By Tom Winnifrith | Friday 5 January 2018
Following the utterly implausible spin put on the demise of her flagship, non bill paying, Ariadne Capital company by former Dragon's Den star Julie Meyer MBE, there may be some folks who think that this obsessive self publicist and narcissist is an A Grade bullshitter. Well now let's turn to another of her businesses, Entrepreneur Country.
You will note in the video below where she claimed that seeing your flagship company go bust is something "every entrepreneur has to do" Ms Meyer also claims that her Entrepreneur Country business has 320,000 "citizens." So what do those citizens do and who are they.
It goes without saying that the Entrepreneur Country website is rammed with INSEAD MBA gobbledygook. It is also frequently says EC is a subsidiary of Ariadane Capital. It is not, it was moved aside before Ariadne went tits up, something not mentioned at all. But for those who speak MBA:
EntrepreneurCountry Global, a subsidiary of Ariadne Capital, is operationalizing these economics for the larger, non-tech traditional businesses and industries (we call them affectionately Goliaths). By building in EntrepreneurCountry, Goliaths can build their ‘Digital P&L’ by formulating new hypotheses about how their business will work in the future, and how their industry should work. In our marketspace, we help Goliaths – whether they be banks, newspaper groups, retailers, transportation firms – build the future from the future, test pilot new ventures through EntrepreneurCountry’s ‘citizens’ who act as an early adopter group, and learn how the new economics of becoming a platform are superior to the current economics of their firm.
Right. No I still have not got a clue either. But who are these 320, 000 citizens, this clearly valuable database? Well thanks to the Winnileaks service I discover that I am one of them not once but twice as I have obtained an internal spreadsheet showing who the citizens are. And to think I had no idea? I have been sent an internal spreadsheet of how Julie arrives at that 320,000 number.
C27,000 are those who receive Julie's weekly newsletter. I cannot remember why I found myself on this list but I am, there. Then the rest? Quite simply those who either follow on twitter, are facebook friends or are LinkedIn Connections of EC but also of its key personnel, mainly La Mayer herself. Indeed with the Linkedin followers of Meyer ( 217,000) accounts for two thirds of the "Citizens"
At one stage I was a LinkedIn connection of someone at Ariadne and so at that point I was a double citizen of Entrepreneur Country and like nearly all the other "citizens" I had no idea I was so honoured. Whatever... Julie is a member of the great and the good, was - according to the Evening Standard - one of the most 1000 most influential people in Britain and, in 2011, was one of INSEAD's 50 most important graduates. So this must be a really valuable database of citizens as Julie must be right.
So how has Entrepreneur Country monetized this valuable "database" of citizens? The last accounts are for calendar 2016. Revenues from operations were....er....nil. The same as in 2015. Luckily La Meyer picked up an R&D tax credit from the grateful taxpayer of £132,402 ( up from £48,831 in 2015) but still the 2016 loss was £918,550 (£540,024). You know what? As a taxpayer I am so glad that instead of my cash going on body armour for our forces in Afghanistan, or cash for the NHS it is being sent to support the valuable work of Julie Meyer MBE, a member of the great and the good. Aren't you?
At the 2016 year end cash at hand was £4 a 100% increase on the £0 figure at the end of 2015. Creditors due within one year were £3,105,904 ( £2,211,018) and net current assets were MINUS £3,103,207. The only long term assets were intangibles of £144,383 and thus year end shareholders funds were MINUS £2,958,824. The numbers were not audited - thanks to a smaller company exemption - but I put it to you that this sans revenue operation was clearly insolvent.
But of course since its sole director is Julie Meyer who is a member of the great and the good and an MBE and a star alumni from INSEAD that cannot be the case and I am sure that I and my fellow 320,000 citizens will help drive EC to new heights.
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