A masterclass in business from Doug Richard
Feb 4 2010 By The Journal
ENTREPRENEUR and television Dragon Doug Richard visited the region yesterday on a mission to create more businesses and said the region was the perfect place to start up.
The technology specialist held a masterclass at Newcastle University which focused on tackling the belief among most people that they do not have what it takes to set up a business.
Mr Richard, who featured on the first two series of Dragons’ Den, said there was a huge amount of untapped entrepreneurial potential in the North East and highlighted opportunities within emerging industries such as the digital sector and advanced technologies.
The university’s Start Here seminars are designed to be interactive and give those attending the chance to talk to successful entrepreneurs.
The event was organised by Finance Tree, the University of Newcastle and Together with O², and was sponsored by Newcastle law firm Ward Hadaway, Newcastle Science City and Access to Finance.
Mr Richard said: "The North East has been very practical in finding solutions to this problem of confidence, with Newcastle University giving me a huge amount of scope in creating these master classes.
"The fact is that there has never been a better time to start up a business. However, too many people instantly dismiss this because of the risks involved.
"Yes there are risks, but there are a huge amount of rewards to be had as well. One question I always ask people is whether they would you be able to play the violin competently in a concerto performance at the Royal Albert Hall tomorrow if I offered them £1m.
"Those that can’t play the violin will say "of course not".
"However, if I said I wanted them to play a simple tune and would give them 18 hours of coaching, suddenly they become interested.It’s exactly the same in business. As soon as people begin to discover the support networks that are available, there is much better chance they will consider it. "Fortunately, there is a fantastic support structure here in the North East, including Newcastle University and Science City. A lot of people in the US will make setting up their own business part of their new year’s resolutions. It’s just part of the culture. That is just not the case in the UK and is something that we must develop here."