News from Cass Business School

Credit is the oxygen for SMEs and behaviour of certain banks is 'outrageous'

Cass alumnus Peter Cullum speaks up for small business owners at Cass event

Friday, 10 September, 2010

Peter Cullum, Founder and Executive Chairman of Towergate Insurance and Cass alumnus, has criticised the behaviour of certain UK banks in the past 18 months, saying credit is the very oxygen of what businesses need and it has been turned off to many small business owners.
Mr Cullum was speaking at the launch of the partnership between Cass and Your Business Your Future, the UK’s leading specialist in the design and delivery of programmes for ambitious owner managers.  He said credit has dried up for many small businesses by virtue of certain banks behaving badly and he called for a new lending policy which reflects the changed economic environment subsequent to the financial crisis.
He was part of a panel debate led by Gerard Burke, founder and MD of Your Business Your Future, with Tristram Mayhew, Chief Gorilla, Go Ape!, and Phil Orford, CEO of the Forum for Private Business.
Each of the panellists shared their stories of how they became a successful business owner manager and advice which helped them grow their businesses.  Tristram Mayhew encouraged other entrepreneurs to only work with people they trust and like and to have a big idea which attracts good people.  He said: Having a big plan is right because even if you don’t make it, it is better than only doubling your business each year.
Phil Orford, who regularly hears from the 20,000 members of the Forum for Private Business, a trade association for small business owners, said no one has cracked the nut of what kind of support works for small businesses because each company has its individual needs.  He said people need help currently at accessing markets and encouraged more collaborative approaches to education and support for small business owners.  He agreed that banks are not lending enough to small businesses, but he also conceded preparedness was not at where it should be for many entrepreneurs seeking credit from banks.
Mr Cullum, who described himself as an accidental entrepreneur’ also agreed that employing the right people is critical to business success and revealed his company has a mantra to Make money, have some fun and do some good.  He said he doesn’t pay top quartile to his executive team, but his company does have a bonus pool and equity kickers based on performance.  This is important for retaining the best people.
The partnership between Cass and Your Business Your Future will provide a range of unique and transformational programmes to support the owner managers of such businesses through the different stages of growth and development of their businesses, enabling them to create more jobs and drive the economic recovery.
The programmes will be run in association with the Peter Cullum Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cass which was established in 2009 and is one of the largest centres of its kind in the world, providing support and funding to budding entrepreneurs with a focus on the service sectors.  As part of the Centre, the School also operates the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund, a £10 million investment fund providing finance for start-up and early stage businesses across the Cass community.  Participants in these programmes run in partnership between Cass and Your Business Your Future will be eligible for investment from the Fund.
Find out more about the programmes at a series of FREE Better Business Briefing Events.  At the events, owner managers can:
  Discover the Seven Pillars of Better Business - the seven characteristics which seem to distinguish businesses that consistently perform better.
  Arrange a FREE 1-1 coaching session with a member of the Your Business Your Future team.
  Learn about Your Business Your Future's transformational development programmes.

The dates for the Better Business Briefing Events are:
22 September, 6.30pm, Cass Business School, London
6 October, 6.30pm, Cass Business School, London
12 October, 8.30am, Lane End Conference Centre, High Wycombe
1 November, 6.30pm, Cass Business School, London
11 November, 8.30am, Lane End Conference Centre, High Wycombe

To reserve your FREE place please visit:

Permanent link to this story:
Share this article