Economic policy

Why entrepreneurship must be at the forefront of economic policy

Helping entrepreneurs start, grow and renew their business is one of the most important interventions any local, regional or national government can take to help create jobs and raise living standards, especially in the poorest communities. more disadvantaged.

As with other countries around the world looking to grow their economy, entrepreneurship needs to be at the forefront of economic policy at national and regional level in the UK and there are a number of priorities to encourage greater participation entrepreneurial activity which must be at the forefront of any strategic approach to increasing prosperity and boosting employment.

Entrepreneurs are at the heart of every economy and society. They develop new opportunities that lead to greater job creation, they stimulate innovation to develop new products, services and markets and disrupt traditional sectors by developing new ways of working.

They are at the forefront of social change and are the driving force behind solving many global challenges such as the net zero transition. They also play a major role in developing sustainable communities and boosting employment in many cities around the world.

However, very few people fully appreciate this role and there is a need to further promote entrepreneurship as a way of life, as it is key to ensuring that more people consider starting their own business.

This can be done in different ways. For example, a study by the Kauffman Foundation noted that material increases in entrepreneurship can be achieved by exposing people better to existing entrepreneurs who are expanding their businesses, particularly in lower-income groups who have less contact with high-growth entrepreneurs.

Additionally, engaging local entrepreneurial role models in social media campaigns is a relatively easy and cost-effective way to help inspire a new generation of entrepreneurial talent. In this context, there are countless opportunities for all stakeholders – in the public, private and voluntary sectors – to act as catalysts in promoting entrepreneurship as a positive career choice for all.

Enterprise education is another important means of instilling an entrepreneurial spirit in an economy. With a general acceptance that entrepreneurs are largely created and not born, there are different ways to develop entrepreneurial skills in the population. This applies not only in terms of educational enterprise for schools, colleges and universities, but also in improving the skills of entrepreneurs as they grow and expand their businesses.

A critical part of creating a vibrant entrepreneurial climate in any economy is having a strong and cohesive business education system that spans from primary school to universities and beyond. To achieve this, there needs to be greater coordination of business education at local and regional level in the UK, drawing on best practice from around the world and involving stakeholders across the UK. entire education system.

But entrepreneurship education should not be limited to formal education and there is a need to develop the skills of other potential entrepreneurs, especially as the annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor shows that only half of the population UK adult thinks they have the skills to start and run a new business. Business.

Although there have been developments in this area in recent times, they tend to be the exception rather than the norm as policy makers rarely fund support for this type of learning and more needs to be done to ensure that the right kind of training is made available to those who want to start a business, in particular by involving those who have “been there and done it” as teachers via peer-to-peer learning, mentoring programs and entrepreneur clubs.

Finally, we must understand that entrepreneurship is not reserved for a group of people, but should be accessible to anyone wishing to start a business. And with research from the GEM study showing that the average entrepreneur tends to be white, male and aged between 25 and 34, there needs to be greater encouragement for entrepreneurs from all sectors of UK society to take the best of the entrepreneurial potential that exists in its general population and in the economy as a whole.

Yet the tendency of policy makers to integrate business and enterprise support means that there has been less focus on encouraging entrepreneurship among underrepresented groups such as women, youth, workers the elderly, ethnic minorities and the unemployed. For example, the focus on supporting entrepreneurship among women could have a major impact with the recent Rose Review showing that if women start and grow new businesses at the same rate as men, up to $250 billion pounds of new value could be added to the UK economy. .

Therefore, an increased awareness of the impact of entrepreneurship on our economy and society, coupled with better entrepreneurship education in our schools and universities and an increased focus on supporting underrepresented groups , could have a real impact on improving the rate of entrepreneurship and, more importantly, in the growth of the economy.