Virgin Start-Up is the not-for-profit Virgin company for entrepreneurs. It provides government-backed ‘Start Up Loans’ and one-to-one business advice to entrepreneurs launching or growing a business in England or Scotland.

One of the conditions of the loan is that every business must have a Virgin approved mentor. It is a great privilege for me to have been selected as a mentor. The mentor invariably though gets out more than s/he puts in and I am looking forward to learning much. I have just begun work with my mentee and in due course and with their permission, I hope to share some of my mentee’s journey which will have taken them from a great idea in their head into a successful business that is not only profitable but transforms lives.

If you know someone with a great business idea then why not suggest they check out Virgin Start-Up? The resources are all there to help that seed of an idea germinate and flourish. With a little flair, a lot of passion, heaps of enthusiasm and spades of available support what is there to lose?

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

Success requires perseverance, learning from mistakes and trying different things – it never comes by giving up. It is easier than many of us think or dare to believe.