Churchill Fellowship

Brazen founder Kimberly Palmer’s passion for entrepreneurship began when she launched an “Entrepreneur’s Networx” series for several years. She was able to explore international networking for young entrepreneurs when she was selected as a 2004 Churchill fellow.

Her final report was entitled: An international study of networking and support programs for young (under 40) professionals and entrepreneurs.

Executive Summary of Report

This research project involved the investigation of networking and professional development programs for young professionals and young entrepreneur’s (under 40) in the USA, Europe and Canada.” It was conducted January – March 2005 with the generous support of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Young people are the future of any country. Entrepreneurship – the creation of value through innovation – is vital in a capitalist economy as a provider of jobs and economic growth. The highest number of business start ups globally begin with those aged 25-34. This project included visiting the networking and membership organisations, educational institutions and foundations that provide services to this key segment, to learn how we can better support this vital segment of the Australian community.

Key recommendations have been sorted by the segment at which they are targeted.

Networking and support groups recommendations relate to improved shared learning, increased cross marketing, the development of competency based training in networking skills, increased professionalism of event programs, more sustainable business and cost structures, and a call for a better understanding of the business impact of networking. These affect both my own groups and others around the country.

The three tiers of Australian government are called on to better support existing programs, provide grants for business networking groups to extend their service offering and build mentoring programs, utilise business name registrations to fund and market business support services, develop national guidelines for angel investment, create access to shared technology and to create a national Minister for Entrepreneurship.

Education institutions at a tertiary level are advised to partner and drive students to existing groups, develop a stronger and more targeted alumni community and facilitate access to funding for their graduates. In primary and high schools, a greater focus on teaching entrepreneurship as a career option is encouraged.

Finally, there is a call for the establishment of a foundation in support of entrepreneurship and for the business and successful entrepreneurs of Australia to give back to the support of young, developing entrepreneurs.

Download Kimberly Palmer Churchill Fellowship report on networking for entrepreneurs -full report>>