How to be an Entrepreneur? DON’T DIE

Last night we kicked off our monthly speaker series programme for 2012/13 with a discussion tackling the hot topic of “Entrepreneurship in the UK”.  

On the panel we had Oliver Pawle, NEF Co-founder and Chairman of Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann’s Board Services Practice; Lord Davies of Abersoch CBE, NEF co-founder and Chairman of Corsair Capital, Joe Cohen, founder & CEO of Seatwave and Michael Hayman, Co-founder of Seven Hills PR and co-founder of StartUp Britain.

They talked about what it’s like being an entrepreneur in the UK at the moment, role models, and industries ready for disruption. What advice did these established business leaders and inspiring entrepreneurs have to share with the audience of New Entrepreneurs, Alumni, host companies and corporate sponsors? The result was a call to arms, a war cry for the Class of 2013 to rise up and save the UK economy…



We are witnessing a renaissance in business. We are living in an age of increasing internationalisation and transparency. VC markets are beginning to shifty subtly. There is a new core of Business Angels emerging from the City. Increasingly, investors want to offer advice and mentorship, not just a cheque. With SEIS and the fixed interest and equity markets not looking as attractive, some people are choosing to invest in small businesses. There is a rising groundswell in support of starting your own company. This is the time to be an entrepreneur.



Think for yourself and follow your instincts. Take risks. Be Brave. Maintain your sense of disruption. Dissatisfaction is the greatest driver for innovation. Never be satisfied.



Entrepreneurs go through a series of “near-death” experiences. Sir Richard Branson is the standard bearer for success in the UK, but think of all the “failures” he has had. You will have to lead your team through incredibly difficult times. Keep going. The harder you work, the luckier you get. Be open about mistakes but don’t focus on what’s going wrong. It’s not over until the administrator takes your keys. Don’t die. STAY ALIVE.