If growth is so important …

If the reaction to the lasted GDP figure (it shrank by 0.3%) is anything to go by, the answer to all our economic woes is growth. Of course, the devil is in the detail – kindly provided by the Office of National Statistics’ January release.

But, just where will this, much looked for growth, come from?

Lord Heseltine will leave NO STONE UNTURNED and even has a “blueprint for the future”:

  • Prime Minister-led National Growth Council;
  • Very significant devolution of funding from central government to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)
  • Clear statement by government of its priorities to guide LEPs;
  • Clear policy for each sector of the economy conceived in conjunction with industry and academia.
  • And many more …

The European Commission is very clear! In its most recent report (Rethinking Education Strategy) it proposes a Entrepreneurship Action Plan as a “blueprint [yes another one!] for decisive action to unleash Europe’s entrepreneurial potential, to remove existing obstacles and to revolutionise the culture of entrepreneurship in Europe”.  Put simply “Entrepreneurial education and training = growth and business creation”.

It states the need to create an environment where entrepreneurs can flourish and grow – there needs to be action on:

  • Access to finance is a significant constraint;
  • Supporting new businesses in crucial lifecycle phases;
  • Unleashing new business opportunities in the digital age;
  • Making transfers of business ownership easier;
  • Turning failure into success: second chances for ‘honest’ bankrupt entrepreneurs;
  • Regulatory burden reduction;
  • Business development support for unemployed.

It leads on the need to support entrepreneurship education and states that the Commission will:

  1. Develop a pan-European entrepreneurial learning initiative for impact analysis, knowledge sharing, development of methodologies and peer mentoring between practitioners from Member States;
  2. Reinforce co-operation with Member States to assess the introduction of entrepreneurship education in each country and to support public administrations wishing to learn from successful peers;
  3. Establish, jointly with the OECD, a guidance framework to encourage the development of entrepreneurial schools and VET institutions;
  4. Endorse successful mechanisms of university-driven business creation and emerging university-business ecosystems around key societal challenges.

All fine words but what about action …

Professor Nigel Lockett FRSA

Professor of Enterprise at Leeds University Business School