The research, published by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), shows that only 18 per cent of the UK’s working age population has received training in starting a business.
“In comparison with other countries, the UK is ideally placed to benefit from increases in the provision of start-up training,” says Dr Jonathan Levie of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde, who co-authored the report.
“Those who have had training are much more likely to be engaged in entrepreneurial activity, even if they didn’t choose to take the training in the first place.”
The report’s co-author, Professor Donna Kelley of Babson College, adds that its important to teach entrepreneurial skills at school.
“Training at a young age cultivates an entrepreneurial spirit early on, and university-level training is important too, because it validates entrepreneurship as a potential career path.
“Besides skill-building, training increases an individual’s awareness of entrepreneurship and their intent to start a business, and improves perceptions about their ability to do so.”
We’ve already seen quite a few educational initiatives being launched – Doug Richard’s School for Startups, Peter Jones’ Enterprise Academy and James Caan’s Entrepreneurs Business Academy – but this isn’t enough.
Education needs to be complemented by a change in the public’s attitude towards entrepreneurship if we want to see Britain charge ahead.
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