The New Economy report launched this week provides a solid foundation on which to build Manchester’s prominent position as UK’s second City. We now need to move policy and strategic thinking into tangible activities that generate a pipeline of gazelles and gorillas. These are the terms that define businesses, which employ skilled people, generate foreign earnings and help to create vibrant and thriving local economies. By creating more of them we reduce the dependency on attracting FDI in an increasingly competitive global market place.
To build such a stock of these businesses we need a feeder of individuals with ambition and who possess a mindset that sees no boundaries, interconnected thinkers who fuse ideas together to build new and outstanding business models. Innovation starts with the way we think, if you think you can you can, if you think you can’t you’re right. Winners get their head in gear and are extremely focused and obsessive about achieving their personal and business intentions. When this frame of mind is fused with a sound commercial proposition, strong team and adequate resources, the ingredients for success are in place.
High quality business support lies at the heart of supporting the next generation of superstars, I don’t agree with the report that states this is in place in Manchester, because its not – if anything it needs to re invent and innovate itself. We have a strong financial and professional services sector, this goes without saying, but it’s more than this. Business advice that sticks is delivered by someone who has real empathy with the growth journey – they understand the key transition points of the growth cycle, its ups and downs but more importantly they provide sound inputs based on real life experience. Wrapped around high quality one to one tailored advice is the power of peer-to-peer networking – entrepreneurs learning from each other and sharing experiences in an informal manner.
Building a business can be a lonely existence. Sharing problems with likeminded people is in massive need. Manchester needs to put momentum into building high quality networking forums. We must build an environment where entrepreneurial networking leads individuals to imposing pressure on each other, in other words they want to be more successful and grow faster than the person sat next to them in the room. This friendly rivalry is a stimulus for constantly raising the bar of performance. It also creates the breeding conditions for global giants, those we typically see on the West Coast of the States.
The High Growth Foundation, a legacy of the North West High Growth Programme, aims to fill this gap. A rapidly growing alumni of ambitious individuals who want to take their business to the next level. They have bought into a belief system and supporting philosophy that acknowledges success comes with having the right mindset and a sound business idea. When you surround yourself with successful people it triggers innovation and progressive thinking, but then you need the tools to finish the job as Winston Churchill put it!