The UK’s annual youth enterprise festival, Enterprise Week, begins on Monday on FT.com with John Caudwell, who made a £1.2bn fortune from mobile phones, explaining how he would build a business if he were to start all over again.
It is the first of a series of exclusive FT.com video presentations in which leading entrepreneurs give their advice to readers hoping to emulate their success. James Murray-Wells, the 23-year-old wunderkind of e-retailing follows on Tuesday, Private equity investor Sir Tom Hunter appears on Wednesday, Peter Jones, panellist on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den and founder of Phones International Group talks on Thursday, Mike Jatania, boss of consumer brands business Lornamead appears on Friday and Lizzie Vann, founder of the Baby Organix food empire, rounds off the week on Saturday.
The presentations focus on motivation and practical tips. But FT.com will also be following the policy debate surrounding enterprise. Privately-owned business has been embraced by politicians of all parties and is a subject of growing public interest. Last year, for example, Enterprise Week involved over 400,000 participants in more than 2,000 events, many of them at schools and colleges. Its aim is to help the young develop qualities of the self-reliance needed to create thriving new ventures, reflecting a shift in the economy away from big employers. An indication of the scale of the change is that 600,000 extra small businesses have been set up in the last eight years.