Across the world, the most dynamic individuals within early-stage entrepreneurial activity are in the age group of 25-35 years.
Entrepreneurship has started to enter the minds of young people as a potential career path. In Turkey, the percentage of people engaging in entrepreneurial activity has been on an upward trend since 2011, and young people are especially involved.
Due to the extremely high unemployment rate of young people in many economies (such as during 2013, when the unemployment rates in Bosnia and Herzegovina was 60.4%, 57% in Greece, 54.9% in Spain, 48.7% in Croatia and 43% in Italy), it is not only an economic problem anymore, but also a social and political one that demands attention in order to be solved.
Between 2007 and 2013, 74.5 million young people around the world were unemployed. As entrepreneurs, we are seeking proactive solutions. G20 members have committed to lift our collective economic growth by an additional 2.1% over the next five years, which will bring an additional $2 trillion to the global economy, equal to the size of the Indian economy. Implementation of our commitments is vital for the credibility of G20 and the future of the global economy.
Successful entrepreneurship is becoming a symbol of dignity. Just under 74% of the adult population in Turkey specifies that successful entrepreneurs have a high status in the community. This figure is higher than 72.73%, which is the average of developing economies, and it stands out as an important motivational tool to steer Turkish people to get involved with entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship culture and education
Creating and maintaining a culture of entrepreneurship is crucial to ensure the contribution of young people to the economy. We must work to convert ideas into action, and guide activity to ensure entrepreneurial ideas are not wasted.
It is obvious that the world needs jobs. The United Nations estimates that worldwide, more than 500 million new jobs need to be created by 2020. Especially when it comes to emerging markets, there is a growing realisation that entrepreneurship is the best answer to high unemployment. But not just any type of entrepreneurship: high-impact entrepreneurship. If you want to grow an economy, you need to grow high-impact entrepreneurs. It is important that the role of the G20 in this area is emphasised.
Just over two decades ago, many of today’s world-leading ventures were not yet born. On the same trajectory, that means there are ideas yet to be born that will have a big impact on the world. Companies that were established 20 years ago are now giant multi-billion dollar organisations, and ideas launched today will be the successes of the future.
To make this a reality for more companies, we should focus on research and development (R&D) activities. R&D spending is an investment in the future, and steps should be taken to make these kinds of investments in collaboration with universities and scientific institutions.
Government support is crucial to encourage entrepreneurship, and tax systems should become more favourable for entrepreneurs. Governments should also encourage more angel investors and seed funds. Securing access to capital is one of the biggest hurdles that new companies must overcome. According to a survey carried out by TUGIAD, 55% of entrepreneurs in Turkey have been involved in government-support programmes, indicating a clear link between government and entrepreneurship: an increasingly valid and respected career choice.
If a culture of entrepreneurship is fostered as part of everyday business life, then education, access to funding, coordinated support and regulation will soon follow.
The G20 YEA platform
The G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (G20 YEA) is a collective of leading entrepreneurial civil society organisations representing more than 500,000 young entrepreneurs across G20 countries and the European Union. The G20 YEA members have already created an estimated 10 million jobs, and the G20 YEA platform is a precious opportunity to bring young people together and create an environment for the exchange of ideas. These ideas help give direction to the global economy.
The G20 YEA, with the support of its knowledge partners EY and Accenture, provides valuable input to government-level discussions. Its aim is to assist in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, drive sustainable economic growth, exchange ideas, and encourage international partnerships and collaboration.
We therefore call upon G20 leaders at the upcoming China Summit to endorse the G20 YEA along with the following recommendations that will promote global and local systems that support entrepreneurship activity:
- Support specific educational and skills measures to encourage entrepreneurship
- Initiate the development of a G20-wide entrepreneur visa programme
- Adopt policies that address taxation and funding issues for entrepreneurs and high-impact SMEs
- Develop digital infrastructure and services as a foundation for future growth and innovation
- Focus on legal certainty and transparency
- Support research to better understand how to promote entrepreneurial culture and the systems that support it
- Encourage collaboration between large corporations and entrepreneurs
During Turkey’s G20 Presidency in 2015, the G20 YEA started work with the B20 (Business 20), and G20 YEA entrepreneurs took part in B20 Task Forces. Many of the official recommendations of G20 YEA leaders mentioned above were noted in B20 Task Force reports and official recommendations. Finally, the importance of entrepreneurship was highlighted in the official communiqué of the G20 political leaders. This was a big step for entrepreneurs of the G20. Now, we look forward to continue advocating these initiatives with the aim to see significant and sustainable improvement of entrepreneurship ecosystems in the coming years.