Cruising around in a yacht, the sun is shining, and I'm with Playboy bunnies. That's what I had in mind when I decided to be an entrepreneur. I was 15. It's easy to imagine successful entrepreneurs living the good life. Fast cars, private jets, yachts, St.Tropez, champagne, sunshine and rainbows, and for me girls in bikinis, lots of girls in bikinis.
Almost half a million businesses have been set up in the UK so far this year. That proves there is a huge amount of entrepreneurial spirit in this country. I was delighted to mark Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) with the announcement of the 10,000th loan awarded by the government-funded Start-Up Loans, of which I am chairman.We've lent £51million to entrepreneurs in under 18 months, ensuring people who are passionate about business can play their part in reviving the economy and creating jobs. But GEW has also reminded me why I want to challenge Britons to do even better.
Every good business knows that you can never let a crisis go to waste. To turn this crisis into our opportunity we must, like Mr Meyer and his fire station, start from the basics. The first flagship and most daring policy of an entrepreneurial public sector would be making Britain the best place on earth to start a new business.
Yesterday I caught up with Eric Brotto the lead organiser of London Startup Weekend. Startup Weekend is a worldwide organisation of entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It claims to be the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.
It is week six of eight for the startups inside The Irish Times. Each has entered the The Irish Times Digital Challenge in the hope of launching new products and services with the 153 year old news paper, and each hopes to be the winner of the €50,000 convertible loan note prize from DFJ Espirit. However, with two weeks to go, it's getting tough.
Admit it, we all think it. Everyone wonders what that trip out would have been like if you'd had your own chauffeur. Well the classy alternative to the traditional London black can is here. Uber has hopped over the pond to offer Londoners a taste of the chauffeur driven lifestyle and it's pretty unique demand led dynamic pricing model.
It is week five of eight. Things are starting to come together for the startups in The Irish Times Digital Challenge.