17/11/2011

By Victoria Pratt, Your Business Your Future

With Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) upon us (14th - 20th November) we were keen to find out what real entrepreneurs feel about it and whether it makes any difference.

Firstly, a bit of history. According to the GEW website, Global Entrepreneurship Week began life as Enterprise Week in the UK back in 2004. Soon afterwards, many other countries got excited about the potential of running similar initiatives. So in 2008, Enterprise UK and the Kauffman Foundation (the world’s largest entrepreneurship foundation based in the US) founded the very first Global Entrepreneurship Week. Since then, Global Entrepreneurship Week has spread to 115 countries, with nearly 24,000 organisations planning more than 37,000 activities.

The Prime Minister recently claimed, ”The future of our economy depends on a new generation of entrepreneurs coming up with ideas, resolving to make them a reality and having the vision to create wealth and jobs. I know how free-thinking, inventive and enterprising the British people are so I’m confident about that future.”

So, the idea of a week celebrating and recognizing these remarkable people, inspiring others and providing opportunities to network must be good, right?

Well, some entrepreneurs certainly think so. Award winning Nikki Hesford of Miss Fit UKtold us via Twitter, “I love Enterprise/Entrepreneurship week. It's like Christmas for business people: a chance to celebrate, share and connect.”

At the same time, there are some owner managers who find the whole thing a bit of a distraction. For example, an owner of an events and planning business said “To me, during these challenging times, its time out of the business I cannot afford to take.”

At Your Business Your Future, we’re getting into the spirit of GEW. On Monday evening, we were involved in the Growing Business Awards, where our MD, Gerard Burke, present ed the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award including a place on the Better Business Programme for the winner. On Tuesday, we ran one of the theatres at Fresh Business Thinking LIVE!, working through all seven of our Seven Pillars of a Better Business. And, on Thursday, we’re running our own Better Business Briefing Event at the inspiring StadiumMK near our head office in Milton Keynes.

And, given that we work with ambitious owner managers and entrepreneurs all year round, we wonder why these remarkable people are only celebrated and recognised in this one week.

Through their inventiveness and their vision, their strength and their courage, their gritty determination and fierce resolve, sometimes standing alone, seemingly against all the odds, ambitious owner managers and entrepreneurs build business and create jobs which provide incomes for families and a sense of self-worth and fulfilment for the people in those jobs. As a result, they provide the very glue that binds our communities together. And, ultimately, they drive the whole of the economy.

Quite simply, these remarkable individuals are the unsung heroes of our country. They should be celebrated and recognised all year round!


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