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A global family of entrepreneurs

13 Jul 2017

IoD 99 Chairman Alex Mitchell took a small delegation of 99-members to the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit 2017 in Germany last month. Here he shares the main conversation pieces from their time in Berlin.

As a member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA), I was part of the UK delegation attending the G20 Entrepreneurs Summit in Berlin last month, which included 8 members of the IoD 99. The summit brought together over 400 founders from across the G20 member nations for a 2-day conference that focused on Digital Trends for Future Business.

In the past the YEA has been pivotal in ensuring that the voice of young entrepreneurs is heard by the G20 leaders. Everyone came together in Berlin to learn, share experiences and network. The summit also gave us the opportunity to voice our concerns and work together to see how we could build a better future for young entrepreneurs and small business owners.

One concern which was highlighted was regarding the lack of knowledge and skills being provided to young people across G20 countries - knowledge and skills which are extremely vital for new technology and businesses. Seeing as small and medium sized businesses are the main job creators in the G20 economies, often there is a lack of guidance readily available and in some cases a real disconnect between the needs of the employer and the education system. From personal experience I have noticed how the issues of talent, education and employability skill sets come up time and time again when speaking to UK start-ups and IoD 99 members who are trying to recruit and grow their teams. I, along with the rest of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance call on G20 leaders to find ways to educate and harness technological change during this ever-changing time.

With so many changes taking place, especially within the digital world, the structural modernisation of the global economy is somewhat unclear. There are definitely uncertainties in regards to the future of our businesses, and that of course makes business owners uneasy. As stated by Carsten Lexa, the Chair of the Steering Committee of the G20 YEA:

“The rapid process of digitalisation requires world governments to enact new policies immediately,”

That’s exactly why the G20 YEA team created the Germany Communiqué; a document which urges G20 leaders to find rules and standards for the development of current digital trends. The framework of the document calls upon the 2016 G20 Leaders’ commitment to advance innovative and economic growth, including the G20 entrepreneurship action plan.

We’re in an ever changing time where new digital platforms are popping up and there are anincreasing number of start-ups in the tech space. Inorder to ensure growth and job creation, not only here in the UK but in all G20 countries, young entrepreneurs need a framework that supports these new forms of entrepreneurship.

One discussed call to action was about ICT infrastructure, in order to allow start-ups to grow. The G20 YEA also called upon the G20 leaders to set a goal to have 5G networks in place in both developed and lesser developed countries by 2022.

Another recommendation by the G20 YEA was the creation of a G20 entrepreneur Visa Programme, to create a simplified process for short-term visa application for young entrepreneurs, by 2020.

It was fantastic to be part of the summit and meet like-minded founders from across the world. I also felt hugely proud to have a number of other members with me from the IoD 99, who did a fantastic job of showcasing the UK as an awesome place to start-up and grow a new venture.


Find out more about the IoD's fantastic support network of ambitious and talented entrepreneurs and start-up co/founders, the IoD 99

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