Johnson, who is also chairman of Startup Britain, says “entrepreneurs are at the heart of our economy. Their willingness to risk their own capital in pursuit of new products and services is the reason the UK has such a strong track record of entrepreneurial achievement. Countless home-grown brands such as Dyson, Virgin, Rolls Royce and Carphone Warehouse all started because someone took a risk. Large and small, entrepreneurial businesses have created millions of jobs in the UK”.
Alan McCormick, director of the Legatum Institute which is co-founder of the Centre adds “what the UK needs today is a new generation of entrepreneurs to build on our entrepreneurial heritage and grow businesses that create further growth and employment. But the needs of entrepreneurs and the contribution they make to our society have been largely forgotten in discussions about how to accelerate Britain’s economic future. That’s why we’re launching the Centre for Entrepreneurs.”
“Entrepreneurship drives sustainable economic growth,” says Luke Johnson. “And it represents a basket of positive values including thrift, honesty, determination, resilience, collaboration, appreciation of risk, and the reward of endeavour. Yet government, the media and big business – despite all claiming to support entrepreneurs – can undermine entrepreneurship through unhelpful legislation, image stereo-typing and monopolistic behaviour.
We believe this is partly due to under-representation of entrepreneurs in the public eye, which the Centre aims to address. Our goals are to both defend entrepreneurs from such attacks, and to positively promote entrepreneurship to government, media, the private sector, including big businesses, and the general public.”
The Centre will focus on four core areas:
Advocacy: promoting entrepreneurship in the media and with government,
Research and campaigns: especially initiatives that improve the public perception of entrepreneurs as well as encouraging more people to become entrepreneurs,
Thought-leadership: generating white papers, pamphlets, events and articles aimed at the defence and promotion of entrepreneurs,
Resources: providing guidance and support for entrepreneurs.