Provision of Neighbourhood Enterprise Talent Scouts and Neighbourhood-based Business Advisors

Another invitation to tender appeared today.  This time a council looking for the provision of Neighbourhood Enterprise Talent Scouts and Neighbourhood-based Business Advisors to work closely together in stimulating enterprise.

Talent and Business.  Business and Talent.  Is this REALLY what it is all about?  Or is it about frustration, unfulfilled potential, anger and possibility?

One thing I do know; If you set up a system to find people with a ‘talent for business’ you will find the same people that every other agency has already found.

Set up a system to find and help  people who are angry, frustrated and wasting their potential and you will find people with the potential to do something remarkable.

However their trust is not easily won.  More than likely they gave up trying to work with the agencies a long time ago. Set yourself up as a talent scout and they will stay well clear (they have probably spent years being told they are ‘a waste of space who won’t amount to much’ and the last thing they need is another Simon Cowell type rejection).

Set yourself up as a business advisor and likewise they are likely to avoid you like the plague – images of men and women in suits talking a foreign language of equity and turnover, profit and unit costs.

Instead just provide a service  with an unremitting focus on helping people to make progress in their lives – in whatever form that takes.  Build relationships, win trust and get busy.  It won’t be long before you are working with some really interesting people on some really enterprising ideas.

Oh, and by the way, don’t try to collect reams and reams of MIS data for the funders.  Ask for an NI number or for them to fill in an equal opps monitoring survey and they are likely to drop you like a hot potato.


  1. Mike – excellent stuff as always. I am currently sparring with agencies with Gov contracts who argue they are doing the same thing as me: building confidence in people and helping them into self-employment.

    BUT they’re operating in ‘needs.’ You NEED to get a job, you NEED to get skills and you NEED to contribute to society.

    They will never reach the interesting clients that they have supposedly been commissioned to engage.

    I am working with people to establish the person they WANT to become and facilitating their journey based on who they are as individuals. I have started working on enterprise with some fascinating people as a result (who wouldn’t go near an adviser contracted by Gov).

    (Oh and their anger is a powerful motivator if pointed towards their becoming the person they want to be.)


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