Worth Staying Up For


Today we are launching Business Stay-Up: a research project with the Association of Business Executives (ABE) and the Centre for Education Economics that aims to increase understanding about the role of skills, knowledge, and experience in ensuring we have fewer unnecessary small business failures.

In today's City AM, ABE's CEO Rob May gives some background to the project. Here are his key points:

  • Not every failure is due to a lack of demand for a product or service – poor management can destroy what could otherwise be a successful business.
  • UK business policy has pivoted from focusing on startups to scale-ups – from having more businesses to building better businesses. This should be welcomed. There is no point having lots of people starting up if they aren’t going to scale, but before they can thrive many will need to survive. That’s where skills and training matter.
  • We shouldn’t compare Apple with oranges. Silicon Valley is dominated by entrepreneurs and investors betting on catching the next big technological wave. By necessity, many will wipe out a few times, and just like the most ambitious entrepreneurs in the UK, they should be allowed and encouraged to get back on their board. But not all founders are aiming to disrupt an entire market – failure is a luxury many can’t afford twice.
  • Overall survival rates and churn are driven by market dynamics outside the control of entrepreneurs on the ground, but it makes sense to want as many business owners as possible to have the skills to give it their best shot. The better firms are run, the more competitive the business environment, with competition driving efficiencies and innovations that increase productivity, which leads to higher wages.
  • Improving management skills may require a rethink about how business owners learn. Few will have the time, money or inclination to put their business on hold to enter the classroom full-time. Bespoke, accessible, on-demand learning may be better placed to help more people. As with so many areas of our lives, artificial intelligence will no doubt have an increasing role to play in supporting both the edtech revolution and wider support for business owners and managers.
  • And, at the very least, there will be an evolving role for the government in signposting, convening and supporting the right training through the tax system. Entrepreneurs should be celebrated for the risks they take – over the course of this year, Business Stay-Up will try to work out what can be done to help them and the country prosper.

You can read the full article here. And find out more about the project here.


Our Survey

APPG for Entrepreneurship: 2018 Survey
Your answers will serve as the raw data on which we base three briefing papers designed to impact policy.
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Our Events

Leap 100 Breakfast with Sophie Eden and Sam Gordon, Founders of Gordon & Eden
How to Secure World-Class Talent
7 March 2018
7.45am to 9.15am
Mishcon de Reya, 70 Kingsway, London
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This event will consider: techniques on how to secure people in a competitive market; pragmatic advice for the CEO/Founder on how they can impact the search process; and how to get the best out of your search provider

Female Founders Forum Launch: Mentoring Matters
15 March 2018
19-23 Featherstone Street, Blooming Founders, London
6pm to 8pm
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Join us for our launch of the 2018 report on the importance of mentoring for female entrepreneurs. We're very excited to announce our keynote as Vin Murria! 


News & Views


Rohan Silva defends the role of the State in Elon Musk's success...

... while Bryan Appleyard praises the man's "hint of madness" in The Times

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Venture investment in UK fintech more than doubles...

... but Karl Flinders worries that fintech funding will suffer if the Brexit deal goes sour

Yessi Bello Perez quizzes Debbie Wosskow about how to scale

Is the NHS too fragmented when it comes to adopting new developments?

City AM profiles the prolific Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates

Richard Reed (Innocent Drinks) shares his tips on winning customers here...

... and his tips for small businesses getting funding here

Benjamin Joffe thinks Sequoia’s Mike Moritz doesn’t understand startups in China...

... which aims to charm tech-savvy Taiwanese entrepreneurs...

... while North Korea lets foreigners run bootcamps for entrepreneurs

Friends of the Network


Workshop: Getting the Most from your Network
22 February, 2018
9am to 1pm
Albert House, 256-260 Old Street, London, EC1V 9DD
Cost: Non-members: £150 +VAT; Members £95 +VAT
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This four-hour interactive session aims to help attendees get the most from their network, ultimately driving success in both business and personal life. 


The Astra Awards
Deadline: 16 May 2018
Prize: There are various prizes for each category, ranging from co-working space in Blooms London, support from NACUE, access to Toucan's ecosystem and being fast-tracked straight to the Investment Committee
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Toucan Ventures, Blooming Founders and NACUE are coming together this Spring to bring you The Astra Awards - a competition to champion the creative community, female businesses and the very best students that the UK has to offer.