Entrepreneurs told ‘Fortune Favours the Brave’

Karen Lynch, CEO of Belu Water addresses Fortune Favours the Brave

Entrepreneurs told ‘Fortune Favours the Brave’

North East entrepreneurs have heard how success comes only after taking chances, at the Entrepreneurs’ Forum’s Global Entrepreneurship Week conference in County Durham.

More than 200 business people attended ‘Fortune Favours the Brave’, to hear from successful entrepreneurs about how to approach ‘make or break’ moments.

The event, hosted by BBC Radio Newcastle’s Charlie Charlton, included a discussion panel and Q&A sessions with entrepreneurs who have successfully scaled-up their operations.

The conference was opened by chairman Nigel Mills, who said: “In the UK we are really good at start-ups, we are third in the world at them, but we are thirteenth in the world for scale-ups, which is not where we want to be.

“Scale-ups are absolute gold dust in the economy. Between 2013/15 the 30,000 top scale-up companies in the UK generated £900bn in turnover and created 3m jobs. So you can see how important they can be.

“Focusing on being brave and staying true to your beliefs can bring huge benefits to your company.”

Guests heard from Keynote speaker, Karen Lynch of Belu Water and Mike Welch, founder of online tyre distributer Blackcircles.

They also heard the inspirational story of Nas Khan, managing director of Jennings Motor Group, who told the conference about his journey from Pakistan to Teesside, where he has led Jennings to become one of the UK’s biggest Ford dealerships, as well as diversifying into other areas.

He said: “I have always been driven. It may be because of my humble beginnings, but I have the drive to provide a safety net for my family and it is always about providing that security, which spreads across our businesses and our staff.”

Closing the conference was another inspiring tale of entrepreneurship achieved by overcoming adversity from the founder of Traveleyes, Amar Latif. Amar, who is also a TV presenter, lost his eye sight at 19 and, after training to become an accountant, set up his business to help blind and partially sighted people experience the world through guided holidays.

Amar said: “My refusal to accept negativity inspired me to overcome the challenges I faced. By being bold and being brave, anything is possible; that is true in both life and in business.”

Nigel Mills concluded: “This conference proved that entrepreneurs are armed with the tools to overcome challenges, but it also demonstrated they have a real social conscious and they use the success of their businesses to help others. It was a truly inspirational day, not only in terms of providing guests with entrepreneurial advice and expertise, but proof positive that if you do something well, something good can be done with it.”