Betfair’s Ed Wray: “Survival is key”

It’s a stark pronouncement: "Some businesses in this room will fail", but it’s a worthwhile reality check, believes Wray. "Don’t read or believe that we are out of this recession," he says. "I won’t believe in green shoots until I see the whole plant."

Wray admits that this is his first recession. "I thought that I started Betfair in dark times," he says. "But that was a walk in the park."

The Betfair founder had trouble raising finance for his online betting site back in 1999. "Those were the days before the crash when all you need to do was stick a ‘.com at the end of your company and they threw money at you. We couldn’t raise any. It was quite a result!" But raising finance today is "nigh impossible" he adds.

But its not all doom and gloom from this, out first speaker at the Entrepreneurs’ Summit. "If we can get through this, we can get through anything," he says. "If you build your business to survive these times, once the economy turns you will fly."

"Some of the businesses in this room are the household names of tomorrow," he concludes.

The 2009 Real Business Entrepreneurs’ Summit was held in association with Investec Private Bank.

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