The myths and truths about entrepreneur­ship

Inaugural lecture: Professor Marc Cowling

The general public and governments across the world hold entrepreneurs in high esteem. This esteem underpins the unwavering support for public policy interventions to support them. In this lecture, we challenge whether this support is justified by appealing to the evidence. In doing so we hope to establish what the myths and truths of entrepreneurship are. This is important as we have to remember that it is our taxes that are used to fund all government expenditure on supporting entrepreneurship.

During the course of this lecture, we will cover the tax treatment of entrepreneurs and government intervention in debt and equity markets, as well as challenging whether entrepreneurs do indeed generate all the wonderful things such as productivity, innovation, and jobs that governments use to justify spending our hard-earned taxes, that would lead to improved incomes and wealth for the wider population. We also question how entrepreneurs have fared during the Covid-19 crises and question whether the government has effectively shielded them. Finally, we ask a simple but important question: Does entrepreneurship pay?

Professor Marc Cowling presenting slides from his inaugural lecture

View Inaugural Lecture Series: Professor Marc Cowling video transcript and audio description

Professor Marc Cowling

Professor Marc Cowling is currently ranked in the top 9% of economists in the world by citations and in entrepreneurship, he was ranked twenty-third in the world over the period 1995-2006. Marc has spent the last 30 years researching in four core areas; The Dynamics of Early Stage Survival and Growth, The Financing of SMEs, Labour Market Dynamics, and Evaluating Public Policy. Marc has published 90 academic peer-reviewed journal articles and co-authored three books on public policy relating to unemployment, economic growth, and entrepreneurship. He has also undertaken 60 sponsored projects including public policy evaluations in the UK and internationally.