GROWING up with dyslexia, I was certainly someone for whom formal education simply did not work. I was told I was unintelligent and yet at the same time encouraged to pursue a career path that led to such mainstream and respected professions such as teaching, law, medicine or engineering.

Thankfully, I found that the sales world was the right one for me, and it gave me both the training I needed to become an entrepreneur myself and eventually the skills I needed to be able to coach others at the beginning of their own entrepreneurial journeys.

Being an entrepreneur is often seen as someone who takes a risk, has ‘one idea’ and then reaps the benefits. And although it’s true, taking risks and having a great idea are important, true entrepreneurism is all about self-development, adapting and adding massive value to your customers.

However, with the threat of a potentially life-threatening virus infection looming, worry for loved ones, and the instability of the economy hanging overhead, these are most certainly difficult times.

This is especially true right now, as we see business across the globe pivot and change in order to stay relevant or offer a service that hasn’t been thought of before.

For businesspeople, it can feel as if the right move at this point in time is to stop taking risks and shore up investments to protect the assets you have. Well, I’m here to say that although these times are uncertain, now is the time to invest in entrepreneurs you believe in and disrupt the status quo.

Having invested more than £500,000 in 2020 to date, I certainly am not sitting on the sidelines on this issue. I have discovered entrepreneurs in the field of sport, IT and sales and have invested the money they needed to get their businesses off the ground. But the all-important factor here is investing time and effort into mentoring ambitious people, not their ideas.

I strongly believe that there is not enough education about entrepreneurism. One clear common misconception about starting up a business or becoming an entrepreneur is that you need a lot of money and finding funds is important in order to get started. However, I believe sourcing grants and funds can give business start-ups a false sense of security and that possibility of failure is a key driving force in making a business successful.

Up until five years ago, I was battling my way to the top. I started my business with just a credit card and the thought of failure meant not just letting down the people I had employed, but also my family. Now that I’ve built a successful career that I truly love, I want to give back by being there for young entrepreneurs who are hungry for success, who are positive, resilient, adaptable, curious and incredibly hard working.

My ultimate goal is to help create seven individual millionaires in my lifetime. Since the start of the year, and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve growing closer and closer to helping one person achieve this goal.

Although these times are certainly frightening, some of the best businesses are born in ambiguity. Limits on time and changes in demand push people to get creative with their ideas and that’s why now is the time to invest in entrepreneurs who have the drive, work ethic and creativity to make the world move forward.

Gilles Baudet is founder and managing director of ‎The Interactive Team