“Never give up” was the message businessman and former jewellery magnate Gerald Ratner delivered at the launch of the Scale Up Awards by Business Leader magazine. AIN were in attendance to watch the launch of the awards with several prominent speakers discussing the challenges and opportunities faced by scaling businesses.
Ratner is the former chief executive officer of the British jewellery company Ratners, who famously demonstrated the power of negative PR when he notoriously made a speech jokingly denigrating two of the company’s products at an Institute of Directors conference.
He detailed his Icarus-like fall from the glittering heights of business leadership that saw the company’s value plummeting by around £500 million after his blunder. He then described the obstacles he faced in launching a new fitness chain and how perseverance saw him through as he went on to sell the business for £3.9m in 2001. Following that he launched an online jewellery business, after he was turned down by 15 banks for funding, before a 16th agreed. He used the example to highlight the need for startups to persevere no matter the odds.
Irene Graham, CEO and a board director of the ScaleUp Institute also spoke at the event. She highlighted the real need for the UK to invest in more scale ups, pointing out that the UK is third in the world for startups but 13th for scale ups. She told the audience “You are the future, we need to get behind you”.
Founder of Business Leader Andrew Scott highlighted that there had been a record number of entries for the awards so far.
The Scale-Up Awards are open to UK based entrepreneurs and trading businesses, celebrating business achievement and growth. There are still time to enter.