On February, 9th, we attended the conference Boosting the entrepreneurial spirit: pioneering regions and cities held at the Committee of the Regions.
Innovative and creative solutions are needed to reinforce Europe’s competitiveness on the world stage. Cities and regions are playing a major role in powering economic growth and creating jobs but their role could be even better fulfilled by integrating the entrepreneurial mindset in the design and implementation of their policies.
The entrepreneurial spirit: education is key
Throughout the various sessions of the day, there was a consensus that there is a lack of entrepreneurship culture in many of European Regions mainly due to cultural reasons and the persistent perception of entrepreneurs as particular individuals who seem hard to fit in our societies models of development. In order to counter this idea and provide a better sense of what it is entrepreneurs do, schools and universities should not hesitate to invite people with an entrepreneurship culture as part of the curriculum so that they can convey it to the youth of European countries which too often provide very theoretical visions of the professional life.
Societal support to entrepreneurship
European societies should contribute to normalizing the entrepreneur mindset and create in citizens a desire to start their own businesses. To do so, all levels of administrations should deliver public awards to deserving and successful entrepreneurs who can inspire others to follow in their footstep and go ahead and turn their ideas into concrete realities. Such initiatives would enable that peer-assessment in our societies look favorably on people starting up their own business ventures. In other words, it is about maximizing the social and cultural value of being a businessman.