Yesterday I went to my first (free) Enterprise Agency seminar on starting a business. I took my notepad along, not only to record any top tips that I received from the speaker, but also to catalogue any weirdness that went on for the later amusement of you lot. Reader, there was no weirdness.
The material presented was excellent: clear, well-organised, and informative—and delivered not by a character from The League Of Gentlemen, but by someone who obviously knew what she was talking about. My fellow attendees were not middle-aged, middle-class, white-collar unemployed hoping to set up a café called “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Shop” or a restaurant serving rustic Mediterranean cuisine in an informal setting, but smart, twenty- and thirtysomethings with certificated skills at their fingertips, (mostly) well-defined money-making schemes in their heads, and attentive gleams in their eyes. Men and women were present in exactly equal numbers.
In fact, if you want to meet attractive singles in the area you could do worse than go along to Brighton, Hove and Lewes Enterprise Agency. You’ll have to take a business plan along with you though, and, given their questions on the day, you might find your prospective partner just a little bit obsessed with tax avoidance—not, ahem, tax evasion—but it’s better than their being a stalker/bunny-boiler.
I should also point out to those of a “Tax Freedom Day”/libertarian/small-government bent that the Department of Trade Industry produces some superb “common-sense” guides to what Right-wingers insist on describing as “red tape”—you know, those rules that prevent “entrepreneurs” from sending small children up chimneys or making their staff cross an open walkway over the giant grinding metal maw of the waste compactor to get to the toilets. Having dealt with various DTI officials in my previous life, I am not one of the department’s biggest fans, but yesterday I finally understood that it does at least have a reason to exist.
So, sadly, all I can say this morning is: “insert joke here”.