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Monday, September 08, 2008

Technology makes it easy to be a one person International Company

Technology has advanced to such a stage it’s now possible to start a global business from a laptop, forcing the entrepreneurial doors wide open to teenagers, the retired, single parents or those who quite sensibly want to dip their toes in the water (or at least on eBay) before taking the plunge.
Banks are lending more money than ever before - £33bn in 2006, just to small businesses. People actually know what business angels are…
Prime time programmes such as Dragons’ Den, The Apprentice, Tycoon and Risking It All have pushed the very idea of running your own business to the forefront of the national psyche – no longer is it exclusive to the Delboys or pinstiped, it’s for you and I. Celebrity entrepreneurs are the new celebrity chefs – or as Risking It All’s
Martin Webb said to me the other week, ‘Business is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll’.
Entrepreneur, champion networker and
Startups Awards judge Oli Barrett ended up on Working Lunch and Newsnight when he launched his brilliantly successful Make Your Mark With A Tenner campaign to promote entrepreneurship in schools.
The scheme’s co-founder and serial social entrepreneur Tom Savage has also been busy starting his fourth business and advising the government on social enterprise – not bad for a 24-year-old. (Listen to Tom in our new
interactive section).
Web 2.0 has established itself as more than a passing fad and there’s a web buzz about the start-up world once again – and crucially the City. In London especially, networking nights such as
Second Chance Tuesday and Internet People are thriving and that can only be a positive thing.
Green business has finally emerged as a key requirement for the consumer rather than a preference for a niche and is transforming the way businesses big and small are thinking, behaving, operating and promoting themselves.
I’ve worked in this sector for the last seven years but the past six months we’ve spent relaunching Startups.co.uk have definitely been the most exciting. We also released our first book,
How They Started, in June telling the start-up stories behind some of the UK’s best-loved brands such as Innocent Drinks and Pizza Express, and were as surprised as anyone to see it hit Amazon’s Top 20 and garner considerable coverage in the Telegraph, Guardian and on Radio 2 among others.
There seems no satisfying our appetite for business. Some worry the enthusiasm for business will see droves of naïve and hopelessly unprepared lemmings blindly lose their mortgages on doomed ventures, but the stats suggest the opposite.
Figures from the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (the dismally renamed DTI, but that’s another blog) last week showed businesses are surviving longer, and hopefully, the new found fascination with business has stretched to a realisation that this is a result of preparation, planning and finely honed skills.
I’d like to think not only are there fewer barriers to entry to starting a business but also more quality information out there to make your decisions as informed as possible. Hopefully you'll find the new look Startups.co.uk a source of inspiration, as there really has never been a better time…
Matt ThomasEditor, Startups.co.uk

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