The achievements of small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners around the world are being celebrated over the next few days as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2012.
In what is being described as the "biggest ever celebration of entrepreneurs", around 40,000 enterprise events will take place in 115 countries - including more than 3,000 across the UK.
The theme of this year's GEW is 'Pass it on' - referring to the practical help and support many people need when starting up an enterprise and attempting to grow a company.
Experienced businesspeople, and others in a position to help out new starters, are being encouraged to lend a hand and offer their expertise where possible.
Government ministers are taking part in a number of events during GEW, in a bid to promote the successes of SMBs and promote the vital role played by the private sector.
These include the Premier League’s enterprise challenge finals, Start-Up Britain's national start-up day, presentation of the Queen’s Awards for enterprise promotion, and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme promotion day at the London Stock Exchange.
Govt to consult entrepreneurs on policy
To coincide with the staging of GEW, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has announced that two entrepreneurs will be given advisory roles in government.
They will be charged with advising the coalition on small business issues, and making sure the needs of entrepreneurs are properly considered by policy makers.
Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon said this will provide "a vital link" between government and business - something entrepreneurs have long been calling for.
"It will help to change the culture across Whitehall so that we really do think small first," he stated.
"So many decisions that are made in government affect entrepreneurs and we need to better involve them in that process."
In a separate initiative, Warwick and Aston Business Schools have been chosen to host a new £2.9 million enterprise research centre.
Its work will help improve understanding of the drivers and barriers to growth that affect SMBs in the UK.
More SMB activity than ever
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, explained that the number of people starting up companies in the UK continues to rise.
"This year there were a record number of 4.8 million SMBs in the UK," he stated.
"That is welcome news, and we need to continue encouraging entrepreneurial spirit among people of all ages so they can turn their ideas into businesses."
Mr Cable said the UK has "a great entrepreneurial knowledge base" in its universities, and this must be used to its competitive advantage.
He pointed to a £1.1 million investment being made by the government in its Entrepreneurs and Education Programme - suggesting this should be of assistance.
"This will help us unlock this potential by giving real support to people who are looking to commercialise their innovations," Mr Cable stated.
Posted by Dan Smith