Schools should play a part in creating UK entrepreneurs, says the Forum of Private Business. Image courtesy of: sxc.hu
Schools must take a leading role when it comes to boosting the number of youngsters who grow up to become successful entrepreneurs.
That was one of the key messages from the Forum of Private Business
in a submission to the All-party Parliamentary Small Business Group's
entrepreneurship inquiry, which opened last month.
The inquiry was set up to consider the role of entrepreneurs in driving economic growth, examine the barriers small firms face, and identify ways in which the UK can increase the number of motivated self-starters capable of running a profitable business.
The not-for-profit Forum also made a number of other suggestions to the inquiry on matters such as tax breaks for lenders, NI holidays, access to finance, prompt payment and the new enterprise allowance scheme.
The Forum began its submission by outlining the importance of the education system and how it should be better used to foster growth in numbers of young entrepreneurs.
Jane Bennett, the Forum's Head of Campaigns, said: "Schools are vitally important because they are essentially where young minds are honed and appetites for working life whetted.
"They have a vital role to play in encouraging entrepreneurial spirit – we recognise that and so do our members – which is why we are calling for a greater focus by government on making sure schools are given the tools for the job. That includes a more appropriate curriculum and closer collaboration between schools and local business.
"We think there should be more work experience too – not less as the Government is currently considering. We recognise there's room for improvement with the current system, and ideally we would like to see more pupils placed with smaller firms rather than big, multi-nationals. In smaller businesses pupils have a better chance of working alongside more senior, experienced members of staff who actually have something useful to pass on. It beats working in a mail room at town hall or large corporate organisation," she added.
The Forum also raised the issue of tax breaks for private lenders as well as equity investors in its submission. In research carried out by the Forum, 45 percent of business said they would not consider equity finance, and none indicated it as a preferred option.