Times are tough. There are no jobs. Hundreds of thousands of young people are sat at home, wasting their lives away.
That’s all we’ve been hearing for years now. We as a society have, for too long, been resigned to the idea that this is a lost generation of young people for whom nothing can be expected to happen until the economy recovers. However, there are green shoots that indicate young people want to contribute to economic recovery rather than wait for it.
For some time now I’ve had a niggling feeling that playing the waiting game is the wrong attitude altogether. Many young people don’t actually need us to dig them out of a hole; they can find their own ways to solve problems.
Rise in aspiring entrepreneurs
A recent report stating that more young people than ever want to start their own businesses, was just the affirmation my niggling theory needed. Young people are looking at entrepreneurship in a way they haven’t for decades. And it makes perfect sense to me. Young people can’t waste the peak of their energy and creativity waiting for a big upturn in the economy. So they have decided to take matters in to their own hands
But while the reports show that young people want to start their own businesses, it will be interesting to witness whether, over the next few years, they are actually able to turn those aspirations into real, thriving businesses or at the very least sustainable self-employment.
The Government has made a commitment to helping young people not just into apprenticeships but into entrepreneurship. The new Start-up Loans will provide small funds to help young people take their first steps into their own business. And in this digital age, it is easier than ever for young people to try out their ideas with low start-up costs.
Support and encouragement is key
But what we at vInspired know is that what will really get young people to give their weird and wonderful ideas a go is support and encouragement and a good dose of self-confidence. It’s not easy to take a risk on your idea, but having someone tell you you’re on the right track can often be more useful than any amount of funding.
And knowing that you have someone to call on when you’re just not sure about your next step can give you the confidence to keep going through the uncertainty.
Through our vInspired Cashpoint programme we give young people the chance to try out an idea that can help their community. This programme is about helping young people play an active role in their communities whilst building skills for work and enterprise.
But it’s also about proving to them that their ideas are worthwhile, that they can be responsible for a budget, that they can recruit and manage others and that they can make something good happen. Bring it on!