In a country where young people make up a significant proportion of the available labour force, yet unemployment rates for 20 to 24yearolds have been estimated to be as much as five times greater than those for older adults, Building Young Futures works hard to support hard to reach people in places where there are few jobs or prospects for the bulging youth population. What's the alternative?
Rather than looking for similarities and differences between different countries, personally I'd rather hear about how entrepreneurs in different countries are being brought together and how knowledge, skills and opportunities are being shared across national borders which, let's face it, in this global, digital world don't actually mean that much.
One week, 3,200 events and over 300,000 participants. It's been a record-breaking Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 for the UK, with more people taking part in activities than ever before in the 10-year history of a week dedicated to enterprise in the country.
What a long way we have come. I can remember when we administered the first £1million. It seemed like a huge milestone. It seems like only yesterday we had provided loans to 5,000 businesses and now we have passed the 10,000th milestone. We should be very proud of what we have achieved, but there is still a long way to go...
Realising the entrepreneur within could be the act of turning your passion or hobby into a business, spotting a gap in the market and fund-raising to fill it, or coming up with a new way of working or product line for a company in which you're an employee. The entrepreneurial instinct, I believe, is in everyone - the only thing that differs is what you decide to do with it.
You know things are starting to look up with the economy when debate turns to possible interest rate rises. With recent unemployment and GDP figures suggesting the long-awaited upturn may well be here, it was with great pleasure that we were able to announce, at the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013, that entrepreneurs agree a new era is afoot.
In today's uncertain economic climate, aspiring entrepreneurs would be forgiven for thinking that it is too risky and too complicated to start up their own business. Yet, as Global Entrepreneurship Week takes place, it is clear that this is not necessarily the case - and in fact now could be the perfect time to consider setting up.