The President at the OECD Forum 2012, May 22 and 23

The President attended several lectures and a luncheon at the 2012 OECD Forum in Paris.

Of particular interest was the theme of Entrepreneurship.  It is one of the overriding themes of the Observatory to instigate personal motivation and efficiency to stimulate grassroots growth.

On Tuesday, May 22nd there was a lecture on “Entrepreneurship and New Economic Thinking” with Karen Wilson moderating.  The speakers were Sergio Arzeni, Ellen McArthur and Yossi Vardi.

Entrepreneurship and New Economic Thinking

It was a very lively debate between Mr Arzeni saying that it was important “to break the culture of dependance”; while Ellen McArthur spoke about her experience sailing around the world and how she believes that “education prepares you for the future” and how you can convince yourself to succeed while saying, “I can make this happen”.  With her foundation she underlined the fact that “we need more innovators than before….in a circular economy”.

Yossi Vardi completely agreed, saying that “you have to have an orchestra and tools”.  As an Angel investor, he said he was not so much interested in reading the Entrepreneur’s business plan but was interested in his “personal qualities, such as having talent, possessing virtues and being nimble.”

Karen Wilson wrapped up the discussion by saying that Entrepreneurship was the pursuit of opportunity beyond the resources you control”. She also commented on the success of Entrepreneurs, who were, on average, 40 years of age, quoting a study done by Harvard University about the success rate of Entrepreneurs :

  • 34% who have previously succeeded
  • 24% who have previously failed
  • 24% who had no experience

On May 23rd, The President attended the luncheon on Entrepreneurship and was at Table 10, hosted by Antonella Noya, Senior Policy Analyst, Local Economic and employment development (LEED).  We spoke about the YOUTH, UNEMPLOYMENT of graduates, minority communities and how there were barriers for YOUTH to become entrepreneurs.

.OECD Forum 2012: Food for Thought : Is entrepreneurship Risking it all

Culture was the main issue that came to the fore, as well as a lack of skills, education and financial incentives.

Here is a resumé of each table, with an idea of the concerns and issues at stake :

Table 1.  Expressed concern for minority youth in the UK, saying that Education needs to cross-disciplinary; emphasis should be on intra-personal strengths; that the individual should have a strong personality but be able to develop a support network and to be effective communicators.

Table 2. How to reduce barriers; how to encourage entrepreneurship.  Is there a specific culture or geography that is inducive to entrepreneurship?  There needs to be a shift in mindsets, a mutual support of mentoring.

Table 3.  The law is seen as creating wealth, which is false.  Employment will be created by products and services; there is access to markets and public and there is money available.  Laws are seen as unfair.

Table 4.  Barriers to entrepreneurship : why don’t young people start their own business?  We need to empower them, change the mentality; entrepreneurship has a dirty name; lack of experience/age.

Table 5.  Families are entrepreneurs and can encourage their children to do the same through education, providing them with role models; culture; morals; get rid of the FEAR OF FAILURE.

TAble 6.  There are several different types of entrepreneurs : intellectual, angels, incubators, social; e.g., Tunisia.

Table 7 : Why people in some regions are more entrepreneurial than others, e.g., EU, US, Asia?  Out of necessity? because there is Financing, access to Education; specialized HR skills; the culture of RISK-TAKING.

Table 8.  Egypt.  Education and thinking out of the box; Entrepreneurship = money=greed in certain countries; family support; access to finance; legal barriers; corruption; access to relevant inforamation; encourage part-time employment; youth celebrate entrepreneurs.

Table 9.  Future of entrepreneurship.  Role of technology and management; social vs entrepreneurship: profit vs social good; small vs. large comany; measure of success.

Table 10.  Access to tools, support, tax breaks, dynamic culture, security vs. insecurity.

It is only by entrepreneurship that our youth can get a new lease on life in this crisis period and in that way become auto-sufficient and contribute to the economy and not be forever dependant on the government to provide for them.

The Observatory promotes entrepreneurship through its programs, giving young women and men the tools necessary to start their own businesses, to develop new services which do not exist in their country, to be innovators and give them the desire to create jobs and wealth in their society, knowing that they can only count on themsevles to survive….and to thrive.

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