Some people ‘born to be employers’, says Swimming Nature founder and CEO

Brazilian entrepreneur Eduardo Ferre speaks exclusively to Growth Business about succeeding despite 'some bad advice' and the desire to pass on his experience to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Some people are drawn to business ownership from a young age and are “born to be employers”, according to Swimming Nature founder and CEO Eduardo Ferre.

Speaking exclusively to Growth Business, Ferre said having the courage to succeed comes from a “passion for business” and a desire for control in their professional lives.

He added that, although there is much that can be taught in entrepreneurship, a large part of the drive to set up a business is instilled at an early age.

“Some people are born to be employees and others are born to be employers,” he said. “Setting up and running a business becomes part of your life. But that can only happen if you have the passion to make courageous and intrepid decisions.”

Ferre moved to the UK from Brazil at an early age. His first focus was to improve his English and when he felt comfortable enough he founded Swimming Nature – the first business in the UK to offer ‘in-pool’ swimming lessons.

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The business started as a one man band but has since seen impressive growth and currently employs 120 people in 50 learning centres across the country. His work has been recognised by The Guardian and one major fitness chain. Olympic swimmer Mark Foster is also an ambassador for the business.

Due to his success Ferre says he is often approached by young entrepreneurs to give advice on starting their own business – something he says he’s more than happy to do.

“A lot of people are now coming to me to ask how they can get their own similar start-ups going,” he said. “And I’m loving being able to help people with the drive to get their own business off the ground. I very much enjoy it.”

That level of support is something Ferre says he didn’t necessarily have in the early days of Swimming Nature. More than having no one to turn to, he adds that there were people who “offered some bad advice”.

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“I think I went through all the failures of running the business at first. I had a lot of challenges at the start of my career and these people thought they could help, but really they had no idea,” he said.

One area of concern in those early days, especially for Ferre’s bank manager, was the level of personal finance he had invested in his business. He funded the start-up himself, something that made his financial advisers nervous. But despite “being told off” several times by his bank manager, he believes the brave approach is now paying dividends.

“Now I have a business that is very much scaleable and able to grow,” he said. “If I had my time again maybe I’d have been a bit more careful, but I’m very proud of where I am now.”

Future plans for Swimming Nature include overseas expansion and having “as many teachers and students” as possible.

“We want to carry on growing and I want to continue putting my passion into the business,” he said. “Longer-term we’re looking more internationally. At some stage in the future I would like to have more time to myself but I’ve not considered exiting the business yet.”

You can fine out more about Swimming Nature here.

Further reading: My first year as an entrepreneur

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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