By Brian Chernett

I shall be sharing the wisdom that has been collected used and shared since I became a CEO 40 years ago.

11 years ago I founded the Academy for Chief Executives to inspire other Chief Executives to learn experientially through a powerful process containing speaker workshops action learning sets and coaching and mentoring. The organisation now has 350 members plus a community of speakers and alumni totalling well over 1000 Leaders, from every sector in industry.

Today we run 37 group meeting each month with groups of non competing CEOs primarily from the SME sector, we use 37 speakers every month and over 100 issues, challenges or opportunities are discussed every month. I leave you to imagine the wisdom and learning that is generated.

I shall be sharing with you my learning as well as that of members of The Academy community, over the coming months and intend you to be inspired and become the best that you can be.

The first thing I would like to share with you is how important the SME market is and what important part of UK PLC you are!

Small and medium sized enterprises in the UK are growing year-on-year. The drive amongst senior personnel for continuous learning and mentoring as a way to stay ahead of the competition has seen a dramatic increase in the membership of the UK’s leading institution for people running SMEs.

10 facts about the SME market in the UK

1. There are 4.3 million business enterprises in the UK, 99.4% of them are considered to be SMEs

2. 10% of the UK population are self-employed

3. SME businesses contributed over £1,200 billion to the UK economy in 2004

4. 51.3% of the turnover of UK businesses comes from SMEs

5. Over 13 million people are employed by SMEs

6. The number of SMEs in the UK grew by 300,000 between 2003 and 2004

7. There are an estimated 2.72 million sole proprietors in the UK

8. 44% of UK SMEs export to Europe

9. 23% of UK manufacturers are SMEs

10. Asian business contributes some 10% to UK GDP