Fill Up Your Glasses, Startup Britain Wants To Toast Your Success

16 AUG 2011

By Michael Hayman, co founder of Startup Britain and communications consultancy Seven Hills.


How do you see life? Glass half empty or half full? If it’s the former then there is a lot to confirm your life view at the moment. Riots and the risk of recession, unemployment and underperformance.

But if that is you, I have a message. Britain cannot afford you because we can’t afford to be pessimistic any longer. Pessimism will not lead a nation to recovery, a business to profit, or a person to success. Pessimism is a parasite that robs us all of creativity, energy and action.

I am one of life’s eternal optimists. I frankly don’t believe that Britain’s best days are behind it, I believe they are to come. I don’t believe in the no win scenario, I believe that necessity is the mother of invention and that in tough times the best of your character has the opportunity to shine through.

It was for these reasons that earlier this year I co-found Startup Britain, an organization by entrepreneurs and for entrepreneurs; a beacon for optimism and practical everyday inspiration; and a clarion call that Britain can do it and so can you.

Startup Britain delivers support and advice for startup companies and aims to celebrate, inspire and accelerate young businesses. We want to inspire more people to become entrepreneurs and to support early stage businesses by shining a light on the very best in resources, initiatives and mentoring.

The entrepreneur-founders of Startup Britain put it together using their own time, resource and enthusiasm. It’s based on a common view, and that is that if the recovery is going to happen, it’s because people decide to do something about it.

The project was launched by the Prime Minister David Cameron at Microsoft’s London HQ in March of this year and according to Experian helped deliver a 25% increase in online searches about start-ups in the UK. We have put together 60 offers for entrepreneurs and have eight big name sponsors on board.

We have delivered Startup Saturdays at Staples superstores around the country and worked with the Marketing Agencies Association to open the doors of the big names like Saatchi’s to volunteer mentoring to fledgling businesses

We have more than 1,500 hours of mentoring pledged to 131 young startups, and over 3,500 Blackberry-sponsored startup guides downloaded. And this autumn the campaign takes to the road with a big bus tour of British cities. That’s just the start.

I love what we are doing but then again not everyone does. We have our Twitter critics and many who have spent a lot of time criticising the campaign. I agree, with some of the carping, we have a long way to go.

But here is the good news. Once you get through the turbulent grey skies of doubt you get to positive blue skies and this is where the action really is. The stories of the businesses we have helped, the excitement at the events we have hosted, the opportunities ahead.

It’s not everything but it is a start. It will help more entrepreneurs find brilliant resources like School for Startups, and it’s a very practical way to help inspire the brilliant new generation of people who will be tomorrow’s success stories.
So, if your glass is half full, StartUp Britain might just have the cocktail of inspiration and opportunity to help you fill it. Cheers!

Watch the video of Startup Britain’s first months.

Michael Hayman is co-founder of the public relations consultancy Seven Hills. You can also follow Michael on Twitter.

About StartUp Britain

StartUp Britain is a new campaign by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, launched on with the full backing of the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and HM Government.

StartUp Britain is the brainchild of entrepreneurs:

To find out more information please email: