2020: The Year of the Entrepreneur?
Paul Beach, Head of Executives and Entrepreneurs at Arbuthnot Latham gives his perspective on the leading role entrepreneurs can play in driving the UK’s economic recovery.
Entrepreneurs spot gaps and opportunities. What sets them aside is that they have the drive, energy and ambition to turn those opportunities into successful business ideas. What they often lack is the right guidance and expertise to make it happen. Making sure entrepreneurs have the right support is crucial to powering the UK’s economic recovery.
Education is key
We set up our Inspiring Innovator programme to give new businesses the right help and advice as they get going. At one of our recent roundtable events, a number of our Inspiring Innovator alumni discussed what they had learned as they set up their business . We think that it is really important to connect the right people with each other. Meeting others isn’t just a great way to make business connections, but it’s also important to understand changes and developments as other people see them, in their own industry. The most successful entrepreneurs don’t just look at what’s in front of them, but also further forward. We see ourselves as a trusted partner from the early stages, up to exit and beyond.
Just because we are all facing logistic and practical challenges, business doesn’t stop and neither do we. We are gearing up to launch our next Inspiring Innovator programme later this year and we are also planning many more roundtable events to connect people and share our experiences.
Spotting the opportunities
Entrepreneurs need a bank which shares their mind-set, who embraces innovation and creative thinking. One of the first areas to suffer in times of economic uncertainty is the property market. Over the past few months, surveyors were unable to get into properties, few reliable valuations could be made and of course, government restrictions played a significant role too. But with the easing of lockdown measures, and the stamp duty holiday announcement by the Chancellor, we are seeing a lot of pent-up demand.
Within this pent-up demand are individuals applying for business-to-residential planning permission. We’ve known for a long time that the high street is suffering, but we’re seeing those with an entrepreneurial mind-set reshape our high streets. Town and city centres will inevitably change, but more people will live there, different types of outlets will emerge. As social distancing measures are reversed, there is a real opportunity for different types of businesses to set up shop in our urban centres, and turn shopping centres into social centres, offering shoppers just as much and more. We spot opportunities like this, so do our clients. Our aim is to align those visions.
The big pivot
While many are seizing opportunities, we have seen so much forced entrepreneurialism too. Businesses have had to change their entire model. This might be a restaurant moving to home delivery or an online retailer stocking different items to meet demand; it often means more work, lower margins and trying to anticipate the next change and how to evolve. Whether people want to change their business models or not, times like these, such extraordinary times, evoke changes in thinking and awaken (or in some cases, force) a more entrepreneurial approach.
It is this mind-set that the UK needs to start driving economic growth.
As a bank offering a full-service provision - banking, wealth management and specialist finance - we are in a strong position to have those conversations and support our clients as they prepare for the future and start to realise more opportunities in the months and years ahead.