Start-ups will fuel the UK economy
We had a very busy Global Entrepreneur Week, with me mentoring as a marketing expert on Wednesday, as well as attending numerous inspiring events throughout the week. We had a GEW keynote introduction from Baroness Wilcox, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills; I saw Jo Malone speak at the Good Web Awards, and was inspired by speaker William Kendall at Platform who famously turned around both New Covent Garden Soup and Green & Blacks to deliver outstanding exit sums.
The central message at these three different events was clear, and compellingly consistent: start-ups have the power to turn around the economy, because they are the only entities that can create new jobs. At least two of these speakers also alluded to the comparable lack of power held by the politicians. Policy can enable and encourage entrepreneurship, but only entrepreneurial individuals can take the leap, follow an idea, and actually create jobs.
On somewhat of a roll, William then went on to argue that there is no role for big organisations anymore. Now those that know me, know how appreciative I am of my time learning best practise from within some leading global corporates, but I have to admit, in the passion of the moment, his argument was compelling. William began his grand finale pointing out that everybody is entrepreneurial to a lesser or greater degree; that we all make huge decisions for ourselves… booking exotic holidays, moving house, painting the bathroom pink (!). Yet in big organisations people become paralysed, unable to make a decision without a committee. These organisations are full of great people but people that have been disempowered. Williams’s call to action was for these people to either stand up and do something disruptive in that business or leave and do something disruptive themselves, and create jobs.
Whilst I do still believe that there is a very important role for big corporations, I am greatly inspired by the overarching message this Global Entrepreneur Week. The idea that our start-up and growth business community has the power to create jobs and define an economic recovery for the UK is pretty compelling, and great motivation on those rough days when we inevitably have them.