Sir Jackie Stewart launches mentoring scheme for Dyslexic entrepreneurs

March 12, 2009

The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has launched a mentoring scheme, in conjunction with Cass Business School, City University London, and Dyslexia Scotland, to link entrepreneurs with dyslexia with successful dyslexic people who will share the benefit of their experience and knowledge.

Sir Jackie Stewart, President of Dyslexia Scotland and Vice President of the British Dyslexia Association, was key speaker at the launch event and will be a mentor. Other keynote speakers and mentors included Zenna Atkins, Chair of Ofsted, Jonty Hearnden, TV Antiques Expert, and Louis Barnett, founder of Chokolit.

The programme is an informal mentoring scheme, which is designed to be flexible. The emphasis is on two people getting together who share something in common – dyslexia. The aim is for the mentor to share some of their coping strategies and above all instil confidence in the mentee. The scheme is based on the reality that too often the positive attributes of being dyslexic are forgotten and not even recognised by the individual themselves. The scheme is about celebrating the positive side of dyslexia and who better to do this then someone who has travelled the same road and who can act as a role model.

The BDA and Dyslexia Scotland believe if dyslexic people in the UK were provided with mentoring to increase their confidence, there could be an increase in the number of dyslexic people unlocking their potential and creating new ventures. If US rates were matched a further 560,000 UK entrepreneurs would exist [1].

References
1. Logan J, Hendry, C., Brown, J., Courtney, N. (2008), ‘Unlocking the potential of the UK’s hidden innovators’, Microsoft UK; sponsored by: Microsoft

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Branson talks about his Dyslexia

February 22, 2009

One of my earlier blogs (24 January 2008) introduced a new line of research into the links between entrepreneurship and dyslexia. In the following TV interview Richard Branson talks openly about his dyslexia, which he attributes in part to his success.

Studies carried out at CASS Business School indicate that dyslexics make up 19% or 600,000 of the 3.5 million population of entrepreneurs in the UK whereas in America 35% of entrepreneurs are dyslexic. The fundermental difference between the two groups seems to be their level of self-confidence.


A ‘Conversation’ about Dyslexia & Entrepreneurship

February 15, 2009

Last week I was invited to Arizona by the Kauffman Foundation to attend a closed ‘conversation’  between a small group of thinkers and doers for the purpose of better understanding dyslexia and entrepreneurship, and the possible links between the two.  The group, consisting of successful dyslexic entrepreneurs, educators and leading scientific researchers, spent two and a half days exploring the possibility of introducing a new study to extend the initial findings of Professor Julie Logan in this area [1].

As a dyslexic entrepreneur and academic researcher myself, this is an area of research which is close to my heart and one which I will continue to follow closely in my blog.

References
[1] Logan, J. (2007) Failures in education system cause UK to produce less dyslexic entrepreneurs than the US. CASS