Our third blog is split into two sections. The first part is written by one of the UK delegates to the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit; Chris Knell, who is a financial management change agent and the Vice-Chairman of the IoD Young Directors Forum. The second part is from myself.
It is OUR responsibility to build a fair and prosperous world.
I am Chris Knell, and I am one of the entrepreneurs representing the UK in Mexico. The G20YES is the summit that brings together Young Entrepreneurs from across the globe to form a 'mastermind' because together we can be the melting pot of ideas and perspectives required to accomplish the task at hand.
Sunday 3rd June 2012 saw the first full day of the G20YES summit in Mexico City. After opening statements and a ceremony salute to our Mexican hosts the delegates split into two working groups;
- Overcoming barriers of taxation and regulation
- Access to funding for young entrepreneurs, and
I participated in the working group on overcoming barriers, and further down Alex will cover the second session.
In partnership with delegates from Australia, India, Mexico, Russia and the United Kingdom, represented by Glynn Pegler; I presented our response to the question, What role do tax incentives play in promoting a young entrepreneur culture?
My conclusion was that right now they don't. Young Entrepreneurs have the passion and enthusiasm to start their own business - tax incentives don't change that. However tax incentives do have the potential to reduce the barriers and de-risk the start-up process, which will change the young entrepreneur culture over time.
We also went further to consider what sort of tax incentives we felt would be most effective. We agreed upon payroll tax incentives and capital/stamp duty incentives to encourage job creation and investment in the future of our companies.
Glynn gave the excellent suggestion of all G20 Governments committing to share best practice, provide a one stop shop for Startups & ensure quick & timely access to decisions. Really practical thoughts that could create real impact.
Importantly the G20YES delegates have shown they are the change agents, as opposed to spectators who complain from the sidelines, but take no action to affect change.
So I will leave you with this, what are YOU going to do to help build that fair and prosperous world: Please feel free to contact me here [email protected] and I will now let Alex cover the second session.
The second session focused on funding and finance for start up and growing businesses. I gave a speech at the start of the session and then took part on a panel. The session covered everything from Bank loans and VC to angel investment and the 3 f’s (family, friends and fools!).
A couple of very quick stand out points, getting funding is tough, but there are significant movements in none traditional access to finance, crowd source funding being a great example. Businesses however need to understand that in all fund raising there is the issue of risk, be that real or perceived. Banks are risk adverse and other funding source do look at the risk exposure of propositions put in front of them. So how do entrepreneurs deal with this? There was a real feeling from the panel that a key part is to try and get support/ engagement from individuals who have experience within this the finance and funding sector. Being able to go into meetings with potential funders with someone who speaks their language will really help reduce the perceived risk of the business/ proposition.
But how do you get this support? Well, you can pay for it, but if you don’t have money to pay for this what can you do?
The panel picked up on three ways of doing this:
- Provide a degree of equity in the business, this will also help on long term engagement within the company, they will have ‘skin in the game’
- Source a mentor for you/ the business who can help provide informal advice/ support in this area
- Create a business/ culture within your company that will attract the right skill sets to be a part of your journey
The panelists had real experience of doing all of the above and I personally felt the third point was that was really well made and one that you don’t often hear.
I also covered the UKs excellent work on the Youth Investment Fund, which was championed by Virgin Media Pioneers and developed by the National Youth Enterprise Working Group. This is an extremely positive scheme that brings together funding as well as a wider package of support pulling together mentoring, business engagement and business intelligence. This is a great example of best practice and something that could create real impact. If done correctly it will showcase what collaborative efforts can do. The National Youth Enterprise Working Group got the scheme in the budget and will be a major player going forward.
Tomorrow the summit will be looking at creating the right culture and ecosystem that both encourages and supports entrepreneurship at national levels.
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