Who on earth is a Street Entrepreneur?

You could be, with a bit of help from us to get you up and running!

Being a Street Entrepreneur, as the name suggests, is about immediacy.  It’s about being it, doing it, and making the most of the hand you’ve been dealt.  It’s less about looking for the perfects solution in a text book –a solution that suited the author at one moment in time, in one particular situation– and more about getting a real life, real time assist to move forward – moving forward may mean laying down one idea, carefully, in favour of another more suited to the market.

We can’t tell you what the right decision is for you, only what we did in similar circumstances, what we learned from it, how we worked around them, and how we moved forward.  We give you the tools we developed over nearly a hundred years in business, and we give you the safety net of knowing that we’re here to help you make the decision that’s right for you to move on.

The Street entrepreneurs movement was created specifically to answer the questions that we took, year in, year out.  It became clear to us that what is taught to students of MBM and MBA in Glasgow’s universities, was not suited to the fast-paced, everyone-wants-to-win world that we have created. David Neill and Suzy McLean, both Second Year students at the University of Strathclyde, met with Bruce Thomson and Alan Catto in 2010 and asked lots and lots of very interesting and challenging questions –the ones we like– and that led the four of us to conclude that better could be done. So, using Bruce’s ‘just dae sumthin!’ model, we created Street Entrepreneurs as a bit of an experiment. And it was an experiment that worked.

There are now Street Entrepreneurs in Canada, India, Thailand, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, and we’d be happy to put you in contact with them for it’s not what you know or what they know that will make the difference: it’s what we collectively know that will bring change for good.

We’re going! Going! We’ve gone virtual!

Download your StreetEntrepreneurs tools, for the Apple iPhone, from the Apple iTunes Store now. They’re free, robust and get you connected. We suggest you start using the StreetNDA right away, as your current thing could be the next BIG thing!

Meet your fellow Street Entrepreneurs at SE12

Virtual’s not for everyone, we’ve been told, so we’ll be back to reality and starting up our next 12 sessions to coincide with the coming year of study. The SE12 event has not yet been scheduled but it will be to coincide with the coming term year and study breaks. But in keeping with last year it’ll be held, upstairs, in Citizen M hotel, which is on the corner of Hope Street and Renfrew Street. Please be there for a 6pm start; we’ll finish at 7pm.

Every crowd has a silver lining

The Street Entrepreneurs seek to pass on all that they have learned through a series of one-hour workshops. These were ad hoc in early 2010 but settled into a programme of one workshop per month. Each regular event is held on a Wednesday evening, typically the first Wednesday of each month, in Glasgow. Other add-hock events spring up from time to time as you need them to. If your can’t be there, Skype us, with the latest version, to join in the debate.

You can also email us for information regarding the up-and-coming workshops, if you can’t find enough information on this page. Alternatively, ask around your entrepreneurial friends, as they might know something you don’t! That is, after all, ‘the genius of the and’. Either way, the Street Entrepreneurs would like to speak with you at one of our workshops, so that we can get to know you, so you can get to know us, and so that we can start sharing what we know to build a better future for us all.

What’s next for you?

As the World Entrepreneur Games system goes online and accelerates towards the first all-invitational medals final in 2014, the Street Entrepreneurs will be helping to shape the contests. If you want to help out, sponsor, or compete –and you want to improve your chances of winning your way through to the medals– then the Street Entrepreneurs can help you.


Steve Jobs aside, no one’s quite as sharp as they think. So, you can run into and fall over life’s hurdles as you dash for your grave, or you can employ various tricks and dodges to allow your bruises and scars to be of matters interesting, rather than those gained from running and learning how to run businesses.

Bruce and I aren’t quite as sharp as we’d hoped we’d be some 30 years ago, but we’re here, we’re still daen’ it, and we’ve headed back out onto the street from whence we came to try and pass on our learnings to the next generations of entrepreneurs at street level: Street Entrepreneurs.

We’ve enough bruises, scars and war-wounds for a platoon of entrepreneurs, but we’re not here to tell war stories or to show the scars we’ve collected. We’re here as life-long learners to pass on what we’ve learned so that others don’t have to learn the hard way, speeding you to go on and do your own thing.

On the street

On an almost daily business we bump into very smart and very interesting people, on good days sometimes both. In conversations with baristas, designers, executives, lawyers, street vendors, shopkeepers, and both under and postgraduates and we found a couple of common threads, particularly in those who were formally educated. There are gaps in knowledge for what Bruce and I consider and some of the most basic, and therefore the most vital business skills. As engineers we’d be right to consider these as spark-gaps, but they are acting as insulators rather than generators of new concepts, ideas, products and services. So, we took on the task of bridging or closing these gaps, or doing what we can to reduce them to the point where they start the entrepreneurial sparks. In true entrepreneurial spirit, we’re not tackling this conventionally, we’re doing this in many ways – concurrently!

You’ll find Street Entrepreneurs in every walk of life and at every age. On the premise that you can’t fully understand what you’ve learned until you try to teach it, we’re building a chain of learning: helping schoolchildren entering secondary education on one side of us, and those in their third and fourth lives on the other, through a programme of challenges, classes, mentoring sessions, one-to-one talks and live, open meets. So there’s and link in the chain for entrepreneurs new and old, inexperienced and tired alike to grab onto, for a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade, a lifetime or lifetimes.


We’ve created several new businesses to accompany the programme. One is a huge social entrepreneurship venture, VICTOR, which will set the benchmark for ventures to come. Another, WEG, is the first cornerstone of a new generation of entrepreneurship learning. Following quickly behind will be a learning engine and online marketplace for intellectual property, and the fourth cornerstone will be the sites themselves, which act as a repository and showcase for all that you’ve learned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *