Opening Young Minds to Entrepreneurship through Education

Alessandro Cenderello, EY Managing Partner for EU Institutions

In the aftermath of the global financial and economic crisis, unemployment has particularly affected  youth. The high number of unemployed youth has persisted and presents a barrier to further progress.

The private sector will mainly be responsible  for supplying these jobs, although they will require assistance from their governments. If the private sector is to create jobs, countries around the world need to nurture conditions for entrepreneurs to create new businesses. As job generators, supporters of local communities and valuable components of prosperous societies, entrepreneurs are the catalyst for change needed by governments to solve the youth unemployment problem.

Education is a major factor in creating a fertile culture for entrepreneurs, and is the key channel for opening young minds to entrepreneurship. For young people, the perception of entrepreneurs in the media is particularly important. The key recommendation is to create a positive narrative around entrepreneurship to help engage young people from an early age. Actions for policy makers should include the investment in initiatives that develop market leadership in specific areas for the country or region, targeting and enabling young entrepreneurs to flourish at the start-up stage, and promote the value of entrepreneurship into society.

The EY report entitled, “Avoiding a lost generation” (2014) highlights best practice case studies which explain how countries are promoting youth entrepreneurship. One of these case studies showcased how in Germany they have taken steps to increase public awareness of entrepreneurial activity through hosting nationwide events. Gründerland Deutschland (translated as, Germany a nation of entrepreneurs), is a part of the annual German Entrepreneurial Week, and is intended to give renewed motivation to German start-ups and entrepreneurs. Over 1,800 events were held across Germany during Entrepreneurial Week, in which experienced start-up founders were able to share their knowledge and experience in order to raise the awareness of entrepreneurship and its importance within society. This is a valuable opportunity for young people to learn about careers in entrepreneurship, and also an inspiring event to increase public perception of entrepreneurship.

Therefore, the need for policy action is imperative as education is the key channel for opening young minds to entrepreneurship.

Category : entrepreneurship education Posted : 17 May 2016 13:38 UTC
About the Author
Alessandro Cenderello, EY Managing Partner for EU Institutions

Alessandro Cenderello is partner at EY responsible for the management of EU institutions in Brussels. He has over 15 years of experience in EU policies, including effective policy making through regulatory and economic advisory on regional development, SMEs, R&D and innovation. Alessandro has been heavily involved in projects for change and performance improvement of public services and government organisations and has extensive track record in working with EU Institutions, the World Bank and UN, as well as with national and regional agencies. He can rely on excellent management skills and his solid experience of communication on issues at European institutional level.

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