This issue is themed upon hope, innovation and optimism. Instead of dwelling on the past, we are looking to the future of entrepreneurship and constantly seeking solutions. Joe Haslam's piece on 'The Blind Blonde Girl with The Elephant' (p14-16) discusses the plight of Caroline Casey, a young woman born with ocular albinism that affected her vision. Instead of allowing her disability to affect her career prospects, she worked her way through the corporate world before creating her own non-profit organisation that aimed to shed light on the value of disabled people in society. Succeeding within the world of business requires you to often seek sources of empowerment. We all face setbacks and pitfalls, but it is how we deal with the trials and tribulations that are inevitable on the lonely entrepreneurial road that shapes us as individuals.
Our cover interview with Coffee Nation Founder Martyn Dawes discusses how he went from exceeding his overdraft and desperately searching for a USP to creating a new category in the hot drinks market and finally, exiting his business. Also, we have articles from Dean Williams and Mindy Gibbons-Klein on the art of leadership and public speaking, which can prove to be a challenge for all professionals but is easily rectified with some self belief and know-how. I am also happy to announce that we are holding the EC Young Masters Enterprise Awards in association with Goggle on March 8th 2012. At Entrepreneur Country we are always excited about young innovators in the world of business and take every opportunity to celebrate new talent. Take a look at our Events page (p6) for some important dates to add to your business calendar. As always, we have included some of our regular features, including The Month's Winners and Losers on pages 12 and 13 and a 'Top Ten Business Movies' piece that ranges from eighties classics of 'Wall Street' to the story behind Facebook with 'The Social Network' on pages 8 and 9. Also find our very own Tom Peterson's piece on how Forrest Gump can teach us about Social Media - a must-read for anyone who is foreign to the world of Twitter!
I hope you enjoy reading as much as we have enjoyed putting this issue together - collaborating with all of our talented and influential contributors has produced some inspiring and thought-provoking content and I hope that you take away valuable insights and knowledge from each feature.