By Daniel Hunter

The British business community and media need to do more to promote entrepreneurship as a valid and rewarding career path, according to Professor Erkko Autio, Chair in Technology Venturing and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Doctoral Programme at Imperial College Business School.

Whereas bright young people in the US are driven to start new firms, their peers in the UK tend to follow a much more established route to the City.

“Contrary to popular belief, red tape isn’t what hinders entrepreneurship; in fact the UK is one of the easiest places in the world in which to start a business,” says Professor Autio.

“The real issue is a lack of aspiration among young people in this country to build and grow new ventures, and we need to do more to address this - to change perceptions of entrepreneurialism by creating debate and excitement around the topic and bringing a new generation of role models into the limelight.”

His comments come after Joanna Shields, Chief Executive of The Tech City Investment Organisation, spoke last night on entrepreneurship and its importance for the economic growth of the UK as a highlight of the School’s Imperial Business Insights Series.

The Series, sponsored by KPMG, provides a platform for international business leaders, academics and researchers to examine how the latest thinking in entrepreneurism, finance, innovation, health management, sustainable energy and climate impacts on business.

Through its strong focus on entrepreneurship across an extensive range of taught master programmes and research, Imperial College Business School proactively supports business leaders of the future. It also co-hosts the UK Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), which conducts policy relevant research on SME growth and development, and co-produces the annual Global Entrepreneurship Develop ment Index (GEDI) research report, with the 2013 report due to be released this summer.

The Tech City Investment Organisation was established last year by UKTI to support the growth of the tech cluster in East London and create a European centre of innovation for tech and digital companies and investors.

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