Innovation and enterprise blog

22 April 2020

Book and podcast recommendations from our entrepreneurs

Some business owners are using this time to tune into podcasts or read books from other entrepreneurs they are inspired by, to get tips with business help books or just read for leisure, for themselves or as a family activity. We’ve put together a reading and listening list, with recommendations from entrepreneurs we’ve supported from around the UK on what’s inspired them (you can now also read recommendations from the BIPC team as well)…

Sabina Ali, founder of Sabina Motasem, a bridal wear designer and boutique

Sabina Ali

Small Giants by Bo Burlingham. It’s a great book on how to became an AWESOME company not a big corporation, and how business can make this a much better world to live.

Gil Kahana, co-founder of ChattyFeet, who create illustrated character socks, mugs, enamel pins and paper models

Gil Kahana

The last enjoyable book was 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, written by Yuval Noah Harari. One of the important messages was that 'global problems demand global solutions'.

Abigail and Chloe Baldwin, founders of Buttercrumble, a creative studio based in Leeds

Abigail and Chloe Baldwin

It may be old school, but Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a huge influence. When reading this as children, it offered so much hope. Quentin Blake (who created the illustrations) inspired us to pursue a creative career from a young age.

Anthony Lau, founder of Cyclehoop, who design cycle parking and infrastructure

Anthony Lau

A book which has really impacted me is The Way Things Work by David Macaulay. It’s a book from my childhood, it inspired my interest in design, engineering, and making things that work!

Natalie Taylor, founder of Acacia Facilities, who supplies interior and exterior landscaping and flowers to business throughout the UK

Natalie Taylor

Think Rich and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, a personal development and self-improvement book.

Amanda Overs, founder of I Can Make Shoes, a London-based shoemaking school for beginners

Amanda Overs

A book which really impacted me is In My Shoes by Tamara Mellon. I thought I was aspiring to have a glamorous company and that once you reach a certain status things become easy. After reading, I realised that no business is glamorous. Everyone has to do their tax, deal with problems and juggle their personal/professional life. Once I realised this, I was free to just grow the business.

Podcasts have more of an impact on me though; I’m obsessed with How I Built This. I love to listen to entrepreneurs share their successes and failures; it helps get perspective on issues I’m facing.

Jon Swain, co-founder of Hackney Brewery, the oldest brewing company in Hackney

Jon and Bruce

I don't read as much as I would like to, time is taken up with research papers and new books about how to make better beer. The last book I read was The New IPA by Scott Janish, it's a collection of scientific papers analysing hop flavour and aroma formulation in beer.

The books that has had the biggest influence on me was mostly cult classics like 1984, On the Road, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Fear and Loathing Las Vegas, and Naked Lunch.

Mickela Hall-Ramsay, founder of Haringey-based HR Sports Academy

Mickela Hall-Ramsay

Who Moved My Cheese and The Miracle Morning are both books which are really good for helping you transform your life and adapt to change positively. Engaging and easy reads!

Joe Faulkner, founder of The Krio Kanteen, a family run Sierra Leonean food pop-up based in London

Joe Faulkner

Many books have inspired me, but one that really stands out is Shaping Up Culture by Mark Maciver aka Slidercuts. I’ve always had a keen interest in his business as I went to school with Mark, so I have followed his journey closely. He is a real role model and his book gives simple answers to many questions that most budding entrepreneurs would like answered. It is a book I would highly recommend!

Keira O’Mara, founder of Mama Designs, a mother and baby retailer based in Birmingham

Keira O'Mara

When I do have a chance to read, I loved Chillpreneur by Denise Duffield Thomas. I love the idea that you can run a successful business without being busy or stressed out.

Siobhan Thomas, founder of What’s Your Skirt? A fashion brand based in Leeds

Siobhan Thomas

I am a big reader and many books have impacted me, I am currently reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.

Hazel Russell, co-founder of The Wood Life Project, who produce UK crafted eco-friendly wooden products

Hazel Russell with her husband

If I Could Tell You Just One Thing by Richard Reed. This book is really well written and full of inspirational stories from some of the world’s most successful people.