The Future is calling

Written by Alison Price

An image of three public payphones on a wall.

EEUK members seek to upskill their practice to ensure that it futureproofs their own work, as well as those of their students and graduates.  This month brings some clarity on emerging priorities that will interest EEUK Associates, whether practitioners, academics, and influencers, as they consider the operational, the structural and how best to build those competences.

EEUK practitioners (business coaches and advisors) may have been ‘part of the problem’ (*as many will have rightly advised delays to proposed business starts) as the recent State of Small Business Britain report (2021) recorded a sharp fall in levels of early-stage entrepreneurs starting a new business (compared 2019).  *However, many will also be interested to note that within this pandemic-affected figure, ethnic-minority communities have maintained 2019 levels of early-stage entrepreneurial activity.
This report identifies what it calls the ‘Triple Transition’ as the three challenges for SMEs throughout COVID-19, by exploring the difficulties increasing business digitisation, moving towards net zero practices, and productivity upgrading. These are challenges being faced by EEUK Influencers who may be looking to UK’s first Cyber Strategy (seeking to build a “cyber resilient public sector”) or to futureproof the running of their Enterprise Centre by learning from the practice/challenges of entrepreneurs (like 98% of SMEs that have been identified as using in appropriate software (spreadsheets) for ‘mission critical’ operations).

As levels of self-employment started to increase in 2021, it is clear that future proofing a business needs to consider these three challenges and with the addition of GreenComp making a timely contribution to our work (together with wider initiatives, such as EUSTEPs (an Erasmus +project that has a goal to support the assessment and reduction of the environmental impact of EU Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) through an experiential approach; as the EUSTEPs learning-by-doing philosophy will resonate with EEUK Associates).

In seeking to create major change through our work (such as addressing the staggering fact that 92% of all VCs are white male (Sharon Vosmek 2021) EEUK Associates can also access gender insights on ENTRECOMP, by drawing upon EntreComp 360 Erasmus+ project (2019-2022) which has created the new “Women’s Entrepreneurship and EntreComp” Guide, full of links to projects that can inspire practice.

These are the ‘future-proofing challenges’ that EEUK members are exploring and our events will continue to bring this practice to life for you as we share our approaches across the network! Get in touch!

Alison Price, Head of Policy and Professional Development, EEUK