Note: This post first featured on “The Art of…” blog, under my name: David Atkinson http://davidsartof.blogspot.com/
Aside from my “freelance thinking”, I am also a hands-on entrepreneur/business owner-manager. My own (service-sector) business has developed from a single-person consultancy – in which I provided project and risk management consultancy services under sub-contract to major European and UK-based engineering projects – to a specialist mergers and acquisitions business.
Together with the more philosophical posts on this blog, I also hope to bring some sense of an SME’s reality to the fore – a personally perspective of being “in business”. What is it that I, as a business manager, find to be of concern to me? Am I bothered about the amount of “red tape”? How did I go about some aspect of my business; how was it that I solved some particular issue? Here, in the spirit of co-operation and mutual support, I also welcome any comment on this thread in the form of a new question that invites an answer.
However, to close this initial post, at the launch of the NorthernLeadershipAcademyI happened to meet with a most interesting individual. Our conversation turned to what I (and he) believed to be the most pressing concern of any small business trying to grow. How do I, as a small (unknown and perhaps unproven) business, attract the funds to develop new business ideas and concepts? This is not about leadership – unless one wants to examine who might lead in this case – it is about the raising of capital investment under conditions of risk. This particular individual commented that he had recently been involved with the establishment of a multi-million pound, grant-funded business development scheme. Such “venture finance” schemes are potentially the life-blood of innovation – certainly a potential contributor to any perceived economic “gap-closing” (regional or otherwise). Yet, where is the leadership required to develop innovation in the face of financial institutions and fund-managers that exhibit excessively risk-averse attitudes to investment? In the UKthere is at least a perception that our venture finance sector can be so risk-averse that they collectively feel their first role is the protection of the funds against adverse risk.