From Uganda to Utah; from Malaysia to Wiltshire, the world today embarks on the first ever Global Entrepreneurship Week. Against a backdrop of global economic downturn precipitated, largely, by large businesses and policy-makers messing up, a focus on the sustainable power of entrepreneurialism couldn’t be better timed. More than 75 countries are participating including Australia, Brazil, China, France, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa and the United States. Co-founded by the Make your Mark campaign here in the UK, the very laudable aim is to encourage young people to consider, and pursue, an entrepreneurial career. Real Business is doing its bit, participating in a major debate this afternoon and other events through the week. We also want to hear your comments on whether a venture such as Global Entrepreneurship Week can really make a difference. Here’s a starter for ten: such initiatives are really valuable but, while successful entrepreneurs rightly receive huge credit when their businesses succeed, there’s an often-unsung raft of entrepreneurial supporters who deserve their moment in the spotlight. The best advocate for these people is the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. This is a relatively recent scheme that celebrates the investors, mentors, educationalists and social enterprise supporters who give entrepreneurs and innovators the support they need to get their ventures off the ground. These "champions of enterprise" include John Jenners, business counsellor at Oxfordshire Business Enterprise in Banbury,who for the past 11 years since his own retirement has offered business advice to more than 1,000 enterprises. A few months ago, we recognised one of the 2008 winners of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, Paul Barry-Walsh, for his extraordinary achievements at his Fredericks Foundation. Young entrepreneurs, established entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial supporters – we salute you all. And we need you more than ever….[asset1]
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