The G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (G20 YEA) is a global network of approximately 500,000 members, composed of young entrepreneurs and organisations that support them.
Immediately after the 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou, hundreds of young entrepreneurs met in Beijing for the annual G20 YEA summit. That meeting followed on the tradition of collaboration among young entrepreneurs, which began in Italy during its G8 presidency in 2009, and continued in successive G20 presidencies in Canada, France, Mexico, Russia, Australia and Turkey. Each YEA summit released detailed statements intended to engage the G20 leaders and other agencies, deepen our shared understanding of the importance of entrepreneurship, and present ideas to advance its realisation.
The theme of this year’s summit, which took place in Buenos Aires, hosted by the Confederación Argentina de la Mediana Empresa (Argentinian Confederation of Medium-Sized Enterprises), was ‘Education, Entrepreneurship and the Business of the Future’.
An uncertain world
The current world could be called ‘VUCA’: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Everything that is new now will be definitively obsolete in a few years, which demands that governments and their citizens must adapt quickly to new challenges. Entrepreneurs are not oblivious to these changes.
The ability to learn, unlearn and relearn is key to the evolution of our society, accompanied by a spirit of collaboration and a sense of community and networking where together we are stronger than when we are separated.
The 2018 G20 YEA Summit focused on boosting activity, offering a proposal that is both fresh and pragmatic, that adds value to its participants. We sought to connect with the public, generate opportunities for direct and transparent business relationships, and show more humane leadership.
Engine of change
Entrepreneurship is the great engine of change within societies. It is a spirit inherited from previous generations of entrepreneurs – our parents and grandparents. The entrepreneur is, in the vast majority of cases, someone who creates solutions to problems that people often do not even know they have. It is the person who focuses on making life simpler and more comfortable through apps, products or personalised services.
Optimism for the future
Against the backdrop of a pessimistic future in which some predict we will be left without jobs and will be replaced by machines, we should be optimistic. I am convinced that entrepreneurs are the ‘creators of solutions’ who will bring the answers.
Every year, within the framework of the YEA summit, young entrepreneurs deliberate on what we consider to be the fundamental priorities for the world we want to achieve. During the German presidency in 2017, the G20 YEA community voted for quality education, de-bureacratised mobility programmes for entrepreneurs and smart tax schemes.
This year at Buenos Aires, we voted for support for entrepreneurial ecosystems, the inclusion of women in entrepreneurial ecosystems and the creation of business networks.
The role that the state must fulfil is that of a facilitator so that networks can be created and supported and new opportunities fostered. But for that to be accomplished, entrepreneurs must be able to transmit how we need their support, and the G20 YEA communiqué is the best tool for that.