The Dream Blog
Are there a lot of prospective business men and woman who dream of starting their own business but who never see that dream through to reality?
Looking at how many enquiries we receive at Foundation East for funding or business support compared to how many of those businesses are actually started (with or without a loan from us) it would seem that we may indeed be a nation of dreamers.
But why do so many people not follow their dream?
Is it that the majority of our population do not have the drive, commitment and nerve required to go into business? Do we place too much emphasis on the believed security of employment? Are we too accepting of a reliance on our social security system and a life on benefits?
Is it that many people cannot get the advice and support that they need to get over the hurdles of starting a business?
Is it down to a lack of available finance (though we repeatedly hear the likes of Lord Sugar confirm that this was not a problem for them and that they do not believe that this is a problem now)?
This was an issue that was discussed at the FSB Banking forum held a Lynford Hall last Friday. Although there were some good news stories, many of the businesses attending stated that there was not enough being done by traditional lenders to access finance. This situation was discussed by one of my clients Vince Glue of Chordal Green in their interview on the Sunday Politics East programme, which can be viewed 58 mins 55 secs into the show. Also in the programme Dr. Therese Coffey pays credit to Foundation East and promotes the Start-Up Loan Initiative. The outcome of the forum was summed up by the East Anglian Daily Times.
Are these real problems, or are they excuses made by people who shouldn’t set up on their own in the first place as they would only fail anyway?
Undoubtedly there are very few that find going into business is easy and enjoy a smooth ride. It does seem to be without exception to be much harder than people anticipate. With the real benefits to our economy that an increased number of budding successful entrepreneurs would bring, should more of us grasp the nettle of chance or will that only happen with a major change in government policy towards business start ups?
I am sure that there are at least as many answers to these questions as people who ponder them…but which answer is correct and most crucially - who will do something about it?
Peter Wood, Business Loans Manager - Essex