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James has been building and selling businesses for 20 years. While he has left the Den, he continues to spread his word via an app for SMEs. James believes in backing individuals rather than just looking at the balance sheet, harnessing their passion and encouraging them to stay. As befits a man who left school at 16 but later sent himself to Harvard, James also talks about self-belief. He’s always followed his father’s mantra – “Observe the masses and do the opposite.”
James Caan has been building and selling businesses for twenty years. He became well known as one of the all powerful investors in BBC’s Dragons’ Den and now heads his own private equity investment, property and buyout company.
James’s original head hunting empire grew to hundreds of offices in dozens of countries across the world. He then moved into private equity (after putting himself through Harvard Business School), and began to specialise in turnarounds and development opportunities.
While he was in the Den, James received 1,000 email propositions every day, passing them on to one of his earlier success stories to sort the wheat from the chaff. As with all investments he believes in backing individuals rather than just concentrating on the balance sheet, harnessing their passion and ensuring they stay within the organisation. To continue this work he serves as Chairman of StartUp Loans, a government initiative to support young people with funding to launch new businesses. He has also been appointed as the Government’s social mobility tsar.
James is the author of three best selling business books, and is behind the content of a best selling app which provides support and advice to small businesses. He has also hosted CNBC’s The Business Class in which six SMEs from all industries discuss their futures and how to grow.
In speeches James explains that to remain competitive, change is imperative: “The dynamics of business are constantly changing, and so is the competition. Every company needs to remain entrepreneurial, with a focus on people.” As for business opportunities, he follows his father’s mantra: “Observe the masses and do the opposite.”
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James Caan - The Characteristics of Entrepreneurs
On Picking the Right People to Invest in.