Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of attended the Entrepreneur Country Forum 2013 in London at the Royal Institute of Great Britain. Demonstrating Dell’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs across the UK, our partnership with Entrepreneur Country delivers a platform for business owners to reach likeminded individuals and put in place the resources that will ultimately help entrepreneurs and business leaders reach their goals.
At Dell, we’re reminded daily of our entrepreneurial roots. Starting out as a 19-year-old student in his dorm room – Michael Dell created our company out of the belief that technology is an enabler of human potential. And for the 28 years since, Dell has played a critical role in transforming computing, and enabling more affordable and more pervasive access to technology around the world. Today, our ambition remains the same – to bring innovative solutions to our customers by understanding what’s needed to enable their businesses to grow and thrive. To put it simply, we want to give businesses the power to do more.
In its seventh year, the Entrepreneur Country Forum is a bi-annual conference where hundreds of like-minded investors and business owners have the opportunity to hear from top business advisors, discuss hot topics, share ideas, and connect. With an impressive history of influential speakers including Sara Murray, founder of confused.com, Martha Lane Fox of Lastminute.com, and luxury beauty tycoon Jo Malone, the forum has firmly secured its place in the business calendar.
The theme of this Forum was ‘A New Common Sense Emerges’ and brought together leading entrepreneurs and business leaders to look at how digital enablers are changing the business landscape, the experiences of these innovators, plus how small businesses can adapt business models and integrate innovation to maximise growth. The event was opened by Julie Meyer, founder of Ariadne Capital and followed by an impressive speaker line-up of entrepreneurs talking about their own experiences of starting and growing a business. There was a total of 14 speakers for the day including: Dr Mike Lynch – Founder, Autonomy; Ed Bussey – CEO, iTrigga; Dr Kate Hersov, Medikidz, and several session enabling startups to pitch their business to a room full of British business leaders. With a huge audience of around 400 attendees including digital start-ups, businesses seeking innovation, as well as the investor community, the Forum was an ideal venue to demonstrate our support for entrepreneurs of all growth stages.
I was honoured to have the opportunity to speak at the event and share insight into Dell’s own entrepreneurial beginnings and commitment to empowering growing businesses to scale and better serve their customers by drawing greater value from technology through programmes aimed at supporting small and medium-sized businesses worldwide, such as Centre for Entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence-Programme, and DWEN.
We also put together a short survey, which was distributed to Entrepreneur Country’s 35,000+ membership base, on attitudes towards funding and technology, which we revealed the results of on the day along with a link to an interactive infographic. With 60 percent of respondents indicating they view IT investment as an enabler of growth; but one in five citing lack of technical expertise as their largest obstacle for growth – it’s clear that there is a role for Dell to play in providing end-to-end solutions in place to help take ideas from start-up to success.
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