“The Dragons are humiliated: is it a photo opportunity?”

The publicity crazed Dragons, they of ‘Dragons’ Den’, are still in a state of shock.

It is official. They have failed.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which is produced by Strathclyde and Aston universities, has published the results of its survey of 30,000 individuals countrywide.

If arch Dragon Peter Jones can drag himself away from reading his press cuttings he won’t want to know this:

“…far fewer people in 2009 thought the media portrayed entrepreneurship as a good career choice, and this had knocked business in confidence.”

Hang on Mr. Jones it gets worse.

“GEM said that for the first time since it records began in 2003, less than half of all adults thought setting up a business was a good move.”

On his website for the National Enterprise Academy the following appears:

“His vision was to shift the boardroom into the classroom, equipping the future generation of entrepreneurs with the skills and confidence to aim higher.”

I don’t watch ‘Dragons’ Den’. I do enjoy the Parliament Channel (Sky: 504).

Last night I witnessed an exchange between Nick Bourne, leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly and the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones AM (Labour).

Bourne’s point was that a survey in Wales had shown that the biggest problem for enterprising businesses is the higher cost of business rates.

“You lot are putting VAT up to 20%” ended that particular exchange.

We are half way through summer. I sense that after the explosion of the Coalition Government, the calming of City nerves with an austerity budget and the performance of Michael Gove in education (he needs to remember that there are human beings at the other end of his decisions) there is a plethora of confusing statistics:

  • inflation: down, yes, by enough? depends if you are a dove or a hawk
  • houses prices: Roger Bottle says they could crash by 20%, the Government’s changes to planning rules means there will be a greater shortage
  • retail sales: depends what you are selling
  • unemployment: surprisingly lower than might be expected
  • enterprise: dead. RIP. There is absolutely nothing out there to encourage Enterprise Britain

To complete the ‘Dragon’s Den’ story here is one more statistic from the GEM.

“…only 3.8% of the adult population expected to start a business in the next three years compared with 5.9% in 2004.”

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