Some days you just feel like an outsider.
I’ve been trying to get my latest project, Dizzyjam, off the ground for about 3 years. And in all that time I’ve been reading about other smart ideas, successful entrepreneurs and fantastic small businesses. And it makes me feel like an outsider, desperately banging on the door of the cool club, trying to get in.
Part of it’s to do with living in the UK. It doesn’t help. Amid all my reading and web-surfing I’ve been seeing how the cultures of different countries (but mainly the US) are so much more supportive of entrepreneurs. I sometimes feel like banging my head against a brick wall when I realise how little relevance the business support agencies here have for creative entrepreneurs. There are some good people out there, but I’ve been met with more blank looks than I can remember. And don’t even think about applying for any financial help. Unless you’re in a mainstream form of business, you’re very lucky to get a penny. Yet if you’re based in San Francisco or Colorado, for example, you’ll find hoards of venture capitalists looking for smart people to invest in. You’ll find regular meetups just for people who have crazy web 2.0 ideas, or want to sell MP3s from your juice bar etc etc. People don’t look at you strangely when you say that you’re an entrepreneur.
Anyway, I’ve realised most of the genuine help and support has come from fellow entrepreneurs, people who’ve already been through the process or are struggling through it as I type this. So to that end I thought I should set up a network of likeminded people who are doing something different. There are already plenty of networks for lawyers, manufacturers and accountants. What about us creatives? The people doing something different…. So to that end I’ve set up Pollen – a network for creative entrepreneurs in South Wales.
In the meantime, my project is hopefully, hopefully nearing launch date. But then I said that 12 months ago….
Here’s some articles from the Beeb about entrepreneurship in the States.
From Oxford to Silicon Valley #1 (a series of short articles about some British guys who move to the States to improve their chances of their startup being a success).