What does it take to be an entrepreneur? It’s an almost impossible question to answer, although Richard Osborne is determined to shed some light through his podcast, which focuses on the stories of business owners.
Richard started the UKBF Stories podcast as part of UK Business Forums, the online platform he founded for those starting or running a small business, where members can benefit from advice, resources and support as part of an active business community.
Richard, who also runs Business Data Group, which provides solutions that support hundreds of thousands of UK entrepreneurs every year as they start out in business, as well as connecting entrepreneurs to the right service providers for their business.
“Having helped found UK Business Forums in 2003, I sold it in 2007 but bought it back again in 2021 and that rekindled an interest in me about entrepreneurs and what makes them tick.
“People refer to me as an entrepreneur, but you just feel like yourself to yourself, so I began to wonder why people say that about me, what makes an entrepreneur and what we can learn from speaking to people who’ve committed everything to starting a business.
“I’m quite introverted, and at first I couldn’t think of anything worse than having to record myself interviewing someone, but I did one with Duane Jackson, patron of the Prince’s Trust, who is a friend anyway, then one with Shalom Lloyd from Naturally Tribal Skincare, who was so welcoming and easy to interview, and from there I realised that I was in my element. Now I know that if I could pick one of my perfect jobs it would be to sit and listen to people talking and telling the stories of their lives, what drives them, what they can teach us and what they have learned themselves.”
UKBF Stories is now available on all the main podcast streaming services and is fascinating listening for anyone who wants to know the ‘why’ behind someone starting their own business.
In-depth conversations with the likes of Jon Thorpe, Managing Director of ACS; Grant McKenna from The Apertus Group and Jon Lashley from Brooklyn Brownies not only offer an insight into what it takes to run a business, they also get to the person behind that business and find out what makes them tick.
Previous episodes include Shalom Lloyd telling her story of how her business came about after her desperate search for a remedy for her baby son’s severe eczema and led to an approach to the women in the Kingdom of Essan in Shalom’s native Nigeria, who now supply Shalmon’s key ingredient, shea butter, on a ‘trade not aid’ basis.
Jon Thorpe, Managing Director of ACS, spoke about the early days when the company began in a converted bathroom with one desk, two chairs and two phones and grew into what it is today, and told Richard:
“It’s about attitude, how you wake up every morning, how you approach your day, how you show up. You have a choice about your attitude. You have dark days but the next day you should be able to get back on track.
“I still don’t think I’ve achieved anything, what does achievement look like? I’ve heard people say that the fun part is the journey and maybe they’re right.”
Ben Thomas, Managing Director of All Things Business spoke about how starting his own company came from an inheritance from his grandfather backed up by support from The Prince’s Trust, and about making a difference not only by what you do in business but what you give to the people who work for you.
“If someone comes to work for me for three, five, ten years, I believe that I should make their life better while they are working for me. I have to make them a better individual and I think, in most cases, I’ve done that.”
The catalogue of previous UKBF Stories podcasts is available to listen to via the website and a new episode is released every two weeks.
“Having run my own business helping people set up their businesses, it always fascinated me how many different stories there were,”
“Running the podcast gives me the opportunity to share all that with other people – how someone overcame the obstacles they did to create jobs for people and contribute to the local economy, and that’s amazing to listen to.
“Entrepreneurs walk among us, there are fantastic business stories everywhere you look if you take time to find out about them. I want to get them to share their stories, so we can all learn by seeing how they have gone through what they have needed to go through to make their business a success.”