Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 – Bigger and Better for Encouraging Enterprise than ever before

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 – bigger and better for encouraging enterprise than ever beforeWe’re pleased to announce that it’s been a record-breaking Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 for the UK, with more people taking part in events than ever before with over 300,000 participants taking part in a week dedicated to enterprise.

It’s been a pleasure for us at Youth Business International to once again host the week in the UK, with support from Barclays, with highlights including the Premier League Enterprise Challenge launch, which has seen 6,000 young people submit business plans for growing the fanbases of Premier League clubs overseas, to Google hangouts with Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann and Sir Richard Branson.

Despite the UK boasting an unprecedented level of engagement, these numbers will be no doubt be dwarfed by the overall global total once the figures have been crunched. Global Entrepreneurship Week takes place in more than 130 countries worldwide, with YBI hosting it in 11 including the UK. Its apt then, that along with Shell LiveWIRE and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, a part of the the Week was devoted to capturing a global snapshot of young entrepreneurial attitudes and ambitions.

The resulting study, Unlocking Ambitions, Creating Growth, revealed that countries like Singapore and China are almost twice as successful at converting potential young entrepreneurs into business owners. However, in terms of creating businesses with high-growth potential, young UK entrepreneurs appear more likely than those in other countries to hit what we’ve termed a ‘growth glass ceiling’ within three years of starting up. They do lead the way when it comes to creating businesses employing between six and 19 employees, which is a great achievement. But they lag well behind countries like China, Germany, the USA and the Netherlands when we looked at those able to employ 20 people or more.

The figures present a clear case for continuing growth, investment and support for entrepreneurs in the UK, through campaigns such as Global Entrepreneurship Week. For example, we found that nearly one in five 18-34 year olds believe they have the skills to start a business and have a potential opportunity in mind, but fewer than 4% go on to create a company that makes a profit.

People often ask if I think one Week can really make that much difference and I have no doubt in my mind that this one does. One entrepreneur to demonstrate this is Ruben. Ruben was studying design but his real passion was in baking. Despite knowing everything there was to know about making cakes and he was hugely enthusiastic, he was much less sure about the practicalities of owning and running a business. While he knew it was an option, he wasn’t sure how to take a step forward – thankfully helping people do just this is at the heart of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Ruben joined us at an event during the Week in 2011 where he was introduced to a business adviser and less than a year later Ruben founded BakeyRubs and was taking orders.

Now that the week has come to an end, we’re eagerly awaiting the evaluation results – if you took part during the Week but haven’t yet had your say, please be involved here. Following on from this year’s success, let’s hope for many more tales just like Ruben’s.

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