By Max Clarke

A gap in entrepreneurial activity has created a ‘lost generation’ of entrepreneurs in Scotland that cannot be recovered.

This is according to Dr. Jonathon Levie of Glasgow’s Strathclyde University, commenting on the publication of the 2010 Global Entrepreneurship monitor.

The report illustrates the gap in total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) for people in their thirties stands 'in stark contrast to the trend for the rest of the UK'.

Dr Levie continued: "We cannot recover this lost generation, but we can help prevent another through universal provision of training in starting a business in colleges and universities. If we do not, much of Scotland’s investment in enterprise education in our schools could be wasted."

"Fundamentally, Scotland needs to drive more economic development, both corporately and entrepreneurially,” said Sir Tom Hunter, who endowed the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde, “and if we do not drive a definitive strategy to do so — that includes a supportive tax regime, fiscal policies that drive growth and ground level support for start-ups - we will be an economy destined for reverse gear.”

Since election, a host of policies intended to stimulate entrepreneurialism have been introduced, including; enterprise zones; the new enterprise allowance fund for unemployed entrepreneurs; and a supposed ‘bonfire’ in red tape. In spite of such policies, Scotland is being left behind as business start up rates lag behind other areas of the UK.

"Our new government should take a fresh look at enterprise policy across all the environments through which our young people travel — including further, as well as higher, education. Scotland has led the world in the past; it’s time for it to lead again for our national future.

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