To many, the explosion of FinTech heralded a major threat to the dominance of the big banks. This is largely true.
However, this age of unprecedented technological and entrepreneurial wizardry has given rise to something else – an unparalleled level of collaboration.
Logic would dictate that if something is a threat to your way of doing business, you would distance yourself from it, try to beat it or even destroy it. Well, the reality is as welcome as it is refreshing. All over the world there are examples of bigger businesses offering coaching, advice, work-space, funding access and more to start-ups that could be perceived as competitors.
Cynics among you would be forgiven (maybe) for thinking this kind of behaviour is only a case of ‘keeping your enemies close’ and a way for big businesses to easily acquire and absorb potential threats but I, for one, chose a more optimistic outlook.
You only need to look as far as NatWest and Virgin Money (CYBG) in our fair city of Manchester. Championed by CEO Alison Rose, the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator (UK wide locations) is a shining example. I have witnessed first-hand the help and support given to start-up and enterprise businesses alike and the sense of community is fantastic. B Works on Market Street is another great space for smaller businesses to get access to a comfortable work-space and support they would otherwise have to beg, borrow or steal.
Of course, it’s not just the banks that are offering this kind of support. I attended a WeWork Labs event last week hosted by Jonny Quirk. As well as seeing a number of ideas pitched from a wide range of sectors (you can’t get a wider spectrum than manufacturing efficiency to adult entertainment), we also heard about the global community access given to these businesses via the WeWork network. I’ve only listed a couple of examples here but take a look around – you’ll be spoilt for choice!
In my opinion, the ‘business community’ is living up to its name like never before and long may that be the case. As a network business, here at GO! we take a great deal of inspiration and confidence from the fact that most people are working beyond the boarders of their own brand, both seeking and giving support to their wider industry.
by Dominic Wren
Published date: March 19 2020