A BUSINESSMAN who started with £90 and built an airline valued at £30m is sharing his strategies for success.
Jack Romero fled war-town Beirut at the age of 17 in 1979 and arrived in London with nowhere to stay.
Sometimes sleeping rough or staying with strangers, he took any job he could find in order to bank the 700 hours he needed to get his pilot’s licence.
And after he had his licence suspended over the low-flying he did as an aerial photographer, he hit rock bottom again and thought up the idea of starting his own airline.
British Mediterranean Airways was set up in 1994 and won the Queen’s Award for Business in 2004. In 2009, Bmi bought it for for £30m.
Mr Romero will speak at a business seminar and networking event on Thursday, March 13, 8.45am to 12.45pm, at Talbot Heath School in Rothesay Road, Bournemouth. The event is in aid of his charity the Turnaround Foundation, which supports entrepreneurs in need of inspiration, guidance and mentoring.
Mr Romero claims most schemes to encourage start-ups – including those supported by the government – only put would-be entrepreneurs into debt.
“I look at the amounts of money that have been provided – £500 to £5,000. What can you buy with £5,000?” he said.
“I used lawyers to draft a memorandum of understanding for a deal I was working on – about four pages – and it came to about £2,500.
“If you lend an entrepreneur £5,000, what are they going to do with it?”
Although such schemes could help one-person businesses get off the ground, mostly they were only likely to put an entrepreneur in debt.
“That’s why we have 85 per cent of start-ups failing,” he said.
Places at Thursday’s event cost £15. Email firstname.lastname@example.org