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Digital Ecosystems

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Financial Services

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Smart Cities and Transportation

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When the going gets tough

Guy Rigby Friday, 10 October 2014.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going". So says the old adage and so it has proven to be since the beginning of the 'great recession', now hopefully behind us, which has prompted an ever increasing number of courageous, determined and often visionary individuals to pick up the baton of entrepreneurship and start their own businesses. Whether through frustration, necessity or desire, the record number of start-ups in the UK has created what can only be described as an entrepreneurial revolution.

shutterstock 131011736Everyone loves an entrepreneur, and there has never been more support available for people who want to start their own business. There are publications, events, networks and clubs. There are business angels, incubators and accelerators. There is social media to spread the message and crowd sourcing to help find customers and funds. Almost anything an entrepreneur needs to know can be accessed at the click of a link, anytime and anywhere. Even the Government is joining the party, recognising the opportunity and offering increased incentives to early stage and growing enterprises through entrepreneur friendly policies and tax breaks.

The term 'entrepreneur' is widely used, but what does it mean to be an entrepreneur, and how can you establish if you are one? Entrepreneurs typically have a number of distinctive traits which set them apart. These are often based on a reluctance to accept the status quo, and the need to do something to change it. Being restless, ambitious and enthusiastic is a great starting point, with determination and stamina following close behind.

Definition: Showing or involving great activity or vitality
You need high energy levels to maintain the momentum you need for your business to succeed. Long hours, even longer weeks, and a skewed work-life balance are involved at the foundation of any business. Although this may ease over time, you will need to maintain your enthusiasm to energise and inspire your team.

Definition: Relating to or prompted by instinct; done without conscious thought; doing a specified thing apparently naturally or automatically
As Richard Branson says "I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics." Acting instinctively and trusting your gut is the way of a disruptive entrepreneur, who can identify a new business or market opportunity and know that it is the right move, without disappearing under a pile of market reports and analytics. But, then again, you might want to read those too!

Definition: Having, showing, or caused by strong feelings or beliefs
A lot of people have good ideas, but passion is what spurs and sustains an entrepreneur. Passion drives innovation, sustains energy, creates purpose and unifies the team. The story goes that when Bill Clinton, the ex-US president, visited the supremely clean space facility at NASA, he bumped into a man with a broom. When asked what his role was at NASA, the man told Clinton, "I take people to the moon."

Definition: Innovative or ground-breaking
Great leaders envision the real and the ideal side by side. Bill Gates (Microsoft) had a vision for a computer on every desk, whilst Jeff Bezos (Amazon) imagined a store without walls. Boeing's Bill Allen dreamt of a jet-powered passenger aircraft and Henry Ford built a car for the masses. As Henry Ford famously pointed out, if he had just asked what people wanted, they would have said a faster horse!



Inviting all Entrepreneurs
Growth Clinic In partnership with EntrepreneurCountry

On Thursday the 27th of November entrepreneurcountry and Smith & Williamson are hosting a growth clinic for entrepreneurs. If you are an entrepreneur and would like to attend please contact,

The morning event will include talks and discussions from corporate leaders and strategists on a variety of topics including sales and marketing, leadership, intellectual property strategy and business planning. Our speakers include Rob Wirszycz, Michael Anderson and Taymour Miri among others.
The event will last between 9am- 2pm, and include a networking lunch. To maintain the intimacy of this event, we will have only 20 CEOs and founders present in the room.


09:15 - 09:30 Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurial Services, Smith & Williamson Welcome and Chairman's introduction
09:30 - 09:45 Amit Pau, Director, entrepreneurcountry Welcome
09:45 - 10:30 Rob Wirszycz, Chairman, Director, Advisor and Mentor Vision and Strategy
10:30 - 11:00 Michael Anderson, former director of Business Plan Services Ltd, Chairman, Author and Angel Investor Business Planning
11:30 - 12:00 Lisette Howlett, Sandler Training Sales and Marketing
12:00 - 12:30 Ed Round Patent Attorney, Marks & Clerk UK Intellectual Property
12:30 - 13:00 Taymour Miri, Talent Management, MPI Eden Leadership
13:00 - 14:00LUNCH & NETWORKING

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Guy Rigby

Guy Rigby

Guy is an experienced chartered accountant and an entrepreneur. A natural and driven enthusiast, he built and sold his own accountancy firm, as well as pursuing other commercial interests. He has been a director and part owner of a number of different companies, including businesses in the IT, property, defence, manufacturing and retail sectors.

Guy joined Smith & Williamson in 2008 and leads the entrepreneurial services group. His day to day activities include advising entrepreneurs and their businesses and coordinating Smith & Williamson's activities in this increasingly important market.