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What steps should small businesses be taking to recession-proof their businesses? How can entrepreneurs beat the credit crunch? Is it madness to try and start up a business in a recession? If not, what sort has the best chance of success?

The former Sunday Times Enterprise Editor Rachel Bridge knows the answers. Over the past few years she has interviewed hundreds of successful entrepreneurs for her must-read weekly column, “How I Made It” in the business section of Sunday Times. She has also four books about successful entrepreneurs: "How I Made It - 40 successful entrepreneurs reveal all"; "My Big Idea - 30 successful entrepreneurs reveal how they found inspiration" and "You Can Do It Too - the 20 essential things every budding entrepreneur should know" and her latest book "How to Make a Million before lunch."

In the process Rachel has gained a real insight into what goes on in the mind of the entrepreneur. She has dozens of real life examples to share which show how and when to take the plunge – and how and when not to. Rachel can also talk knowledgeably and extensively about small businesses and the challenges and hurdles they face trying to become larger businesses.

In addition she is the ideal person to explain how newspapers really work – what makes a good small business story and why, and how small businesses can get themselves into print.

Rachel Bridge graduated from Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge in 1989 with an MA (Hons) Economics degree and has been a business journalist ever since. Her first job was as a business reporter on the Investors Chronicle and she went on to work for the Evening Standard and The Times. She then spent three years as the Australian correspondent for The Times based in Sydney and two years as a French correspondent for The Times based in Bordeaux. On her return to the UK she became the small business and enterprise writer for the Mail on Sunday before joining The Sunday Times in 2003.

As a result of her experiences writing about, interviewing and spending time with entrepreneurs Rachel Bridge is well qualified to talk interestingly, knowledgably and humorously about what entrepreneurs are really like as people - what makes them tick, how they differ from the rest of us, what early hurdles they face when trying to make their dream come true, how they overcome them, what we can learn from them. And above all what factors are key to their success.

She says: “Entrepreneurs are immensely fascinating people and they have a raw energy and ambition that makes them very exciting to be around. I think that there is a lot we can learn from them.”

Rachel Bridge regularly speaks about entrepreneurs and the media at conferences and events which have included the Business Enterprise Exchange in Manchester, The NFEA Conference in Birmingham, The Sunday Times Enterprise Week, and the EEDA Destination Growth conference.
The former Enterprise Editor for the Sunday Times and now the Telegraphs Online columnist, Rachel Bridge is an author of five books on entrepreneurs so booking Rachel is like having 50 entrepreneurs gathered all at once because she knows their stories inside out. She now writes an opinion column for the Sunday Telegraph advising entrepreneurs on the issues facing them as they start up, how to grow their businesses and how to innovate.
Rachel Bridge at Womenspeakers.co.uk

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