The idea for Smarta came from my own experiences as an entrepreneur and finding there was insufficient support available for people starting and running their own business – and what was there was proved hopelessly difficult to access, understand or make much use of.
I set out three years ago to change all that and in January 2009 launched Smarta.com.
The first thing I realised was that Smarta had to harness real business experience from people that have been there, done it and got the t-shirt (and no doubt sold it on for a profit!).
I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with the likes of Sir James Dyson, Sir Richard Needham, Michael and Xochi Birch (Bebo Founders) and even the legendary Don King. All hugely successful business people in their own right. Therefore I’m lucky enough to have an incredibly knowledgeable and experienced circle of contacts to turn to – but I realise most people don’t have that luxury.
That’s why Smarta sets out to capture all those pearls of wisdom – the mistakes as well as the triumphs – and make them all available in one place for everyone to learn from.
It’s something that Smarta’s brilliant supporters Dragons’ Den’s Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden and Bebo founder Michael Birch also realised and why they’ve chosen to get involved in a company that’s 100% geared to sharing business knowledge.
But Smarta’s not just entrepreneurs talking – it’s a live resource where real small business owners can also share their experiences and growing pains across a rich network of contacts. Like Wikipedia, I see Smarta as a shared business tool everyone can learn from and contribute to.
If you’re running a marketing agency in Manchester and have a problem with a client, all of a sudden you have a UK-wide network of thousands of other business owners to consult.
First and foremost, it provides trusted, practical advice and solutions that take the pain out of the mundane. In addition to an extensive resource of video interviews, practical bite-size guides and in-depth features, Smarta has a library of valuable tools. For example, you can register your business, apply for a bank account and a bank loan in less than 30 minutes all in one place.
Everything on Smarta is free to use – but I felt we had to go further to make a real difference. That’s why at Smarta we’re working with a team of corporate partners to provide totally free, professional one-to-one legal, banking and accounting advice that small businesses otherwise couldn’t afford.
Anyway, enough from me. Check out Smarta for yourself
© 2013 Shaa Wasmund - All rights reserved.
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