G20 nations must do more to help young entrepreneurs’ firms

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 September, 2016, 4:57pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 September, 2016, 11:30pm

The G20 summit being held in Hangzhou (杭州) tomorrow and Monday presents a twofold challenge, with issues of global dimensions.

First, is the need to breathe new life into the world’s 20 major economies and secondly to reinforce the G20’s role of creating a governance platform with a long-term vision.

Such a vision should encompass an innovative growth plan integrating the digital economy. It should also include a better understanding of the causes and consequences of the current economic downturn and gloominess worldwide. According to the International Labour Organisation, high unemployment rates among young people directly result from recessions in Argentina, Brazil and Russia. Even in developed countries that are not experiencing a recession, young people are more susceptible to unemployment, and experience more poverty than their elders. So we must treat young people as a priority.

In a context in which digital developments are omnipresent and innovation is essential, the work of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance focuses on the necessary approach to enable young people to create their own jobs and ensure the growth of their businesses.

We will present a number of recommendations at the summit. We will call for improved entrepreneurial training and for business incubators and accelerators to be launched, in partnership with universities and the private sector.

Financing should be generated for business start-ups and scale-ups and there should be “angel” financing networks and alternative financing platforms.Structural and legal reforms need to be carried out to facilitate entrepreneurship.

There should be fiscal incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises, prioritising growth and job creation. A digital platform is needed for international commerce, to harmonise customs barriers and enable e-commerce. A visa programme for G20 entrepreneurs can simplify mobility within G20 countries. High-speed and affordable internet access should be provided for businesses in start-up and scale-up stages.

Finally, innovation should be placed at the core of relationships between G20 countries, through a platform emphasising exchange and cooperation, involving artificial intelligence, big data and cybersecurity.

Solid partnerships and support for entrepreneurship in our societies will lead to the dynamism and growth required to renew economies and maintain societal development globally.

We also think the immediate commitment of G20 nations in the education, digital innovation, alternative financing, and start-up/scale-up/export sectors will send a positive message to our young entrepreneurs – our future leaders.

Winston Chan, leader, G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance