Fringe Box



Claire’s Column – From Little Acorns…

Published on: 21 Nov, 2012
Updated on: 21 Nov, 2012
Claire Dee

Claire Dee

In this regular monthly column – a must read for all those interested in Guildford business – Claire Dee reports on Surrey’s reputation as an entrepreneurial hotspot

Last week (November 12-18) was Global Entrepreneurship Week, a worldwide campaign to promote entrepreneurship which is recognised in 115 countries.

As I have reported before, Surrey is well known as an enterprise hotspot and, according to Surrey Connects, is home to some of the most innovative technology-based businesses in the UK of which many are headquartered in and around Guildford including EA Games, Gordon Murray Design and Surrey Satellite Technology. More than 300 multinational blue chip companies also call Guildford and Surrey their home, perfectly complementing the thriving SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) community.

So, from little acorns come mighty oaks.

And, interestingly, holding onto that single acorn and nurturing it slowly and steadily in the early days, it would seem, is best practice to ensure greater success.

New research, from the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield School of Management, has revealed that entrepreneurs who work alone instead of hiring staff in the early days of their new business venture are more likely to succeed in the long-term.

The study, which investigated whether the start-up size of a new business makes a difference to survival and success rates, confirmed that entrepreneurs who take their time and build up their workforce slowly as their business develops, have a higher chance of surviving and becoming successful compared to entrepreneurs who hire staff at the time of start-up.  Among the new ventures that hire employees, the annual firm closure rate is more than halved (from 20% to 8%) when the entrepreneur initially starts-up on a solo basis compared to those who were previously in employment and start a business with employees from day one.

Food for thought, indeed, and further evidence that patience pays.

For the full report visit

Claire Dee runs her own communications consultancy near Guildford and is an active member of the local business community including sitting on the Surrey Chambers of Commerce council.  To learn more visit


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