#GEW2021: Policy Leaders Praise Entrepreneur Resilience and Contributions During Pandemic
Government leaders joined Global Entrepreneurship Week Celebrations around the world.
6 Dec 2021

A few weeks ago, U.S. President Joe Biden proclaimed November to be National Entrepreneurship Month. Around the same time, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak noted in his Autumn 2021 Budget Speech that “our future...must come from the imagination and drive of our entrepreneurs.” Days later during Global Entrepreneurship Week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Republic of Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani and other political leaders added their praise and gratitude for the resiliency and contributions of entrepreneurs throughout the pandemic. 

Here's what some of them had to say:   


Cameroon, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts H.E. Achille Bassilekin III


"We are really interested in seeing the development, consolidation, and expansion of entrepreneurial activity in our country.” 

- Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts H.E. Achille Bassilekin III

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau


“Over the past year and a half, entrepreneurs have faced hardship and uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, in communities across the country, countless entrepreneurs found new ways to do business, proving that the entrepreneurial spirit of Canadians is strong and resilient.... As we build back better from the pandemic, their success is essential to ours as a country.”

- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

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Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani



"Entrepreneurship remains at the core of global growth and serves as an engine driving progress and prosperity in our societies."

- President Vjosa Osmani

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“As we enter the post-pandemic future, we are focusing on growing the number of startups, increasing early-stage funding, and building quality startups.”

- Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba, Department of Trade and Industry  

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St. Kitts + Nevis 

Wendy Phillips


Global Entrepreneurship Week provides the ideal opportunity for our young people to show our country how they can grow businesses from the vision and idea phase to business planning, to financing and eventually business start-up."

- Minister of International Trade, Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Labour Wendy Phipps

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United Arab Emirates

UAE, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Dr Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi


"The ministry has set an aspirational target of having 20 unicorns by 2031. Our overarching goal is to work with entrepreneurs to help them overcome barriers and ensure their progression across different stages of the journey.” 

Dr Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs 

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United Kingdom

Paul Scully UK Minister


“It’s this government’s ambition to make the UK the best place to start and grow a business. We want to create an enterprise culture where everyone who wants to be an entrepreneur has the confidence to start a business regardless of their background.”

- Minister for Small Business Paul Scully

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Virgin Islands

Andrew A. Fahi, Premier and Ministry of Finance, Virgin Islands


"The Virgin Islands has experienced a noticeable increase in entrepreneurial activity during the past several months of the COVID-19 global pandemic, and can look forward to this trend continuing in 2022.”

- Premier and Minister of Finance, Andrew A. Fahie

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These are all welcome signals that policy leaders are taking stock of the pandemic-era startup boom and its clout in the economy. For good reason, too. According to the Mastercard Economics Insitute, Australia, Canada, Germany, the United States and the UK saw 50 to 100 per cent increases in business applications in 2020 compared to 2019. 

Considering that firms under five years old create the most net-new jobs and that startups created over $3.8 trillion in value between January '18 and June '20 (more than the individual GDP of most G7 economies), entrepreneurs will play an important role as leaders seek opportunities to grow the economy.

This will be a central topic of conversation at the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Congress (March 27-30 2022). Thousands of entrepreneurs and startup champions, including policymakers, will come together to share ways to reboot the global economy; rethink how we live, work, and create ideas; and regenerate the momentum of our communities, cities and countries. Learn more about GEC 2022 at www.gec.co

Kathryn Forrest

Manager for Communications | Global Entrepreneurship Network

Kathryn is the Manager for Communications at the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), where she is… More