As a young person (turning 26 next week, so I hope I still count...), this is something I've thought about quite a bit. I think it's unfair to say that young people are lazy or unmotivated in general, although undeniable many, many are. But you also have to put this recent phenomenon of mid-20 somethings living at home into our current economic context. I graduated from a prestigious university in 2009, arguably one of the worst times to start job-hunting in recent years. Companies and firms that were doing major recruiting just 2 years earlier were not hiring at all. So all of a sudden, what seemed like a given (that you would find a job doing SOMETHING after graduation) was suddenly a big "if," just because you happened to graduate at a bad time.
As a young person with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt and no real-world experience, this is absolutely terrifying. And for some people, the fear propels and motivates them, but I suspect for many others, it is more discouraging than anything else. For me, it seemed like I had worked hard for my entire life to get good grades and graduate, only to find out that there really are no guarantees, and especially not in a recession. I can personally remember feeling very misled, and very scared.
I don't want to give excuses for my generation, many of whom are just plain lazy; all I'm saying is that the context in which we "came of age" so to speak is really something to consider.
Ok, I apologize for rambling! To answer your question, I really think entrepreneurship is something that you are either interested in or not, so I don't think you can really encourage it. However, that doesn't mean that you can't encourage young people to pursue careers or studies that they are passionate about.
Start youth entrepreneur clubs it will give them practical hands-on experience and the mindset to choose entrepreneurship as a lifelong career.
Teach / provide the forums to, and a methodology for, taking their ideas and positioning their ideas for profit. It's great for youth to have ideas, and in fact they have a lot of them. Their minds are wonderfully open and uninhibited. Yet they need to learn how to make decisions and discern the ideas that are "money ideas". And then they must learn the discipline and strategies for implementing their ideas to convert concepts to cash.
Wow, I am going to be contrarian.but don't. Entrepreneurship comes from seeing the box differently. If you encourage entrepreneurship, in some way you might actually water it down. People who are entrepreneurial put up with stuff that the masses do not. We have cash flow problems. We invest our lives into a project for no real immediate return. We believe in an end goal and steadfastly pursue it. These things can't be taught.
When I try to tell someone to be an entrepreneur, it never really works because they could do just as well elsewhere. How many non entrepreneurs made millions on Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft. And how many entrepreneurs made nothing on their companies. Entrepreneurship is just one part of the country's economic engine and should really be left to those who can't live without it.
You can only encourage entrepreneurship in entrepreneurs. People who are not entrepreneurs may be very good workers and extremely productive once the company is up and running, but you can't make someone into an entrepreneur. There is a mindset and a risk tolerance in an entrepreneur that you just can't manufacture.
Caroline, a contrarian view: I question whether those living at home with their parents and no job have what it takes to become an entrepreneur. I've advised hundreds of entrepreneurs, and regardless of their lack of skills or money, they all had gumption and drive.
If anybody reading this is jobless at home and disagrees with me, I say, "Prove me wrong! Get up off the couch, get out there, and get going! Nobody's going to make it easy for you!"
Now, if somebody has the gumption and drive, but needs a boost, here's what I suggest:
1. Point to the rewards. "Here's a way to build something that is your own, that can provide you with much greater security and wealth than working for a large corporation. You get to follow your own passion, and turn it into something concrete."
2. Be honest about the difficulties. Entrepreneurship is not easy or fun. It can be exhilarating--and scary. And it's damn hard work! If this doesn't appeal to them, then entrepreneurship isn't for them.
3. Provide the training. The basics of crafting an idea, expanding it into a plan of action, building support, launching and managing a business, marketing and selling, getting good help, making a profit. There are incubators and venture greenhouses all over the country with this as their purpose.
4. Tell them to get ongoing support. Don't be the "Lone Ranger." Find others to collaborate with, to learn from. Build your network of valuable resources you can draw on. Remember, you learn just as much by helping and teaching others.
5. Be upfront about failure. "Yeah, you're likely to fail! Maybe several times. Learn from each time, get up, and go on to the next thing."
6. Celebrate success. "We made it! We achieved our goals! Drink a toast! Now, what's next?"
One more thing. Entrepreneurship is not just for the young. Everything I say here applies to venturesome people of any age.
As a young person myself, I find many free resources available to those interested in starting something of their own. Udacity.com is a great resource on how to creat a lean start-up, for example. If you look at crowdfunding, it is another resource that many your entrepreneurs are taking advantage of.
I think that 20 years ago, if one got a Masters degree, it guaranteed some sort of "security." With education becoming more prevalent and the business landscape becoming more competitive, it take more creativity to achieve success.
Great question Caroline! I believe it's by showing them the benefits of taking their destiny into their own hands. While it can be pretty scary the rewards are unfathomable. The problem is getting the right help to be able to take matters into your own hands. MosaicHUB is a great resource for that or others like http://yoursmallbusinessgrowth.com .
As a young entrepreneur myself ( createappshere.com ), I shall voice my opinion on this issue as I am dealing with uninspired young people everyday.
Starting a business is point blank scary for many! Why deal with the risks, when you can just clock in everyday and be "insured" a paycheck everyday. Especially in this world economy, youngsters see their parents barely make ends meet. Their first response is to avoid that and try to get stable with "just" a job.
I agree with other speakers, that the media could do a bit better by being more motivating towards entrepreneurship. Only the entertainment industry is really getting support from youngsters. Everyone wants to sing and dance, regardless of the slim chances they have of actually making it.
With my parents, the idea of entrepreneurship wasn't too popular with both of them. As I was still finishing my Bachelors in Information Science, they wanted more "stability" for their son (whatever that means in this uncertain time). My point being; If your parents don't truly support you, you need to really dig deep to still pursue the true entrepreneurial dream. Solution: Get the "old and grey" to be more embracing to entrepreneurship, and then it's up to the youngsters to make the step. They'll definitely be more motivated.
As I got started I learned as I went forward with my dream. With this being said, the success stories of successful people are plenty, but how they became successful entrepreneurs are not as much. Entrepreneurial events are not high on youngsters their events, but making these events more entertaining, or connecting them with entertainers can really spark things up. Just think about it, if someone even mentions Justin Bieber, a couple of thousand people start asking "where?". While if you say "hey look a true entrepreneur!" no one even hears you.
We also had a blog article on this http://createappshere.com/business/start-up-concepts-mind/
All of us, including young people, need to work on growing ourselves first. Learn to be happy, do the right things, make the right decisions, and take ownership and resposibility for our actions.
Starting out in a new business is hard and expensive. It may be a better idea to learn business ownership an easier way, like a franchise or an IBO with a company like ACN. ACN sells hip products like cell phones, wireless plans, internet, and more. Go to my fan page to learn more you future business owners! http:www.facebook.com/mikeconnellMakeMoney
Get them to write down things they want in life, and then ask them for ideas on how to progressively achieve this. Get them to start a business, even if it fails.
to encourage more young entrepreneurs how about programs that mentor them like this blog and http://mentroplus.me or how about making it easier for them to get loans like Canada's Canadian Youth Business Foundation (http://cybf.ca) and how about teaching them in middle school, yes early on how to be an entrepreneur like kidpreneur, and yes as someone pointed out how about making it fun
I have 2 unique business opportunities for people of all ages. One of them requires minimal start up cost, another requires absolutely no start up at all. No gimmicks, no games.
These skills are now being taught at the academic level in most all universities and starting a business does take resources and to some degree, experience working in the real world. Universities have these resources to encourage and involve kids. Maybe they can look at entrepreneurship opps at their schools as alumm volunteers.
I agree about the media being an important aspect. I would like to see more kids serials and movies that not only inspire, but show how easily and simply they can start their own enterprise.
I think installing confidence and experience ideally from a young age is important.
I had one enterprise as a kid, that was growing Veges and selling them to my parents. I wish I had more experiences like that. Part of that is encouragement from parents (and school or Govt) but it needs to extend into the community e.g. mowing neighbours lawns & odd jobs for them. Creativity and initiative also need to be promoted including collaboration and brainstorming new business ideas and innovations to improve competitivity.
Early exposure combined with mentoring and access to resources would be a great start. Check out www.build.org. It's a 4 year college success program that uses entrepreneurship to engage low-income high school students and get them back on track academically.
We have to provide them some inspiration.
To do that, first thing break the stereotype associated with the image of entrepreneurs. Traditionally, we remember people with greying hair and a suit posing in front of a camera - typical CEO of a company. What I mean to say is, this stereotype has made young people think that only people that are over 45 can become entrepreneurs. This stereotype has to be broken. We already have people like Mark Zuckerburg now which is a good thing.
Another way of inspiring them is by making them read a lot. Not really books like "Shortcut to becoming an entrepreneur, how to make money overnight and such stuff written solely for marketing. There is no shortcut. Rather, they should be reading books that will tell them more about autobiographies of entrepreneurs,
business magazines, newspapers and so on. Keep themselves updated.
And like someone mentioned, make it more fun. Management classes should not have just theory. That makes the whole idea of entrepreneurship rather distant and intangible. As long as they are studying it, they would perceive it as something they would be doing "n" number of years from them. Rather, it should be brought to the classroom. They should start building their start-up as they are learning business management. The course should allow for the conception of ideas etc.
Would like to hear your thoughts on the same.
Young people require a different form of communication and learning. The Industrial mindset of the past which we grew up, yielded our results, but with the internet and the mobile world exploding, they go looking for short time results.
Schools, colleges and businesses need to take up the challenge of acting, being and promoting Entrepreneurs.
Leading corporations and banks need to offer more incentive, not just for lending, but for the challenging periods, instead of shutting the door, because the computer says so.
Entrepreneurial Mind set is a skill I teach in my Company. Business and Companies need to create the Entrepreneurs within their businesses. Everyone has something to offer- we as Business Leaders need to watch and learn more instead of compare to the past.
The Promotion of these Leaders, Corporations and Business needs to be seen by the wider community.
I think trying to make entrepreneurship more fun could be a start. Lots of young people would rather watch TV, play video games, or hang out with their friends. Even if they claim to be looking for a job, it's tough to get them working when there are more entertaining alternatives.
Another way could be to try to reduce barriers to entry. Trying to start a business for a young person could be extremely daunting. mosaicHUB can help here by providing resources and people to help take that first step.
And maybe a culture change could help things. Young people idolize musicians and athletes. Less frequently do they follow entrepreneurs. More media attention could make entrepreneurship more desirable.