Why is it that a Californian who has started five tech companies, with varied degrees of success, can be hailed as a serial entrepreneur when similar efforts by UK businesspeople may be dubbed futile failures?
There is much to be admired about the Californian model of doing business. If it were emulated by the UK, it could boost success and entrepreneurialism here.
In Silicon Valley there is a critical mass of entrepreneurs and success stories. And it is exactly this type of environment, collaboration and exchange of knowledge that encourages new ideas to seed fresh insight and foster innovation.
While the UK is still an excellent place to do business, the same sense of admiration for businesspeople who take risks and try a few ideas, perhaps without immediate success, is not always present.
We must champion the view that it is good to try, to learn from setbacks, and try again. You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, and this concept is also true in business.
Part of ensuring that a culture of courage is nurtured in the UK is ensuring that entrepreneurship is celebrated as an important driver of economic growth. A country's prosperity is inextricably linked to a dynamic entrepreneurship sector but, despite the obvious connection between job creation and entrepreneurial activity, stimulating entrepreneurship remains an important challenge for the UK.
In Wales, government initiatives such as the Starts programme offer coaching and mentoring to start-ups. Such schemes drive entrepreneurship and are to be welcomed.
Starting a business should be an appealing option for anyone. An economy's entrepreneurial capacity should include anyone with the ability and motivation to take risks and create jobs. An appetite for wealth creation should be celebrated.
This means taking a bottom-up approach to nurturing entrepreneurship and enterprise. Welsh telecoms billionaire Terry Matthews is doing this with his Alacrity Foundation entrepreneur project which fast-tracks graduates into creating technology-based businesses.
This is exactly the type of thing we must look to roll out across the UK.
Alacrity Foundation graduates form teams to create start-up companies that make products for the needs of the programme's strategic partners, including Mitel, Vodafone and BT. Such moves will help develop the next generation of British tech.
Anyone can benefit from advice and support from an experienced external party. In businesses, this can be the role of a non-executive director. A non-exec may have knowledge, expertise and an objective viewpoint to offer – especially if he or she has specific, related experience. A firm can be teeming with creative ideas but lack financial experience.
Additionally, a culture is needed where competitors and peers can be seen as partners. In a digital world, the old rules of business must be set aside so smaller firms can come together to develop ideas, exploit IP and bid for bigger and better contracts together.
Decision makers should foster this kind of collective thinking. Silicon Roundabouts should exist all over the UK, and decision makers look to create platforms for creative collaboration.
Mark Bentall is technical office head and chief architect at Cassidian Systems
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