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Training from UCL and Goldman Sachs

15 May 2013

We are very proud to have been selected by University College London and Goldman Sachs to take part in the 10,000 Small Businesses programme. The scheme provides business training to high-growth companies in what the organisers describe as a “mini MBA”.

I attended the first session of the course yesterday which largely consisted of a getting-to-know you orientations session. Each participant had to bring three objects that represented their business – something about where the business came from, something about what your family and friends think about you being an entrepreneur and something about where you want to be.

I brought a frying pan as my first object (it all started when we used to cook each other lunch and work around our kitchen tables), my second was a hammer and sickle T-shirt which I brought out Superman-style (my family and friends are worried I’m selling out) and my final object was a John Lewis bag (John Lewis is one of the UKs largest partnerships and have a great reputation for quality and customer service).

The most popular items were awards, globes and compasses. One of the first participants to present was a little mean and kicked off by saying “I was going to bring a globe or a compass, but then I thought that was lame and clichéd”. Some of the more unusual objects included a hippo tusk (from a game-keeper turned plumber), the shoe from the presenters foot (sandwiched between a very funky pair of Jimmy Choo shoes) and the hammer and sickle T-shirt.

It was a great day and the staff from UCL and Goldman Sachs were really good fun. It was amazing to see what a diverse range of people ended up in the room — people who run social enterprises, aspiring Bransons who want to take over the world and people who are just muddling through. There were people from animatronics companies, people who manufacture clothes and people who sell doors door-to-door. Some people had been in business for years, some had just started. I’m really looking forward to seeing how everyone develops over the course.