At yesterday's Balkan Summit in London, foreign ministers and entrepreneurs from Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania were stood up by Boris Johnson who was due to unveil £10 million in aid funding to help young people in the Western Balkans improve their digital skills. When he later emerged, Boris followed David Davis in quitting the government. Our politics is an omnishambles.
A year ago, I wrote an e-bulletin entitled M is for Mediocre. It got lots of responses from people agreeing with my pointed conclusion that too many of our current crop of MPs aren't up to scratch. (The exceptions we invite to speak at our events.) Whether through the current political parties, or perhaps through one of the plethora of new "centrist" parties, we need smarter people in power. Now is the time for those with the right skills to enter politics. But as Billy Connolly quips: "The desire to be a politician should bar you for life from ever becoming one."
What a GEM!
It's not all bad news. Last week we helped launch the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). Coming out of Aston University and sponsored by NatWest, the GEM is the largest and most comprehensive study on entrepreneurship globally, collecting data on entrepreneurial activity in 54 countries, covering two-thirds of the world’s population.
This year the UK edition revealed that people from ethnic minority and immigrant backgrounds are twice as likely as their white British counterparts to be early-stage entrepreneurs. On the back of the launch, I wrote for City AM yesterday on why Britain should be proud to be a nation of immigrant entrepreneurs.