I started this business after twenty years because I was lonely. 

One of the things I've learned is, however 'well-educated' I may be, I'm not 'qualified' to do any of the things I do best. There is no limit to learning.   

I believe in leadership and team spirit. 1 plus 1 is greater than 2.  

I believe 99% of us have the potential to progress far beyond our situations, but only 1% of us think we can. 

Twenty-five-plus years of working around the world - and the many examples of individual progression I've met from all cultures - convince me this is true. 

Create the right environment and amazing things happen.     

Working with entrepreneurs I have learned many things.  Although we in Britain are brilliant manufacturers and innovators, 'trade’ is still in some respects a dirty word. Governments care about it when it suits their purposes.  'Success' as taught in business schools is defined by building up a business as quickly as possible, ramping up ‘shareholder value’, selling out and retiring to affluent seclusion. A generation or two down the line, the descendants reap a bitter harvest.

Flotation, the City and non-contributing shareholders all too often deprive businesses of long-term investment. This benefits the minority at the expense of the real assets of a business – its people – and its purpose to create skills, wealth and prosperity for ourselves, our families and our great country.  

Five per cent of our working population work in manufacturing, which accounts for ten per cent of the UK's economic output.  This is a greater impact per person than the financial services sector.  Who says we don't make things? Where do the creative and industrial strengths of our country really lie?   

Jonathan Mantle