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The lonely world of the entrepreneur…

Mmm. Attended an interesting session at No 10 Downing Street yesterday where we were hosted by Daniel Korski, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, and the human dynamo Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation.

The purpose of the meeting was to share thoughts and ideas on barriers and opportunities for entrepreneurs in the UK today. And furthermore, what might government do to help promote the cause of the little person struggling to bring their idea to market.

By its very nature, entrepreneurship comes from individuals who operate alone in the initial stages armed only with an idea, passion and boundless energy. They must rely on their instincts to quickly pick up the skills, knowledge and contacts they need to make it work. Some start-ups argued there is nothing to prepare you for this other than genetic predisposition, nurture or happy accident. Certainly when you make that dash for ‘enterprise oxygen’ it quickly becomes clear that there is a lot of rhetoric but slightly less practical help.Particularly for the mid-life striver who has had a gut full of corporate life and has determined that it’s now or never to live their dream.

However it would appear that help is on the horizon.

I learned that the popular culture view of what it takes to be an entrepreneur might soon be better informed than the current zeitgeist of Alan Sugar and the hilarious and often idiotic coterie of wannabe entrepreneurs in The Apprentice. David Young, Enterprise Adviser to the Prime Minister has been asked to conduct a “brutal” review of the relationship of government to small firms and will soon be announcing the results of this. We gather that this will expand on how education, and tertiary education in particular, is sharpening up its act in helping its cohorts prepare practically for an entrepreneurial life in the outside world. The old support system supplied by corporate life can no longer be taken for granted. Indeed for the entrepreneur the system does not exist. We have to be jack of all trades and masters of many..including accounting; legal; project delivery; marketing; consumer insight; commercial trading and property management to name but a few.

Listening to the views and demonstrable skills around the table it was humbling to feel the support of all in each others ventures. A sort of emerging mutuality of purpose, kinship and waving on loudly

It becomes clear that forging ahead and launching your own business is not for the faint hearted.That said, all 20 or so members of the meeting were united in one simple fact. Running your own business behind your killer idea is the most glorious, terrifying, stimulating and emotionally rewarding experience. Often on the same day.Screen shot 2013-10-10 at 12.04.01

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