– Communiqué of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance 2019
Signed and published at the G20 Summit 2019, Fukuoka, Japan, May 17, 2019 –
Entrepreneurs and SMEs/TIEs are the main job creators in the G20 economies.
They employ more than two-thirds of the private sector workforce and account for more than 80% of net employment growth.
In the age of information technology, globalization and digitization have created millions of jobs and increased wealth, thus changing the structure of society. However, worldwide, billions of people still live in poverty, lack clean drinking water and lack access to education.
That is why young entrepreneurs in G20 countries are calling on G20 leaders to harness the transformative potential of entrepreneurship as a lever that will contribute to the achievement of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDS) by 2030.
2019 is the year of the 11th G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit, which had as its theme “Imagination Economy for a Sustainable Future”. Through this statement, we, the global voice of young entrepreneurs, call on G20 governments to create the conditions that will foster a shared and inclusive entrepreneurial spirit in a sustainable environment, in line with the priorities of the B20 and G20.
The G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (G20YEA) makes five general requests, as well as five recommendations to initiate concrete actions:
– The promotion of free trade and mobility across borders,
– Improving access to finance and capital,
– Support for entrepreneurship as a lever to address social and environmental challenges,
– Investment in digital infrastructure and services for shared development and growth,
– A quality entrepreneurial education to strengthen the future of society.
General requests and recommendations:
- Promoting free trade, mobility and entrepreneurship across borders
Overcoming trade tensions is essential to promote economic growth and job creation. As young entrepreneurs, we are concerned about the rise of protectionism that threatens the principles of economic freedom, mobility and a rules-based international order. We therefore call on G20 leaders to renew their commitment to free, open and fair trade and to restore confidence in the WTO as the guardian of the multilateral trading system. We strongly believe in the creation and ratification of free trade agreements to facilitate market access, share common and fair rules and encourage SMEs to grow and create more jobs around the world.
RECOMMENDATION: Support the cross-border mobility of young entrepreneurs
To promote economic growth, we reaffirm the need for a visa program for young G20 entrepreneurs, which would provide them with multiple entry opportunities and administrative simplification to encourage them to start and develop their businesses. We call on G20 leaders to expand and harmonize existing youth mobility agreements and business travel visa programs in accordance with the G20 YEA guidelines.
- Improving access to finance and capital
Young entrepreneurs need access to sources of financing at all stages of their business development. Because of the perceived risk, commercial lenders are often reluctant to provide appropriate financing, which is a significant challenge for start-ups and growth companies. In order to create an environment conducive to the creation and development of new businesses, G20 governments must ensure that adequate financial infrastructure is in place to allow equitable access to finance for young entrepreneurs who are not sufficiently supported by traditional credit institutions.
RECOMMENDATION: Create a digital infrastructure that reduces barriers to funding
We call on G20 governments to strengthen their financial knowledge and create digital platforms that allow entrepreneurs to quickly access information on financial instruments, grants, subsidies and other appropriate resources, and inform them of low and zero interest rate financing, particularly for projects of public interest.
- Supporting entrepreneurship as a lever to address social and environmental challenges
Governments, business and civil society should work actively to pursue the United Nations Sustainable Development Programme by 2030. In this context, entrepreneurs can play a fundamental role in exploring and adopting new innovative business models and developing companies that will directly address social and environmental issues. We therefore call on G20 leaders to support measures that enable entrepreneurs to transform existing businesses or create and develop businesses that contribute to a more inclusive, sustainable and youth-friendly society.
RECOMMENDATION: Encourage sustainable business models
Sustainable development objectives provide a frame of reference for young entrepreneurs as they create and develop businesses that will contribute to a sustainable future. However, many do not know the objectives and how to generate new, more sustainable business models. We call on G20 leaders to refer to the MDGs when creating and adapting policies and programs to support entrepreneurs to ensure that governments encourage new business models that will have positive impacts on key stakeholders and the environment.
- Investing in digital infrastructure and services for development and shared growth
Young entrepreneurs around the world strongly believe that innovation and the digitization of products and services will continue to have a positive impact on our economy and society. Due to the rapid evolution of new technologies (AI, blockchain, IoT), governments must put in place an evolving policy environment that takes into account the potential risks associated with data flows, privacy and cyber security, without unnecessarily hindering digital activities. In addition, G20 governments should continue to digitize their infrastructure and public services to promote economic growth and innovation.
RECOMMENDATION: Establish “digital governance“
Entrepreneurs and citizens are increasingly using the Internet to receive public services and other benefits. We call on G20 leaders to design and implement comprehensive digital government policies and services to streamline access, simplify administrative procedures, create a more favourable environment for businesses, SMEs and ETIs and benefit citizens. In addition, governments should promote the availability of public data (while respecting privacy and intellectual property rights) in order to encourage the development of new products and services.
- Ensure quality entrepreneurial education to strengthen the future of society
There is currently a significant gap between the supply of and demand for labour in the world, particularly for companies in the field of digital transformation. To ensure the future employability of students, we call on G20 governments to rethink education programmes and training systems in close cooperation with entrepreneurs and business representatives. Education systems around the world must do much more to teach and encourage the full range of entrepreneurial skills that will be essential to create a more inclusive and sustainable society (called the “5.0 Society”). We therefore encourage G20 governments to include entrepreneurship or the ability to successfully manage one’s own business or career as an essential component of their education systems.
RECOMMENDATION: Promote concrete entrepreneurial education
We call on G20 leaders to promote entrepreneurship education that is concrete in secondary schools, vocational training and universities, so that all students are made aware of the concrete aspects of entrepreneurship (for example, no student should leave secondary school without having learned to draft a business plan).
On behalf of millions of young entrepreneurs in the G20 countries, we make these recommendations in a spirit of partnership and with the firm conviction that fostering entrepreneurship in our societies would generate dynamism, growth and economic and social renewal on our planet.
More specifically, we believe that the immediate commitments of the governments of the
G20 on the areas we have highlighted can send a strong message to those of our societies that are best able to take this effort into account – our young entrepreneurs.