What is the right size to thrive in a recession?

One of my favourite observations of the last couple of days comes from James Cherkoff who runs his own small business who asks:

"What do I say the next time my commercial bank asks for a solid business plan?"

Pot calling kettle, and all that. Anyway, the current crisis really demonstrates how everything and everybody is linked to everything else. And in particular that trust (between large financial institutions) is the bedrock upon which the 21st century networked economy is all about.

So our economic fate is increasingly intertwined with others and we are experiencing our first real networked global recession as Charlie Leadbeater says. This obviously means we have to find £400bn pounds when our banks get too creative, but it also creates plentiful opportunities if we know how to embrace them. So, ever the optimist, I am wondering whether, can we turn this to our advantage given the diversity and connectedness of the UK.

Desperation is the father of necessity (with necessity being the mother of invention) and it may well be the smaller agile businesses who can find the bigger opportunities in the next 12 months, though obviously the corporates ought to find it easier to whether the storm i.e. Small is Beautiful but Big is Powerful.

The crisis is a fascinating reminder for large swathes of the population (and estate agents) in how markets can go down as well as up, but more importantly is possibly a once in a generation opportunity to really radically redesign and rethink our politics, economics, and society for the better.


  1. I’ve been hearing a great deal about who this is not the worst time to startup a new company, which is good whilst I’m crafting a rough business plan! But to do anything useful we’ll still need funds – especially to innovate outside the software sphere, or to involve younger people (who tend not to have savings they can live off whilst working for free to get a business off the ground). But then if this stuff was simple, it wouldn’t be a challenge 🙂 and that’s why we want to do something…
    Btw, I’m also working on http://www.seriouschange.org.uk – which I think ties in to your “political/social” innovation category. It’s time to look at ways the UK can handle climate change that are pragmatic and will both work and be feasible, and that’s going to mean government action. We’ll be making that happen if we can.

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