SETsquared Blog

You can’t succeed without failing first

As the winner of a SETsquared funded place on the Think Young Entrepreneurship Summer School, I soon found myself in the centre of Brussels after a short hop over from St Pancras on the Eurostar. Dinner and some socialising with the other students followed.

On Monday morning we were greeted at an excellent venue in the centre of Brussels, we met our fellow students (all 100 of them) and the team who had organised the Summer School and found out more about the week ahead:

  • divided into groups, we interviewed a number of entrepreneurs throughout the week about their ideas, networking, resourcing and marketing
  • each day we made a short presentation on the most valuable information we had learnt 
  • on Friday afternoon, each team produced a five minute presentation highlighting what they’d learnt throughout the week.

We met a variety of interesting and credible speakers, ranging from Alexandros Koronakis, Director of New Europe Newspaper, to Harley Lovegrove, Chairman of The Bayard Partnership. Each and every speaker was inspiring in their own way, whether it be the sheer success they’ve achieved in their lifetime, or the way they’ve fought failure in the belief that they will one day succeed.

With a room full of aspiring entrepreneurs, the atmosphere was electric and alive with passion. We heard about how one entrepreneur lost everything including her house, but fought her way through the difficulties and has now gone on to inspire thousands of young entrepreneurs.

There are three very important pieces of information that I have taken away with me from the Summer School which I believe will be invaluable to my success in the future:

  1. Failure is a good thing – every speaker that I heard during the week mentioned this. Failure gives you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes so you do the right thing next time. Don’t ever let failure be a disincentive.
  2. If you believe in something, you can do it – many people have a ‘great’ idea but don’t have the passion or drive to pursue it. I saw first hand how if you really believe in what you are doing, it will be a success, even if that means making mistakes which ultimately lead you on to new ventures. Follow your gut.
  3. Innovate – innovation is taking something that already exists and making it better. Innovation is key in this world along with solving problems. Innovate, or find a problem and solve it. These words were heard over and over again during the week.

The Entrepreneurship Summer School was an excellent experience and I feel privileged to have been chosen to take part. I made some great friends and have kept in contact with lots of people who may be beneficial to my business in the future and vice versa.

The week was intense but rewarding and I met so many inspiring people. If you decide to take part next year, I wish you the greatest of success in getting selected, as it will be an unforgettable experience.

Brussels Summer School

I have collected below some of the amazing and invaluable tips and quotes from the trip:

“Your business will only succeed if it is scalable”

“Networking is a key element of your business”

“Your brand is the DNA of your company”

“Innovation comes from mistakes”

“You can’t succeed without failing first”

“When networking, it’s always a yes but sometimes they don’t know it”

“Don’t be the victim of your fears”

“Don’t go to a networking event hungry”.

The ESS Students