Last year the government used Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) to launch its challenge of making this “the most entrepreneurial decade ever” and acknowledged that the need to develop a strong enterprise culture has never been more important. Successive governments and (to a broad extent) business have recognised that the UK provides a strong environment in which enterprise can thrive. But business start-up rates have stubbornly refused to reflect that environment, with the British public believing that starting a business is both more difficult and more risky than in fact it is.
Our fragile economy and jobs market is clearly not going to rise spectacularly and phoenix like any time soon. Our existing businesses are already questioning just how far private sector job creation will go towards filling the employment gap. This should encourage us to redouble our efforts to promote entrepreneurship. It should also encourage us to consider carefully what the key enterprise trends are and how they should influence the way we promote and support entrepreneurship at home and abroad. Get this wrong and we could seriously damage our recovery and longer term economic success.
There are two major events on the horizon providing high-profile opportunities to ask the big policy questions surrounding enterprise promotion – European SME Week (3 – 9 October) and Global Entrepreneurship Week (14 – 20 November). By asking these questions, we can help to ensure that the UK has the right enterprise strategy at home and abroad to realise this decade as the most entrepreneurial ever.