Coutts took to Bristol on Tuesday evening for the first in its nationwide roadshow event-series, which will showcase the entrepreneurs who prosper through change and shape the business landscape.
The event is the first of five regional events taking place this summer with events in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle to follow.
Opening Tuesday’s proceedings in a conversation with Seven Hills co-founder Michael Hayman MBE was Bristol’s Lord-Lieutenant Peaches Golding OBE, who said resilience was the main attribute of entrepreneurs: “Entrepreneurs learn to fail, and they learn to fail quickly, so they just get back up and at it again.”
She added that entrepreneurs were often courageous, forging paths untrodden: “To be a successful entrepreneur you don’t just need to swim where there are fish, you also need to swim where you think the fish ought to be.”
One such entrepreneur is Mark Roberts, who has gone against the conventional belief that electric cars are necessary for reducing carbon emissions, with his app that helps drivers find the sweet spot in their car’s engine, and rewards them for efficient, environmentally-sound driving.
In a discussion with Michael, and Lightfoot chairman and former Dyson CEO Martin McCourt, he discussed his difficult journey, which at one point left him sleeping on his office floor.
Martin echoed Peaches earlier message of resilience being key to entrepreneurial success: “One of the signs of an entrepreneurial spirit is having a difficult ride. It isn’t easy, you have to accept there will be problems and setbacks, and the good ones like Mark, tough through that.”
Closing the evening was Sir Rod Aldridge, founder of Capita and The Aldridge Foundation, who spoke with Michael about his personal journey, and the work he is doing to foster a new generation of entrepreneurs: “You can come from a very difficult background, you can have a challenging education, but if you have passion and determination you can change that.”
Through The Aldridge Foundation, Sir Rod has created a network of schools and colleges aimed at teaching students about enterprise. His message to both them and the room in Bristol? Be bold.
“Get out there and do it. Think about how you can interfere with natural flows that people have cultivated for years. You can be the one to come between them.”