The world needs more entrepreneurs.
No, this isn’t the title of the new James Bond movie, but an inspiring gathering of young entrepreneurs organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales in the imposing setting of the Institution of Engineers headquarters.
We heard from five different entrepreneurs including Lucian Tarnowski who runs an innovative web networking business called Brave New Talent and also from Chrissie who, despite not being able to read ten years ago, is now at the heart of some fantastic social enterprises in the heart of London East End. Each speaker was different in background and outlook and their enterprises directly reflected this.
One of the key messages from this gathering was that the best people to advise entrepreneurs are other entrepreneurs. It’s why mentoring is such a success – it’s that personal one on one contact with someone who understands what it’s like to own a business and who has been through the same challenges.
It’s also why I think that microfinance has so much to offer. The link of loans with hands-on experience is exactly what small and medium-sized businesses need to work their way through all the different things that get chucked at you. I had the chance to mentor several young firms when I ran my business and I know it works – and it’s really rewarding.
So if we want more entrepreneurs, we need to help existing entrepreneurs lend their experience. I hope that provides a quantum of solace!