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.
In a country where young people make up a significant proportion of the available labour force, yet unemployment rates for 20 to 24yearolds have been estimated to be as much as five times greater than those for older adults, Building Young Futures works hard to support hard to reach people in places where there are few jobs or prospects for the bulging youth population. What's the alternative?
As a business and enterprise coach I am frequently asked about the kinds of skills and qualities I think new business owners need to develop. Now, everyone is different and we all come with a unique skill set. But there are three skills I believe to be universal if you are going to flourish as a freelance, self employed person or entrepreneur.
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.
I for one wear the 'Alpha Female' badge with pride! To me, this stands for being highly charged, positive and a people-oriented person. It truly frustrates me that the label often carries a negative connotation - it's equated to being ruthless, nasty or needlessly combative to succeed at all costs. Those who embody the latter approach aren't setting an healthy example for the next wave of young female leaders, don't you think?
If you're familiar with the UK business market, you will be well acquainted with the fact that 99.9% of all UK companies are SMEs*. Needless to say, this over-simplifies the landscape and the differences between companies that are classed as micro, small or medium in size. From independent retailers and tech start-ups to small food chains and larger hospitality companies, their growth ambitions and challenges vary wildly...
This year I attended both the Conservative and Labour Party conferences in my capacity as Chief Executive of the charity Young Enterprise. It's now a couple of weeks since the conferences and I've had time to digest and reflect not only on what was achieved there but also where it was achieved...