Interview with Stuart Miller, Chair of the SBC

Stuart Miller talks about the Small Business Charter and entrepreneurship with Anthony Baxter from London Live. Below is an extract of this interview. Click the link for the full video.

Q: You are currently the Chair for the Small Business Charter, tell us about it. What does it do?

The SBC is really exciting. It’s relatively new. It was the brand child of Lord Young, who could see that with this new taste for start-ups in Britain - which is fantastic...we are really in our stride… and if you look at that magic triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and London and other places more regionally now, we are launching more companies than ever before. That’s fantastic but what Lord Young could see was that there’s a gap for a local hub in each region to serve as the support network and support infrastructure for entrepreneurs. So, the Small Business Charter, essentially, if I really simplified it, aims to fill that gap and it’s encouraging business schools to provide that local hub, that local centre for entrepreneurs whether it’s in terms of entrepreneurially focused training so growth programmes, leadership programmes, whether it’s networking events, it’s just galvanising that whole local community of entrepreneurs, that whole eco-system around business schools.

Q: What are the concerns and challenges that entrepreneurs face?

Well there are probably two actually. The first one on a very human level, is just being reassured fairly frequently that you are not barking to be do this because it is quite a lonely place and there’s nothing quite like being able to access a similar tribe to yours as you go through the challenges. The challenges that we face are all very similar so that’s really helpful to have that other local peace and we shouldn’t forget as entrepreneurs often we are doing things for the first time. Certain things you can learn in a classroom around business planning, cash flow forecast, just the hygiene level of business mechanics you can learn. The other things that you can’t learn are the things that are inside you so it’s not about trying to pretend that you can go to a business school and that you can turn a handle and then out comes a successful business plan – that’s completely nonsense. But you can certainly learn a lot of the basics of a business school that will really increase your chances of success but I’ll also be really clear, if you are going to be entrepreneurial, the one thing that you can never lose sight of is that the most important asset you have is your own judgement, so we shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that we can just read a text book and out comes a successful business. We should never lose sight of that fact that your own instinct and judgement is critical.

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