"Don't risk pouring cold water on Sheffield start-ups"

It’s an urge that everyone has at some point – but very few act on.
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You’ve probably had it yourself, an idea for a product or business or improvement that seemingly no one else has thought of.

Yet the difference between that and those who actually do something about it is frightening. Most of us avoid risks - and that includes starting a business. We’re also programmed to share that caution with others 'to be helpful'. But well intentioned though it is, it's a barrier to start-ups in Sheffield.

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On top of that, a good proportion of the workforce are, or were, unionised from working in industry or the public sector - workplaces not known for their risk takers.

The Star Business Editor David Walsh.The Star Business Editor David Walsh.
The Star Business Editor David Walsh.

And acting on the urge is just the first step along a road that taxes people mentally and physically.

At a recent round table we heard how, on their first outing, sisters Emily and Hatty Webster had to abandon their car and drag cooking equipment through deep snow to get to Nether Edge Farmer’s Market. That was in 2018 - this month they open Macpot selling macaroni and cheese in Orchard Square.

Amid a myriad of challenges, when they must have been tired, or it seemed hopeless or thankless or lonely, boring, scary or simply more effort that it was worth, they refused to quit. Awesome.

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We need start-ups because business pays the taxes and employs the people who buy things and pay further taxes that every bit of the public sector depends on.

After years of reduced funding and dire predictions for trade after Brexit, encouraging more businesses to set up in Sheffield is one thing we can definitely control.

So go for it, surround yourself with like minded people, go to networking events, seek out the experts at Business Sheffield and Launchpad and the Cooper Project and don’t listen to the doom-mongers.

Also, make sure The Star knows so we can support and promote you, as we have in today’s big feature.

And if your friend or family member says they want to have a go, catch your breath before dousing them with cold water - your support could change the world.

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