Entrepreneur and start-up mentor, Ben Keene, believes would-be founders need to create smart solutions as the country heads into another recession.
Ben, who is a Virgin StartUp mentor and founder of Rebel Book Club, has worked on a number of social enterprise and start-up projects. His advice to people thinking of setting up a new business in the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic is to ‘plug in and play’ and explore new ideas.
He said: “It’s heavy out there. Use this moment to be creative, explore ideas and immerse yourself in potential customers’ worlds to better understand them.
“Don’t put pressure on yourself to build something big or extraordinary. Start small, keep it simple, enjoy the journey and share what you’re trying to do.”
With Virgin StartUp witnessing an increase in the number of people looking for business support, Ben believes the UK is as good a place as any to launch a new business.
He added: “The UK is an amazing place to test ideas and start a small business. The barriers are low, it’s cheap and there are a lot of support networks. In terms of demand, there’s an increasing willingness to support small businesses. But we are heading into a recession, so we need to create smart solutions - including bringing joy to the challenges all kinds of people are facing.
“Many small businesses now need financial, strategic and emotional support that they didn’t a few months ago. So loan providers, mentorship and expert guidance are all in demand.”
He said: “The short answer is: if you’re motivated, yes! The longer answer is: it depends on your own circumstances like time, finances and health - and what you’re trying to start.
“Those who have been made redundant or furloughed have time to explore new projects and ideas. The hiatus is a chance to try – as low risk as possible – something you’ve been putting off or that has slid into view as the world has changed.”
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