As we come together to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014, studies suggest we are in the midst of an explosion of new enterprises. According to StartUp Britain, over 2000 new businesses are registered in Britain alone every day, with annual totals growing year-on-year, rising from 440,600 in 2011 to 526,446 in 2013. Nearly 480,000 businesses have been set-up so far this year.
The demography of entrepreneurs is also changing. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) reveals that since 2008, the rate of over-50s engaging in entrepreneurial activity has risen to 6.5%, overtaking their 18-29-year-old counterparts; 95% of entrepreneurs today have a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to Serious Startups; and more than 126 million female entrepreneurs are starting, or running, new businesses across 67 different economies.
Nowhere has this growing diversity been better reflected than in the multitude of businesses shortlisted for the 2014/15 RSM Entrepreneur of the Year award, one of ten awards that make up the European Business Awards, of which RSM is proud to be the lead sponsor. Recognising excellence, and championing innovation and diversity in entrepreneurship across Europe, the award nominees collectively demonstrate that size, sector and region are immaterial to excellence in entrepreneurship.The companies include IT companies, coffee companies and marketing firms through to start-ups in maternity clothing, industrial waste recycling firms, and equity crowdfunding platforms. There are companies with just four employees and others with thousands, a business founded in 2013 and one founded in 1983, and companies from Macedonia competing alongside those from the UK.
At a time when entrepreneurship and enterprise is flourishing, it is important that there are mechanisms in place to acknowledge and reward those individuals who have taken risks and headed out on their own path. As a global network that prides itself on the values of determination, creativity, ethical business and innovation – the same highly-prized attributes of entrepreneurs – we are delighted that the award’s shortlist reflects the true image of entrepreneurship today in Europe, and not the stereotypes of times gone by.
During this, Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014, we at RSM are honoured to support the worldwide movement of entrepreneurial people as millions unleash their enterprising talents and turn their ideas into reality.