Positive Start to Global Entrepreneurship Week
As we hear that the latest GDP and unemployment statistics suggest the long-awaited recovery may finally be here, it was with great pleasure that we were able to announce, at the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 that entrepreneurs agree that positive times are near.
Youth Business International (YBI) and Kauffmann Foundation have released research this week to mark the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week, supported by Barclays. The research predicted an optimistic outlook for the growth of small businesses across a range of different factors.
We’re pleased to share that nearly all of UK entrepreneurs (90%) anticipate an overall increase in revenue by 2016, with half expecting their revenue to increase by 30% or more within the same time period. When we look at how the UK compares to our friends across the world, these revenue predictions for start ups in the UK are more positive than the global average, but we’re pleased to see the positive trend widens to entrepreneurs in other members of YBI’s global network too – for example, Canada, Barbados and Australia estimate similar levels of growth to the UK. (See UK Entrepreneurs Ready for Growth)
Job creation is an added bonus alongside increased revenue. More than three quarters of UK start ups said they thought they’d be looking to employ up to 20 people three years after starting up (76%) Growth within other areas is also predicted – 53% of first-time business owners have caught the start-up bug, and aim to branch out and start a second business within the next year. 30% of those who already run more than one business also forecasted a new venture.
From our point of view, it’s hopeful to know that there is finally a bright light at the end of the tunnel for UK entrepreneurship. When we cast our thoughts back to the Global Entrepreneurship Week research we released this time last year, the present situation is much more reassuring. Last year, more than two thirds of entrepreneurs felt the economic situation had stagnated or deteriorated and more than a third admitted they were considering throwing in the towel and returning to employment as a result of their negative experiences during the period of the recession. We have come out the other side.
Yesterday’s launch event in London brought these findings to life. We were lucky to gather entrepreneurs from all ends of the spectrum, to share their guidance on how they took a step forward with their own businesses and take in the understanding of others. Former Pizza Express boss Luke Johnson, a much respected entrepreneur exchanged experiences with more recent, but already international successes such as Paul and Rob Forkan of Gandys Flipflops. We were proud to showcase Congolese-born, Tina Lobondi , a fashion designer whose creations are made of worldwide fabrics, displayed her made-to-order designs alongside Louise Chambers, who runs her confectionery business whilst looking after her three young children.
Events such as the launch of the Week remind us of the importance of initiatives such as Global Entrepreneurship Week to our country. Founding a start-up is not an easy ride, but they are fundamental to a reviving a competitive economy, so it is important that individuals are encouraged to take the leap but are equipped with the right skills, knowledge but most importantly support needed to make their idea a success.
For those who are already on their way, whether they are in the first stages or more established, the Week offers each of them to learn about the best strategies for growth. Regardless of the size of your business, the Week is also an opportunity to give something back to the enterprise community. From our experiences across the globe, there is nothing more invaluable to an aspiring entrepreneur than being able bounce ideas of someone who has ‘been there done that’, learning from why they have flourished or failed, whether through formal mentoring or a casual chat at a networking event.
Global Entrepreneurship Week has something for everyone. Now that the week has started, it’s still not too late to get involved so visit www.gew.org.uk for a complete guide to the 3,000 events taking place across the country between 18 and 24 November and join the army of the 300,000 people taking part.
Andrew Devenport is the Chief Executive of Youth Business International, who host Global Entrepreneurship Week in UK, with support from Barclays and in10 other countries.This year’s Week aims to encourage and support entrepreneurs and aspiring small business owners to take a step forward towards entrepreneurial success.