According to Lord Young, the UK’s enterprise advisor to the Prime Minister, the British invented Entrepreneurship. This comical and historical anecdote is in response to the UK’s booming entrepreneurship market. Lord Young says that the United Kingdom has entered the “golden age of entrepreneurship,” in succession with recent numbers attributing to entrepreneurial success in the UK.
Last year, a record-breaking 500,000 startups were registered in the United Kingdom as more and more young entrepreneurs are starting their own businesses. Since 2006, the number of people starting companies under the age of 35 has risen more than 70%. Young attributes this to the rise of the Internet. Millennials these days are used to the social dynamic bought by computers. They are able to stay better connected at a faster pace than the older generation because they grew up with the technology. What was never anticipated was how easy it is to start businesses with the technological skillset developed by young entrepreneurs.
The cost of starting a company is also at an all time low. The average cost of starting a business comes at 0.3% of gross national income whereas the average is 20% for the rest of the world. This also brings about more failed businesses than normal, as one in every three businesses are failing in the UK.
Young goes back to his anecdote mentioning that the industrial revolution began in England during the 1760s. This marked a period where people were moving from handcrafted materials to machine manufactured methods. This allowed for the development of small businesses which later spread to the United States and Western Europe. Young proclaims that the UK has come back to its roots.
Lord Young has been instrumental in the UK’s entrepreneurial rise as he spearheaded a government program that distributed £100 million to entrepreneurs in the UK. He is also in the middle of initiating government sponsored entrepreneurship education programs across the United Kingdom.
A recent article in Forbes discusses an increase in Greek entrepreneurship after a disastrous economic downfall. Throughout the Eurozone’s economic crisis, the Greek economy was doing the worst. Their corrupt public sector was running up massive debts while their private sector was mostly dependent on their government. This was a recipe for disaster.
Throughout this economic crisis in Greece, there was an increase in Greek entrepreneurs wanting to change the outcome of the Greek economy by focusing on tech-based startups. The article goes on to state that the Greeks were always strong in the entrepreneur market. However, many of these entrepreneurs were unproductive and did not focus on the right sectors of the economy for their sales. The article states that currently 90% of new ventures are continuing along the old, failed growth models while the other 10% are focusing on areas of growth.
Endeavor Greece is an example of one of these companies focusing on high-impact entrepreneur growth within the country. This will hopefully create more jobs and opportunities for other entrepreneurs wanting to enter high-impact industries in Greece. Endeavor is currently in 20 different countries. They support and identify high-impact entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors, and provide resources for these entrepreneurs to become successful in their sector. Although tech startups were more than 50% of total investment in 2013, Greece should also focus on industries where they have competitive advantage, for example, in sectors such as food processing, agriculture, and tourism.
The Tech ecosystem in Greece is in its developmental stages as there are about seven Greek venture capitalists managing about $100 million. This is better than before the crisis, but is it still getting off the ground. One area in where Greece could have an advantage is in their high number of engineers. Most of their engineers leave to the UK and the United States to peruse careers. Hopefully with the new tech environment, more of them will stay in Greece.
Many Greek entrepreneurs believe that international support is also necessary so that they can rebuild their economy. This involves a more stable tax framework that will attract foreign investment. The public sector has been investing more in their emerging business heavy industry as Greek tech-startups head the way for economic recovery. Fingers crossed.
This article is based on this article in Forbes.