Conservative Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Sajid Javid had a very personal story to tell in a speech on Small Business Saturday. However, he had a wider message on core values. Part of the speech follows;
“This spirit of enterprise reaches across our nation.
I think of the young entrepreneur setting up his market stall at dawn…
…of the mother building her start-up’s website late into the night…
…of the parents working 24/7 to keep their shop doors open…
…taking chances on new lines of stock…
…roping in the family to meet demand…
…in fact, I know these people – because those were my parents.
They came to this country in 1964 with a dream:
To run a business of their own.
My dad started off working in a cotton mill.
He got a job driving buses.
Then he set up a market stall, part-time, selling ladies’ clothes.
Yes – driving a bus in the week; selling clothes at weekends.
Trade grew and grew – he got pitches in Rochdale, Manchester, Liverpool…
…travelling between them – yes – in a white van – and I’m proud of that.
Meanwhile, my mum, a seamstress, was at home, making clothes for the stall.
My abiding memory of childhood is falling asleep as the Singer sewing machine hammered away downstairs…
…they both worked such long hours…
…but I didn’t mind – and I’ve ended up knowing more about ladies’ clothes than any other male MP I’m sure.
Eventually, my parents reached their goal: they opened a shop in Bristol.
We lived above the shop – my parents and their five sons.
And that upbringing seared something onto our souls…
…a belief in enterprise, opportunity, reward for hard work.
So I know what it’s like for small businesses.
Your fortunes, your happiness – they fluctuate with the day’s takings.
A good day in the shop – and a good time is had at the dinner table that evening.
A bad month’s trade – and the mood couldn’t be worse.
That’s why I will always have the deepest respect for what you do.
So when I came to join a political party, there was only one option: the Conservative Party.
The party of small business – it’s my natural home.
Because Britain is a nation of shopkeepers, builders, hairdressers, manufacturers…
…and the Conservative Party respects them, supports them.
Because they share our values:
Hard work, ambition, determination – and a belief that if you put the hours in you should be rewarded.
Britain’s success is built on the back of such people – their businesses, and their hard work.
And we know that it is these people – with their energy, their enthusiasm and their enterprise – which make this country great. “