Entrepreneurs in the Brexit Era
December 11, 2016
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brexit

What does Brexit mean for UK entrepreneurs and especially solopreneurs? Being an entrepreneur or a solopreneur in the Brexit era is a tough challenge. Over 95% of EU entrepreneurs are strongly against Brexit, as they believe that it may negatively affect their business.

In October 2016 about 700 European entrepreneurs, from a multitude of different businesses, had a chance to express their opinions about this complicated political matter in Brussels, in occasion of a bi-annual event, the European Parliament of Enterprises, organised by the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry. This event, which has taken place since 2008, has the goal of finding suitable deals between European entrepreneurs and institutions.

The meeting showed that the vast majority of entrepreneurs, who were attending the event, believed in the importance of the EU negotiating trade agreements, since, according to them, they may increase the competitiveness of their own businesses. On the other hand, about 93% of attendees demonstrated deep concerns related to their commercial implications, as employment opportunities and economic development.

The matter that was most delicately taken under consideration was related to the fact that a great percentage of EU countries are going through high unemployment crisis. Younger generations are especially the victims of these worrisome levels of unemployment, which have unfortunately been growing in these last 10 years in Southern European nations, such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.

A large portion of entrepreneurs affirmed to find it difficult to hire successful employees from other countries because of the poor transparency existing between national qualification methods. More than 95% of business owners, in fact, stated to support education and training programmes, in order to teach the desired skills and entrepreneurship knowledge to their potential employees.

One crucial fact that UK entrepreneurs, who are worried about the outcomes caused by Brexit, should definitely keep in mind is that, their businesses will be still able to be empowered by skilled foreigners, but the only thing that won’t be possible anymore will be to access EU markets.

After the results of the referendum were released, a broad variety of British entrepreneurs were scared that Brexit would have meant the end or failure of their business. It should be considered, however, that Brexit could also bring positive changes to all entrepreneurs, no matter their field or the size of their business. Many British cities, such as London, are vibrant start-up capitals.

Another matter of concern for EU entrepreneurs is represented by their fear of not being able to access funding anymore once that Brexit will be officially implemented.

There are certainly many pros and cons about Brexit. What defines entrepreneurs is their optimistic attitude towards business and life, so whatever the outcomes will be, business owners will be able to manage their future in the best possible way, especially considering that creativity, courage, talent and intelligence are what all entrepreneurs are made of.

The OM Team

The 10 Behaviours of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs
November 29, 2016
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entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur isn’t a job for everyone, this is why only a small percentage of the global population has exceptional entrepreneurial skills. Do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? If you have recently considered going down this career path, then this article can definitely help you understand if you have the necessary qualities and the right type of lifestyle to become the next bright star in the entrepreneurship universe.  Here are the 10 most essential habits that brilliant entrepreneurs follow:

1) Exercise and Healthy Nutrition

It may seem obvious, but in order to be successful you need to be mentally active and able to take important business-related decisions quickly and without hesitating for too long, so that you don’t miss any crucial chances. If you want to think fast and effectively you need to conduct a healthy life. For this reason it is important to do exercise at least three times a week and to eat nutritious ingredients, such as greens, fresh fruit, healthy fats, including all foods containing high levels of proteins, avoid alcohol and drink about two litres of water per day, to make sure that your body and mind stay fully energised and in shape. By following this simple routine, you’ll be able to maintain an optimal health and your entrepreneurial career will certainly benefit from it.

2) Make Daily Plans           

Planning plays a crucial role when running one or more businesses. It does not matter what type of projects you are currently working on or what sort of field you are in, the most important factor influencing an entrepreneurs’ success is their ability to plan their day in advance. An advice: every evening after you’re done working, make a detailed plan on your agenda about what you want to achieve on the following day; so schedule meetings, tasks, phone calls, emails that need to be sent and everything else that has to be done by the end of the day, with specific times and deadlines.

3) Find Specific Goals

Setting precise goals and respecting deadlines is essential if you want to be a top entrepreneur. Every efficient business person wants to achieve something specific and is working towards one or more goals. If you don’t have any goal at the moment, try to think on a long term perspective. What could you possibly do in order to boost your business up and destroy competition? Once you find your answer, make a well-structured and rational plan and work towards the accomplishment of your goal.

4) Know Your Limits

If you want to be ahead of the game you need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Being true to yourself and taking both your qualities and flaws into serious consideration is extremely important when working and taking crucial decisions for your business. When you are honest to yourself and have the humility to recognize and accept the weak and strong sides of your personality, you’ll be able to better interact with your colleagues, employees and make more conscious business choices.

5) Hiring Powerful Individuals

Successful entrepreneurs would have never gotten where they currently are if they didn’t hire exceptionally talented and skilled individuals. That said, it doesn’t mean that you must find employees who only graduated from Ivy League universities and who filled their resumes with job experiences in top-notch companies, but it means that you have to carefully consider who you are letting into the realization of your entrepreneurial dream. It is essential to select candidates who previously covered very formative roles, which turned them into self-confident, proactive, stimulating, serious, responsible and trust-worthy team workers, who can be the perfect match for your business, thanks to their outstanding professional qualities. Entrepreneurs are the creators of their own business, but good employees are what makes it grow and known to the world, so be careful about who you are opening the doors to.

6) Learn…Always

No one ever stops learning in life, no matter the level of education that has been accomplished and all the incredible experiences that have made people who they are. If you really want to become an outstanding entrepreneur you have to stay curious and to keep your mind always flexible and open to new theories, new concepts and ideas. Although it may seem pretty obvious, no entrepreneur has been able to become successful if it wasn’t for her/his ability to constantly assimilate knowledge. If you don’t allow your mind to learn on a daily basis, even when you are sure that you already know what you need to know, you’ll never enable yourself and your business to keep growing.

7) Look for New Opportunities

Successful entrepreneurs don’t stop conquering new goals, ever. Even when they have achieved something important, they keep working hard, without resting themselves, because they know that if they want to keep being successful they have to lookout for new challenges. Victorious entrepreneurs always conduct tons of research about current trends, about their competitors and especially about what could make their customers and clients happier than what they already are. A powerful entrepreneur knows who to catch an interesting opportunity and knows when the risks involved are reasonable enough to achieve what could make his/her business even stronger than what it is.

8) Be Satisfied About Yourself and What You Do

One of the rules to be a fantastic entrepreneur is to be grateful about your accomplishments and happy about the type of life you are conducting. If this isn’t the case, then it means that you should change something in your life in order to be happy and proud about your existence as you are supposed to be. Entrepreneurs who have a positive attitude and who are proud about their lives and career perform exceptionally because they are fully aware of their potential and know what their business and their persona is worth of.

9) Perseverance

Every powerful entrepreneur does not start working towards something and then stops right in the middle of the process, because that would mean that time, efforts and money went completely wasted. If you want your business or project to succeed and accomplish what you wish for, then you will certainly have to work with tenacity and perseverance by following a precise plan, otherwise you’ll never achieve anything at all and your dreams will remain exactly what they are: dreams.

10) Self-Confidence

If you are thin-skinned and too vulnerable when stricken by criticisms, then it might become hard for you to overcome the tough reality of the business world. As an entrepreneur you will definitely have to face unpleasant moments and hear negative comments about your business and actions. Such events, however, do not have to stop you and make your feel defeated, but they should actually become your source of strength and turn you into a stronger fighter who will prove anyone wrong with better work. You should constantly keep in mind what you are worth of and try to develop a good sense of humour, which you’ll need when facing obnoxious moments.

Until next time,

The OM Team

 

Not Everyone Was Meant To Be an Entrepreneur
entrepreneur

In a world where everyone seems to be striving to popularity and success, sometimes it can be difficult to feel as being able to fit in the strict norms and expectations set by the competitive society we live in.

There are an incredible amount of ambitious individuals around us who have astonishing business plans and who aim at turning themselves into the next Richard Branson or Steve Jobs in their field of expertise.

The truth, however, is that luckily for the majority of people out there, not everyone has a specific plan and especially not everyone wants to become an entrepreneur. This does not mean that whoever does not wish to become a business owner, a magnate or even a freelancer is a poor soul, because there are plenty of talented, intelligent and brilliant professionals who are happy with their own career path and who have ambitious goals.

The crucial thing that needs to be understood, by who is not an entrepreneur and by who, for some reason, might feel guilty and have a low self-esteem because of this, is that being an entrepreneur is not mandatory in order to have a rewarding professional life. This means that the word entrepreneur is not a synonym of success and happiness. One person can be extremely successful and end up having an astonishing career without necessarily being an entrepreneur.

There are thousands and thousands of smart individuals on this planet who feel completely satisfied and honoured about their careers and who already have the job of their dreams, the type of job that they have always worked hard to conquer. Plenty of dependent workers are proud of their own achievements and have different plans for their future, so please keep in mind that not everyone has the same goal when it comes to career choices and that the winning options available to each of us are countless.

Not being an entrepreneur does not mean to be less creative, less ambitious or less resourceful than an entrepreneur, simply because not everyone wants the same things. It is for this reason that joining such a vibrant online community as Opus Matrix can really make a difference in your professional life, since you will have the chance to virtually meet an outstanding number of fascinating users, from all over the globe, each with different jobs, career goals and dreams.

Opus Matrix is the online space where you can enhance your professional skills, find new job opportunities, showcase your professional accomplishments, make your CV public and engage with employers as well with other bright individuals as you. Building up a career is about creating a solid network of professional connections and Opus Matrix is here to help you accomplish that.

The OM Team

 

Do I have enough qualifications to succeed as an entrepreneur?
entrepreneur

Starting your own business is certainly not an easy step. There are an incredible amount of factors and rules to take into consideration in order to succeed in this extremely competitive world nowadays. Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs started their empires with no money in their pockets and no experience in the field, but they did it and became legends anyway. Look at Steve Jobs or Bill Gates as examples.

If you are also planning on launching your own company, here are some tips that you should keep in mind if you want to become an outstanding entrepreneur. Don’t worry too much if some of the characteristics listed below are not part of your personality, because they can still be learned with practice, determination and effort.

1) Do what you love

2) Make well-structured plans

3) Invest your money wisely

4) Self-promote your business

5) Build an engaging brand image

6) Conduct lots of market research

7) Be ahead of competition

8) Create an excellent team of experts

9) Build a positive reputation

10) Be organised and punctual

11) Take care of your online presence

12) Create a clear, simple and fresh website

13) Build a solid professional network

14) Allow yourself to take breaks and relax

According to recent research, some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs do not have a university qualification, while only 12% owns a business degree. This could come across as a surprising fact since common knowledge would make us assume that, in order to become a top notch entrepreneur, a background in finance, economics or marketing might be necessary. Several studies, in fact, demonstrate that usually those legendary entrepreneurs who completed a post-secondary education, have degrees in areas that have apparently nothing in common with business and entrepreneurship, such as art history, literature, medicine, law, while 22% of entrepreneurs interviewed stated to own a degree in engineering.

This proves that the key to success is not only education, but especially a mix of knowledge, practice, excellent leadership, great interpersonal skills, as wells strong understanding of numbers and investments.

More difficult is trying to understand what the secret behind leading entrepreneurs is and what makes them so unique and powerful. There are millions of clever and ambitious entrepreneurs around the globe and yet, only a small percentage of them has reached global fame, so what is the crucial element that allows smart entrepreneurs to shine? Is it luck, right connections or something else? The answer could be much simpler than we imagine: passion. Feeling love and passion for our business ideas and projects and being always ready to support and fight for them, no matter what, is the key to outstanding entrepreneurship.

If you are an entrepreneur and would like to share your experience, an advice, or simply ask a question, please let us know by emailing [email protected]

The OM Team

The Amazing Benefits of Self-Employment
self-employment

I don’t believe that I am alone in saying that I’m shocked at how quickly the winter season has come and gone. Where did the time go? 13 years from my legal retirement age, I realise that even these years will also be gone in a flash. I can’t also imagine how I ever dreamed that I could continue to bury my head in the sand about how I would be able to afford to live when this time came.

It has taken a personal tragedy to make me address reality and be proactive in taking some control over my financial future. I’ve realised that I know hardly anyone who is still in employment at retirement age. Besides, two thirds of the final Salary Pension to which I signed up 26 years ago, is but a distant dream. In addition to all that, with the news that for those of us in employment, the increase in technology means that we are all working 5 times harder than we did in the 70’s. This situation will only worsen and, for the vast majority of us, we are running harder and going backwards. Furthermore, no longer can we depend on our parents leaving us their property. Their increasing longevity and changes in the law means that this inheritance is now being gobbled up by Nursing Home fees. Added to this, our children’s inability to secure employment or housing could possibly result in a very bleak future if we do not act now.

So how can we keep up?

 I used to think of self-employment as a dirty word, but after having experienced it, I’m wondering why I didn’t try it before. For me, it’s about tapping into skills and talents that are lying dormant and using them to starting new businesses. This could possibly secure a reasonable lifestyle with which to retire comfortably; it may even be our only means of support in retirement. This is where OM really delivers the tools because it allows you to make multiple income streams by advertising your skills, as well as testing and selling your products. You can use the time left in employment to test and build up a business.

The good thing about this site is that you can find other people with complementary skills and work alongside them to share ideas, projects, etc. In this way, you can achieve things that you couldn’t have done on your own. With an online OM shop, you could start making money now. The best thing about this is that the OM team will actually do your digital promotion for you so you don’t even have to create your own website!

I have been able to start my own business and until it begins to bring in an income, I can get some revenue from my other skills. I might even be required for mentoring because of my own business knowledge. All my skills can potentially earn me income. As most people tend to drift into areas they are good at, for the first time in my life I can say that although I am working, hard it doesn’t feel like work.

Debbie Davis
Opus Matrix

How to Make Business Networking Easy
Business Networking

Start-ups are often hungry for success, full of ambition and aspiration. This is often equally balanced with feelings of vulnerability as inevitable mistakes are made.

Small business owners all need the same things: growth and development.  They all benefit from making useful connections with similar or different businesses. It’s good to work with other small organisations as their services can be less expensive than using larger companies. Check out what networking events are available at your local Chamber of Commerce on line or in your local newspaper. A word of caution: if your product or service is particularly geared towards women, I’d suggest you to look for Women’s Events in particular. In fact, there appear to be a 3:1 ratio of men to women at most meetings I’ve ever attended.

Business networking is also fundamental for your organisation and career as it can be the source of your very first customers and referrals. Good referrals and advertising through word of mouth is like gold dust in the business world, especially between the first five years. Businesses have needs, such as finding others with particular skills to get tasks completed, selling their products or services and to tell people about they do.

Opus Matrix can work for you at all stages of your business journey. It’s a great place to gain some professional connections from the comfort of your house. By creating your own profile, you’ll be able to virtually meet and chat with other professionals who have those skills you need to develop. Perhaps you are starting to sell a few things online and want to see how it goes or maybe you are well-established but need to take things to the next level. As a business member you can find jobs, people and other businesses as customers or potential business partners with no additional costs.

OM can work wonders for your business and definitely increase potential income opportunities. Our platform has met the appreciation of many of our members. S .Thomson, one of our numerous users, stated: “Opusmatrix.com are amazing advocates of the smaller business. It is nice to have a team of people on your side to help champion your business. I would whole heartedly recommend their services. It will be money well invested.”

Do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] if you want any personal recommendations or services. As I want you to avoid any possible business mistake, I am happy to point you to the right people who can help you in anything you need.

Debbie Davis

Find Your Business Network and Grow
business network

Twenty-five years ago, before computers became mainstream for ordinary people like me, I learned a very valuable lesson. Funny, I’m applying it only now, but with big leaps forward in technology, I am able to take this learning experience to another level. For a short time in the 90’s, I explored self-employment as a Financial Advisor. During my training, my colleagues and I were told to draw up a list of all our friends and people we knew and target them as our first clients. The people I targeted became my very first customers and as they recommended me to others and my business rapidly increased. I later learned that some people in the office had been growing their businesses in this way for 25 years!

Fast forward to today. I found myself heading down the self-employment route again very recently. It’s been four years and through trial and error, I’ve realised that those same principles apply and work today. Connecting with other people in a meaningful way, such as through a purpose-built business platform like LinkedIn, Opus Matrix is definitely the way forward. The recession has meant that many more people are subscribing to networks and business communities like this. So why go it alone?

The most important thing is to find the business network that suits your personality and your needs and which offers your business the best chance to grow. There are several sites around from which to choose, but like many people, I have found that they don’t all offer the same degree of return for the effort I’ve put in. Being a social medium, as well as a business network site, opusmatrix.com enabled me to easily identify other professionals’ skills and connect with them. It started with me inviting my friends, and they inviting theirs. In this way, we have created a pool of skills, resources and even people to work with and support one another.

This is what the network has offered me:

1   The Ability to Form Working Relationships

During my journey, I realized that I did not possess all the knowledge and strengths I needed in order to make my business a reality. By connecting with others, I am now able to create a business that I never could have made on my own.

2   The Ability to Have Multiple Income Streams

Yes, this has been a great discovery. Through ‘putting my skills out there’, I have found that people are willing to pay me for some skills that I considered a hobby, because others needed my expertise to further their business project.

  1. More Customers

Being in a dedicated Business Network has provided me with both working partners and customers. Inviting my friends to join and encouraging them to ask their own friends, has greatly increased all our opportunities. This has meant that by increasing our skills mix, we are providing more potential customers for all of us.

4   A New Social Life

Through the links I’ve made, I have dramatically improved my social life. YES! Meeting others with different skills who I might not otherwise have met, has meant countless invitations and networking with others through their connections. I’ve made some great new friends whom I might never have met before. In fact, I’ve never been so popular.

This is what I’ve learned:

  • Find a business network platform that works for you.
  • Work your network. You get out only what you put in.
  • Grow your business.

Debbie Davis

Opus Matrix

Business Pro Membership
businesspro 2016

Business Pro Membership

This is the king of all the membership plans provided by Opus Matrix. Business Pro offers extraordinary features for ambitious professionals who want to showcase and sell their products or services both nationally and internationally, without being charged of any fee. It also allows users to appear in our business directory, find potential partnerships with lucrative businesses, jobs, events and projects to join.

There is however so much more that a Business Pro Membership can give you in order to boost the reputation of your organisation or to make your career successful as you always wanted. In fact, thanks to a great tool called ‘Skillshare’, you will be able to share your professional skills with hundreds of other users, who will find you and possibly get in touch with you.

Skillshare can also lead you to discover potential job openings offered by entrepreneurs and companies registered on Opus Matrix. In order to be always reachable, keep in mind that, adding contact details and your Skype name, can really make a difference, allowing you to be contacted by local and international professionals.

Another tool to take into great consideration is known as ‘Meet the Experts’, which provides all Business Plus members with astonishing opportunities to communicate with smart entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts who will help you receive valuable information, consultancy and tips about leadership, management, or self-employment, any time you need.

There is also so much more that you can do by joining this fantastic membership. You can easily access and be part of crowdsourcing projects, post your own projects, blogs, events, while being always able to read other users’ profiles, posts and activities. As any other sort of social media platform, Opus Matrix gives you the chance to freely interact with other professionals and to be active on forums in order to increase visibility and strengthen the chances to gain additional success on a professional level.

Joining Opus Matrix is an amazing way to fortify your professional presence online and can make a strong impact on your career if used effectively. Business Pro is the key to a successful future and can be yours for only £199.99 per year, including a special offer of three months free of charge, or alternatively, for £19.99 per month.

What are you waiting for? Sign up today and change your future!

 

 

 

Business Plus Membership
business+ 2016

Business Plus Membership 

This membership plan is amongst the best ones that Opus Matrix currently offers to its beloved users.

Business Plus offers extraordinary features to its users, as the opportunity to create a very personalised business profile aimed at showcasing skills, CV, work experiences, interests, causes, services and products, in order to find and obtain captivating jobs, to create lucrative partnerships and get in touch with key professionals.

Thanks to a great tool called ‘Skillshare’, you will be able (as the name itself reveals) to share your professional skills with hundreds of other users, who will find you and possibly get in touch with you. Skillshare can also lead you to discover potential job openings offered by entrepreneurs and companies registered on Opus Matrix. In order to be always reachable, keep in mind that, adding contact details and your Skype name, can really make a difference, allowing you to be contacted by local and international professionals.

Business Plus enables you to post 10 jobs per year and apply to all vacancies posted by different organisations on Opus Matrix. In addition to this, with Business Plus you can easily access and be part of crowdsourcing projects, sell your products or services anywhere in the world without being charged of any fee, post your own projects, blogs, events, while being always able to read other users’ profiles, posts and activities. As any other sort of social media platform, Opus Matrix gives you the chance to freely interact with other professionals and to be active on forums.

Another tool to take into great consideration is known as ‘Meet the Experts’, which provides all Business Plus members with astonishing opportunities to communicate with smart entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts who will help you receive valuable information, consultancy and tips about leadership, management, or self-employment, any time you need.

Joining Business Plus has been strongly recommended by hundreds of users who are satisfied about its advantages, such as getting target social media marketing to specific customers or buyers.

You can easily create your own account today and conquer a fantastic membership for only £89.99 a year including three months for free as our special offer, or for £7.99 a month. This is certainly a wise investment that you won’t regret. Let your career shine!

The OM Team

Women entrepreneurs: Starting out in your forties
September 27, 2015
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Source: Lindsay Baker (Business reporter, BBC)

Here is some encouragement – it seems the best time in your life to start your business is in your 40s. What are you waiting for?
"Timing is everything,"says entrepreneur Raquel Johnson.

“By the time you’re 40 years old, you’ve learned a great deal, both professionally and personally, and made a lot of mistakes. And I think respect comes with age – people take you more seriously.” It certainly worked for Johnson. It was as she was turning 40 that she set up the San Francisco-based product design company, Coupage, with her engineer husband. Business has been booming ever since.

She is not alone, it seems. Many women entrepreneurs are waiting for the right moment, and are starting their businesses in their forties or beyond – as a second or even third career – having bided their time until they are absolutely ready. Having worked in product design and then in advertising, Raquel Johnson realised that she did not want to return to the corporate world after she had her younger daughter.

"It was challenging walking away from the 'sure thing' of a steady salary," she says, but she also found it liberating.She has found her 'true passion', she says.
"Even the stress I feel now is more enjoyable," she explains cheerfully. “It motivates me and pushes me forward.”

Business Marketing Tips JUNE 2013:
Britain needs successful women: Maria Miller calls for stay-at-home mothers to go back to work to boost the economy Getting them back to work would boost economic growth by 0.5% a year Businesses will today be told to ‘embrace’ the benefits of flexible working Experts say women ‘should be shaping economy – not just try to fit into it’ (Mail Online | 4 June 2013).

A shortage of successful women is holding Britain’s economy back, Cabinet Minister Maria Miller will warn today. The equalities minister will warn that it is unacceptable that highly-skilled and talent women continue to languish behind men in the workplace. More help will be offered to school girls to get ahead in business while employers will be urged to hire women over 50. The call comes as a government-backed report says stay-at-home mothers should go back into the workforce to boost economic growth.

Getting those women back to work would boost economic growth by 0.5 per cent a year or 10 per cent by 2030 – vital if Britain is to emerge from the financial crisis, experts said. Businesses will today be told to ‘embrace’ the benefits of flexible working to lure millions more women into the labour market. A report by the Women’s Business Council, commissioned by ministers, urges bosses to ‘support working parents’ by offering more freedom over when and where they work, so long as the task is completed.

Experts led by Ruby McGregor-Smith, the chief executive of outsourcing giant MITIE, said that ‘women should not just try to fit into the economy, they should be shaping it’. Mrs McGregor-Smith this week criticised the ‘macho’ culture in business for holding women back by resisting flexible working. Women make up 46 per cent of the workforce but account for just a third of management roles For more information click here Here is some encouragement – it seems the best time in your life to start your business is in your 40s.

What are you waiting for? Women entrepreneurs: Starting out in your forties (BBC News | 30 May 2013) “Timing is everything,” says entrepreneur Raquel Johnson. “By the time you’re 40 years old, you’ve learned a great deal, both professionally and personally, and made a lot of mistakes. And I think respect comes with age – people take you more seriously.” It certainly worked for Johnson. It was as she was turning 40 that she set up the San Francisco-based product design company, Coupage, with her engineer husband. Business has been booming ever since.

She is not alone, it seems. Many women entrepreneurs are waiting for the right moment, and are starting their businesses in their forties or beyond – as a second or even third career – having bided their time until they are absolutely ready. Having worked in product design and then in advertising, Raquel Johnson realised that she did not want to return to the corporate world after she had her younger daughter. It was challenging walking away from the “sure thing” of a steady salary, she says, but she also found it liberating.

She has found her “true passion,” she says. “Even the stress I feel now is more enjoyable,” she explains cheerfully. “It motivates me and pushes me forward.” Starting small, the business was run from home and was self-funded at first.
“[When you are older] there is more opportunity for some savings to have accumulated,” points out Johnson. “You don’t have to take out large loans or search for funders right away.”
Having started with a prototype for a device to integrate an iPod into a car, Coupage has grown steadily, bringing ideas to life in the fields of audio, energy, cars and Apple-related products.
“Once you reach your forties you have the confidence to follow your own path,” says the US-born businesswoman, Karen Scofield, who set up her company when she was 46.
"A sense of humour is also important," she adds with a smile. In the early days, she had to run her firm, London-based fashion brand Lucza, single-handedly.

It was all down to her, from technology mishaps and admin dramas to sudden, urgent errands, like dashing out to the shop to buy a copier cartridge. “Humour was definitely needed on that day,” she laughs. All of which is a far cry from her previous career as a television executive in New York, working for a smooth-running corporate machine.

When she moved to London with her husband and started a family, it was time to think again. But the skills she had learnt in TV – time and people management, organisation, as well as research and analysis – were highly transferable, she says: Some things, however, she is doing very differently from her old workplace. Her leadership style at Lucza is “inclusive,” she says. "But the main difference is, now you are the boss, the final decision maker, which can be daunting." “You decide what is best and you must make these decisions with confidence.” It is something she relishes.

So what advice would Karen Scofield give to other entrepreneurs when the going gets tough? “You have to push yourself forward, set your own deadlines and keep going.”
The hard work and 'long nights' have been worth it, she says. The Lucza brand has been increasing year-on-year sales and its pieces are worn by high-profile women such as Samantha Cameron, wife of the British Prime Minister.

She loves that her daughters see her doing something “new and scary,” and adds, “I do think it’s incredibly important that women support other women, however and whenever possible.”
She praises The Next Women, an organisation which connects women entrepreneurs via networking events and conducts 'pitch events' to prepare female entrepreneurs for fundraising pitches. Raquel Johnson found Women 2.0, which champions female tech entrepreneurs, an invaluable support.

New groups are increasingly popping up such as the fledgling UK-based organisation My Next Day Job, which is collaborating with Prime, the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise.