By Marcus Leach

Richard Branson said that the best way to learn how to run a business is to learn on the job. That was his message at the Institute of Directors' 2013 Annual Conference.

Branson was one of a number of big name speakers at the Royal Albert Hall event, others included Joanna Shields, George Osborne, Chuka Umunna, Boris Johnson and Simon Walker.

His message to the audience was that people need to learn to run their own businesses from experience, and to be afraid of failure.

"The best way of learning to run a business is to just do it," Branson said. "You can go and learn at school and university, but there is nothing like just getting out there and trying for yourself.

"Don't be overly concerned or scared about failing. Eight out of ten will fail at the first attempt, but we admire people for trying, instead of siting by and watching others try.

"You might fall flat on your face, if you do get back up and go again. If you fall, get up and keep going until you make it a success."

He reiterated this when asked about the new government initative that will see the government give school leavers funding for business ideas.

"Instead of just giving people money to go to university, where they will be saddled with debt, people can learn by getting out there and starting businesses. They can help make Britain great again," Branson added.

"What is a business? It is simply making other people's lives better. If you have an idea where you think you can do this, then you have a business. You should just get on and try and make it work.

"Be bold, and don't gamble. I haven't always obeyed that rule, but standing back today and looking at it you have to decide to take calculated risks, but not blind gambles."

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