Most entrepreneurs with ambitions to start their own business generally start by either funding the venture themselves or sourcing early stage investment from friends and family. This is what potential investors expect from very early stage start-up founders.
It takes a certain type of person to make a business successful, not everyone is cut out to start a business. The harsh reality is that the vast majority of businesses will fail, one in three start-ups collapse within the first three years, which is often down to having an insufficient support and expertise network.
There are no certainties in an entrepreneur's path, apart from one: you are bound to have a roller coaster ride. No matter how successful you end up being. It's never a straight line to success or failure
Talking to a friend at a networking event the other day, I asked what drove her to pay the hefty fee required to join the business group she belongs to. Referrals? Connections? Adding a few business cards to an already teetering pile? None of these.
These guys should be an inspiration to anyone who has ever wanted to set up their own business doing something they love, but hasn't, maybe because they haven't wanted to borrow the funds to do it with or simply didn't know how to get sta
There are several issues with the logistics of this - especially for micro businesses (a business being run by a single person) using the most basic sales software.
As CEO of a global network, I'm a firm believer in the strength of global connectivity - what people can learn, and achieve, when they connect with people from different countries.
At the age of *cough* 38, I am living the dream. I am living the dream of the life I want NOW. But it took me a long time to realise it, accept it, and let go of the dreams of my 20's. I am sure I am not alone when I mention the word "checklist" - ring any bells?
When Nichola Pinder had her baby daughter Jasmine in 2012 she struggled to lift her out of her cot. She had battled back problems over the years and was diagnosed with reactive arthritis after Jasmine's birth. Not only was lifting her daughter excruciatingly painful, but Nichola was afraid the activity would make her disabilities worse...
It's easy to be caught up in the excitement of a new business venture, but when it comes to choosing the person with whom you will spend more hours, than your spouse, it is important not to enter into a relationship you may live to regret - there is a lot at stake if goes wrong, but plenty to gain if you get it right.
Small businesses can feel the strain more than most, when it comes to late payments, but the impact of this can be reduced by following some practical steps to managing your cash-flow and tackling late payments at the earliest stage.
I would urge anyone wanting to enter this lucrative market to look at joining one of the many associations, and also writing to the commercial department of the British Embassy for advice. That's what they're there for. Its easy to look up on the Internet and should be the first place to visit if you know nothing of exporting.
Fear is often the driver behind hesitation to invest, usually in the form of "what if I can't afford it" and "I don't have the time"; so let's deal with those two bad boys right now and look at how to begin investing in yourself for awesome success.
In a country where regional identities are so important, building networks that bring cross sector supporters of entrepreneurship closer together is particularly vital. Businesses are not built over night and they need a range of support to get them going in the right direction.
While I believe creativity and focus have given me success; I don't think there is a single solution to teach entrepreneurship, but we are creating tools and opportunities that will help to teach it as a skill.
Startup 101 - large corporations are the enemy; big, hulking slow-moving behemoths who could only dream of the startup nirvana of bean-bag chairs, branded t-shirts and ping-pong tables.