By Tom Bewick, Chief Executive, Enterprise UK
As the Prime Minister has recently acknowledged, the UK desperately needs its entrepreneurs.
The ‘doers and grafters’ have been thrust centre-stage, tasked with spearheading economic growth, creating jobs and forging new markets. But if we are serious about making this the most entrepreneurial decade in our history, we must create the conditions to help more entrepreneurs get started as well as help existing businesses to grow.
The key to a more entrepreneurial decade is in part about the UK becoming the best place in the world to set up and run a business; light-touch regulation, improved access to capital and tax reform all have a major part to play.
Moreover, we need a gigantic shift in the public’s behaviour and attitude towards entrepreneurship. The good news is that over 50 per cent of the population want to start a business. The appetite is out there but worryingly only 5.8 per cent of people actually take the risk and do it. The need for change could not be more clear.
This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week, a global celebration of entrepreneurship involving eight million people in 101 countries. The best possible rallying cry for would-be entrepreneurs to get started.
For the UK to realise its entrepreneurial ambitions, we must prioritise enterprise education, create the right environment to start and grow a business and celebrate the role that entrepreneurs play in creating a dynamic and growing economy. As the Prime Minister has said — our country is depending on them.
Peter Jones CBE, chairman, Enterprise UK and the National Enterprise Academy
David Frost, director general, British Chambers of Commerce
Miles Templeman, director general, Institute of Directors
Richard Lambert, director general, Confederation of British Industry
Annika Bosanquet, co-owner, Wrapology
Jane Delfino, director of enterprise and internationalism, United Learning Trust, Manchester Academy
Stephen Alambritis, head of policy, Federation of Small Business
Doug Richard, founder and chief executive, School for Startups
Joe Cohen, founder and chief executive, Seatwave
Julie Meyer, founder and chief executive, Ariadne Capital and founder, Entrepreneur Country
James Lohan, founder and chief executive, Mr & Mrs Smith
Will King, founder and chief executive, King of Shaves
Rupert Lee-Browne, founder and chief executive, Caxton FX
Oli Barrett, founder, Make Your Mark with a Tenner
Rajeeb Dey, founder and chief executive, Enternships.com
Ben Ramsden — founder, Pants to Poverty
Chris Cole — managing director, Make It Cheaper and founder, Hydrogen Group
Lara Morgan — founder, fun-ctionality
Salman Malik — chief executive, Brightpearl
Claire Young — BBC The Apprentice star and co-founder, School Speakers and Girls Out Loud