Tom Williamson (6 August 2014)
Tom Williamson is a witty and straightforward businessman who makes a living out of supporting young and ambitious aspiring entrepreneurs into making a success of their proposed businesses. He is currently the Chairman of Enterprise Educators UK, a consortium of academics (including Buckingham) that supports students to be entrepreneurial, and is employed by the Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship, at Coventry University, where he also completed his degree and started his first small business while he was still a student.
It was beneficial to be able to spend some time listening to an everyday person with a passion for business and making an impact on the world, through the means of entrepreneurship. Most of the advice, mistakes and lessons that were conveyed in the talk were not novel ideas that any practising entrepreneur would not give, but it was the candid and humorous way that the message was delivered that grabbed the students’attention and reminded them to implement many of the concepts that were discussed, in their lives and businesses.
Personally, the key thing to take away from the talk was the encouragement to young entrepreneurs with small businesses and more time than money to make use of the network of people around them. These networks are invaluable when finding information about a new idea, looking for someone with a specific skill, getting advice on a business problem, and a host of other things. Networking is an activity that a lot of young people do not participate in consciously, from a business perspective, especially in more recent times where anyone can ‘google’anything. However, it is these same business networks that are key in advancing any entrepreneurial person’s dreams into practical realities. It is with the help, support and wisdom of others that we are able to achieve far more than we would otherwise achieve on our own, and achieve it more quickly.
Based on an article by Paula Henriette Mugisa