Shaper: Emma Jones

Saturday 12 April 2014

In 2013, the UK ended the year on 524,000 new companies that had been formed in those twelve months alone.

I think it gets forgotten that an increase in start-up rates is great for the economy.

About 70% of new businesses have started from home, so what you see is mums and dads educating the next generation of entrepreneurs.

We went to pitch to a very famous venture capital company and we said, “right, we want three million pounds and we have no idea how we are going to make this money back” and they said “ok, we’ll lend it to you”.

What you see now is lean start up, people starting on a boot-strap of a budget, keeping their costs low, co-working and sharing space.

We were the new kids on the block starting a business, but we wanted to be taken seriously, so we had a big focus on media and press profile to make us easy to pick up.

We sold the company within two years. I then did a lock-in clause and went straight on to the next business.

Once you have ran your own business you become unemployable.

The day I stop learning is the day I am in trouble.

We are seeing the creation of a true enterprise nation where people are doing what they love.

Emma Jones

Following a degree in Law and Japanese, Emma joined international accounting firm Arthur Andersen, where she worked in London, Leeds and Manchester offices and set up the firm’s Inward Investment practice that attracted overseas companies to locate in the UK. In 2000, bitten by the dot.com bug, Emma left the firm to start her first business, Techlocate.

The experience of starting, growing and selling a business from a home base gave Emma the idea for Enterprise Nation which was launched in 2006 as the home business website. The company has since expanded to become a small business community of over 75,000 people who benefit from business books, events and funding: online, in print and in person.

In March 2011 Emma was one of 8 co-founders to launch StartUp Britain, the national campaign to encourage more people to start a business and support existing businesses to grow. Over the past 2 years, the private sector campaign has facilitated mentoring, hosted Industry Weeks, toured the UK with entrepreneurs and experts, launched special projects such as StartUp Loans and StartUp High Street and has had a critical role to play in record results of people becoming their own boss. Emma is currently acting as campaign director of StartUp Britain.

In June 2012 Emma was awarded an MBE for Services to Enterprise.

Emma is the best-selling author of the business books Spare Room StartUp , Working 5 to 9 , Go Global , The StartUp Kit and Turn Your Talent Into a Business . She hosts the popular one-day business class StartUp Saturday in London, and speaks at several other business events.