Fenland Council chairman calls for role model status for entrepreneurs at Awards launch
PUBLISHED: 13:32 10 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:37 02 June 2010
THE chairman of Fenland District Council called for people to change their attitudes towards enterprise and to embrace entrepreneurs as role models in their communities . Councillor Ralph Butcher was speaking at the launch of the Cambs Times/Wisb
THE chairman of Fenland District Council called for people to change their attitudes towards enterprise and to embrace entrepreneurs as "role models in their communities".
Councillor Ralph Butcher was speaking at the launch of the Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard's 2010 Fenland Enterprise Business Awards on Wednesday, held at Tydd St Giles Golf and Leisure Club.
He said: "For far too long now, enterprise has been seen as something for someone else, for a small elite who already have financial stability.
"For some, the opportunity to start a business or become self-employed is, somehow not for them.
"The chance to start a business should not depend on your background, contacts or just luck. In every area of Fenland we want enterprise to go as far as your talents and potential can take them.
"And to achieve this, we must change our attitudes towards enterprise and embrace entrepreneurialism and social cohesion.
"We want young people to see businessmen and women as role models in their communities and we are working with schools to prise the virtues of enterprise and a career in commerce.
"This sort of intervention will also increase the opportunities for business engagement to help shape further skills pools."
Cllr Butcher told guests, including sponsors and some of last year's award winners, that he was impressed by the quality of the inaugural finalists.
"They demonstrated the sheer breadth and depth of entrepreneurial activity we have here in Fenland," he said.
"Especially our small to medium-sized enterprises, of which we have more than 3,000. They are the lifeblood of our economy."
The council is working in partnership with a number of organisations to provide free workshops on how to start and grow a successful business.
It also unlocked £6million from reserves earlier this year to improve the district's infrastructure.
Cllr Butcher said: "Fenland Council is delighted to co-sponsor the awards again this year, and with the creation of our Green Business Club we are particularly pleased to sponsor the award for Environment and Community Impact."
Cllr Butcher also highlighted the economic downturn of the last two years and warned that 2010 will bring new challenges. But he added: "You are all inspiring examples of Fenland enterprise at its very best.