Increase awareness of entrepreneurial opportunities.
Special promotion activities and promotional material should be developed with the aim of increasing awareness of the opportunities for new business start-ups amongst all segments of the population. Regions and localities should be innovative in initiating their own promotion activities.
Improve the image of places. Changing the entrepreneurial culture means changing the image of a place with both internal and external populations. If people do not believe that a place is attractive to live in, and that it allows for being entrepreneurial and innovative, then they will not set up businesses, or will set up or operate their businesses in more attractive places. Campaigns should therefore be created to generate trust in the endogenous strengths and in the future of places. In strengthening their entrepreneurial image places should promote key specific strengths as ‘magnets of attraction’.
Intensify enterprise education and awareness campaigns.
It is important that entrepreneurship is not seen as a cure for unemployment but rather as a means to dynamic economic development. In the long run, promoting enterprise education throughout the education system up to university level increases entrepreneurial aspirations, attitudes and behaviour in the long run. Education from an early age should promote creativity and empowerment as well as provide children and youth with a realistic picture of entrepreneurship as a viable, also temporary, alternative to paid employment that in the future will be more a blend of dependent and self-employment.
Create identifiable role models and champions.
Regional success stories should be identified and promoted in different media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, internet), in different forms (e.g. awards, success stories), at different occasions (e.g. conferences, fairs, events) and by different public and private actors (e.g. local government, chambers, business associations, community organisations, etc.). It is important to demonstrate that entrepreneurship is about taking manageable risks and sometimes even about failing, but however it is worth trying and taking the risk. Practical real life stories and happenings provide people with better understanding of what it is like to be an entrepreneur.
Establish mentor and patron panels.
The availability of a panel of retired business people to counsel new and expanding companies has been an important feature of working with, and supporting SMEs, in other OECD countries. This type of mentoring service is relevant to both micro and larger SMEs, and at start-up and later stages of development in the life cycles of companies.
Incentives and support for business succession.
In light of the still limited interest in business succession, compared to start-up activities, more incentives and support structures should be developed.The inclusion of highly-skilled employees, with great potential for entrepreneurial activities, should be considered as a target group for training programmes in business succession.
Create incentives for SMEs to take apprentices.
Apprenticeships assist young people to gain work experience and provide SMEs with possibilities to test young workers and their capabilities and train them according to company needs. Entrepreneurship is not simply about business start-up, but, increasingly employability and entrepreneurship have become an indivisible pair. It is important to continue initiatives that can raise awareness of skills development needs and can create incentives for SME to take apprenticeships.
The generation of intrapreneurial attitudes amongst company managers and staff is an important ingredient in the process of raising a SME's innovation potential and readiness. Increasing responsibility, engagement and the recognition of staff is linked to processes of cultural and organisational changes with companies.
International Learning Models
Good Practice in East Germany