1. The hypeYes, there were Dragons. No enterprise-related event would be complete without Peter Jones (now taking over the management of Global Entrepreneurship Week), Duncan Bannatyne (pictured on Twitter with his copy of Real Business), and James Caan. But plenty of real people were there, too, and many are ready to do their bit to reinvigorate Britain. Any event that draws the King and Queen of Toiletries (Denys Shortt, DCS Europe; and Lara Morgan, formerly of Pacific Direct) gets my vote.
2. The really significant announcement of the dayThat the Treasury is consulting on a two-tier Enterprise Investment Scheme, which will offer EIS-style incentives to“friends and family” investors of small sums.
3. The fearRather than focusing on the age-old argument that the UK relies on its smaller businesses(we know, we know), the organizers rightly highlighted the fear factor that inhibits many aspiring entrepreneurs. Apparently, 50 per cent of people would like to run their own business; only five per cent actually do. The deeply impressive co-founder Emma Jones put the reduction of that discrepancy as her key target.
4. Global problem solvedFinally, and exclusively, I can reveal that, at StartUp Britain, the world’s men first discovered the solution to the long-standing problem of “how to be fresh when you’ve got to attend an evening black-tie do, and you can’t have a shower, and you’ve been traveling and attending events all day”? For at StartUp Britain I met Stu Jolley, the young founder of Wingman, producer of “deodorizing wipes” for men. Stu, who’s about to star in a BBC2 series on Britain’s Next Big Things, kindly gave me a pack of his new products on the morning. Eight hours later, after a further meeting in the City and while changing in the loos of a well-known London hotel before the CBI People Awards, I (and my neighbours on my table) praised young Jolley’s entrepreneurialism.
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