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Enterprising minds

Bruno Cotta, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, introduces a new series on the University of Cambridge website.

Shot of a group of young entrepreneurs having a brainstorming session in a modern office.
Bruno Cotta.
Bruno Cotta

Resilience and learning from failure are essential to successful entrepreneurship, writes Bruno Cotta, the Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, in an introduction to a new series on the University of Cambridge website entitled “Enterprising Minds”.

“The Cambridge English Dictionary defines enterprising as “enthusiastic and willing to do new, clever, and difficult things” so it should be no surprise that over several hundred years, our university has been and continues to be home, for generations of people with precisely this ability and motivation to transform ideas into reality and impact – often against the odds,” says Bruno.

He says recent research is beginning to shed more light on the roles of ‘nature’ versus ‘nurture’ as key determinants of enterprising behaviours, and that enterprising people need to be positively influenced and to influence others to be successful in making a difference.

“Equally, being enterprising doesn’t come easy. Successes are often preceded by failures (and sometimes many of them), so the resilience to recover from, learn from and grow beyond these events is perhaps in the end, just as important as the good judgement (or good luck) to imagine, invent, discover and create something new” says Bruno.

The first profile in the Enterprising Minds series – which asks people “how they’re trying to change the world and what it takes to turn an idea into a reality” – is Steve Jackson, University of Cambridge Frederick James Quick Professor of Biology, who has founded three biotech companies in Cambridge.