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Global Entrepreneurship Week

Volume 704: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Ian Pearson) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

This year is the first ever Global Entrepreneurship Week, an initiative inspired by BERR and co-founded with the Kauffman Foundation in the USA. Between 17 and 23 November, people in more that 70 countries will participate in a variety of events, collaborating online, sharing ideas and developing entrepreneurial solutions to shared problems.

Global Entrepreneurship Week will enable potential entrepreneurs to network globally. It will engage people in school, at home, on the web and at work. Through this initiative, the next wave of entrepreneurs will be inspired and emerge. In doing so, they will begin to acquire the knowledge, skills, networks and values needed to grow innovative, sustainable enterprises that have a positive impact on their lives and the lives of those around them.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is being run for the Government by the Make Your Mark campaign, which aims to inspire young people (aged 14 to 30 years), as well as older entrepreneurs, ethnic minorities and women to be enterprising in the broadest sense, developing a creative, can-do attitude with the skills to spot opportunities and the confidence to pursue them. This is an agenda that is crucial for the future aspirations of millions of people as well as the economic future of the UK, encouraging business start-ups, social enterprises and the development of an enterprising workforce. Wednesday 19 November and Thursday 20 November will be Women’s Enterprise Day and Social Enterprise Day respectively.

Make Your Mark is funded by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and is led by Enterprise Insight, a campaign coalition founded by the UK’s leading business organisations (CBI, British Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors, and the Federation of Small Businesses) in partnership with the main enterprise development organisations and working closely with government departments, education bodies, regional development agencies and others.

Global Entrepreneurship Week will form part of the UK’s fifth Enterprise Week. Last year, Enterprise Week was an enormous success and generated community interest in entrepreneurship, with 584,000 people attending the 5,270 events run by 3,002 organisations. The single largest activity was the Make Your Mark Challenge. This involved 38,000 students from schools, colleges and universities working in over 7,000 teams, a 94 per cent increase on 2006. One in six secondary schools took part.  There were significant increases in the number of events specifically aimed at women/girls and ethnic minorities—respectively these were 275 and 385 events, representing 108 per cent and 274 per cent increases on 2006 and there was more than double the number of social enterprise events (354), a 55 per cent increase on 2006.