THE BLOG
08/11/2013 10:21 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Global Entrepreneurship Week hits the 1,500 mark

Making Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 even more significant, this year will mark 10 years of a week in the U.K. dedicated to giving individuals and start ups the practical support to help them get set up and grow.

With less than a month to go until the most exciting week in the entrepreneurship calendar, I'm pleased to hear that the future looks bright for the next generation of U.K. enterprise, and that they remain the central force to the growth of our global economy. StartUp Britain recently revealed that Britons are on track to start up more than half a million businesses this year, beating last year's record, while Deloitte announced in its latest report that more than 80 percent of entrepreneurs believe that their businesses will grow by at least 10 percent over the next year, the highest number since the survey began in 2008. We all know that business is essential to both our economic success as well as to employment prospects. That's why it's encouraging that myriad initiatives, such as those recently introduced by the government and many high street banks, are now available to support aspiring business owners with the resources they need to start up on their own.

It's perfect timing then, for the hotbed of entrepreneurial activity that is Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013. In only a few weeks, thousands of budding entrepreneurs across the country, and indeed the world, will unite for the Week, which takes place between Nov. 18-24. Involving seven and half million people over 130 countries, the Week will help to develop business skills and create new and flourishing ventures. Rather than relying on TV programs, such as The Apprentice or Dragons' Den for inspiration and advice which, according to small business leaders, actually deter many budding entrepreneurs from taking the plunge, Global Entrepreneurship Week enables aspiring entrepreneurs and fledgling start ups to access practical advice and support from real people and organisations who have tried and tested different routes to success.

Here in the UK, Global Entrepreneurship Week is once again hosted by Youth Business International (YBI) in partnership with Barclays. We also run the event in 10 other countries including Canada, Uganda and Barbados. As part of this programs, we continue to promote a national conversation about entrepreneurship which connects people, shares ideas and addresses regional issues to help create the next wave of business owners. This year we're encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses to 'take a step forward' towards start up success, perhaps by joining a regular networking group, or undertaking a book-keeping training course. The options are endless.

At the same time, Global Entrepreneurship Week also focuses on inspiring much younger entrepreneurs too - one example is from our partner for the Week, Barclays. Throughout the year, they run a variety of activities to help school children understand how to better manage their finances through the Barclays Money Skills program. This is just one example of how resources, programs and guides such as these are crucial to influencing how the future generation approach and accomplish their business dreams in years to come.

Making Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 even more significant, this year will mark 10 years of a week in the U.K. dedicated to giving individuals and start ups the practical support to help them get set up and grow. Last year, 279,500 people attended more than 3,200 events organized by over 500 partner organizations -- a 30 percent increase on the year before. And 2013 is already shaping up to be even bigger and better.

Just this week, we're proud to announce that 1,500 events are already registered to take place across the U.K., with highlights including: the Coca-Cola Enterprises' Real Business Challenge which gives secondary school children the chance to work with the leading brand; ex-servicemen and women gathering at the Tower of London to develop business ideas; and together, the University of Dundee and Enterprise Gym running a series of TED talk-style events.

Whilst we eagerly anticipate the Week, and look forward to seeing even more events and initiatives mark it in their diaries, it will now be crucial for this enthusiasm to be captured and translated into tangible business creation and growth. The Week will enable the optimism that we have already seen from so many budding entrepreneurs to be married with the practical support they need to take a step forward, giving U.K. enterprise the boost it requires.

For further information about YBI's Global Entrepreneurship Week and if you would like to be involved, please visit www.gew.org.uk.