START-UPS which work well with other people and serve a good purpose are more likely to be successful than those who only look at profit.

That’s the view of Russ Taplin, a mentor for Virgin StartUp, who has set up two new ventures to help new businesses and small to medium sized enterprises.

Mr Taplin started Mmm… Thoughtful Business as well as UP, which aims to help international students and entrepreneurs to set up and succeed in the UK.

He has worked for LV= and Barclays and has more than 30 years’ experience in corporate and small business, as well as an MBA and degree focused on entrepreneurship. He found businesses who focused on the long term outperformed those who were reactive, or who focused on brand, profile and profit.

“I started seeing this whenever I worked on due diligence projects, or when businesses were working closely with other partners. At times when a business really needs to concentrate on its business value the most. it ends up being distracted by having to do some fairly detailed and tense stuff,” he said.

“This can bring out the worst decisions and responses and you can end up on a different page without meaning to, and that is unlikely to lead to success.

“It’s just as true today, as it always has been, that 70 per cent of mergers and acquisitions fail because of cultural fit – and why do we expect that result to be any different during other key stages in a company’s life too, such as scaling up or dealing with difficult decisions?”

He said his business Mmm… works closely with a team on detail and bringing people together.

“I can bring my wisdom to the business and really help by doing the groundwork too, so taking the pressure off. The feedback I get is really good and in fact one new local company – Max Eco – liked me so much they asked me to join as commercial director and help get them going,” he said.

“I said yes straight away as it’s a really exciting and fun product. We’ve been working with Barclays Digital Eagle labs who have been outstanding, some great local fabricators to help us prototype and now Bournemouth University to help with the next stage of product development and testing – we just can’t tell you what it is yet.”

His other venture UP is run with business partner Tamara Rundle. “We are seeing a great interest in UK businesses looking to bring in international entrepreneurs, particularly with Brexit looming and the perceived difficulties that this may bring,” he said.