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Entrepreneurs are our economy’s backbone. A competitive tax system, business-friendly regulations and a skilled workforce place the UK among the top five countries in the G20 for entrepreneurs, according to EY’s G20 Barometer.

The foundations for a strong entrepreneurial environment in the UK are well established and our position is positive against our global competition.

To ensure that the UK remains a hub for businesses with a positive impact on employment and growth, government, business and entrepreneurs themselves need to join forces.

No one can go it alone when it comes to fostering high impact entrepreneurship and it is through this joint approach that the UK will create opportunities for young entrepreneurs to start their businesses and drive lasting change.

At EY we support entrepreneurship through the Entrepreneur of the Year programme, now in its 18th year in the UK. Every year we embark on a nationwide search for the best and most dynamic entrepreneurs. This year 129 entrepreneurs with combined revenues of £8bn employing over 80,000 people were shortlisted.

The programme starts at a regional level. Once regional winners are chosen they compete at the UK final, where they are evaluated by an independent judging panel that changes every year.

Each entrepreneur is evaluated against criteria ranging from entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction and global impact to innovation, personal integrity, and influence.

The UK winner will compete against the best entrepreneurs from all over the world at EY’s World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

There is no easy fix when it comes to ensuring a pipeline of entrepreneurial talent. Government, business and entrepreneurs must continue to work together to maintain a competitive financial and regulatory environment and develop an entrepreneurial culture in every aspect of business life.

Ensuring that the UK remains a prime destination for new and growth businesses should be a shared responsibility.

Steve Varley is UK chairman and managing partner for UK & Ireland at EY

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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