‘Confidence is low, but we have plenty’

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we have never been short of a bit of entrepreneurial flair in the Capital – just ask Sir Tom Farmer.

But now, just as the UK is slipping back into recession, it seems that we have more of it than ever before.

There were an impressive 284 new firms launched in Edinburgh in March, the most since the city council started compiling such records in 2008, and possibly the most for many, many years.

If confidence is the commodity that is often in short supply during a recession, then it seems that we have plenty of it here.

The fact so many people are willing to take a chance on starting up a new business has got to be good news for the Capital.

Those that succeed will play a crucial role in the city’s economic recovery, as they take on new staff and support local services through their business rates. Don’t forget 90 per cent of firms in Edinburgh are classified as small businesses.

It won’t all be plain sailing, of course, as the economy continues to labour across the country. In fact, many of our new entrepreneurs will only be taking the plunge in the first place because they have been made redundant, perhaps by one of the city’s major employers.

The key will be how many of these new start-ups survive, first of all, and then go on to prosper.

It is heartening to see the city council preparing to offer new long-term support services to new businesses in an effort to stop so many of them going under in their first three years.

That could make all the difference to some of our new entrepreneurs.

Strength is within

Soldier Paul Lambert is an inspiration. Having lost both his legs in Afghanistan in a landmine blast he has refused to let life get the better of him.

With the support of fiancee, Gillian Spence, he is determined to walk down the aisle at their wedding with the aid of his new prosthetic limbs. The technology is helping him, but the greatest strength comes from within.

His battle to carry out basic tasks most of us take for granted is humbling.

We should all be mindful of his story next time we complain about the most trivial of matters. Some of us have things tough and still face the world with a smile. Good luck to them both.