Enterprise is not just rock and roll

John Warner, Partner, Barber Harrison & Platt
John Warner, Partner, Barber Harrison & Platt
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Entrepreneurialism – is it really the new rock and roll?

The coalition Government has constantly emphasised the need for a boost in entrepreneurialism to drive private sector growth and rebalance our economy away from the public sector.

Do the companies in the Top 100 SMEs substantiate the quote that entrepreneurialism is the new rock and roll – or is it actually more a case of “It’s been a hard day’s night and I’ve been working like a dog?”

No matter how glamorous some high-profile entrepreneurs may seem, I still believe that the companies in our list highlight the fundamental attributes: drive, determination and hard work. The volatility of profits illustrated in Don Gray’s article clearly shows that running an SME is not for the faint hearted.

This is particularly so at the moment because of the difficulties in raising finance for growth strategies. John Longstaff’s article focuses on the deleveraging of balance sheets within the Top 100 companies in response to the lack of external funding. This must inevitably hold back growth in the short to medium term, so, to paraphrase the words of the Beatles again, we could do “with a little help from our friends” in the banking sector.

The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership is right to build its strategy round innovative and inspired companies, particularly in the advanced manufacturing and cultural and digital sectors.

The recent MADE Festival incorporated presentations from successful entrepreneurs who could justify the rock and roll tag, but our survey certainly supports the need for such inspiration to be combined with blood, sweat and tears in order to create profitable and sustainable businesses for the future.