A new blog after nearly five years!!!!

This is my first blog on my website for nearly five years!!!

I have been too busy to even think about writing a log and my old website and blog was not as user friendly as WordPress. So when I got this message from Winserve:

Hello Nigel,

Malware scripts, exploit kits and various other nasty things are being placed on your website named below: Domain: nigeladams.com

We believe this is due to an old and insecure versions of applications being used on the website. nSpecifically in this case it is Dotnetnuke (DNN).

We have therefore disabled the site until the problem is resolved.


I asked Oliver Loftus to help me and here we are with a new website on WordPress, with all my previous site information on the new site.

In hope to have time to publish a blog every week, but it will all depend on the amount of work I have at the University of Buckingham.

Helping to create a “Flipped Classroom” using Mashhop

Just before this year’s International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference in Plymouth in September, Matthew Draycott (@DraycottMC) circulated a few of us about an idea he had to work together to develop an on-line resource that would be available to all Enterprise Educators who contributed to it. You can read about Matt’s idea on his blog here.

You will have seen that those of us who are “on board” need to produce a 20 minute lecture on a suitable topic. I had been think about having a go at videoing my lectures and so Matt’s timing was excellent.

This term, in addition to my responsibilites as Programme Director BSc Business Enterprise, I also teach International Marketing (IM) to Business & Management and Economics students at the University of Buckingham, so I thought I would arrange for one of my IM lectures to be videoed by the students who run the university’s on-line TV station (Buckingham News).

Last week the video team students appeared in the Radcliffe Centre at 9:00am and although they had a sound problem at the start, they managed to video my lecture. I had warned the students taking IM that they would probably be videoed, as it was important to get students’ reactions to my lecture, as well as just see and hear me.

The best reaction I received was from two of the students who had studied Entrepreneurship with me in the Spring Term, They thought it was a great idea for me to have my lectures videoed, as they had agreed after my Entrepreneurship lectures that “Nigel should be on TV!”

If you are interested in seeing how Matt’s project develops, then have a look at the specially developed Mashhop website. If you would like to be involved in this project, please contact me.

My newly designed website

At long last I have arranged for my website to be updated and I hope you agree that Oliver Loftus has done a great job.

I think that the new design is much easier to navigate, but the site still retains, in the “Archive”, all the information from my old Nigel Adams & Company Ltd website.

I plan to keep blogging, probably too irregularly, but at least my Twitter Feed will be regularly updated.

Please have a look around and let me know what you think about the website and how I could improve it for students, colleagues and other visitors.

Nigel Adams’ website is back on-line

You might notice that I have not written any blogs on this site since October 2009. There are two reasons, firstly I have been very busy with the BSc Business Enterprise programme at the University of Buckingham (http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/business/bbe/) and secondly I have had a problem with this site.

Now, thanks to Oli Loftus of Linkgraph Ltd (http://www.linkgraph.net), the site problem has been resolved. I have also taken some holiday from the University, so I should have time to improve my website.

You will also see that “Nigel Adams & Company Ltd” is no more, I am now using this site as my personal website.

Start a business and achieve an honours degree in just two years at the University of Buckingham

From mid January 2010 you could be studying for an honours degree in Business Enterprise and starting a business on the innovative BSc Business Enterprise (BBE) honours degree programme at the University of Buckingham Business School.

This is a two year (8 terms) undergraduate programme, during which you would have the opportunity to establish and run your own business, as an integral part of your honours degree. See http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/business/bbe/

The first cohort of students started in January 2006 and as the University of Buckingham works for 4 terms each year, they completed their studies in December 2007. Three more cohorts have studied on the programme and you would be one of the fifth cohort starting in January 2010.

Details of the programme
In the first two terms you would study a range of business subjects, including Marketing, Accounting and Business Planning, plus Entrepreneurship and Innovation. You then prepare and submit your business plan by mid May and must “pitch” your business idea in front of the “Buckingham Angels” venture capital panel at the end of May 2010.

If your business plan and “pitch” are successful and you also pass your first examinations, held at the end of the second term, your company is provided with “seed-corn” capital of up to £5000 to enable you to establish and operate your businesses.

In the following 18 months you would run your business, whilst also continuing to study a wide range of business enterprise subjects. You are supported by academic staff and are mentored throughout by experienced entrepreneurs.

At the end of the programme, graduates whose businesses are becoming successful have the opportunity to buy them from the university, at a reasonable cost and continue their development. For examples of the types of businesses being developed by BBE students, see here.

Maintaining academic quality
Although the programme involves practical work, academic rigour is vital to ensure that the quality of the honours degrees awarded is maintained. In addition to the study of traditional Business School subjects, other activities are included, such as learning about working with customers, partners, suppliers, bankers, accountants, government organisations and venture capital providers.

Experience in running the programme has shown us that it is essential to involve external entrepreneurs (including Penny and Thomas Power) and business people with the students throughout the two years. This means that the entrepreneurs not only make interactive presentations to the students, but are also available to them as long-term mentors.(e.g Mike Southon)

Types of businesses operated by Business Enterprise students
When the programme started, the first businesses operated by the students were events companies and websites. More recently students have established companies that promote environmental sustainability (Podnik Ltd) and offer digital signage solutions to small and medium size companies (Idigi Frame Media Ltd).

The next opportunity to join the programme is in January 2010
As this is a niche programme, requiring a large amount of academic and mentor input, it would not be possible to offer places to a large number of students. We therefore restrict the maximum number accepted to about 20 students over the two years of the programme. We do, however, welcome mature students, who find Buckingham an excellent place to study and to start their business.

The next intake of students is in mid January 2010 and places are still available, so if you are interested in running your own business, getting the finance to operate it and also achieving an honours degree, please contact me.

Do I need thousands of contacts in my e-networks?

As you will see in the links on the home page of this website, I am a member of a quite a few e-networks, such as Ecademy. However, I feel that I am getting far too many contact requests from people who seem to be just trying to get a large number of contacts, rather than developing quality contacts.

I understand and accept the argument of Penny Power (Founder of Ecademy) that a large number of contacts are needed and it is also important to offer help and assistance to contacts. See more about this in Penny’s new book “Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me”.

However, unlike some other members of Ecademy, I have found that helping and advising my contacts has not resulted in any business for Nigel Adams & Company Ltd.  This is probably because my business is very specialist, working with and advising British companies to establish their businesses in Central and Eastern Europe.

I have found that in my other full-time job, as Programme Director, BSc Business Enterprise at the University of Buckingham, helping my e-contacts has resulted in help being given to me. e.g. Thomas and Penny Power have given talks to my BSc Business Enterprise students and have also “spread the word” about the Business Enterprise honours degree programme.

Recently I heard a talk on networking by David McQueen. Although he agreed with Penny Power that it is important to develop your reputation by helping your contacts, he also said that you should remember to ask for and accept help from your contacts!

I am not planning to stop helping any of my e-contacts, but feel that I must restrict the number of my e-contacts to a more manageable size. Otherwise I will just sink under the number of messages that I will receive.

In future I plan to restrict my new contacts to people who are interested in Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Education or in developing their business in Central and Eastern Europe. It will be interesting to see the results of this change in my approach to e-networking.

Watch this space!

Copyright ©2009 Nigel Adams

Poland’s GDP unlikely to decline in 2009

Unlike almost every other EU country, Poland’s GDP is unlikely to decline in 2009.

Recently I have been looking at the forecasts for Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria and only Poland is forecast to be in the black!

The GDP in Czech Republic and Slovakia is forecast to drop by about 3 to 4% in 2009, whilst the forecasts are that the GDP in   Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria will drop by between 7 and 8.5%.

Talking with my business friends in Poland, I find that in reality business is certainly not declining, though it is not increasing at the same rate it was in the last few years. The property market has, however, dropped.

What can we learn from this? Well, from my experience, I know that the management of banks in Poland learned a lot from their disasterous lending policies in the early 1990’s and they have maintained their cautious lending policies throughout the boom years since then.

If only UK and US bankers had applied the same policies in the last few years, perhaps the world economy would be more like that of Poland in 2009?

Copyright ©2009 Nigel Adams

Why no interest in exporting from the East Midlands?

I am amazed that we have had very little interest from members of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in an excellent one day seminar that we have arranged in liaison with UK Trade and Investment in the East Midlands.

The event, entitled “Take it to the world – the power of exporting” will be held at Loughborough University on 10 June 2009. It will have several high profile speakers and a range of practical workshops to help newcomers and old hands to improve their companies’ exporting activities.  I feel that this is topical, as the pound is quite low and several counties, especially those in Central Europe are not suffereing the same declines in their economies as the counties of Western Europe.

I will have another go at promoting this excellent event to members of the CIM in the East and West Midlands, but perhaps UK Marketing people are just not interested in developing their skills and knowledge in the frield of export marketing and business development!

Copyright ©2009 Nigel Adams

Entrepreneurship in Difficult Times

Recently I have given a couple of talks on “Entrepreneurship in Difficult Times” and I am now more convinced that young, enthusiastic entrepreneurs will be the people who will help us to defeat this recession.

Why? Well this recession has not just been caused by the bankers, but by a “state of mind”. Commerce needs confidence, without it we can see what happens to the world’s economy.

Most of the young entrepreneurs that I meet are “brimming over” with confidence. Some observers, those with “half empty glasses”, say that this just leads to disasters. I join those with “half full glasses” and welcome youthful enthusiasm and new ideas, especially in these difficult times.

There are many reasons why a recession (depression?) is a good time to start a new business, see http://bizfinance.about.com/od/startyourownbusiness/a/startup_in_recession.htm
It also is interesting to note the number of successful businesses that started in recessions, e.g. Disney Corporation (1923), Hewlett- Packard (1938) and Microsoft (1975).

So, help to defeat the recession, support and encourage new businesses that are being started by young people and see what happens.

A great way to embed presentations on websites – Slideshare.net

When attending the Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group (HEEG) meeting at the University of Reading on 26 March 2009, I saw a very interesting presentation on “Alternate Reality Games” (ARG) by Simon Brookes of the University of Portsmouth.

Simon kindly told me that I could see a copy of his presentation on “Slideshare”. I then looked at the Slideshare site and decided it would be very useful to use it to show presentations on this site, so I joined Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net).

You can see the result on a new page on my website (Presentations and Talks), where you can see the presentation I recently gave at a UK Trade & Investment meeting in the City of London. I plan to add some of my other presentations and talks in future.

If you have any questions about my presentation on Poland (or Slideshare) please contact me.