This blog post is by Helen Gale, Director of Research and Policy at Prince’s Youth Business International and Co-President of the UK within the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (G20YEA).
So, the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit (G20YES) continues, and we’ve reached a milestone: the signing of our communiqué. Communiqués are the currency of global governance and summitry. They compile a set of recommendations for future change and provide accountability for implementing action.
Tomorrow the G20YEA will present our communiqué to the President of Mexico. We are privileged to have a one-hour audience with him. In less than two weeks, he will host the leaders of the other 19 G20 members. Our goal is for them to recognise the critical role of youth entrepreneurship in reinvigorating global growth and stability, and to commit to work together with G20YEA so that young entrepreneurs can play their part as the architects of the 21st century.
It was developed directly out of the Summit sessions with the 400+ young entrepreneurs who joined us in Mexico City this week. The focus areas we call on governments for action are:
– Access to funding
– Integrating financial and non-financial support – training, mentoring, coaching
– Minimise regulatory and tax barriers
– Building a collaborative enterprise environment
– Fostering an entrepreneurship culture through the education system
We’ll keep an eye on the level of commitment from G20 governments. They meet on 18-19 June. Yet the real work starts when we all go home – turning the recommendations into locally relevant policies and actions. It’s a very different story tying to stimulate youth entrepreneurship in Russia, where the private sector is still nascent, compared with India where the key issue is job creation, or in more mature markets where access to finance is at worryingly low levels. In the UK, we can celebrate the launch of the government’s new Youth Investment Fund, but we keep hearing the problem that the youth entrepreneurship support sector is fragmented. That’s why both YBI and Young Brits are behind the foundation of the National Youth Enterprise Working Group, bringing together a range of young entrepreneur support organisations and providing a leading voice for national youth enterprise support. If we take the recommendations from the G20YEA communiqué, the Youth Investment Fund (like YBI) emphasises mentoring alongside finance – cue “integrated support” – and both Young Brits and YBI work as networks – cue the “collaborative” environment. Yet it only takes a cursory look at current unemployment, lending and insolvency figures to show we still have our work cut out… Needless to say, we are looking forward to our meeting with President Calderon.
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