It’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, with a range of activities across the world supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship. The Portuguese president Anibal Cavaco Silva described it as a global initiative aimed at awakening, stimulating and motivating entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and capacity for innovation.
In this video promoting the event, speakers from all over the globe talk about what it means to them, Yan Junqi, Vice Chairwoman of the National People’s Congress of China talks of the need to unleash everyone’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. Bo Fishback, from the Kauffman Foundation, one of the founders of the event, describes how entrepreneurship is “the engine that solves the world’s problems, the tool that fixes what’s broken, what makes the quality of life better for people all over the world”.
Closer to home, the other founder of the event is Enterprise UK. Their Head of Policy and Research, Peter Grigg, spoke at the annual Association of Colleges conference this week. Enterprise and entrepreneurship was featured heavily at the conference, including great interest from the chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency Geoff Russell.
Fintan Donohue, Principal of North Hertfordshire College and Gill Clipson from Amersham and Wycombe college (and one of the national enterprise academies) were amongst those who spoke about entrepreneurship, both in teaching the skills to students, but also about developing entrepreneurial culture within the organisations themselves.
Back to Peter Grigg, who gave a fascinating presentation with examples of great initiatives such as the make your mark with a tenner that gave £10 to students from £200,000 donated by individuals including Peter Jones, and were surprised to find a staggering 97% of it returned!
Grigg highlighted some key areas for enterprise development that lead to increased entrepreneurial behaviour including:
He was keen to emphasise the benefits, not just in terms of start ups, but also business growth, social impact and increased innovation.