Not only will work now pay more than staying on benefits at home but the government will sponsor micro-entrepreneurs and individual capitalists in the same manner that Paul Barry Walsh’s Frederic Foundation and the Prince’s Trust have, moving people from being a cost to society to a source of taxable income. Clever.
Cameron has also shifted the burden of defining and executing the “Big Society” to the citizenry as well. This is not because he’s failed to define it, but rather because the whole point is that government shouldn’t drive the car, people should but government can create a safe, harmonious road system where all the cars drive safely but with fast lanes and service stations, avoiding traffic jams and collisions. A government that tries to tell people what car to drive or how fast to drive is destined to fail. Cameron gets that. We’ve all been invited to drive our own cars with this government. I for one am happy to get government off the road and put entrepreneurs and business builders behind the wheel.
I spent Tuesday in Cambridge celebrating 50 years of the “Cambridge Phenomenon” with the giants of this magical English market town turned global brand and technology center. Charles Cotton, the former CEO of Globe Span Virata and a Cambridge Angel, put together a one day conference on “The Future Starts Here”, giving a nod to the past but putting down a marker for the big things that Cambridge intends to do over the next half century. As Andy Richards, a successful entrepreneur and private investor in the bioscience arena said, “Cambridge is a low risk place for individuals to take high risks”. At the conference, Personalised Healthcare was considered one of the big investment opportunities but the great minds of Cambridge think that it’ll be driven by the IT side rather than the bioscience side which is heavily regulated. I wonder whether there’ll be a “skype- like killer app” which drives the consumerisation of medical technology in the next 5 years.
Net net – we are continually reminded of the responsibility of the media in this country to shine a spotlight on the fast-growing SME’s who have the capacity to become large global players. Small becomes big, and start-ups change the world. Cambridge has shown this. But the corollary is that as those fast-growing rockets are taking off, sometimes the wheels will come off, and fissures will occur. You can’t run a start-up and expect to look like you just walked off a catwalk. Entrepreneurship is a contact sport. It is asymmetrical warfare. Leave your lipstick at home.
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