“Every bursted bubble has a glory!
Each abysmal failure makes a point!
Every glowing path that goes astray,
Shows you how to find a better way.
So every time you stumble never grumble.
Next time you’ll bumble even less!
For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!” Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
In the UK, and if you don’t include frozen food, Iceland has become known for a couple of things. I’m sure that it is a beautiful place and all that, however the inescapable fact is that its financial crisis and its erupting volcano are the things which stick out. You may remember that in 2008, all three of the country’s major national banks collapsed. Two years later, the unprounonceable volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, erupted for the first time in 200 years, causing one of the largest flight disruptions in history, due to volcanic ash. You probably remember where you were. Or where you weren’t.
Step forward then, young Icelandic entrepreneur Kristján Kristjánsson with an idea which encapsulates both entpreneneurial spirit and cheeky opportunism. He is selling jars of Volcanic Ash. The containers, about the size of a hotel jam-pot, come with a printed label explaining the origin of the contents and even showing you how to prounounce Eyjafjallajökull (“eye-a-fyat-la-jo-kutl”, in case you’re wondering). Lava Productions are selling their ash for $31 a pot and Kristján tells me that business is booming. Now that’s what I call explosive growth.
Entrepreneurship will be the main topic of conversation in Sheffield this week, as the MADE Festival rolls into town. Hosted over several days and masterminded by Michael Hayman, Nick Giles and the team at Seven Hills, the event features a host of events including the launch of the Sheffield National Enterprise Academy and a two-day bootcamp led by former Dragon, Doug Richard, called Made in 48 hrs. I’ve been asked to host some speednetworking on the train up north, and have been told to expect some special guests in our carriage. Here in Britain, where so much attention is given to what happens in London, it’s excellent to see that entrepreneurial activity in Sheffield is moving full steam ahead!