YOU will be familiar with the American Dream – a message that says whoever you are, you can make it if you strive hard enough. What I want to see now is a British Dream, one that shows real people in this country that they can make it too.
Building a British Dream will not be a small job. There are big challenges ahead and huge changes that we must make. To put this into perspective, over 50 per cent of the population want to start a business but only 5.8 per cent actually do. What this shows is that we have the vision but we don’t follow through with it, and this needs to change.
I believe we must take this wasted potential and transform it into entrepreneurial action. Our nation’s entrepreneurs and small businesses are at the forefront of the economic fightback. The “enterprise-led recovery” that government talks about is about real people, making a difference and creating businesses.
My dream is that “making it” in Britain is something we must see a lot more of and so creating a culture of enterprise in Britain is a mission that has my full backing.
The real question is, how do we start to turn countless dreams into reality, and help the dreamers that do go for it to find their success? I am calling on entrepreneurs to do more.
Britain’s successful entrepreneurs must use their skills and knowledge to inspire people to go for it in business, and help more fast-growth companies make it.
Through my work with my foundation, The Peter Jones Foundation, I aim to drive excellence in entrepreneurship through my Enterprise Academy, the enterprise challenge Tenner Tycoon and Global Entrepreneurship Week, using the experience of those who have made it to inspire the next generation of wealth and job creators.
The Department of Business has made a commitment to support the Tenner Tycoon programme, which extends its reach into more schools and means that even more young people can get involved – this is at the heart of the issue. I’ve been backing this personally and, this month, 28,000 kids have received a £10 note and have been challenged to make as much profit as they can with it, with the aim of making a difference and giving back. It is a vital first taste of the business skills that they will need later on in life, and perhaps be the spark that leads to a new entrepreneurial success story.
These are Britain’s future entrepreneurs. I want to give as many children in Britain the chance to be inspired by enterprise and given the confidence in their own skills to set up a business, or be entrepreneurial within an existing business. With this nationwide competition I hope to hear more young people saying “I want to be an entrepreneur”.
I will expand Tenner Tycoon many times over to become a massive nationwide schools campaign – enabling all those taking part to learn those vital entrepreneurial skills that will create a new generation of business owners. We will also help to celebrate startups through Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Through my nationwide network of Enterprise Academies we will also deliver a series of boot-camps that offer young people the chance to learn skills and business know-how in the classroom and in real, live business environments.
The pledges made by the organisations involved with StartUp Britain, a campaign I was involved in launching recently, deliver a powerful message to boost young businesses and startups. This is vital to the recovery of our economy and is key to the future growth and success of Britain.
In Britain there are so many great examples of business success and we need to share their experiences to inspire others, because ultimately, we need to see a cultural shift in our nation’s attitudes to entrepreneurship.
There are thousands of British people with a dream. We need to help them make their dreams a reality.