SIR Brian Souter entertained Fife Chamber members as guest speaker at the latest of its’ series of ‘Inside Track’ seminars.
The highly successful Scottish business entrepreneur addressed a packed Balbirnie House Hotel and regaled an eager audience with his colourful business history, with motivational advice and encouraging support for small businesses with big ideas.
Sir Brian, known as the co-founder of the Stagecoach Group, describes himself as an “ideas man” and a person who prides himself on having lots of ideas, good and bad.
He voiced strong support for entrepreneurs in terms of their ideas, risk-taking and forward-thinking.
The business leader called for more Government support for family run start-ups and businesses that show potential for real growth.
He also called for a simplification of initiatives designed to encourage young people into work, citing the current schemes as too complicated and unattractive for business.
On the current financial climate, Sir Brian was keen to encourage a ‘return to normality’ where it comes to the banking structure.
For real improvements to be seen, he called for a clean-up of the banks, more quantitative easing to encourage the money flow and more effort to balance budgets to prevent further financial hardship.
In a lively Q&A session following his presentation, Sir Brian was asked by one member: “Would you do it all again?” to which he stated he would definitely start his business, Stagecoach, again, but would probably have been discouraged by the amount of political red tape that exists today.
Fife Chamber vice president John Silcock said; “Sir Brian is an inspiration to anyone who is starting or has started their own business, or who has ideas for business.
“His entrepreneurial drive for success has had many good results but also some failures, which makes his story all the more motivational.
“Many of our members will have taken a lot away from Sir Brian’s presentation, especially his passion and support for Scottish business.
“He is a clear example of how taking risks in business can produce positive outcomes.
“We’re very grateful that Sir Brian was able to join us and provide many anecdotes, both humorous and informative.”