We Need Entrepreuners

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February 15, 2021

When people hear the word “Entrepreneur” they automatically assume that person is a rich individual who has endless pots of cash; that would describe people like Sir Richard Branson, Lord Alan Sugar and several others for that matter, but the vast majority are simply folk trying to launch a business idea. Following the dream is undoubtedly a risky business and can take you from hero to zero very quickly; for some, it can cost them their homes, savings, marriages and in extreme cases, even their lives. However, for those that succeed it is an incredible journey and provides a a degree of satisfaction that would probably be impossible to better.

The reality of course is it isn’t easy, otherwise we would all be doing it, wouldn’t we? Establishing and growing a successful business is incredibly challenging and in the current COVID-19 environment, every difficulty is magnified many times over. For those like myself who incorporated a start-up business post-pandemic, it has felt like all the assistance normally available has been ripped away. On the finance front, all lenders whether government backed, private or High Street banks were effectively closed to start-up companies; to be fair, all were understandably focused on keeping existing businesses with an established trading record afloat, to protect the economy and assist those forced to furlough staff. This meant that the financial risk to entrepreneurs wishing to create new businesses post-pandemic was enormous, leaving a stark choice, self-fund and accept the risk, or forget the dream. My concern is that many will choose the latter option rather than accept the huge risk to their personal finances.
A lack of start-up companies will inevitably have a serious impact on our economic recovery post-BREXIT and the pandemic, so it seems to me that the Government must address this critical issue as a priority. Encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs to incorporate new businesses will help our country to build back better and to ensure we remain a global financial power as we do so. The reality, as I see it, is that insufficient focus is being placed on re-introducing the funding for start-ups, depressing the number of new companies entering the market; lack of government guidance simply compounds the problem.
The lack of general business support that should be available to start-up companies is also very worrying; in many ways the numerous LEP’s, Growth Hubs, Business Councils and Local Authorities are currently experiencing a form of paralysis. This results in unanswered emails, phone calls that are not being responded to and a reluctance to engage. This lethargy isn’t present only in these support agencies, but rather it is increasingly evident across industry as a whole. I completely understand the pressures we are all under as a result of COVID and do not underestimate the impact on our lives, but I do wonder if too many people interpret working from home as an excuse not to do a full day’s work. That sounds incredibly harsh and very judgemental, but I do believe evidence bears my concerns out; it’s just as easy to answer a phone or email from home, yet so many do not attract a response.
I guess some of my frustration is driven by the realisation that the success of our financial recovery as a nation will depend on hard work, commitment and mutual support from all of us. It won’t be easy, it will take a long time and is something we will only achieve together. We need to learn from this terrible pandemic, show compassion, care for others, be respectful and inclusive. Support our entrepreneurs, we need their input and new businesses to help drive the regeneration of our economy.


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