News from Cass Business School

Good business isn’t all about profit

Sir Malcolm Williamson provides an upbeat assessment of the current market for would-be entrepreneurs.

Wednesday, 11 August, 2010

Common wisdom would have it that the current climate is far from ideal for starting a new business venture. Loans for small and medium sized firms seem to have dried up and consumer confidence is low amid fears of a double-dip recession. However, an expert panel on entrepreneurship at the recent Alumni World Forum delivered an altogether more upbeat outlook for would-be business leaders, a point of view endorsed by the Chair of Cass’s Strategy and Development Board, Sir Malcolm Williamson, who introduced the panel.
Sir Malcolm argued that as long as entrepreneurs have a good idea that is structured, clear and takes into account that set-backs may occur they will be successful even in the most challenging of environments. The government has a role to play, in helping businesses, too but shouldn’t be too intrusive, their job is to set the correct environment and then allow business people to do what they do best. Sir Malcolm concluded by stressing that business success should not come at the cost of sound ethics and that the best businesses always look to give something back.
As well as Chairing Cass’s Strategy and Development Board Sir Malcolm currently holds a number of posts in organisations and companies in the City. He chairs National Australia Group Europe Limited and Signet Group plc, and is deputy Chairman of Resolution plc.  He is a non-executive director of G4S plc, National Australia Bank Ltd and JPMorgan Cazenove Holdings, and chairs the Advisory Board of Youth Business International. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum.
The Cass Talks interviews are an opportunity to hear Cass faculty and prominent alumni give their perspective on current business and finance news stories, global issues affecting the business world and new research coming out of the School. Listen, watch and download Sir Malcolm’s Cass Talks and see other Cass academics share their opinions at

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