ABE’s Chief Executive, and campaign lead, Rob May

Based on a quantitative analysis of 10,500 companies, ground-breaking research from the Centre for Education Economics finds that:

  • Businesses in which the owner has been trained through programmes in business, social science, and law employ more people.
  • The United Kingdom is only 18th out of the 30 OECD countries we have data for, in terms of the share of business owners engaging in job-related adult education and training. 35% of UK business owners engage in job-related adult education and training, considerably lower than 49% in Germany and 54% in Finland.
  • The government should provide tax relief for small-business owners to invest in training programmes focused on improving their businesses. 

Of all firms started in the UK in 2010, only 41 per cent remained active five years later. Future entrepreneurship policy must not merely focus on increasing the rates of entrepreneurship, but also identify and set in motion mechanisms to support business survival.

Existing research suggests that human capital increases high-quality entrepreneurship. It also indicates that education in business and scientific subjects is especially important to ensure firm success, an effect that appears to operate through better use of management practices.

While some entrepreneurs will obtain their training in full-time formal education, it is reasonable to assume many will obtain it through relevant adult education and training. The paper shows that there are large differences in the take up of job-related adult education and training among business owners in different countries.

Based on PIAAC data, author Gabriel Heller Sahlgren finds that the United Kingdom is 18th out of the 30 OECD countries we have data for, in terms of the share of business owners engaging in job-related adult education and training. Finland (1st at 54%), the Netherlands (2nd at 52%) and Germany (3rd at 49%) are top, while the Russia (30th at 7%), Turkey (29th at 13%) and Greece (28th at 14%) trail other OECD countries.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Heller Sahlgren said:

“Governments worldwide have sought to produce environments conducive to start-ups, but much less attention has been paid to the factors necessary for those start-ups to sustain themselves. This research shows that education and training are crucial components in this endeavour. Governments would therefore be wise to incentivise business owners to invest in education, while also carrying out trials to find the most effective training approaches from an entrepreneurial perspective. It’s time we focus on the quality rather than just the number of start-ups.”

The report is published by the Centre for Education Economics (CfEE) following research commissioned by The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) and funded by the Association of Business Executives (ABE) to inform its Business Stay-Up campaign.

ABE’s Chief Executive, and campaign lead, Rob May, said:

“Entrepreneurship around the world is now promoted by policy-makers as a ‘low cost, high impact’ approach to economic growth, but the Business Stay-Up campaign was born out of a contrasting reality, that as many as 6/10 otherwise successful firms are doomed to early failure because of poor management practices. This research demonstrates clear benefits if governments incentivise training in impactful management skills for working entrepreneurs. Through various levers, including tax reform to encourage leadership training, more start-ups can survive, stay-up and grow into flourishing businesses.”

‘Human capital and business stay-up’ provides a new quantitative analysis of about 10,500 business owners in 21 European countries, using data from the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey.

The analysis indicates that in comparison to general programmes, qualifications specifically in business, social science, or law are more strongly related to firm size, once other important predictors are adjusted for.

To download a pdf of the full report, with executive summary, visit this website.

The report is published by the Centre for Education Economics (CfEE). CfEE is an independent think tank working to improve policy and practice in education through impartial economic research.

The publication reports the findings of research commissioned by The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) and funded by the Association of Business Executives (ABE) to inform its Business Stay-Up campaign.

Business Stay-Up is a research-led campaign to raise awareness of the pressures and challenges business owners face as they seek to survive and scale, and understand what can be done to increase the probability of success.

ABE is a not-for-profit organisation which provides internationally recognised qualifications and a worldwide professional association for business executives. The Association’s social purpose is to improve business education for aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly those in developing countries.

The Entrepreneurs Network is a think tank working to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and policymakers. It provides the Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Entrepreneurship, which sits across the House of Commons and House of Lords, and is the instigator and campaign manager of The Leap and Female Founders Forum.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Shahjahan Shamim shared a photo. 16 hours 34 minutes ago

Shahjahan Shamim is one of the known names when it comes to emerging singers and musicians. Besides being a successful YouTuber, he tried his luck... Show more

Shahjahan Shamim had a status update on Twitter yesterday

RT @SrBachchan: T 3975 - .. travelled .. and the mahurat of first day tomorrow .. a new film a new beginning , a new environ .. 'NEW' never…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page