Last week I attended two events at each end of the country and found no evidence of a north-south divide when it comes to enthusiasm and dedication to business from entrepreneurs.In a week?s time my autobiography, Bog Standard Business (which, by the way, features some of my favourite Real Business columns) is published and I?ve been invited to talk about it at a number of events. I started off in my own manor, taking part in the Great British Business Show at London?s ExCel before heading north for my first ever visit to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to take part in the Entrepreneurs? Forum Conference “Together We Can Take on the World”. The atmosphere at the ExCel was pretty buoyant, which is what I expected, both as a result of the election and because London is booming at the moment. Heading up to Newcastle on the East Coast Main Line, I wasn?t sure if I would be greeted with similar enthusiasm. I couldn?t have been more wrong. The image we Londoners have of Newcastle is not always positive. Geordies have a reputation for drinking and being on the dole ? perhaps not helped by programmes like “Geordie Shore” ? but last week my mind was opened and I have to say it is a brilliant city full of great architecture, friendly people and a newly dynamic and growing economy. The Entrepreneurs? Forum has about 300 members, which support each other to drive the growth of private, owner-managed businesses in the North. Hundreds of business owners were in attendance at its event and they were really fired up about making a success of their business and the opportunities a growing economy will create. These were the people that are helping the North East economy defy expectations with the fastest rate of business startups in England, helping them to tackle the highest rate of unemployment in the country.
Read more from Charlie Mullins:
- Undoubtedly the biggest winner from the general election was UK business
- Use bank fines for apprenticeships, startup loans, mentoring and training
- Any initiative encouraging more girls into our sector should be embraced
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