SmallBizPod #37 – enterprise culture & startups UK vs US

Shaa Wasmund, CEO of Brightstation Ventures, and Professor Zoltan Acs of George Mason University discuss web 2.0, online business and the difference between US and UK entrepreneurs.

By Alex Bellinger
13th January 2007 at 11:37 am

This week SmallBizPod #37, the podcast for entrepreneurs, focuses on why there have been no British Googles or YouTubes and what makes US and UK enterprise culture different. Interviews were recorded at the launch of the Enterprise Week. Shaa Wasmund, Channel 4 presenter and former CEO of talks about her experience of the era and how she thinks UK and US enterprise cultures compare. Professor Zoltan Acs of George Mason University gives his take on why the UK has a long way to go to become a truly entrepreneurial culture.

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Show Notes



• 00:00 Alex on what’s coming up in the show.
• 02:11 Happy New Year and thanks to listeners who left comments or emails over the festive break.


• 02:55 Interview with Shaa Wasmund, pioneer, founder of and Channel 4 TV presenter. Alex and Shaa talk about how online business has changed since 1999 and the real business model behind Web 2.0 companies. Shaa also highlights how she believes the internet is the way to inspire and educate the UK entrepreneurs of the future, discusses differences in business attitudes between the UK and US, and what needs to be done to develop the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit.


• 12:44 Email comment from Mark Richardson, a Tasmanian electrician who has just set up his own business and has filled his new Christmas mp3 player with episodes of SmallBizPod and finds the show more useful than a two year business diploma! Many thanks to Mark for such enthusiastic feedback.
• 14:08 Email comment from Caron Sprake with some advice for the listener with a binocular business to contact Chris Cardell. Also an apology from Alex for calling Caron ‘he’ in the last show, despite getting her location correct for once!
• 15:11 An update from the Frappr map and a new listener sticking his pin in the virtual map – Anders Dyhr from Bristol.
• 16:08 Alex points listeners to MyBlogLog – a great little tool social networking tool.
• 17:05 Comment from Jim Markham from Sweden who really enjoyed the interview with Adam Hildreth in SmallBizPod #36 and talks about how hard producing a podcast can be.


• 12:44 Interview with Professor Zoltan Acs of George Mason University who controversially considers why the UK may not have the same entrepreneurial energy as the US. He proposes that feudalism and the British class system have a negative impact on the UK’s approach to starting and successfully growing business. The fact that all men and women are created equal in the US, means that the cultural background encourages change and enterprise. Alex and Professor Acs also discuss the success of British corporations and whether all individuals really do have equal opportunities to build their own business in the US.


• 30.08 Music Head Full of Stars by Transient with thanks to Monotonik.

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  1. Richard Boyd says:

    Hi Alex

    A quick thought. Would it be possible to put a pause button on your podcasts. I was trying to listen on Monday and kept getting interrupted by various matters… Keep up the good work.

  2. alex says:

    Hi Richard

    Good point. If you play the podcast using the player in the show notes (the little grey play button that expands out) if you press it again it will close, but remember where you were when you stopped it. So when you open again it should start from where you left off. As long as you don’t refresh or close the page, it should remember.

    Hope that makes sense. Let me know if it doesn’t!

  3. […] by serial entrepreneur, Sháá Wasmund (check out the SmallBizPod podcast with her for more background), the site brings together bite size video clips, interviews, […]

  4. Nic Windley says:

    I noticed the comment Professor Zoltan Acs of George Mason University on why the UK has a long way to go to become a truly entrepreneurial culture and in some respects I could not agree more. There is far too much stigmatism placed on business failure and much reliance built by the government on the public sector…as if they don’t want too many people thinking and doing for themselves. How did this happen when we were such as an entrepreneurial region during the industrial era.

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