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Enthusiastic entrepreneurs all over the UK are currently being inundated with all types of business support programmes from every conceivable source: their local council, their friendly bank and the taxi driver who’s trying to take them to their next networking opportunity but who has of course lost his way to name but three.

These support programmes are being promoted through a variety of metaphors which express the spirit of growth and enthusiasm which drives the people behind the programmes: everything from growing an allotment (that’s my current favourite) through to levitation systems (getting your idea ‘off the ground’) hothouses, hatcheries, nests and even the occasional business meeting womb.

The most insidious of these however is the military metaphor which describes the process of starting up in the starkest of terms: entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend boot camps: they are persuaded to ‘put their bodies on the line’; they have to ‘go over the top’, ‘batten down the hatches’ and ‘take one for the team’. Whilst this may be of use to some entrepreneurs who are thinking about setting up a private army which will compete of course with the publicly funded armed forces when larging it around the world’s hotspots, the military metaphor is a pretty hopeless way of describing activity whose moral compass is guided more by the desire to create jobs, improve the economy and do good in the world.

By all means attend a bootcamp if you must: but please make sure your business doesn’t contribute to the next civil insurrection happening in a town near you, any time now.