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Jeremy Harbour - Founder and Owner of The Harbour Club


Jeremy Harbour - Founder and Owner of The Harbour Club








Show Notes

In this episode of the Road to Growth podcast, we are pleased to introduce you to Jeremy Harbour. Jeremy is an investor, entrepreneur and advisor known for M & A advisory and creation of the agglomeration model. He is the founder and owner of The Harbour Club, a company that helps entrepreneurs buy and sell businesses. He is also the owner of Unity Group, a private equity firm Born in UK, Harbour started a business when he was 14 years old and left school to pursue it further. The business was shut after nine years. In the 1990s, he owned a telecommunications company and acquired a competitor without cash or debt. He later moved to the M & A industry. Based in Singapore, Harbour deals in mergers and acquisitions of small businesses, and focuses on building businesses by acquisition and exiting through trade sale or public quote. He uses an agglomeration model to help small businesses. He was the Advisory Director for The Mint National Bank, a DBS Business Class advisor, and Chairman of the Marketing Group, a digital agency. He has been invited to British Houses of Parliament to advise on matters of business and enterprise. He is also the author of the book – ‘Go Do’. Harbour was the Coutts Entrepreneur of the Year runner-up three times.


Jeremy’s career began at 8, when he was selling his mother’s flowers in jam jars outside her beauty salon, but really got going at 14, with the aid of his helpful grandmother who drove him to car-boot fairs. “I was the annoying kid at school who was always trying to sell you stuff,” he admits cheerfully. He quickly progressed to a Saturday and then also a Sunday market stall and was not only selling his own lines but supplying other market traders too. Leaving school the moment he finished his GCSEs, Jeremy’s comment to the Telegraph that “the only reason to go to university is to learn how to roll a really good joint”, has come back to haunt him many times, but his point is valid; what would he learn there that he would not learn better running his own business? A view endorsed by his careers teacher who told Jeremy’s mother that Jeremy had spent an hour outlining his career plans in some detail and that Jeremy had better be allowed to get on with it.


In this episode of the Road to Growth podcast, we are pleased to introduce you to Jeremy Harbour. Jeremy is an investor, entrepreneur and advisor known for M & A advisory and creation of the agglomeration model. He is the founder and owner of The Harbour Club, a company that helps entrepreneurs buy and sell businesses. He is also the owner of Unity Group, a private equity firm Born in UK, Harbour started a business when he was 14 years old and left school to pursue it further. The business was shut after nine years. In the 1990s, he owned a telecommunications company and acquired a competitor without cash or debt. He later moved to the M & A industry. Based in Singapore, Harbour deals in mergers and acquisitions of small businesses, and focuses on building businesses by acquisition and exiting through trade sale or public quote. He uses an agglomeration model to help small businesses. He was the Advisory Director for The Mint National Bank, a DBS Business Class advisor, and Chairman of the Marketing Group, a digital agency. He has been invited to British Houses of Parliament to advise on matters of business and enterprise. He is also the author of the book – ‘Go Do’. Harbour was the Coutts Entrepreneur of the Year runner-up three times Jeremy’s career began at 8, when he was selling his mother’s flowers in jam jars outside her beauty salon, but really got going at 14, with the aid of his helpful grandmother who drove him to car-boot fairs. “I was the annoying kid at school who was always trying to sell you stuff,” he admits cheerfully. He quickly progressed to a Saturday and then also a Sunday market stall and was not only selling his own lines but supplying other market traders too. Leaving school the moment he finished his GCSEs, Jeremy’s comment to the Telegraph that “the only reason to go to university is to learn how to roll a really good joint”, has come back to haunt him many times, but his point is valid; what would he learn there that he would not learn better running his own business? A view endorsed by his careers teacher who told Jeremy’s mother that Jeremy had spent an hour outlining his career plans in some detail and that Jeremy had better be allowed to get on with it. With hindsight, Jeremy regards his first setback, aged 19, as a good thing, although it was devastating at the time when the failure of his company selling arcade games to pubs wiped out the £60,000 of savings he had built up in his teenage years and he had to go back to the drawing board. Moving back in with his parents, he was forced to digest some hard lessons which, although they caused weight loss and heartbreak at the time, have served him very well subsequently. He also confesses that he would have been insufferable had his star risen much further and that a little humiliation probably saved him in the long term. He had discovered that it is impossible to learn from theory, “The most I knew about business was on the day I started,” he says, “but of course logic doesn’t apply to real business and real human beings. Business books and MBA courses are all about theory, but however much you plan and hedge, there will always be that black swan event which pops up and over which you have no control.” The concept that the more you think you know, the less you actually know and that the only way to learn is by experience, has been key in Jeremy’s subsequent career...



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