Global Entrepreneurship Week launches for 2013

Entrepreneurs and businesses come together to encourage enterprising activity in Britain

The nation’s largest entrepreneurship-focused campaign, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2013, launched today with the support of secretary of state Vince Cable.

Now in its 10th year, GEW is an international event running from November 18 to November 24, hosted by Princes’ Youth Business International (YBI) and Barclays, that seeks to inspire and motivate enterprising activity in “the young and old” and encourage people to “take the next step forward”.

Last year, the Week reached over 279,000 people and this year it is looking to achieve greater engagement with more than 3,000 events being held across the country involving 300,000 people.

Announced at Westminster Kingsway College this morning, Andrew Devenport, YBI chief executive, discussed the state of entrepreneurialism in the UK and argued that there “are real signs that the mood is changing”.

Speaking at the event, Pizza Express entrepreneur Luke Johnson, Rob Forkan of social enterprise Gandys, Amma Mensah of Beyond the Classroom and Roberta Lucca of Bossa Studios all shared their insights into starting and running a successful business.

Mensah was keen to emphasise the message that businesses should go against the “status quo” and should not let criticism “hold you back from realising your vision […]let the doubters drive you”.

Johnson echoed a similar sentiment regarding the “agonies and ecstasies of starting a business” and on discussing his “flops” with Borders and a “mussel and chip restaurant” in New York, argued that in business most failures aren’t fatal:

“I’ve had a lot of failures but you’ve got to keep pressing on, there’s no substitute in life if you want freedom and independence.”

The launch coincides with research released today by YBI and the Kauffman Foundation which surveyed 156 UK entrepreneurs and found that 50% of business owners predict their revenue will increase by 30% or more by 2016, with 30% expecting to start another venture within the next 12 months.

Commenting on the launch Andrew Devenport said: “If you’re a believer in entrepreneurship then this is a very special week, celebrated in more than 130 countries across the world.

“It is about passing on important skills to early stage start-ups, fostering the dream of running your own business, tackling barriers and shining a spotlight on the work that is done in the other 51 weeks of the year.”

Sue Hayes, managing director of Barclays Business, discussed its contribution to support Britain’s entrepreneurs:

“We work closely with hundreds of small businesses every week and recognise the need for relevant, no-nonsense advice to help them transform their dream into a reality.”

Barclays Bank itself will run more than 100 free Barclays Get Ready for Business seminars aimed at budding entrepreneurs within varying stages in their development.

For more information on Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 and events taking place in your area, click here.

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