Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The 2020 Entrepreneurship Action Plan

15-20% of students who participate in enterprise programmes in their secondary schools or earlier will go on to start their own companies.[1]  However, across Europe, little has been done to make this type of programme commonplace. This is despite the argument that “entrepreneurship makes economies more competitive and innovative and is crucial in achieving the objectives of several European sectorial policies.”[2]

In response to this, in 2013, the European Commission published the EU 2020 entrepreneurship action plan. The action plan was put together with the aim to create more entrepreneurs in Europe by the year 2020. It cements this aim by laying out the three foundations by which enterprise can flourish. These foundations are: removing barriers, creating a culture of entrepreneurship and supporting new businesses at crucial stages of business development.

Optimistically, the European Commission has since suggested that based on the 1% value rise of small to medium sized enterprises (SME’S) in 2013, the value of new SME’S will increase by 2.8% in 2014 and by 3.4% in 2015. These pre-emptive statistics indicate that more start-up businesses are experiencing higher turnovers and employing more people than they were in previous years, and that this trend is expected to continue. These statistics are reinforced by the latest governmental figures documenting how many people were claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) this year in comparison to previous years. As of September 2014 unemployment in the UK dropped to 27%, and for the first time since 2008 the number of people claiming JSA dropped below 1 million.[3]  These statistics also suggest that the culture of entrepreneurship is becoming more commonplace, not only throughout the UK but also across Europe.

Despite this positive news, as enterprise is becoming more appealing, the barriers to enterprise (such as complicated funding applications, knowing where to get support etc.) will have to be removed quicker than they are at the moment if the figures that we are seeing at the moment are to continue. What is more, despite the entrepreneurial increase, the statistics related to the number of new businesses that fail remain consistent, meaning that more tailor made support is necessary to help new businesses succeed, and business accelerators and incubators are one way to achieve this.

[1] C. Jenner, 'Business and Education: PowerfulSocial Innovation Partners', Stanford Social Innovation Review (Aug. 27, 2012)

Posted by: One Planet Ventures