The government has also leapt on board. Mark Prisk talked passionately about the necessity for all of us to get behind entrepreneurship in Britain. Many stats were bandied about but I think the most incredible one is that only 5.8 per cent of people are in the process of starting a business yet over 50 per cent of the population who would like to be. Those of us who have taken the plunge have absolutely got to get behind this in every way possible – and certainly the new mentoring scheme will help.
One of the awe-inspiring things about the finalists for the Enterprising Britain awards was that they tended to be completely non political and have formed themselves from mixes of council, business or education to work toward a common goal for their local areas. The winners, Rotherham Ready, had been brought together specifically to spearhead a renaissance in Rotherham, bringing both education and business together to form an enterprise culture.
Rotherham Ready’s work includes 180,000 hours of enterprise learning in Rotherham schools and colleges. The scheme covers primary schools through to post-school support for those pupils who have the courage to start their own businesses. It has created a real blueprint for the development and sustaining of enterprise in the classroom.
We need to prove to the next generation of entrepreneurs that opportunities exist – and must be taken advantage of. Entrepreneurs, government, councils, business people and teachers – all have to join together as proper communities, throwing politics and personal issues out of the window. We need to promote entrepreneurship as Rotherham has done, right from primary school level. Entrepreneurship can indeed re-build Britain.