The mother of invention ...

So the British economy grew by 0.8% in the last quarter.

This statistic is a stark contradiction to the economic news from all sectors of the media in the last month - which frankly had left me feeling rather despondent about the future. 

But putting aside those feelings of doom and gloom, I have to ask the question:  where is this growth coming from? 

I saw a small slice of the answer to this question when I went to the Baby Show last week.  The vast majority of companies exhibiting were small to medium sized British companies, all at different stages of the growth curve, and all exploring the possibilities for growth. 

My day at the Baby Show made me realise I’d been looking in the wrong place for "the green shoots of recovery”, and as I talked to exhibitors I heard some truly outstanding business case studies of product development, planning and persistence in coming to market.   The sheer level of innovation was breath-taking.  And these were not big businesses, with "blue sky” thinking that aims at "creating markets”.  They were small companies, with a unique idea, selling to an existing market. 

And what was their mindset during the set-up phase?   Universally, the stories I heard were from stay-at-home mothers who were looking for something (a product or a service) that wasn’t available.  Rather than settle for a second-best, they set up a business to service that need. 

It truly seems that, if you forgive the pun, necessity is the "mother” of invention - and this has given me something to think about during the next, expected economic downturn.

Ruth Ashton