The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
An interesting article in the New York Times this week. As more jobs disappear and unemployment rises, small start-up businesses are springing up everywhere as people turn to entrepreneurialism as a means of employment.
The article rightly highlights how entrepreneurial creativity and innovation can not only flourish during hard times, but can actually help drive the economy out of recession.
New figures released in the US show an increase in the number of new businesses formed in 2008- the first fully recessionary year- compared to 2007.
Britain witnessed a similar entrepreneurial boom in the last recession of the 1980s. Thousands of small firms started up under the Enterprise Allowance Scheme- the Thatcher government’s flagship initiative to boost self-employment- and many of today’s most successful business leaders are EAS alumni.
Under the EAS, individuals could claim £40 per week for a year to help their new business grow. Tracey Emin, Alan McGee and Jane and Louise Wilson all launched their careers on the scheme.
New Deal of the Mind, in partnership with Federation of Small Businesses, continues to campaign for the reintroduction of the EAS.
The government needs to do more to encourage and support small businesses during this recession and a scheme modelled on the EAS would be a very good place to start.