Today’s youth represents tomorrow’s movers and shakers, so it’s hugely beneficial to encourage youth entrepreneurship. In a world where few people know exactly what they want to do when they leave high school, providing platforms for entrepreneurial flair to flourish is likely to have an incredibly positive impact on the world of business. To make things possible for the next generation, here are some of the best ways to promote youth entrepreneurship.
Encourage thinking, discussion and creativity
Being a successful entrepreneur isn’t just about having ideas or being able to manage a team of people. To make it to the top, you have to have a diverse skill set and an innate desire to ask questions and find solutions. As adults, we should be encouraging children and teens to engage in open discussion, indulge their inquisitive nature and carry out research. Every person is different, and divergent thinking is something to embrace, rather than discourage. It’s useful to debate, question other people’s opinions and ideas and learn to solve problems. Young people tend to be more confident about voicing their opinions when they feel safe, and this is why it’s important to provide safe platforms and environments in which to speak. School and college debating classes are an excellent example, and will undoubtedly prepare budding entrepreneurs for boardrooms and event spaces.
Real life experiences
You can learn a lot from textbooks and lectures, but real life often provides the most powerful and memorable lessons. If you’ve been contacted by a teenager who expresses an interest in what you do, or a local school or college wants to collaborate with you, consider opening up opportunities that enable young people to gain experience of the working day. Let them sit and watch, observe and digest what’s going on and encourage them to join in. We tend to have a vision of entrepreneurialism from TV programs and books, but the real world is often very different. Experiences can teach you more about what’s actually involved in business, but they can also ignite passions and foster ambition. If you’re a business owner eager to encourage new talent to thrive, you can provide access to real life experiences by offering work placements, on the job training, apprenticeships and internships.
It’s not possible to learn everything you need to know about life in the big bad world after school or college in the classroom. A high school graduate may emerge with an excellent grasp on Pythagoras’ theorem, but could they manage accounts? As a business owner looking for the next leading lights, it pays to encourage the development of practical skills that will equip individuals for an entrepreneurial journey. This can be done through skills workshops, training programs and even courses that are open to students and those looking to pursue a career in business.
As adults, it’s our duty to encourage the next generation to fulfill its potential. Whether you’re a business leader, a freelancer, a creative thinker or a company executive, you can play your part in encouraging youth entrepreneurship and nurturing the stars of tomorrow.