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Flexibility over work time and location, fosters innovation

New Delhi, Apr 15 (KNN):  When asked which factors help foster innovation and develop entrepreneurship, 48 per cent of the respondents of a survey have said that flexibility is a key measure.  In particular, they placed flexibility over work time and location as the top requirement. 
Skills updating programmes (42 per cent) and mixing of staff from different functions (36 per cent) encourage workers to keep up to date and tackle problems from different angles, so it is not surprising that they are also among the top innovation-enhancing measures.
The white paper titled, ‘Entrepreneurship flourishes in tough conditions’ by Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workspaces was released on April-9.
The paper also revealed that IT and consultancy are the sectors most likely to foster entrepreneurship while businesses court intrapreneurs.
“Entrepreneurs are a key source of employment and wealth in any economy. In Europe, for example, they account for 99 per cent of businesses and they provide two out of three of the private sector jobs.  In the USA they accounted for 98 per cent of businesses in 2011 and for 82 per cent of employment in China,” Regus said.
Given their role in driving economic development, it is a promising sign that, in this latest research report from Regus, as many as 78 per cent of business respondents globally report a rise in entrepreneurship in their country.
It would seem that this climate of increasing entrepreneurship is also favouring female start-ups with one in ten respondents (11 per cent) reporting an increasing presence of women entrepreneurs in their sector. Similarly, more current entrepreneurs, perhaps revitalized by an air of economic recovery, are becoming serial entrepreneurs and setting up one company after another (11 per cent).
So, in the opinion of business respondents, which sectors are believed to hold the richest potential for setting up a business nowadays? Over half of respondents reported that IT and software (54 per cent) are expected to lead, while over a third (34 per cent) identified consultancy and business services as the sector with the greatest potential.
“In an interesting further development, many are now advocating that entrepreneurship be fostered within firms in order to ensure that the work environment is focused on innovation prepared for future change. These pundits advocate that a new type of employee needs to be nurtured alongside traditional workers; this employee is a type of internal entrepreneur currently described as an intrapreneur,” the paper said.
Of course, the top ranking factor, which taps into employee demand for a better work:life balance by allowing them to work their own hours and from different locations (such as closer to home at least some of the time), businesses can also help employees mingle with workers from different functions and different sectors. This in turn helps them share ideas with a broader pool of professionals and encourages them to explore lateral ideas and potential partnerships.
Other key findings are that entrepreneurship plays an undeniably important role in any economy generating wealth and providing employment. In China for example, SMEs account for 60 per cent of GDP and 82 per cent of employment. SMEs also account for two out of three private sector jobs and contribute to more than half of the total value-added created by businesses in the EU.
Given the key role of SMEs in the economy it is good news that 78 per cent of business respondents globally report that they are seeing a rise in entrepreneurship in their sector. 
In particular one in ten (11 per cent) report that they are seeing more female entrepreneurs and more serial entrepreneurs - those that start up one business after another. In the USA alone female entrepreneurship contributes nearly USD 3 trillion to the economy and accounts for 23 million jobs.
But not all sectors are believed to be an equally good bet for start-ups and the sectors thought to hold more promise for budding entrepreneurs are IT and software (54 per cent of respondents) and consultancy (34 per cent).
There is also a growing body of evidence that shows that innovation and entrepreneurship should be nurtured within organisations to ensure they always stay ahead of the curve.