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Regus defies downturn: revenues up 25 per cent

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The Essex entrepreneur set up Regus in 1989 after a trip to Brussels, where he noticed how many people were forced to work from their hotel rooms. Today, it operates over 1,000 business centres across the globe

When we interviewed Dixon last month, he’d just jetted in from the States. He was flying to Belgium a day later. "I’m flying around re-booting the whole company," he explained. "This downturn is the moment of battle. I’ve been running companies for years and I have to remember all the mistakes I’ve ever made and make sure I don’t make them again. I can’t just email all 5,442 employees, tell them we’re in the midst of a recession and expect them to act differently. It’s up to me to go out there, be a leader and re-train everyone."

Backed by the British Chambers of Commerce, Mark Dixon recently launched Get Started, a campaign to help business owners who are struggling with set-up costs. 50,000 British entrepreneurs will be signed up to Regus’s Businessworld card, giving them free access to the company’s network of business lounges and cafes – worth approximately £10m – in over 1,000 locations worldwide. "Just as you swipe your Oyster card to get on the tube, you swipe your Businessworld card to use an office for the day," says Dixon.

If anyone can kickstart the UK’s economy, it’s “this is my fourth recession” Dixon.

Mark Dixon will be speaking at this year’s Entrepreneurs’ Sumit alongside heavyweights Stelios, Julie Meyer and Ed Wray. To take advantage of the special discounted ticket rates for Real Business readers, book before the 1st April.

A full interview with Mark Dixon will appear in the April edition of Real Business. Subscribe here.

Related articles:Regus launches campaign to help startups

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