What is the problem?
This year should be the year of the entrepreneur.
One in 18 people around the world now owns their own business, and experts believe that the current COVID-19 pandemic is by no means an obstacle, but could help millions of people who use lockdown to develop their potentially multi-billion dollar business ideas perfect.
This week’s Stephen Cole agenda is all about what makes successful entrepreneurs stand out from the crowd and what it takes to become the next Jeff Bezos.
Meet the expert
Investment guru and businesswoman Deborah Meaden is best known as one of the “dragons” on UK television show Dragons’ Den, in which she and other successful businesspeople use their own money to invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs.
She tells Stephen Cole that she has had an entrepreneurial fire since she was seven when she started her first improvised business – a makeshift roadside florist.
When she was only 19 she started her first real business – importing and exporting ceramics – and later joined her family’s amusement park business. She then headed a management buyout for a vacation park company that made her millions.
What does Meaden say?
Meaden tells Stephen Cole that while many organizations are about learning, there seem to be “some common traits among entrepreneurs”.
One of them stays confident and doesn’t go for failure when some businesses inevitably don’t do what you expect. “You are chasing this dream, you will not give up,” says Meaden. “It’s an essential part of being a successful businessman or woman.
“It’s that ability to be overcome – you see beyond obstacles,” she adds. “They just say, ‘How do we get over it?'”
What she is looking for when choosing a potential business partner, she knows exactly what she wants: “You have to have a really clear idea of what you are doing and what you want to achieve. And I have to trust you.”
What’s next for business?
Amid the economic instability in Europe between COVID-19 and Brexit, many companies could be risky. According to Meaden, timing your business ideas is now more important than ever.
“Even the best business in the world has the right time – timing is everything,” she says. “You have to ask yourself at this moment in this environment: ‘Is this the right moment to start this?'”
She says if the company can take advantage of the current situation then go on, “But the answer might be,” No, things need to calm down a bit. “
More of The agenda with Stephen Cole
In this week’s The Agenda, Stephen Cole explores what makes an entrepreneur and what makes the world’s richest people – like Elon Musk from Tesla and Jeff Bezos from Amazon – unique.
– – Dan Vahdat, Founder and CEO of Huma, talks about how he came up with the idea of building an AI business to democratize health care and how the pandemic changed his operations.
– Scott Omelianuk, the editor-in-chief of Inc.., Designed to inspire current and future magnates, a magazine talks about being a “subpar entrepreneur” and reveals the character traits you really need to be successful.
– Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Henley Business School deals with the age-old question of whether a true entrepreneur is born or made.
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