Our An Inclusive World Event, held on November 14th at Social 7 within Media City in the UK during the Global Entrepreneurship Month 2019, concentrated on Inclusive Entrepreneurship and showcased our work in this area since 2009.
Universal Inclusion Founder and CEO Jacqueline Winstanley, host and executive producer of this international gathering, opened the event. She eloquently set the scene with an overview of the concept of Inclusive Entrepreneurship and its importance in achieving the 2030 Agenda, the Paradigm Shift and in evidencing the commitment to the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Inclusive Entrepreneurship offers a real and sustainable alternative for people facing barriers to mainstream employment. It is essential in creating an environment that embodies the Paradigm Shift, where people who face barriers to the work environment are no longer seen as tax / care burdens, but as active, participating citizens contributing to the economy.
Inclusive Entrepreneurship is a global response to the changing face of the workplace, more so as economic growth continues to be from within the private, and particularly, the MSME sector.
Inclusive Entrepreneurs face challenges beyond traditional aspects of entrepreneurship, in particular access to practical in-work support, finance and innovation strands. This is where a lack of understanding of how people with protected characteristics navigate their working lives leads to conflict, as the genuine intent to improve matters conflicts with the administration of these same programs.
There is innovation being evidenced within Inclusive Entrepreneurship, and that is highlighting a positive impact on health and wellbeing.
It is also evidencing a reduction in the Health and Welfare budgets, alongside a positive impact on the economy, as the resultant Inclusive Economic Growth takes its place within the marketplace. Our Inclusive Entrepreneurs do not talk of pity - they talk instead about increased levels of self-esteem, reduced isolation and a renewed sense of being part of and contributing to society through innovation.
During the day, we were honoured to have with us challengers and leaders in their fields, including the newly appointed UN Global Goodwill Ambassador Carol Ann Whitehead who addressed the delegates present.
Also joining us was Helene Martin Gee, Pink Shoe Founder and President who spoke about Women in Enterprise, highlighting the need for a structured and aspirational approach to Inclusive Entrepreneurship.
Olivia Gallagher, T33 Wheelchair Racer and Ability Today Ambassador then gave an insight to entrepreneurship as a para-athlete, demonstrating the gender disparity within her class and reinforcing the importance of appropriate practical and financial support as an elite athlete.
Two panel discussions further illustrated the journeys and achievements of Inclusive Entrepreneurs. The first panel included Grant Logan from Ability Today, Ayesha Gavin from Ayesha Communications, Stephen Hopwood from Swift and Sure, Lady Sharon Farley-Mason from Glamsticks and James Holt, Musician. All highly talented and successful entrepreneurs, their inspiring journeys to where they are today only served to reinforce the immense benefits to the economy and their personal health and well being. This message was further amplified by Aaron Hornback of Horizon Health Network.
The second panel, with Carol Ann Whitehead, John Kiehl of Soundtrack Group and Emanuel 'Manny' Perlman of Destination Peace, discussed the conversations taking place at an international level, and their impact within the 2030 Agenda towards achieving the Paradigm Shift and the commitments towards the SDGs.
It was evident from the panel discussions and ensuing Q&A that the growth we are seeing is both cross-sector and cross-industries, as the resilience and determination of the Inclusive Entrepreneur reaches new heights in areas they have previously been absent.
So I ask you - Imagine if the solution to some of the world’s greatest challenges is a thought in the mind of an Inclusive Entrepreneur?
We have a blueprint for Inclusive Entrepreneurship that works. We have evidence to demonstrate it. However, in order to upscale and extend its reach, we make the following recommendations to policy makers:
- Enable the Paradigm Shift in government policy
- Allow for early identification and implementation of support
- Provide direct access to personal advisors
- Provide training on management of support
- Ensure there is continued support for personal care
- Ensure the award contains support for compliance areas
- Allow easy access to mental health support and holistic therapies
- Ensure equity within access to finance
An Inclusive Entrepreneur is another step in our journey towards making entrepreneurship open and easily accessible to all. Last week's event resulted in an incredible, emotive and empowering testament to the importance of Inclusive Entrepreneurship in economic growth and social change.
We have launched a Digital Platform, an online marketplace for inclusive Entrepreneurship.