It’s not just first-time entrepreneurs who benefit from advice and support. Post-exit entrepreneurs may also be unsure what to expect of their new roles as advisers or non-executives.
The transition can be difficult, according to entrepreneur turned adviser and angel investor, Hugh Chappell.
Hugh is a Board Director of E2Exchange and one of a series of high profile businesspeople interviewed as part of UBS’s recent research into entrepreneurs’ post exit experiences. As a mentor, he says, he has to resist the occasional urge to ‘grab the controls’.
“Sometimes, with younger people, there’s a big skills gap,” he explains, “but you have to allow people to develop their own businesses. There are some critical points where you need to say ‘I really wouldn’t do this because…,’ but otherwise you have to allow them to try things and make mistakes.”
Those looking to invest often require particular support. Experience in the driving-seat of a business does not necessarily equip entrepreneurs with the technical skills of carrying out due diligence and determining company valuations.
But early stage businesses have become increasingly dependent on angel investors of this kind since bank support dipped during the recession. The OECD estimates that angel investment has outstripped seed and early-stage venture capital investment over a decade or more in both the UK and the US.