This paper addresses the link between foresight and entrepreneurship over the long term. As such, it addresses two distinct gaps in foresight knowledge and literature namely the link between foresight and entrepreneurship; and longitudinal assessments of foresight activities in specific policy areas. The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of foresight on entrepreneurship over a long term perspective. In 1993, the results of an eighteen month foresight visioning exercise, Wales 2010, were published. It set out an enterprise vision built on engaging the ideas and views of a range of economic and social actors, and recommended a programme of interventions to help develop an entrepreneurship culture. Seven years after the setting of this vision, the Entrepreneurship Action Plan was developed, the first of its kind in Europe. Over the following years to 2005, entrepreneurial activity in Wales grew significantly outpacing the UK as a whole. However, a loss of focus on entrepreneurship in the years between 2005 and 2011, due to institutional factors and a lack of foresight renewal, was accompanied by a decline in entrepreneurial activity, which has only recently recovered. Wales 2010 created a foresight legacy: the foresight exercise was an antecedent to the development of entrepreneurship policy and to notable growth in entrepreneurial activity.
- Case study