What makes a successful entrepreneur? Is it their belief that there is always going to be a solution to even the knottiest of problems? Or their willingness to fail, learn and move on when necessary? Perhaps it’s just that they are the sort of person who wouldn’t be able to cope working in a corporate structure or spending their days making somebody else wealthy. While it might be hard to easily summarise the attributes that unite entrepreneurs, one thing does seem to connect them all: they sense when – and where – there’s an opportunity to be seized.
For this outing of The Entrepreneurs, our annual about the world of business that’s aimed at everyone from the founder of a fledgling start-up to the owner of a fast-moving empire of scale (and anyone who just wants the company they work for to be more dynamic), we headed to the UAE. The pace of change there is remarkable and the country has shifted from being somewhere that people dipped into for a few years for tax-free work and a quality of life top-up, to a place where people are founding businesses that they intend to run there for the long term. The scale of investment in new technology, design and infrastructure is also remarkable. We hope that our survey of all that the region has to offer entrepreneurs will provide some surprises and make some of you wonder whether this is where you should be anchoring your next enterprise. It feels like a whole land of opportunities.
You’ll also find a cast of opportunity hunters in the Toolkit pages that kick off this issue (page 21). We’ll take you to Japan to meet the founders of Maison Rococo, the beer company edging its way into fine-dining establishments, drop in on the woman who founded a Singaporean co-working powerhouse that’s now moving into Thailand and Australia, and catch up with a dapper fashion investor whose love of sports is giving him a winning streak. And we’ll also offer some moments of levity as we get a dispatch from an office dog and investigate the disappearance of the briefcase.
The Entrepreneurs, of course, is not just an annual handbook but also a weekly programme on Monocle Radio – and we round out this issue with an Expo inspired by the programme’s companion show Eureka!. Just in case you need bringing up to speed, this is where we ask business owners to reveal the moment when they spotted the valuable gap in the market, the opportunity waiting to be seized. And it has all been finely produced on page by that show’s astute and wise presenter, Tom Edwards. How’s that for multi-platform? (Although, personally, I prefer multi-platform to mean an escape-in-all-directions railway station). So as you head into the issue, keep an eye out for where your next business venture – and adventure – could be set and discover where opportunities await.
If you have ideas, thoughts or feedback, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org