This is a transcript of Episode 2: How to become an entrepreneur, from Future You - the careers podcast from Prospects
Host: Dan Mason
- Georgie Nightingall, Trigger Conversations
- Amy Carpenter, University of Suffolk.
Dan Mason: Hello and welcome to Future You, the podcast for students and graduates as you look to take that next step after university, brought to you by graduate career experts Prospects. My name is Dan Mason. Last time we talked in depth about graduate schemes, so if you missed that and you're interested in applying for a graduate scheme, or just want to know more about how they work, then I really recommend you go back and listen to that previous episode.
This episode is all about entrepreneurship. For any of you who have considered starting your own business, self-employment, or you've got ambitions to launch a new product, this is a must listen. Even if it's not something you've thought of before, this may well inspire you in that direction. We've got a really interesting interview coming up with Georgie Nightingall, who founded Trigger Conversations. She'll tell you a bit more about what that is later on. She's a TEDx speaker, and most importantly, she's an entrepreneur herself. She has lots of interesting things to say and advice to give on getting started in entrepreneurship.
Then we'll hear from our regular guest, careers adviser Amy Carpenter for her take on how to become an entrepreneur. In particular, things like who can you turn to for further help while you're still at university in terms of getting started in entrepreneurship? Where can you turn for support?
Just a reminder before we start, you can subscribe to Future You in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, get in touch on Twitter, @prospects, or by email on email@example.com. We'd love to hear any questions you have about graduate careers so send them over and we'll answer them in a later episode. Now let's get on with the discussion of entrepreneurship. Here's Georgie Nightingall, founder of Trigger Conversations, to tell us about her journey into entrepreneurship, and how you can follow a similar path.
Hi, Georgie. Thanks for joining us.
Georgie Nightingall: Delighted to be here.
Dan Mason: So could you just give us a little bit of background about Trigger Conversations and why you wanted to start it, and what it does?
Georgie Nightingall: I think I started a business because I basically wanted to scratch my own itch. I think this is probably why most people start businesses, is that they find a problem in the world, which is really affecting them, and have a real drive to want to find a better way of doing things. I was working as a project manager back in 2016 and I basically just noticed I was having really boring and really frustrating conversations everywhere in my life, like at work, at home, with friends, because they all started with, like, what do you do, which is getting you to repeat your elevator pitch and people didn't really care anyway, or how's work? And I felt like conversation was really a vehicle for connecting with somebody and actually learning something new about myself in the world. And I didn't feel like we were actually having any form of real deep connection, I felt a little bit like low…
And I knew that it would happen at some point. I didn't know when, it felt like every few weeks, I'd randomly have a great conversation. And I really wanted it, like, now, I wanted to be able to engineer the times I was able to have amazing, deep meaningful conversation. So I decided that I would do so, I would find a way to do it. And that started with a lot of experiments, I started attending a lot of events, watching how people did things, trying out new things. I ran some parties, I changed the rules in the parties. And then eventually I was at a festival that summer and went to a workshop about conversation and committed to a stranger that I was going to run this event. And then once I made the commitment, I then started up thinking ok what's the structure of this, a friend suggested a menu and I was like, oh yeah, a conversation menu, we could have different courses of conversations. And we could use questions to help people do that. And we can have, like, a piece at the beginning where I tell people the mindset, and we frame it a particular way. And when I came back from that I had the name of it, I had the courses, I had the layout, and I just needed to find a venue. So I went to my network, found a venue, created copy on Eventbrite, put it out there in a few places.
And there we are, the first event happened and, and I managed to get ten friends and ten strangers roughly, and had a massive success. So it was, after that it was like, the feedback was so good that it was so… this is so new, we've never had this experience before, can you do it again? And after the second one where the numbers doubled I thought, wow, maybe I'm onto something here. And this is really, like, meaningful. And I kind of always wanted to start a business anyway. Like, I think there was a… in my mind, I always felt entrepreneurial. I, my contract was ending at the end of the year. And I kind of thought, well, why don't I just take some time off to see if I can make this happen?
Dan Mason: You've touched on it there. But just to go into that a bit more, would you say it… is it the idea that comes first? Or the, you know, you say you already thought of yourself as entrepreneurial? Do you think that's how it works most of the time, that people are entrepreneurial, and then the idea comes later? Or there's an idea that sparks that off and then you sort of think about becoming an entrepreneur?
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah, I think it's a really good question. I'm not actually 100% sure which one I would like go with, I would say that some people appear to be more entrepreneurial generally. And you can you can tell that by looking back at the way that they've done things like, if you'd asked me a few years ago, whether I was an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial, I would have maybe not been so sure. But then I look back on my past and I thought well, I started a tuck shop, probably illegal actually, at my prep school when I was like 12 or so, because I felt like the tuck shop they offered was not, was not very functional. It was long queues, the food was expensive. It was open once a day. And by the time you got in the queue, the break is over. So it was simply a sense of like, ok, well, I want this to be better experience for me. And it looks like everyone else is having the same experience. And I think I could do better. So I went out there and I just started my own, and then it worked. And, and then looking back and thinking ok, well, I've worked in organisations as well, throughout my school life, and also my university life. And in every case, I was looking at ways to reinvent how people were doing things and create new, innovative kind of programmes or ideas and trying to implement them.
So I think in that sense, it's like, ok, well, I've already kind of got the, the flair of wanting to do something different, you know, wanting to change the status quo in some respect. And therefore going back to the question you asked, what comes first, I actually think that, I don't think the idea comes first. Because ideas are everywhere. And like, now I spend a lot of time noticing how things could be better and coming up with new ways to solve them. And the problem actually there is going I've got enough ideas, I can't take this one on in the world. And actually, it's a case of the more you expose yourself to starting to look, you'll find. And then when the time comes maybe you'll find an idea that you think, ok, I'm actually really, I really care about this problem. And that's super important is having the passion for the problem. But also, there is a market for that problem. And the solution that I'm going to come up with or come up with actually hits that the product market fit, you know, does it actually solve the problem? Can this make money as a viable thing?
Because there's plenty of stuff where like, I mean, one of my old businesses, I say businesses, it wasn't really a business. But when I was a child, I used to run this like kind of tennis week at my home in the summer, and I wanted to sell like a stall of perfume that I'd made which of course, it was crap, I was getting plants and stuff and putting them in water and they smelt good for probably about 30 minutes. And then that was it. And I set up the stall and tried to sell things and no one except my aunt bought one. I think she was just doing it to be kind. There wasn't a market, right? But I thought this is a great idea. So you, the idea has to be good. But the idea don't always come you know, you spend, you spend so much time, I spent months and months and months being interested in this idea and looking for answers and really trying to understand what the problem was. And it wasn't until like the last six months where I actually thought ok, this is a good solution.
Dan Mason: So do you have a one word or one sentence - not one word - one sentence definition of what an entrepreneur is, you know, do you have to be someone who is a serial inventor or starter of businesses? Or can you be an entrepreneur if you start one business? You know, what would your short definition of entrepreneurship be?
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah, I find this hard actually, because it's when I when I looked up the definitions in the past, there's always this idea of like wanting to go out there and create something new, do something different and innovative and taking risk, and then being able to enjoy the rewards of that risk. I guess that's the kind of formal, formal definition. And I I'm also playing with the idea of whether there's a difference between entrepreneur and entrepreneurial, one of the things I seem to have been kind of taught is, and I'm on a programme at the moment with the New Entrepreneurs Foundation, and we're all entrepreneurial, for sure, everyone's done projects, but we haven't necessarily all created companies. And I believe there might be a distinction, that sense of the entrepreneur, you actually make, maybe create something that's sustainable, but you know, even failed entrepreneurs are still entrepreneurs. And, and I'm actually not sure like, you know, small business owners generally are not always considered entrepreneurs, because what they create might already exist, it's already a market for it, but they could be new and nuanced in a particular different way, which actually makes it more of a risk taking activity.
Dan Mason: I suppose, like, the popular view comes from something like Dragon's Den, doesn't it of what an entrepreneur is, sort of coming up with new ideas and taking risks as you say?
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah, yeah. So it's definitely, it's definitely an innovation there. It can't be like a repeat of the same thing.
Dan Mason: Yeah.
Georgie Nightingall: And, and that idea itself will also create, capture and create value, which makes money out of that idea.
Dan Mason: So then turning to people who are currently at university, or they've recently graduated, would you say there's some traits, that you would be able to spot in somebody at that age where you could say, you know, they, they're going to be a great entrepreneur? Or this is something they should be looking at doing? Or is it too young? Would you say that you should be an employee, you know, have other jobs before you start looking at taking these sorts of risks?
Georgie Nightingall: I don't think there's a should here. I was a child when I started being entrepreneurial. I think that people have a natural… people generally, can be quite similar in terms of how they behave throughout their lives. And not that personalities are fixed. But certainly people will exhibit flairs beforehand, like you know, there's a drive for taking risks or creating something new. And also that, that there's a resilience and grit to not giving up, I think that's been one really, really strong thing I've noticed the more I meet entrepreneurs, is how stubborn they are, will not give up. And they have taken the initiative, no one, no one has told someone to go out there and create something in the world and do it, they just went, that's interesting, I think I could do that better, I'm going to do it. And they pull upon resources that already exist and find ways to create something which is new. And I think that that can be at so many different levels. Like, even if like you're not producing a business itself, by going out there and even like, you know, running a small events, kind of like programme at university bringing people together and connecting people like that, in itself is putting yourself out there. And I think that means we probably have a lot of more entrepreneurial types than we think we do. I think in the same way, you know, we think about creativity, and everyone is creative. I don't necessarily think everybody is entrepreneurial, or actually wants to be entrepreneurial, that's another question as well, but it's a lot more than you think.
And then I will say probably underline though that even if you are an entrepreneur, or entrepreneurial, it doesn't mean you shouldn't work for a company. I think this is one big debate that we've had in the NEF community, but also with my own family, we're all entrepreneurial, and we've all done our own things, and we've all worked for people… is the value in going to work for a company is immense. Like you know, not only do you get paid to learn, you know, rather than spend your own money, you get to like, really see different ways of working, to make mistakes, and try out and test your skillset. It doesn't mean you can't do your own projects, I think most people who are entrepreneurs will on the side have a million projects going regardless of where they work. So it really shouldn't put you off.
Dan Mason: And would you say entrepreneurs can come from any background and thinking about things like, you know, what degree subjects are, you know, could you be doing any degree subject and end up being an entrepreneur or, you know, if someone is now thinking, I wish I could be an entrepreneur, that's what I want to do, but I'm studying such and such a subject, it doesn't really give me the right skills, is there a right path that people should be going there?
Georgie Nightingall: Entrepreneurs arise from all fields, from like, chemistry to philosophy, which was my major, to business and entrepreneurship studies. I mean, some people have recognised they want to run a business and go and study that. And then they do, right. So it's kind of clear in some respects. But a lot of people are in the arts and actually develop a subject matter expertise, which is outside of business per se, which is very useful for, actually, when they think about what kind of business they want to do. For instance my business is focusing, uses a lot of knowledge from my learning around, well, a mixture of psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and other courses I've done. And I didn't have any business expertise, per se, I just kind of learned it along the way and read a lot and went to courses and whatnot.
So I really don't think actually matters that much. I mean, the degree is teaching very useful skills like critical thinking and teamwork, and analysis, all great useful skills, but in themselves, they're not enough to know how to run a business, running a business and is a multi-skillset. Like you're constantly learning and you have to be able to you master most things, which is really hard, as I've discovered, and and like be able to ship anything and just go right we're going to go it we'll make a decision, I'm not going to be a perfectionist in this area. It's good enough. And now I'm going to move on to learning about marketing or about finance.
Dan Mason: So in terms of the business aspects of it, you learned it as you went along really?
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah, I think I didn't really know a lot of the beginning and I look back on it, I was naive, I still am naive. And I definitely made a lot of mistakes. But through mistakes, I now have a really good sense of... I know what it feels like not to do something like stretching out, like, ok, maybe I won't do this thing, I know I've done that didn't work. And I've read, God I've read a tonne and spoken to a lot of people and sought expertise and advice. And I'm sure, there are better ways maybe to do that. And some courses do focus on building your business, will teach you some of the basic frameworks which are highly valuable, but in the end, you've got to apply those frameworks to learn anything.
Dan Mason: You mentioned earlier that people who are entrepreneurial will always have several projects on the go. And you know, even when they're working as an employee somewhere, so would you say that's the same for students at university? If they, you know, if they have entrepreneurial ambitions? Should they be doing as much as they can while they're still at university in order to prepare for that?
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah, yeah, I mean, let's be let's be clear, though, don't burn yourself out. And this is a classic trap for everyone, including myself, of, you know, you want to do it all and you can't, because time and you know, if your degree is important going do your degree, but there's a lot of time around the degree to explore. And it's exploration without necessarily having to make money, like going to just set up a website with an idea you have and see if you can get some people following you and maybe get some press clients, a great way to simply test out the kind of MVP, minimum viable product, sense of things like can I really go out there, take my idea, execute it, see if there's a market for it, and then build something, and it doesn't have to work, it's just testing and the more of those you do, the more that you get used to failing.
And the more you get used to actually understanding when you're not failing, and you're learning through process. And none of these things have to create money or have to create business. They're just time for you to learn, explore, and also to develop your skillset. Yeah, why wait, I kind of wish in some ways I had... I was being entrepreneurial within some organisations I was working for at university, but I didn't do my own things on the side. And partly because I thought, well, they're probably going to fail or or they're not going to be that great or I don't know how to do this. When actually I didn't know I could learn on the go.
Dan Mason: And maybe while you're still at university is a good time to take those risks and learn about failing as well.
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah, yes very valuable. Learn about failing without having to like pay for it. So...
Dan Mason: Yeah. And so with your experience of being an entrepreneur, just talk a little bit about what that experience is like in terms of, obviously, you're not, when you set up a business, you're not going to be working a 9am-5pm job, it's going to have an impact on your life as a whole. You know, your non-work life, social life, that's going to be very different to when you're at university, when you're taking these sorts of risks. Just talk about how that was for you? Maybe not if that's not your experience?
Georgie Nightingall: No, it's um, everyone has different experience. And I was going to say that the way I did things may not be the way that everyone does things. I took a lot of time to explore also, who I was, and why I wanted to do that, as well as trying to build something that was sustainable. And I find it incredibly... highs and lows was probably the way to just think about it, like incredible excitement and highs of like, yes, got a good first email from a random person or people booked or I've got clients or this person said yes, we'll be featured in this article, and then loads of like, constant stress and worry about not being able to have enough people or have enough clients. People not reading newsletters, you know, I'm not engaging people. Where am I going with this, what am I doing with my life, probably an existential crisis at least once a week.
And then also finding the boundaries of life and work. Like I was so stressed, I used to wake up feeling stressed. And generally when I was asleep I was alright, sometimes I would be staying awake for hours. And I didn't have the boundaries because I was working at home trying to save money. And I didn't get out as much as I could have. And that took its toll, right, really took its toll. And I didn't know, I felt this constant not knowing which direction to go. And I still feel that sense now, but I'm now kind of aware that well, it doesn't really matter in the end, just try to choose one and then see, start learning from it. But there is a really fine line I think between about, like, how you treat yourself in that journey and and the more and more I meet people I I realise how how tough it is and how difficult people face it personally, like, how it can affect your health, your relationships.
Dan Mason: And your own mental health as well, it's obviously important to, you know, not push yourself too far.
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah, mental health is a massive aspect like actually making sure there's time for you, wellbeing and doing things that you enjoy, simple things like turning my notifications off on my phone was massive. You know, when you're when you're running a Facebook page and all these accounts, you have a million people interacting with you. And you see the notifications, it just causes this like panic, or not necessarily panic, or good or bad but it's all over the place in terms of energy. So I just turned it all off. And then eventually I hired contractors to help out with social media, and more admin, so I could just at least have some headspace to think about where the hell we're going. And I found it really hard to be both in the business of trying to like operationally manage it, whilst also understanding ok, is this the right strategy that we're doing, whilst also having the personal life?
Dan Mason: Yeah. But then alongside that, presumably there are the highs and the rewards as well that make it worth it?
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah, the rewards are wonderful, although I would say that sometimes if you are always seeking the rewards and the end goal then you're kind of missing the point. Yeah, it's great to have a moment like for instance we got into, into a blog on the BBC last week. And I felt like yeah, it's really cool, really awesome, like to get that far. We wanted that for a long time. And I'm proud. But actually, it's not just that. It's not about that moment. It's about like, every day waking up and knowing I am doing the work I want to do and I'm making an impact in the world. And I'm creating things which I love doing, and I'm learning every day. That is why I do it, not because I want the end goal of like, oh, we're going to get this award or I'll be able to sell my business for X amount, you know, you'll learn to hate your work if you do that. You really have to be in line with the work you do. For sure.
Dan Mason: Yeah. Yeah. Cos there can be a sense that entrepreneurship, yes, it's risky. But if you get it right, or if it goes well, you can make huge sums of money. That's sort of a popular way of looking at it, isn't it?
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah. And yeah, you could, you know,make lots of money, sure. But like, you know, lots of businesses are lifestyle businesses, and you'll be working much harder than an average employee, and maybe not making that much, but you'll have more freedom. And if you want to build a big business, you're probably going to get investment, and then you lose some of your freedom. And you may or may not be able to create a business that's sustainable that could sell.
Dan Mason: I suppose what I was getting at there is that the rewards are not just financial, there are plenty of other rewards from, you know, starting your own business.
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah, yeah, you're right, there's plenty of rewards, it's very rewarding.
Dan Mason: So if you had a couple, two or three key tips for a relatively recent graduate starting their own business, what would be those key pieces of advice?
Georgie Nightingall: The first one is classic, start before you're ready, and you are never going to feel already. And that's kind of the point, is that you learn on the job. Like, it's about going out there in the world. And just going, yeah, I don't know how to do this, but I'm interested to do it, I'm going to find out how to do it and do it. No one really knows what they're doing. In fact, yeah, that's pretty true. That's the only truth really, is, it's all about making things up, and seeing and being able to, you know, learn from that. So, start before you're ready. I would also say, yeah, you cannot do it alone. That's a really interesting one. Because I'm highly independent, and have a lot of willpower, and I kind of always thought, I'll just make this work. And, and I didn't really necessarily want to lean into people and ask for favours. But actually, you really need, you really need people, like, every aspect of, obviously, as emotional support, which is incredibly important. And I'll maybe come to that later.
But it's knowing that you don't have the answers, but everyone else in the world does. So being able to go out there and ask people for advice. And there is an amazing group especially on Facebook, which are supportive communities, which will also help you answer questions about how you deal with situations that people have been through many times before, or talking about going out there. And like, you know, talking to people who help you think through things or could be your future clients, you really, really, really have to get out there, you have to get rid of that idea of like, oh, it's my idea everyone's going to steal it because they won't, because it's not in the idea it's in the execution, which is valuable. And actually get out there and start talking to people and giving, the more you give, it's really, really wonderfully giving community, the entrepreneur place, because you have to give in order to go somewhere. And that's beautifully kind of self sustaining, is going to make the relationships helping people out, they will help you. And you need that. And its necessary, you can't do it alone.
Dan Mason: I suppose there's a perception that entrepreneurship can be quite a lonely experience, you know, you're forging this path on your own. But as you say, the emotional support and the working with other people is is a vital part of it isn't?
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah, yes, very big. That leads to the kind of another point is the emotional support. And this what I'm discovering more and more, both with myself and with other people. It takes its toll, it's really hard. But you are the most important asset in your business, if you are unwell or ill or mentally ill, physically, whatever it is, then the whole thing can fall apart, and therefore it's completely 100% up to you to look after yourself, and to not burn the candle every single day. Like, there's this mentality of like, yeah, just go hard and hustle work hard, like, you know, all nighters, and it's just completely, completely unsustainable. And it destroys your sense of being and your relationships and your health as a long term effect. So, think of it, it's a long term, it's a marathon, so things need to be - I mean, yes, there are going to be moments where it's a bit, there's a lot of work to do, so really go into priorities about what's important here, not just doing the things that are urgent, but doing things that actually will have long term value.
And also looking after yourself, taking days off, like actually not working weekends. I learned that one eventually, I was like I really need the time and what actually happens when you take time off is you start to become more creative, more innovative. Because in those moments where you're free to do whatever it is, you're free to do, your mind comes up with amazing things. I did all my strategy thinking basically in my time off, which means that when it comes to the week, I can actually do the work. So being willing and allowing yourself that time and needing it and putting yourself first is so important.
Dan Mason: Ok. Absolutely fantastic. Do you have any final points you want to add?
Georgie Nightingall: Yeah, I guess I'd say one final thing is, it's ok not to be an entrepreneur. It's ok to not want to run your own company, or be a founder. If you want to make a valuable impact in the world and a change, go and work for somebody. It's not a bad thing to be employed, you can have some amazing work opportunities throughout the whole of your life by working for people and those people are incredibly valuable. As invaluable as entrepreneurs, but different in what they do. And there's so much out there about who you need to become and really idolising entrepreneurs, but it's ok, it's perfectly fine, to do everything else, you can be just as important. So don't feel the need, you have to start a company. You can go and add so much value, be entrepreneurial and innovative, within organisations that you really don't need to do it if you don't want to.
Dan Mason: Absolutely yeah. So that's been absolutely great. Georgie, thanks so much for your time. If any of the listeners want to connect with you in any way, how would they be best to do that?
Georgie Nightingall: So you can find me via triggerconversations.co.uk and my email is is on there, georgie[at]triggerconversations. I occasionally use Twitter, probably need to get better at it actually. So email is probably the best way to connect with me properly.
Dan Mason: Amy Carpenter, employability and progression adviser at the University of Suffolk, joins me again. Hi, Amy.
Amy Carpenter: Hi, Dan.
Dan Mason: So we're talking about entrepreneurship today. Just to start off with, could you give us your definition of what it means to be an entrepreneur?
Amy Carpenter: I think it's someone who can be creative, see ideas. Is it innovative? Or is it just looking at things from a different perspective. And it's someone who can perhaps see a gap in the market as well, or a gap in a process. I think it's important that you can be entrepreneurial in a business as well, and actually see, maybe that process doesn't work as efficiently as it could do, or that there's maybe a product that could be on offer, or a service or a technology, something like that. And it's having that mindset to be able to see beyond what's just in front of you, I think and identify those gaps of wherever it may be.
Dan Mason: And would you say that entrepreneurs can come from any background really, in terms of degree subject and the the career area they want to go into?
Amy Carpenter: Yes, most definitely. I think you're the expert in your field that you're studying in at that point. And that's where you can maybe identify the gaps. And actually, you might identify a gap in somewhere in something completely different just because you can think well, actually, I don't know, perhaps there might be no coffee shop selling a certain type of product in the area. And actually, is there an opportunity there, but you might be a trainee nurse. And you've noticed that there's this gap there as well, which is definitely, perhaps, not that relevant to the course you're studying. But it's still that entrepreneurial mindset. Definitely.
Dan Mason: So again, it goes beyond just the idea of being somebody who starts a business of their own. It means a bit more than that.
Amy Carpenter: Yes, definitely. Yeah, yeah. And I think it's that having new ideas, and then having the confidence to pursue them, as well as the really important part and being ok that things might not always go well, first time. And things can fail, if you have a new idea, or do you do want to start a business, but the best learning comes from when you try those sorts of things out so...
Dan Mason: And so what would you say that students can do while they're at university to develop entrepreneurial skills? Or do you think they're sort of innate skills that some people have and some people don't?
Amy Carpenter: I think it's getting involved in things definitely, again considering the creative things that you could get involved with, is it actually even just starting a society up brand new, because that will take some time and some planning, some ideas, some initiative to implement. So that's already developing it there. And a lot of universities embed this into their curriculum, actually. So they are working to ensure that you're doing things in your modules and doing assessments helping to develop both your employability and your entrepreneurial skills and your ability to definitely think outside of the box. And they might not teach you how to do the tax returns. But there's probably support there to help you with that as well, if not.
Dan Mason: And as you said, risk-taking is quite a big element of being an entrepreneur, whether it's starting up a business, or just coming up with a new product ideas or whatever it is, how can you prepare yourself for that, for that side of it?
Amy Carpenter: I think it's being ok, I think being able to accept that if things don't go well, don't go right first time and being able to overcome that and actually not taking it personally, not taking it as a sign that you're not good at what you do or that you've not had a good idea, I think there can be lots of reasons why things fail or things go wrong. It could just be the market, it can be the launch, it could be the product, it could be the type of product or what material it's made of if it is a product or maybe the service wasn't in the right place at the right time. And if something does fail, it's important to reflect on it and think about what went wrong. Did you not do enough market research perhaps? Or is it just it's the wrong place at the wrong time? So yeah, it's important to reflect on it. But all of the, every entrepreneur out there has always had something that has failed at some point. And they've learned from it and turned it into something bigger. And yeah, created their successes from that.
Dan Mason: And for students and graduates who really want to see themselves as entrepreneurs and want to, you know, do something along those lines, where can they turn for help and advice because it is, obviously you know where to go if you want to be a teacher or police officer, whatever it might be, but being entrepreneur is a bit different. And it's harder to know where to turn.
Amy Carpenter: Yeah, definitely. So the first place as a student or graduate, I would definitely see what support your university offers. A lot of universities have got innovation centres, incubators, startup hubs, they've got space that's designed for people who want to start up businesses, perhaps hot desks. And some universities have spaces that are shared with local businesses as well. So you can access both the support and the mentoring and actually immerse yourself into the local SME community as well. And I know our university has that kind of environment where you can use a hotdesk, and then you're sitting next to businesses who are doing business at that same time as you're perhaps starting your business up, and you can ask them questions. And there's lots of other support agencies in local areas as well. So it really depends on where you are based in the UK or further afield. But it's always worth doing the research to see what's on offer in your local area or where your university is based or wherever you're going to be living at that time. And be they business advisers or be they support networks, there's things called growth hubs as well, which should exist in every region around the UK. And they're supported through the government so they have business advisers where you can go and meet with them, they can have a look at your ideas, give you some feedback, help you reflect on things, connect you with other businesses. And things like the Prince's Trust as well, they're obviously constrained by age, but they can offer things like startup loans, as can your bank as well. If you have a chat with your bank or a bank, they've already got people there who can help talk and look at business plans, whether they could support you financially as well.
Dan Mason: Ok, that's brilliant. Thanks, Amy. Speak again soon.
Amy Carpenter: See you soon.
Dan Mason: Ok, that's all for this episode. I hope you enjoyed that. And perhaps it's inspired a few more of you to consider taking those risks that Georgie and Amy were talking about as essential in order to be successful as an entrepreneur. Thanks very much to Georgie for coming on the show and to Amy as always. Remember to subscribe to Future You in your preferred podcast app so you don't miss any future episodes. Follow us on Twitter @prospects and send your comments and questions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Head to the website as well, Prospects.ac.uk for more advice on entrepreneurship and self-employment. You can also search for graduate jobs there as well. That's it. Thanks very much for listening and I'll speak to you soon.
Note on transcripts
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