We are about to start using video interviews as an integral part of our screening process at the New Entrepreneurs Foundation. We have done this in order to increase significantly the number of people we can see (albeit virtually) before making an initial shortlist. As we are about to open applications for this year's group of New Entrepreneurs Foundation students, I thought it would be helpful to provide some tips on how to do a good video interview.
Rather than looking for similarities and differences between different countries, personally I'd rather hear about how entrepreneurs in different countries are being brought together and how knowledge, skills and opportunities are being shared across national borders which, let's face it, in this global, digital world don't actually mean that much.
One week, 3,200 events and over 300,000 participants. It's been a record-breaking Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 for the UK, with more people taking part in activities than ever before in the 10-year history of a week dedicated to enterprise in the country.
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.
You know things are starting to look up with the economy when debate turns to possible interest rate rises. With recent unemployment and GDP figures suggesting the long-awaited upturn may well be here, it was with great pleasure that we were able to announce, at the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013, that entrepreneurs agree a new era is afoot.
While working as a consultant in London a few years ago, I remember it as a "suit city" like New York. However, over the past two years, a lot of investment has been committed to change this - as evidenced by the Sirius Programme. This shows that the British government is taking this movement sirius-ly and will support its growth over the coming years.
moving away from corporate life to start a new venture is a big step to take, but it can be a life-changing leap forward, as those who have done it have found. And by doing the same you will have the opportunity to make your mark on the world in a way that would never be possible if you stay with a corporate organisation.
Leaders would do well to take a leaf out of Pope Francis' book on how to be a true leader by actions and not just words. He welcomes the homeless for lunch, shows infinite patience to a child running around while delivering a keynote speech and responds personally to people who contact him. Leadership is about serving others faithfully.
Where are we now, and where are we going? Twenty or fifteen years ago we could rely on mainstream institutions to answer these questions for us. Westminster, Fleet Street, Big Business - they told us what the good life really meant, and how to live it. Yet fast forward to 2013 and these are no longer the bedrocks of society; their legitimacy sapping in the wake of perpetual scandals, their decline accelerated by the worst economic crash in a century.