King Charles: the new monarch and entrepreneurship
Last week, Queen Elizabeth II died, ending an illustrious 70-year reign. The whole nation is now in mourning – as am I. I posted just recently about how I viewed the Queen as an entrepreneurial icon, both because of her support of business owners through the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, and in the way she ran her own estate. Following her death, the British Chamber of Commerce, the business membership organisation of which the Queen was patron, said: “She was a great supporter of business throughout her reign.”
Indeed, when BigChange won a Queen’s Award, it was a game-changer for the company, bringing global recognition and acclaim. I will never forget the impact that award had on the team’s morale, how it delighted our customers, and supported our ambitions to win market share across the world.
King Charles III will now take up the Queen’s mantle. I believe he not only shares his mother’s desire to support the doers and triers of this nation, he has a passion for entrepreneurs that even surpasses hers. I have met him a few times over the years – I’m a board member for the charity Business in the Community, which he created – and I have found him a humble, understated man who prefers to talk up the achievements of others and uses his status and privilege to help those in need.
His former private secretary Sir Michael Peat once called him the “greatest charitable entrepreneur in the world” because of his ability to identify a need and then set up a charity to meet that need. This may be why our new king is currently the president of 17 charities through The Prince’s Charities, focusing on: the built environment, responsible business and enterprise, young people and education, and international sustainability. The Prince’s Trust alone has helped over one million young people since he founded it in 1976.
All of these causes are close to my heart and BigChange has supported organisations across most of these core areas in recent years. It is heartening to see our interests so aligned with the King’s, especially with challenging times ahead because of climate change, the cost of living crisis and rising inflation.
The UK may no longer be ruled by its kings and queens but they still have ample opportunity to make a difference, highlight important causes, and direct funding where it best serves the nation. For these reasons, I am heartened by King Charles’ ascension to the throne and I believe all business owners can be confident that he will champion trade and enterprise. I look forward to his coronation early next year.
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