12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Resilience, determination, pushiness and grit were the key to success in business, a group of entrepreneurs told delegates at the Advantage Conference in Madrid.
But in the event’s opening session on The DNA of an Entrepreneurs, not all agreed on the value of borrowing or taking risks.
Bill Munro, who founded Barrhead Travel Group in Glasgow 35 years, ago said he felt entrepreneurs were often people who took risks with other people’s money.
He said in an interview recorded for the conference that he preferred to be called a traditional businessman, that he was not a risk taker and the money used to make Barrhead among the ten biggest travel agencies in Britain was ”all our own” and not the banks’.
Munro said” There is not a huge amount of things that are new in business. It has all been done before. It is all about commonsense, honesty and integrity which I hope people associate with Barrhead.”
He also said it was not a good idea that his daughter, Sharon Munro who now runs the agency, should copy him. “She has to do it her way,” he said.
But Paul Evans, a former managing director of First Choice Travel and now ceo of the Lowcost Travel Group, said he had used his own money and also cash from investors to set up his enterprise.
“We have to take some risks. You have to do that to grow the business,” he told the 450 delegates.
Terry Fisher, who founded Travelworld and sold that and another business during his career, said he too had always used his own money to set up and expand companies.
Earlier in the session, Kanya King, founder and ceo of the Mobo Organisation which promotes urban music, said she had four “P’s” to guide her career: passion, prioritisation, perseverance and profit.
“There is no blueprint, no right way, no wrong way to do things. It is about attitude, if you want it badly enough. It is a willingness to take a calculated risk, to break the mould and not follow the conventional rules of life,” she said.
“It is 85% attitude and 15% ability. Ordinary people can become extraordinary in the right circumstances.”
In a poll conducted before the conference, Advantage members voted risk taking, vision, influence, making things happen, innovation, determination, ambition and self belief as the qualities needed for a successful entrepreneur.
The vast majority (85%) voted Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, as the top entrepreneur with Lord Alan Sugar second.
But 30% also voted Sugar as the least admired of entrepreneurs, followed by Donald Trump, the American property tycoon.