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The importance of Entrepreneurship
Advice for the aspirational by Cllr Debbie Clancy
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The word Entrepreneur itself is big and can encapsulate many aspects of business which is not well defined as a more specific job title. In short though, it is for anyone who can take a small concept and turn it into something, not necessarily on a commercial corporate scale although many do, but into a creative and thriving money making scheme.
Many individuals for the most part want security, a regular pay cheque, and pension attached, so depending on the freedom of your circumstances, many talented individuals never realise their own entrepreneurial capacity out of fear or lack of support. This can be expected as the process itself requires determination and persistence, cashflow and money management advice to name a few. It can be possible to create something small aligning with a regular job which can still produce monetary fruit and enjoyment, and those who have watched the popular TV show Dragons Den can familiarise with this way of beginning in the entrepreneurial landscape. Either way being an Entrepreneur can take you to a whole new level of learning and discovery, whilst being scary and exciting, it allows you to see dreams come to fruition.
What do you need? Well unlike your academic systems of being an accountant or a lawyer, this is a different arena and does require a novice to eventually start being a self-made accountant or lawyer to some degree if budgets do not allow for those services to be acquired, but for some it is not as daunting as it should be, and the basic knowledge can be self-taught to some level particularly for SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises).
It is a process, and whether you’re selling some online products or working at your local market with home made products the process can be the same.
What helps? Technology and social media are now at an all-time high, with audiences potentially at your fingertips. Digital inclusion or exclusion during Covid shone a light on the inequalities within households, particularly with education with none or limited technology other than a mobile phone, thus a Digital Inclusion strategy was created by Birmingham City Council, not surprising as one of the City Council’s six Plans 2018-2022 is Birmingham being an Entrepreneurial City to learn, work and invest in.
Is this enough? The Business Growth Programme 2 (BGP2) is another facet currently on an upward trend in the KPI’s in Birmingham and does fund start-ups in some cases, check www.birmingham.gov.uk/bgp2 for application information on the new funding round in August 2022.
2021 crowned Birmingham the UK’s regional start-up capital for the seventh year running despite the Coronavirus pandemic, to put in context over 18,000 new enterprises started life through the City in 2020, which saw a 26.8% uplift in business births from 2019. These figures were taken from an annual study from think-tank centre for Entrepreneurs (CfE), the UK’s leading entrepreneurship foundation and no doubt a positive against other volatility nationally. Contributing factors could well be the young diverse population we have regionally and as West Midlands also emerged as a top destination for Scaleups, with 1750 scaleups across the regional’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP in 2020) our innovative contribution appears to be going in the right direction.
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By Cllr Debbie Clancy of Longbridge and West Heath