The ninth edition of Hiscox’s DNA of an entrepreneur report analysed the opinions of 4,000 owners and senior executives across France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the US and the UK. What it found was encouraging – “record numbers reporting growth.” Heritage Angel is one such company, appreciating many of the survey’s positive findings.
Some 71 per cent of companies are enjoying a new-found optimism and an increase in customers, Hiscox explained. And oddly enough, in the case of Heritage Angel, Brexit plays a large role. Of course, founder Carolyn Lloyd Brown is by no means a fan, believing it to be one of the worst events to happen in her lifetime, but admits it affected her thinking in terms of marketplace and growth areas.
While she trained as an archaeologist, Brown wasn’t fond of “digging,” instead launching a company that would make the most of her want to share her love of learning and understanding with others.
Indeed, Heritage Angel creates, according to Brown, “those memorable days out with family and friends”. She is in a ways a heritage consultant, working with clients to develop and invest in the likes of museums, exhibitions and tourism projects.
However, she exclusively told Real Business: “Cuts in public spending have led to a very stagnant market.” She added that Brexit was “a total disaster,” which led her to pursue collaboration with companies in China.
(1) What prompted you to become a serial entrepreneur?
Confidence and opportunity I guess. It wasn’t really a plan just having done it once and learned good business (and life) lessons, feeling confident enough to try again and also to embrace change within a business.
(2) What would you attribute as the factors leading to your second company’s success?
Self belief was an important factor in creating Heritage Angel, coupled with market knowledge, a sense of realism and good business (financial) sense – so not drawing silly money out of the company for example.
(3) How have cuts in public spending impacted the market?
My experience is that the dramatically reduced government support of the heritage/culture sector has positively encouraged the sector to change the way it thinks and operates, becoming more entrepreneurial and business focused.
BUT it has also meant a loss of good and experienced people from key roles (in institutions and local authority commissioning positions, a heavy reliance on volunteers to staff services and the need to always bid for funding to deliver new exhibitions and initiatives).
Also, there has been a great rise in seeking private sector sponsorship which is a new challenge for many, and is harder for those outside London.
Read on to find out how Heritage Angel found its way to China