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Why entrepreneurs need an appetite for disruption



Working with traditional businesses, seizing opportunities and recruiting millennials were just three issues covered at our latest Coutts Entrepreneur Month event.

1 min read

Innovative entrepreneurs should work alongside traditional businesses instead of trying to replace them to deliver new ideas on a large scale.

That was one of the views expressed at the latest event held as part of Coutts Entrepreneur Month, which brought together some of the most innovative, entrepreneurial minds in the country.

During the discussion, one guest said that entrepreneurs who embrace innovation – or “disruptors” – should show more established businesses how they can embrace change. They said this would help disruptors get their products to market faster and “change the world” more effectively than they could if going it alone.

Coutts Managing Director for England and Wales Dylan Williams was at the event alongside the bank’s CEO Peter Flavel and Chairman of Entrepreneurs Michael Hayman.

He said: “Coutts has always been the bank of pioneers – and entrepreneurs have emerged as the pioneers of today. This is a chief reason why we are bringing together the best and brightest in British business this month to discuss the big issues they face.

“The insights they have shared about what it takes to disrupt an industry have been fascinating. We at Coutts are very proud to work with our clients in this space to help them make those ideas a reality.”

“Coutts has always been the bank of pioneers – and entrepreneurs have emerged as the pioneers of today.”
Coutts Managing Director for England and Wales Dylan Williams

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Disruption: the new constant

Guests at the event discussed what it means to start and grow a business in the UK today.

Asked whether 2018 was a good time to be an entrepreneur, they generally agreed there was no such thing as a ‘good’ time. Challenges like financial governance, raising capital and getting in a room with the right people would always be there, so entrepreneurs needed to spot and seize the opportunities when they arose and not be deterred.

The conversation then turned to millennials and whether they had a different work ethic to those who have gone before. By 2025, millennials will make up 75 per cent of the workforce, and the group agreed that getting it right when recruiting and retaining this new generation had never been more important.

While concerns were raised over younger people’s ability to see an idea through over the long term, most guests spoke about a bright, millennial-shaped future where purpose and profit would be the business norm.

The guests described disruption as “the new constant”. From driverless cars to blockchain and artificial intelligence, sophisticated technology is fuelling disruption and threatens to leave behind anyone who fails to embrace it.

Closing the evening, entrepreneurs and business leaders gave their views on what next for UK innovation. Among the many views expressed, a recurring theme was the importance of understanding and working with the younger generation to help them reach their entrepreneurial potential and change the world for the better.


Coutts Entrepreneur Month

Since Coutts Entrepreneur Month launched, we have explored vital issues for today’s business founders: How can entrepreneurs express social purpose through what they do? Why is diversity crucial for new businesses? What role does entrepreneurial innovation have for the future of business in the UK?

While each topic brings its own challenges and opportunities, there is a unifying thread to all our conversations and insight – the role of entrepreneurs and businesses in creating a better world by focusing on more than just making money.

Instead, the discussions so far show a general belief that a business’s wider impact ought to be front and centre for entrepreneurs and established business leaders alike.

Find out how Coutts supports entrepreneurs and read our other Entrepreneur Month pieces on our insights page.

Key Takeaways

Fledgling businesses should work with established firms to get their new ideas out there faster. Entrepreneurs should also focus on recruiting and retaining the right millennials as they will shape the future. And there is no such thing as the right time to be an entrepreneur; you just need to seize the opportunities as soon as they arise.

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