It’s official. The UK is the best place to be in Europe if you’re an entrepreneur. In fact, we’re only behind America, Australia and Canada as the world’s number one hub for burgeoning Richard Bransons.
At QuickBooks, we’ve supported entrepreneurs run their businesses more effectively by using our financial management software, allowing them to spend time on growing their empire, not struggling with invoices and VAT reports.
We wanted to recognise the excellent work that entrepreneurs do in the UK, and that’s why we’ve sponsored the second annual Great Britain Entrepreneur Awards (GBEA), taking place in London this November.
In a new series of interviews, we’ll be speaking to some of the judges who will decide who will walk away with some of the UK’s most coveted entrepreneurial awards.
First up is Ben Dyer, co-founder of The National Enterprise Challenge, an initiative set up to encourage and inspire young people to reach their full potential, irrespective of their social or economic background.
Why is entrepreneurialism taking off in the United Kingdom?
I think shows like Dragons Den and The Apprentice have helped business become more ‘sexy’ and appeal to the masses. Couple this with the economic climate, lack of jobs and people being made redundant, there has never been a better time to start a business. The government should also be credited with the upturn. The introduction of The Start Up Loans Scheme has seen thousands of people having access to funding and support who otherwise would have struggled through traditional means. Finally, schools teaching young people the skills they need to become entrepreneurs through programmes such as our National Enterprise Challenge have really helped people consider a career in running a business as a realistic and viable option.
What makes an entrepreneur?
First of all you need to have the ‘Mindset’. Can you get out of bed in the morning when nobody is forcing you? Can you work for little reward during the first few months, years even? If so then you have half a chance of becoming an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs also have to be passionate about their offering. If you are not passionate then you will be rubbish at it and you will end up being part of the 50% of small businesses that fail in the first two years. The final skill you need to master is the ability to sell and to influence. If you are unable to sell your product or service to buyers/investors or the public then its doubtful anybody else will ever be able to.
Why are awards, specifically the GBEA, important for entrepreneurs, and why should we be celebrating?
Awards like GBEA are great! Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely place so having the chance to celebrate your achievements with other like minded people and the networking opportunity which this brings is invaluable.
Why is Great Britain the perfect place for entrepreneurs?
Britain has a great and proud history of entrepreneurial flair and talent. From the TV to The World Wide Web, we have been responsible for some of the biggest inventions in recent history. Britain has one of the highest degrees of free market openness, world class education and a government who support the idea of people becoming business owners. The barriers to starting a business in Great Britain are also decreasing with anybody wanting to start a business being able to incorporate online from as little as £14 in under one hour! Couple this with our unrivalled heritage and culture, where else could be a better place to be an entrepreneur?
Many thanks to Ben from the National Enterprise Challenge for talking to us. You can enter your business to be recognised at The Great Britain Enterprise Awards – applications close on July 31st.