Fringe Box



Claire’s Column – Hats Off To Our Local Entrepreneurs

Published on: 17 Nov, 2014
Updated on: 17 Nov, 2014

In this regular column – a must-read for all those interested in Guildford business – Claire Dee raises her hat to our local entrepreneurs.

This week – November 17 to 22 – is Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).

Claire Dee

Claire Dee

Launched in 2008, GEW is an annual November date in the global business calendar and is billed as “…the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.”

Big names are involved including Richard Branson and Michael Dell, and today saw business secretary Vince Cable kick-off official proceedings.

While GEW itself may be news to the Guildford and Surrey business community, entrepreneurship is not. The county is well known and respected as a powerhouse of the UK economy, providing the largest net contribution to the government after London of around £6 billion a year. Much of which is generated by our fast-growing small businesses as well as the larger multinationals.

In fact, such is the talent of our start-ups, Guildford-based University of Surrey runs its own Surrey 100 Club, a leading business angel network providing support and training to businesses looking to raise finance and grow.

And in my Surrey Chambers and Institute of Directors roles, entrepreneurs are a regular hot topic noted for their courage, dynamism and contribution to our local economy and job market: both of which have taken a battering in recent years.

Earlier this month I had first-hand experience of just that when a client of mine was crowned Entrepreneur of the Year at a local business awards ceremony. Thirty-year-old Bruce Casalis, who runs Surrey-based dog crèche business Bruce’s Doggy Day Care, was recognised by the judges for his “…knowledge, vision and true entrepreneurial spirit, combined with strong revenues and a sound business model…” having turned a simple idea five years ago into a successful viable company employing 15+ people.

The moral of the tale? As much as I fully support the GEW initiative and the global profile it brings, let’s not forget our local entrepreneurs and the great things they do right here on our doorstep – hats off and keep up the good work!

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 and the Institute of Directors Surrey Committee. To learn more visit


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