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The State of Entrepreneurship in Europe—An Investor's View

The State of Entrepreneurship in Europe—An Investor's View

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Sir Ronald Cohen, one of the founders of Apax Partners, the leading European-based global private equity firm, and author of The Second Bounce of the Ball: Turning Risk into Opportunity, shares his thoughts on entrepreneurship in Europe in this interview with the Kauffman Foundation.

Sir Ronald Cohen, one of the founders of Apax Partners, the leading European-based global private equity firm, and author of The Second Bounce of the Ball: Turning Risk into Opportunity, shares his thoughts on entrepreneurship in Europe in this interview with the Kauffman Foundation.

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Published by: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation on Mar 05, 2009
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05/10/2014

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KAUFFMAN Thoughtbook
 
2009
E x c E r p t f r o m
Fourth in an ongoing series, the
Kauffman Thoughtbook 2009 
captures what we arethinking, learning, and discovering about education, entrepreneurship, and advancinginnovation. This collection of more than forty essays is written by the talented KauffmanFoundation associates, partners, and experts who are pursuing the principles and visionset by our founder, Ewing Kauffman.REQUEST YOUR COMPLIMENTARY COPY AT
kauan.g
©2008 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. All rights reserved.
 
193
The Stte o Etrepreership iErope—aIvestor’s View
a Itrviw wit SIR RonalD Cohen
Cfudr d frmr Cirm, apx Prtrs; autr,
The Secnd Bunce f the Ball: Turning Risk int opprtunity 
The word “entrepreneur” is French in its origins, but in France and many othercountries throughout Europe, there are many ewer entrepreneurs than there are ina country such as the United States. In decades past, this was partly a problem o mindset—the idea o launching a business was not embedded into European cultureor education. That’s changed, but now the big obstacle is a dearth o opportunitiesor early-stage growth companies to raise capital through the public markets.Sir Ronald Cohen has been working to promote entrepreneurship in Europe. As one o the ounders o Apax Partners, the leading European-based global  private equity frm, Cohen was one o the continent’s frst private-equity investors.He has been a backer o ventures involving Sir Richard Branson (Virgin) and Stelios Haji-Iannou (EasyJet), and o companies like Sally the Sheep, Calvin Klein,and Tommy Hilfger.He let Apax Partners in 2005 to concentrate on a range o philanthropicactivities and, in 2007, his book on entrepreneurship,
The Secod Boce o theBll: Trig Risk ito Opportity,
was published. Here he shares his thoughtson entrepreneurship in Europe, both in terms o what’s working and what’s not.
Excerpt ro
Kauman Thoughtbook 2009
. ©2008 by the Ewig mrio K odtio. all rights reserved.
 
194
Wht ws the stte o thikig bot etrepreership whe yo were strtigyor creer i bsiess?I erolled t Hrvrd Bsiess School i the ll o 1967, s theetrepreeril wve ws strtig to or, bt those who oticed it werei the iority. This ws  tie whe  iister i the rech goveret, Je-Jcqes Serv-Schreiber, pblished  best-sellig book,
The AmericanChallenge,
which rged aeric corportios—big bsiess—weredestied to doite Erope d the world over.Bt this lysis overlooked the disrptive eects o ew techologies, whichwold cse lrge, estblished rs to lose grod d shed jobs. Iovtivecopies, sch s DEC, refected the dvtges the uited Sttes hdover Erope. The edctio syste ws better, prticlrly i the re o ew techology. The bsiess cltre welcoed iovtio d ecorgedcopetitio d risk-tkig. ad there ws ch esier ccess to cpitl.How hs etrepreership i Erope chged over the pst thirty yers?Etrepreership reqires  eblig eviroet, icldig low rteso tx o cpitl gis, spportive stock rkets, d policy iititives tospport eterprise d sll bsiesses. Thirty yers go, there ws o scheviroet i Briti or y other Erope cotry. Jst s troblig,there ws  prejdice gist welth cretio d risk-tkig. my peoplethoght it ws i the tre o the British, the Gers, d the rech otto tke risks d be etrepreeril.Tht hs chged. The trsortio o ttitdes is r ro coplete, btthe relity is tht lost everybody wold like to ke cpitl i give  rel
- The Stte o Etrepreership i Erope—a Ivestor’s View -

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