Youth Entrepreneurship and Business Support

We are living in exciting times. Technology, globalisation and advancement in all fields has ushered a new age where lifestyle is going to be redefined. Internet has changed the face of the earth. It has managed to erase the borders and nationalities to bring all of humanity on one platform. Internet also provides unlimited opportunities to the youth for starting ones own business enterprise rather than seek jobs. Whether one is good in technology, trading, product development or any field, there are unlimited opportunities to build a successful venture if one has the entrepreneurial drive.

While recognising the need and the potential of Youth Entrepreneurship world over, ILO and other Agencies have begun to focus on establishing programs to help create, nurture and support Youth Entrepreneurship world over. The effort to encourage the YE culture has got to be done by the countries themselves.

In trying to address the YE program, several studies have been conducted to identify the areas where YE needs to be supported, identify the barriers to YE in the societies and to develop implementation strategies to help build Youth Entrepreneurship.

For a Youth Entrepreneur, starting an own business can be quite an overwhelming exercise. Though he or she might have a good business idea or identified opportunity, the lack of experience and exposure to business world can level them running around the pillar trying to set up a business organisation and get going. The challenges of starting a business are many. When an individual is starting an enterprise, he has got to handle all matters of organisation including administration, accounting, taxation, production, purchase, marketing and all jobs by himself. Having no previous experience, he has got to learn the ropes of the business and find out how things work. At this stage one needs help in the form of business support, mentoring and supporting network that can help him get going and learn the ropes faster too.

Apart from the other areas like finance, marketing, regulatory requirements and registration etc, where the Young Entrepreneurs are needed to be trained and assisted, they will also need support and assistance on how to get the business started and get going.

Lack of Business Contacts - In the start up stage, the YE is not aware of the suppliers and customers in the market. Identifying and understanding the procurement market and getting to know the customer markets can take quite a while. It is a lot easier if at this stage business specific support and information were to be extended through advisory bodies. Readily available information and industry contacts can make it a lot easier and faster for the YE to move ahead in setting up the operations and get going.

Business/Industry Specific Business Assistance

Every business has its own way of business operations and culture. Providing exposure to industry specific processes, introduction to the markets and suppliers including the common methodology and procedures of doing business can make it a lot easier for the YE saving a lot of his time. Such support can be made available through Government support agencies and specific Trade bodies with trained workers and researchers with experience.

Mentoring

If Young Entrepreneurs were to be provided access to mentors and experienced business entrepreneurs, it would help YE receive not only the practical guidance and wisdom to get going and avoid mistakes but their confidence as well as the speed at which they can move ahead in their business will be enhanced. The mentors have been there and done that and hence are in a position to guide the YE in the right way wherein costly mistakes and delays can be avoided and the YE gets to climb the learning curve faster.

In the mentors happen to be from the same line of business as the YE, then the value of such an association can be much higher for the Mentor can introduce the YE to the market and the industry and support in giving the leads.

Infrastructure Support

YE in the initial stages would require a lot of help in setting up an office and get started. Most often they lack the resources to fund for the basic infrastructure. Providing working space and common administrative support in the early stages can help the YE immensely for they not only save on spending the money on infrastructure and can invest into the business but they save time and effort in setting up the infrastructure support too.

SAYES Australia [South Australian Youth Entrepreneur Scheme] is a project sponsored by South Australian Business community which is designed to support the youth in the age of 18 to 30 years in their endeavour to become entrepreneurs. The entire business community is engaged in encouraging the youth build on their business ideas, provide the requisite training and support and mentor them. The youth has access to the entire business community and the network through SAYES. With selected Young Entrepreneurs, SAYES engages in mentoring, assisting in building the business plan and proposal as well as providing financial, legal and statutory compliance advice. They introduce the YE to the network of businessmen members in the industry and such contacts are of immense help to the beginners. SAYES also conducts business skills and other related trainings and conferences for Young Entrepreneurs. In some cases the agency also provides financial assistance depending upon the eligibility criteria and the business case.

In conclusion we can say that there is a lot that the business community and experienced veterans can contribute and lead the Young Entrepreneurs until they learn the ropes of the business. It is for the Youth to realise this and see value in receiving guidance.

Starting an enterprise with meagre resources and no background experience is very tough indeed. Government and other business networks have a lot to contribute and assist YE in getting started by means of providing common shared resources and infrastructure at affordable prices or free of cost.


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