UCL Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture Series
16 February 2009
Lord Karan Bilimoria, Founder of Cobra Beers and cross-bench life peer, spoke at UCL on 12 February as part of the university's Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture Series.
Speaking in front of over 100 people, Lord Bilimoria - the National Champion for the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship - outlined his views on how the UK should fight its way out of the current economic climate, with the help of the Government. He said: "The long-term challenge for government policy is to create opportunity out of adversity, to create the opportunity for new growth industries and entrepreneurs to flourish, and to create the opportunity for social innovation and social entrepreneurs to tackle the challenges of exclusion, dislocation and disinvestment. Short-term measures to stimulate the economy should, wherever possible, promote long-term innovation for sustainable growth."
He continued: "I firmly believe that a new generation of successful entrepreneurs, and businessmen and -women will emerge from the ashes of this recession. […] Crisis is often critical to innovation: a crisis provides an urgent sense of focus to mobilise resources and break down barriers which normally stand in the way of innovation."
UCL Advances, the university's centre for entrepreneurship, hosted the event. Timothy Barnes, Executive Director of UCL Advances, said: "We strongly endorse Lord Bilimoria's view that entrepreneurship in all its forms represents a real route to help lift the UK out of the current economic crisis. At UCL, we are working to train entrepreneurs and offer real support to both them and small businesses in London and across the country. This spring, we will launch a series of new courses to help new business leaders and also bursaries for those facing economic hardship who want to continue their education."
Lord Bilimoria was speaking as a guest of UCL Advances, UCL's centre for entrepreneurship. The department was set up in 2007 to work with the business community to drive innovations that will benefit society and the economy.
UCL Advances links the expertise and creativity of researchers, business and investors. Through a systematic programme of engagement, the department is helping create a wider network to address specific challenges with major societal or market potential. In the short time UCL Advances has been active it has built a reputation as a pioneer of collaboration between industry and academia, primarily due to a number of initiatives spanning the gap between science discovery and exploitation.