Where would we be without entrepreneurs, those brave people prepared to take a risk and set up business ventures?
Small businesses in the UK employ nearly 60 per cent of the total workforce and contribute almost half of the national turnover.
They are a hugely important part of our economy and a particularly valuable source of jobs at a time when many big employers are downsizing and shedding staff.
Just look at what’s happening locally, with 940 shipbuilding jobs being cut at BAE Systems in Portsmouth and 100 redundancies to be made at Zurich Insurance in Segensworth.
More and more people are looking to start their own business following redundancy, while funding for start-ups is being increased to try to cut the number of people who are unemployed.
So it’s good to see that Portsmouth is taking part in Global Entrepreneurship Week for the first time – and is set to hold the highest number of events of any city in the UK.
It’s a great opportunity for those thinking of taking the plunge and setting up their own business to find out the facts and talk to people who have been there, done it and got the T-shirt.
Of course, not all start-ups are successful. So posing and debating questions such as why some entrepreneurs succeed while others fail will prove enormously valuable.
Then there’s the small matter of actually attracting investment. Because without that, even the best business idea will never become reality.
We need more entrepreneurs and we hope that Global Entrepreneurship Week inspires people and gives them enough confidence and practical support to really go for it.
More than 60 business-related events are due to take place in Portsmouth, covering everything from starting a technology business to changing careers to networking with others who have shared business interests.
It’s a networker’s dream and an opportunity that anybody thinking of starting their own business really shouldn’t pass up.