Entrepreneurs need certain conditions if they are to thrive. The education system has to nurture talent, there have to be venture capitalists willing to take risks and there should be large capital markets to reward success. Entrepreneurs also require a highly competitive, open local market and a society that celebrates entrepreneurial success. Local "pillar" companies are also a key factor. Companies such as Cisco, Nokia and Intel provide the shelter in which smaller companies can grow. Pillar companies provide investment and seed capital for new projects, create opportunities by outsourcing their R&D and offer joint marketing and OEM relationships, all of which help the growing small company. Large companies lose their entrepreneurial spirit when they stop tolerating dissent.
The development of Internet incubators also makes things easier for entrepreneurs. The incubators provide a business infrastructure and set of skills that an entrepreneur can tap into immediately, for example for marketing or product development.
The emergence of venture capital, attracted by high rewards, means that capital is no longer a bottleneck on the path to success for entrepreneurs. Now governments should do all they can to stimulate the wealth-creating entrepreneurs and make role models of them. And they should look again at taxation, as there is clear evidence that when taxes go up, investments in high-risk ventures fall by a factor of two. The education system has an important role to play and universities should nurture new elites, not reduce their intake to the lowest common denominator.
The European Commission DG Enterprise publishes a leaflet on the implementation of the Action Plan to Promote Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness. This Action Plan brings together for the first time all aspects that have an impact on entrepreneurship and enterprises; that is new approaches in education, training and the workplace, easier access to finance and innovation, and better public administration. It was drawn up in response to the recommendations of the Business Environment Simplification Task Force (BEST) and was endorsed by the last Industry Council.