- June 30, 2021
- Posted by: G. Clarke
- Category: Uncategorized
A term that’s easy to define; however, it’s often so difficult to encapsulate the real essence of an entrepreneur in the classroom. With this in mind, economics and business students were fortunate to attend today’s panel discussion featuring:
- Graham Sleep, Co-Founder & Director IA Growth Ltd (https://iagrowth.co.uk/);
- Ben Mason, CEO and Founder at globalbridge (https://www.myglobalbridge.com/);
- Barbara Armstrong OBE, MD P Three Business Development (https://www.pthreebusiness.com/);
- Natasha Boulding, CEO & Co-Founder at Sphera Ltd (https://sphera.uk/); and
- Mark Gardner, City Director/Program Leader at Startup Boost (https://www.foundersboost.com/).
During the discussions, several key themes emerged:
- Hard work and determination: As Ben Mason said, “leaving secure employment to go it alone is an enormous risk … you’ve got to back yourself. The back-to-back 16 hour days take their toll so you have got to be determined.”
- Mentoring: you never stop learning and shouldn’t believe your own hype. Don’t let your business idea become a vanity project. Entrepreneurs need that critical friend who will be brutally honest about their business.
- Resilience: you need to respond appropriately to constructive criticism. Oftentimes, brutal honesty will motivate you to prove your doubters wrong.
- Challenge: entrepreneurs cannot be experts in all areas. Their team needs to incorporate people with different skills such as a customer focused person, a people person, an analytical/finance person, and someone with that entrepreneurial flair.
- Presentation skills: practise your presentation skills so that you are prepared for that all important investment pitch. Practice makes perfect!
- Culture: start with the why. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make ‘loads of money’; however, think about why you started the business in the first place, ultimately, what is the purpose of that profit?
Enormous thanks to the panel. I look forward to welcoming you into college at some point in the future.