Billionaire talks ownership benefits to entrepreneurs
FORMER Swansea University student and self-made billionaire Sir Terry Matthews stressed the benefits of company ownership in a talk to would be entrepreneurs.
Mr Matthews launched Global Entrepreneurship Week at Swansea University with a talk to students who were preparing to take on the challenge of turning a profit from a £250 cash sum.
Mr Matthews shared the secrets of his success and told the audience staff work better when they feel they own a slice of the company.
The serial entrepreneur said: "I think an entrepreneur is someone who is passionate about what they do.
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"It is all about team building.
"The communications between team members are incredibly important.
"I rate success on the valuation and the value of the team you form."
The man behind the Celtic Manor resort started his career in the high- tech sector of semi-conductors which allowed him to travel the world.
In 1972 he borrowed $4,000 from a bank in Canada to set up his first business.
He said: "I started up a company with a little team.
"I had four people in the company and two didn't get paid but what I gave them was ownership.
"That is a very important concept.
"When you pay in ownership the interest is how is the company doing not how much the staff are getting paid.
"In six months I developed the first product and the sales started.
"The first thing I did was to get on the phone and start talking to prospective clients."
Mr Matthews stressed the importance of obtaining finance through borrowing and said: "I don't care if its people you know in church or family members.
"If they believe in you, they will lend you money."
He added: "I would rather have one per cent of IBM then 100 per cent of a corner shop.
"There is nothing wrong with a corner shop but it can't be me.
"The important thing is to be passionate about everything you do."
The billionaire businessman said he relies on the SWOT philosophy which teaches business owners to look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Mr Matthews was followed on stage at Swansea University's Taliesin Arts Centre by Ben Harrison and Jezz Skelton who set up Mango, a company which supplies customised bicycles.
The duo, who are both 21, received funding for their business from the founders of Innocent Smoothies after winning a BBC TV business competition.
Jezz said: "We went on the show and got the investment.
"The servers on our website melted and it was down for two days."
Celebrities including news reader Jon Snow and rugby player Dylan Hartley now use Mango bikes.