Last week was Global Entrepreneurship Week which hosted 40,000 events involving 100 countries and 10 million participants and WedgeCard was lucky enough to be invited to the launch event!
Google’s headquarters in all their creative glory provided an inspiring and appropriate location for the launch of this initiative which aims to inspire and support budding entrepreneurs to pursue and realise their ideas.
Speakers included ‘dragon’ Peter Jones CBE, Chairman of Enterprise UK along with the Chief Executive of Enterprise UK, Tom Bewick, who stressed how GEW can really improve an individuals chances of setting up their business.
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills spoke of various new government initiatives such as a mentor scheme for entrepreneurs as well as stressing that the current economic difficulties should not discourage entrepreneurs. David Cameron supported Vince Cable via a video message stressing the importance and need to support and encourage entrepreneurs for a successful future for Britain.
A panel discussion led by Justin Webb from the BBC included Mark Prisk MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise agreeing with Peter Jones for the need to include enterprise throughout the school system, as it is the skill set for entrepreneurship which is vital. The panel also included Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, founder of The Black Farmer, who dispelled the myth that entrepreneurs were all ‘nasty’, otherwise no one would trust them! Sara Murray, founder of Buddi, described the scary statistic that 95% of businesses fail, therefore entrepreneurs need to be “irrationally optimistic”. Sara also highlighted the important fact that some entrepreneur successes can result in failure for others, such as Tesco destroying local shops, an issue obviously close to our heart. Therefore, support must be offered to existing businesses as well as new ones.
Matt Brittin, MD of Google UK described the importance of entrepreneurs entering the digital age as small businesses using the internet are growing four times as fast than those not using the internet. Doug Richard, founder of School for Startups supported this idea by recognising the internet vastly reduces entry barriers which new businesses face. Matt and Doug discussed these important factors whilst sitting on a park bench, in true Google style!
This was a truly inspirational and exciting event, at the end of which, the message that entrepreneurship was the way forward had most definitely been engraved into everyone’s head! Wedge are excited for more entrepreneurial successes however do not want our favourite existing ones to be forgotten about and they need support too!
For more details visit: www.gew.org.uk