The DUD(E)

Friday, 26 July 2019

Dear <<First Name>>​,​​

"I know some WAG has already pointed out that deliver, unite and defeat was not the perfect acronym for an election campaign since unfortunately it spells DUD, but they forgot the final E my friends, E for energise." Johnson's first speech as Tory leader was typically meandering, but his policy platform is starting to take shape.

Let's get Brexit out of the way first. The most likely sequence of events will be Boris going to Europe to negotiate the deal/backstop; Europe saying no thanks. Boris will then probably try to push through a no-deal Brexit. He might succeed, but his narrow majority means it's reasonable to assume he will lose a vote of no confidence. We will then get a General Election.

Brexiters and Remainers will both be seething. So in the interest of unity and sanity, let's talk of other things. Here are three reasons to be optimistic (as with governments of all stripes, I'm sure there will be plenty to criticise in future e-bulletins).

Down Under
Boris has immediately axed Theresa May's vow to lower immigration to the tens of thousands. Unlike Boris, I don't think an Australian-style points system is the answer, but the change of tone from May's premiership is a blessed relief. As my colleague Annabel Denham argues in The Telegraph: Immigrants are the lifeblood of Britain's entrepreneurial spirit – we need them more than ever

Where Art Thou?
Boris's brother Jo Johnson – who wrote the foreword for our recent Job Creators report on immigrant founders – is back at the science ministry, straddling BEIS and the Department for Education. Johnson is well regarded by the research community and is widely considered to have done a good job when previously in the role. He was behind the creation of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), championing the target that the UK spends 2.4% of GDP on research and development by 2027. Johnson might have an unexpected ally in his brother's Special Adviser Dominic Cummings. The former Campaign Director of Vote Leave takes a keen interest in science, as readers of his eclectic log will know. A recent blog on why science is becoming less efficient draws on the same body of research that interested me here last year.

Health of Nations
Matt Hancock remains at health, which may give him the time go some way to realising his tech vision to build the most advanced health and care system in the world: "The vision sets out how digital services and IT systems will need to meet a clear set of open standards to ensure they can talk to each other and be replaced when better technologies become available. A focus on putting user needs first and setting standards at the centre will enable local organisations to manage their use of technology and spread and support innovation wherever it comes from." Anyone interested should read last year's policy paper.
Our Next Event 
The Entrepreneurs Network, NatWest and Aston Business School would like to you to the launch of the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). The GEM is the world’s most authoritative study of entrepreneurial activity and has been running since 1999.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor UK Report Launch
With Tugce Bulut, Co-founder and CEO of Streetbees & Professor Mark Hart
31 July 2019
8am to 10:30am
NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator, Regents House, London
The UK GEM will reflect and compare the entrepreneurial attitudes, activity and aspirations in the UK, France, Germany and the United States from 2018. It will also compare results from the countries within the UK.

News and Views

What impact will Boris Johnson’s Chief of Staff Dominic Cummings have on digital government?

Why refugees love being entrepreneurs (The Times - Paywall)

Europe is beating the US in fintech innovation, says Revolut’s Nikolay Storonsky

London’s high cost of living is leading to tech jobs moving to places like Bristol and Manchester (FT Paywall)

The cause of the decline in labour’s share of GDP is one of the biggest debates in economics today. A new paper suggests the rise of equity-based compensation, think stock options at startups, has skewed the data

New study on the link between automation and populism - “Higher exposure to robot adoption is found to increase support for nationalist and radical right parties"

Why founder wellbeing is the new metric for startup success

Nicolas Colin’s review of John Carreyrou’s Theranos exposé Bad Blood

Friends of the Network


Inventors’ Club
29 July 2019
6pm to 8.30pm
British Library’s Business & IP Centre
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The Inventors’ Club series is designed to help you refine, protect and commercialise that new product idea you’ve been tinkering with.

Pitch Lab: Practice makes power.
30 July 2019
From 7pm 
Online workshop
£10 (10% with TEN10)
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Join negotiation expert Tanya Tarr for an open class that will allow you to pair up with another community member and practice your next pitch.

Oxford Forum
20 August 2019
6.30pm to 8.30pm
Oxford Foundry, Oxford
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Forum is a small, curated group of 10-15 entrepreneurs meeting. The Forum in Oxford will be moderated by an entrepreneur connected with the YPO business network.

#SheStartedIt LIVE: A Festival of Women
14 September 2019
8.30am to 7pm
Altitude London
£75 (with 50% discount code "entrepreneur50")
Find out more
Day-long festival in celebration of the amazing women who have started companies, movements, initiatives, families, platforms, revolutions and everything in between.


Philip Salter
Founder, The Entrepreneurs Network

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