Tom New, an entrepreneur on the panel in Manchester, echoed the thoughts of many across the UK when he commented on the definition of an entrepreneur: “Enterprise is a very big term. You open a fish and chip shop and suddenly you’re an entrepreneur.”
In the inaugural Barclays Debate held last week, we asked panellists Jamal Edwards, founder of SB.TV; Russell Hall, co-founder of Hailo; Roksanda Ilincic, fashion designer; Doug Richard, founder of the School for Startups, and Greg Davies, Barclays Head of Behavioural Finance whether entrepreneurial spirit is innate or can be taught, and looked at what conditions are needed to enable UK entrepreneurship to flourish in an increasingly competitive global market.
It was clear from the panellists’ life stories that academic accomplishment doesn’t necessarily determine entrepreneurial success. Around the room there were many who challenged the ability of the education system to nurture creativity and encourage entrepreneurship. The panellists all shared the belief that the main motivation behind their success was not money, but the passion and drive that comes from wanting to solve a problem or create something new, and the importance of having the support of family and friends as well as financial backers.