Monday 12 July 2004
Public Orator, Professor
Ian Davidson presented the Honorary Graduand at the Degree Ceremony
held on Monday 12 July 2004 at 3.00pm.
Chancellor, Chair of
Council, University Treasurer, Honorary Graduand, Ladies and Gentlemen
What’s the secret
of success in business? What are the characteristics of successful
entrepreneurs? What makes them winners? There are no easy answers
to these questions, but the pursuit of opportunities is at the
heart of entrepreneurial behaviour. The life and career of Derek
Mapp illustrate this perfectly.
Born in 1950 in Warrington
(Cheshire), Derek came from a humble background where money was
tight and spending on luxuries was out of the question. As a keen
scout, he organised numerous camping expeditions and first learned
the art of leadership by encouragement. He left school before
completing his sixth form education. A few years later, Derek
made the momentous decision to start his own business, opening
and developing a number of bread and cake shops. He diversified
into outside catering, and enjoyed the highs and lows of self-employment.
However, with a wife and young family to support, Derek wanted
a more secure source of income.
After a number of managerial
appointments, he joined Mansfield Brewery and rose through the
ranks to become main board director by the age of 39. But the
ambition to run his own business was still burning brightly.
With venture capital
support, Derek grasped the opportunity to launch Tom Cobleigh,
a family-friendly pub and restaurant chain. The public loved it.
Within a relatively short period, the company had been floated
on the Stock Exchange then taken over by a major UK corporate.
Since leaving TC in
1998, Derek has maintained a portfolio of business interests;
he’ll never retire! He has recently achieved notable success
as Chairman of Leapfrog Day Nurseries, a leading provider of childcare.
What else can we learn
about entrepreneurs from our Honorary Graduand? Derek is determined
and impatient to get started on projects. As soon as finance is
available, his builders are ready to move into action! Derek builds
strong teams around him, and has always shared success with his
colleagues. He treats all staff with respect, and believes that
praise is the most underused management tool. He also has the
ability to squeeze more than 24 hours into each day.
At present, he is coming
to the end of a very productive stint as Chairman of the East
Midlands Development Agency. He has taken great pride in promoting
the East Midlands, and setting a vision for the region of achieving
top 20 European status by 2010. He really has helped to raise
the profile of this region, especially in Europe. Derek has also
taken a lead on small business matters, and he championed the
introduction of regional venture capital funds, a great help to
Derek has served as
Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Business School.
He quickly developed into a wonderful teacher, especially in the
cut and thrust of questions – no jargon, just sound business
advice. He is very willing to pass on his business experiences,
both good and bad. I know that Derek has inspired a number of
students to follow in his footsteps; indeed, some of them are
in this audience.
I have the honour to present to you, and to the whole University,
Derek Mapp, entrepreneur, public servant and educator, for the
Degree of Doctor of Technology, honoris causa.