Napoleon referenced Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit.

So did Adam Smith. So whatever the future holds, we need to make sure that we support creativity

By Chris Sheppardson, Managing Director, EP

One of the concerns of recent times is that it is simply getting harder for entrepreneurs to have as strong a voice as they once did have and for new creative concepts to reach market. It is simply becoming increasingly expensive for a new concept to be heard and to reach its target audiences and with GDPR, it is becoming even harder.

Any yet Britain has built its prosperity on being that nation of “shopkeepers” that Napoleon referred to us. But Napoleon wasn’t the first to use the term but Adam Smith in his “Wealth of Nations”. It was how many saw Britain in the 1700s and 1800s, let alone in the 1900s.

“Well if this is the case then we need to work harder to promote entrepreneurs and creativity as it does sit at the heart of British Culture.”

There have been concerns expressed this year across a number of journals, discussion forums and in politics that there are fewer entrepreneurial role models breaking through and that entrepreneurship seems to be struggling.

Well if this is the case then we need to work harder to promote entrepreneurs and creativity as it does sit at the heart of British Culture. One can make a strong argument that Britain has always been a leader in the creative arts from film to music to art to literature. In business, we used to encourage people to try and live their dreams and create their own business. It in turn creates a confidence, an independence in both talent and in business that really is of genuine importance as it then inspires others and creates jobs.

There has been no lack of entrepreneurial thinking and innovation – it has just been harder to reach funding, and more expensive to reach audiences and the market.

And worse – strangely over the last decade, many decisions do seem to have become more caught up with what qualifications one has, what is one’s background and what is one’s network. Why? Because it has become harder and more expensive to reach market and this therefore naturally favours those with evidence. Fair enough but the counter argument is that a strong society wants to free its people to have hope and choice – that hard work and dreams, visions can build better lives.

So the aim has to build platforms to highlight and promote great new ideas and entrepreneurs for this makes the whole structure tick.

However we also need disrupters to traditional models, it helps create change and new thinking. Whatever future that we may face, then we need to work harder to ensure that Britain does once again become the leading centre for entrepreneurship and creativity – not that it ever went away.

So what needs to be done?

– There is a natural marriage that can exist between large players and smaller players. Both need the other but there needs to be greater flexibility and understanding of the stresses of the other – payment terms need to be good and ways through the barriers of process.

– We need greater promotion of entrepreneurship and role models as this then encourages others.

– We need to look again at character and understand that qualifications, background and networks can only ever tell part of the story.

It is just returning to our roots and core beliefs.