corporate world for a


20 | ukhandmade | Summer 2012


better ‘lifestyle’. No matter what their background, the people who join us seem to be looking for the same thing – support and community. Many people have taken the leap by setting up independent, creative businesses which are finding their niche and making a success of it! So why is it that small independents and artists survive when companies are dropping like flies all around us?


UK Handmade is one of the case study businesses selected to be profiled by The Forum of Private Business, as a supporter of their Get Britain Trading campaign. Last month I was invited to attend their Get Britain Trading event at the House of Commons and, despite my initial concerns about feeling out of place, I didn’t feel like a fish out of water.


I was in a group of 50 people representing all types of small, family owned businesses from across the UK; some were new start- ups and some were established and worth thousands. The one thing we all had in common was that we were all there to tell Mark Prisk MP that things needed to change. The corporate world is broken and the old corporate business model no longer fulfils the needs of a changing consumer landscape. All of us in attendance stood as testament to the fact that businesses can succeed, despite the obstacles that are thrown our way in an increasingly difficult environment, by embracing a business ethos of support and community.


During my time at the event it became apparent that the key to


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