Centre for Entrepreneurs launches to support and promote UK entrepreneurs

New ‘think tank’ backer Legatum Group claim "government has done little to support entrepreneurs"

A new ‘think tank’ fronted by serial entrepreneur and investor Luke Johnson launched last week to support and advocate the role of entrepreneurs within the UK’s small business eco-system.

Unveiled at an event in the City of London, the Centre of Entrepreneurs will look to improve the public perception of entrepreneurs and intends to incorporate campaigns and research as well as “thought leadership” such as lobbying, pamphlets, articles and events to defend and support entrepreneurs.

Launched in partnership with independent public organisation Legatum Institute and funded by investment firm Legatum Group, the Centre’s core goal is to promote entrepreneurship within both media and government with additional plans to provide resources and guidance for entrepreneurs.

Business leaders including angel investor Dale Murray CBE, head of StartUp Britain Emma Jones MBE, Betfair founder Ed Wray and lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman will head up the board in an advisory capacity.

Entrepreneurs and businesses are already backing the Centre with social enterprise UnLtd , tech start-up accelerator programme Wayra and serial entrepreneur Oli Barrett in attendance at the launch.

Commenting on the joint venture Johnson said: “Entrepreneurship drives sustainable economic growth

“Yet government, the media and big business – despite all claiming to support entrepreneurs – can undermine entrepreneurship through unhelpful legislation, image stereo-typing and monopolistic behaviour.

“We believe this is partly due to under-representation of entrepreneurs in the public eye, which the Centre aims to address.”

With no immediate goals as yet, Johnson told us that the Centre was “unlikely” to have a central line to government although active participation from the government’s main parties, lobby groups and other think tanks is being sought and cabinet office members were present at the launch.

Johnson’s cynicism of government involvement was echoed in a speech presented on the night by a Legatum Group director who discussed government inaction:

“So far government seems to agree that in this eco-system we need entrepreneurialism but there is no government programme that will encourage entrepreneurial growth.

He continued:

“The government has done little to support entrepreneurs. “This centre will provide a voice to government and big businesses and a set of role models.

“It is fostering a set of values; of courage and of risk-taking.”

However on the start-up and enterprise front Johnson expressed confidence: “There will be half a million new start-ups in the next year but why shouldn’t there be more? I am optimistic that we can do better!”

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