Austerity Business
Doing More with Less Through Eco-Innovation
Alex Pratt OBE, Founder, Serious Brands

Austerity Business
Doing More with Less Through Eco-Innovation
Alex Pratt OBE, Founder, Serious Brands

1st July 2010
14.30 – 17.00
University for the Creative Arts

FREE event

Organised by: The Centre for Sustainable Design

Supported by: The Manufacturing Advisory Service - South-East


After decades of growth, business leaders are now facing unfamiliar territory, the biggest cuts in spending since the Great Depression and a more uncertain future. In addition, to tackling the economic challenges, entrepreneurs need to keep their eyes open for emerging opportunities like those related to the transition to a greener, lower carbon economy.

Leading UK entrepreneur Alex Pratt OBE will draw lessons for entrepreneurs and innovators from his new book "Austerity Business: 39 Tips for Doing More with Less". Alex will offer help and inspiration to businesses in dealing with the new 'Age of Austerity'.

"These tips are worth their weight in gold to businesses of all sizes."
Peter Jones, CBE , Entrepreneur and star of TV's Dragon's Den

"Alex knows how to get more from less in business. Having taken a number of companies through the recession myself, Alex's tips will definitely help you lead your team during tougher times."
James Caan. Entrepreneur and star of BBC TV's "Dragons' Den"

Alex’s presentation will demonstrate how to adapt and thrive in tougher times and explain why austerity might just be a good thing for business in terms of increased energy efficiency, reduction of waste, securing supply lines, and marketing on a budget. The presentation will be packed with witty anecdotes, inspirational thinking and commonsense advice from the coalface.

Alex highlights

"We all know that we are facing more austere times, but there are more opportunities now than at any time in our business lives. The age of austerity will be about new winners who do less with less, reduce their dependency on dwindling resources, and develop competitive advantages beyond access to finite natural resources. Winning this new business 2.0 game now requires a rethink of the fundamentals for many businesses"

Alex Pratt OBE

Alex is a serial entrepreneur who started trading bankrupt stock at the age of 16, and is able to reach and inspire others. He has launched and led businesses in areas as diverse as the map reading lamps used on board spaceships, and the world’s first Learning Gym. At the coalface today, his award-winning team of thirty innovators provides “everything but the book” to serious readers.

He is perhaps best known for his monthly column in Director Magazine in which he discusses business issues from “the coalface” perspective of the owner manager. He is also the author of the national business support brokerage model, and led the establishment of the most innovative Business Link in the UK . He is currently authoring a book on thriving in an “Age of Austerity.”

Alex created and led the DTI Innovation Unit International team, which scoured the globe for ideas and was first to highlight the importance of clusters to UK industrial policy. He has wide experience of SME issues in the Public Sector, having held a number of key national roles. These include Chairman of the DTI National Assessment Panel for Business Support, a member of the Learning and Skills Council National Adult Committee, and a Director of the South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA). He has wide international business experience and advises Governments on innovation and competitiveness strategies, but at his heart remains an SME owner manager.

As an industrialist adviser to British Governments of different colours, Alex was a crucial catalyst behind the re-branding Britain initiative “Cool Britannia”, and was the spark behind refocusing export support for UK creative industries.. He is one of only a handful of small business owners to have attended the Senior Civil Service Residential Leadership Programme by invitation of the Cabinet Office, has represented the UK around the world including the OECD, and in Brussels . He is an active supporter of the National Enterprise Academy and has lectured on Innovation, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School , the London School of Economics, the National School of Government, and at the Academy for Chief Executives.

He is a working Director, is Buckinghamshire Entrepreneur of the Year and is both Chairman of the Bucks Economic and Learning Partnership and of the IoD in Bucks.

Alex is a long serving Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Justice of the Peace. He is an Alumni of St Andrews University and London and Kellogg Business Schools. He was born three years before England won the World Cup, has a young family, and was awarded an OBE for services to business and education in the Queen’s 80th Birthday Honours List. Thankfully, he doesn’t believe his own PR.


The event is targeted at leaders and managers based in the South-East of England . It will be appropriate for Chairman, Managing Directors and Directors, and all those who hold a responsibility for strategy, innovation and leadership thinking.

Benefits of attending


Chair: Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design, UCA

Registration & networking
Austerity Business
Alex Pratt OBE, Founder, Serious Brands
Q & A


The workshop is free of charge. Please complete the registration form below and return it to Ros Carruthers on or on fax on 01252-892747.

Registration Form


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Organised by:

Supported by:

The Manufacturing Advisory Service - South-East