Young Entrepreneurs Need Support from Government, Big Business

by Granville Triumph

Young entrepreneurs from the G20 countries see themselves as the most dynamic source of technology innovation and expect their businesses to achieve strong growth and job creation in the next two years, according to a report by Accenture and the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (G20 YEA). However, these entrepreneurs demand more support from governments and larger businesses to help them sustain their contribution to economic growth.

The survey of 1000 business owners in the G20 countries aged 40 or younger revealed that more than three-quarters (76 percent) believe they are the major source of technology innovation in their countries. Forty-one percent expect to grow their businesses by more than 8 percent annually over the next two years and 81 percent expect to create new jobs in that period.

Young entrepreneurs see their strong contribution to economic growth increasingly dependent on working with larger businesses. Thirty-five percent of respondents claim to collaborate with large businesses today and a further 46 percent intend to do so in the coming two years. They cite access to new markets, specialist skills and more expensive technologies as benefits of working with bigger organizations.

Larger businesses appear less open, however. Fifty two percent of respondents of a survey of larger companies conducted for the report said they have either no collaboration with entrepreneurs at all or just one such initiative with at least a single small company.

Entrepreneurs also demand more support from government. Two thirds are not satisfied with current government policies. Eighteen percent say that governments take no actions to help entrepreneurs and a further 49 percent say that while they do, their efforts are not relevant or effective. Their primary demands are for changes to tax, the development of technology training and education, and public finance for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The report suggests actions by large businesses and entrepreneurs themselves to improve the environment for innovative entrepreneurs. Key recommendations for country governments include:

  • Stimulate demand through the development of digital infrastructures, export support schemes, the digitization and opening up of public procurement to small companies, and the digitalization of public services (including open data policies that encourage companies to create innovative services for the public sector).
  • Support entrepreneurs through efficient tax incentives, access to broader sources of funding, greater investment in STEM education and training, and facilitating the creation of clusters and incubators.
  • Develop business friendly environments for technology innovation through personalized and simplified online administrative processes, a higher tolerance for failure, standards for cloud technology that reduce fixed businesses costs, and an attractive environment for entrepreneurs to set up new businesses.

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