Yearly Archives: 2009

Start Here! Starting & Growing A Successful Business, Newcastle, 3 February

Doug and the School for Startups team are holding their much esteemed “Start Here! Starting Growing a Successful Business” fast track course in how to start a business in Newcastle on 3 February 2010.


Growing a Successful Social Enterprise

Following the huge success of our seminars around the UK, Doug and the School for Startups team are returning to The Royal Institution. This must-attend event is for aspiring social/ethical entrepreneurs as well as existing small social/ethical businesses wishing to grow and become more successful and sustainable.


The Startup & The Scammer: A Real Story

Tell me what you think of this story. Last week I wrote about the unethical behaviour of so-called professionals involved in charging companies to help them obtain funding, get investment ready, or write their business plans. I closed by saying if you had head of anyone engaged in such practices to let me know.

This week I received an email from Nikki Hesford, the founder of, entitled “Not sure if I was being scammed?” She wrote to say,

“Hi Doug,



UK Startups are Prey for Rip Off Artists Disguised as Angel Groups & Financiers, says Doug Richard

"Just to be clear . . . start-ups should not be charged to pitch their businesses to angel investors. . . . Corporate financiers do not make their money on [upfront] fees but by taking a percentage of the money raised."


The Price of Money Part 4: Say No, No, No, No Till Your Tongue Bleeds

I have been writing a series of articles recently entitled “The Price of Money” that grew out of my unease that people neither understood how great the cost of capital is nor the enormous difficulty involved in pricing capital. I was further dis-enchanted by the rhetoric amongst government ministers reciting mantras of entrepreneurship and access to capital as though their wholesale theft of the language of the Schumpterian community absolved them from actually doing anything effective in support of small...


What Angel Investing & 1 Night Stands Have In Common

I am supposed to be the investor not the CEO. If I’m solving the problems before the investment, what’s going to happen afterwards?


The Price of Money (At Least You Can Eat Catfish)

If you are a startup you must realize that if it’s too good to be true, then it’s too good to be true. People will want your money, what little you have, and will say or do anything to get it.


Sex, Lies and the Bottom Feeders of the Angel Community

Not all angel investors are created equal. Some are real, some are actually corporate finance houses and should be judged on their track record and some are snake oil salesmen who are taking your money for no good reason. You need to be able to tell them apart.


The Dirty Secret of Credit For Small Business: the Failure of the EFG Scheme

Small businesses do not benefit from the government schemes like the Enterprise Finance Scheme because the banks subvert the schemes to reduce their own risk rather than extending the scope of lending. The incoming government should beware.


University of Essex & School for Startups to Jump Start UK Small Business in Colchester

Oct 20, 2009 – Doug Richard, Dragons' Den investor, serial entrepreneur and founder of School for Startups (S4S), will lecture small businesses and startups on 13 November 2009 at a free one day "Six Rules for Startups" event in Colchester. The course, a £95 value, will be delivered free through the University of Essex with funding from the Government’s Economic Challenge Investment Fund (ECIF). Entrepreneurs can reserve a seat at