Where Have All the Youth Entrepreneurs Gone?

By Omer Gulzar

They’re the most power hungry, motivated and high risk taking individuals you can lay your eyes on. Yes! These words do describe the most influential and respected entrepreneurs but ironically I was describing young individuals. What’s tragic is that we have become accustom to the idea that entrepreneurial activity is only limited to individuals with previous experience and talents.

Entrepreneurship has been referenced time and time again as a source of job creation, growth, creativity and empowerment. So it makes no sense why during these economic times any significant effort would be made to inject the ideals of entrepreneurship into the youth. I offer to present a unique perspective on lack of youth entrepreneurship from the shoes of a university student in his final year of study as part of a series of blogs in the weeks to come.

Here are some of the problems faced:

  • The overall rate of self-employment for youth over adults is marginal.
  • Funding or investment available to young entrepreneurs is lower than their elder counter parts.
  • Policy makers, who promise extension of loans to new start-ups, fail to recognize the niche market of the youth as borrowers.

Perhaps the most important, yet most over-looked is the idea that students today go into schools, trade colleges and universities not with the desire to learn but with the false hope that after assimilating to the universal education system they will land a gratifying, high-end job. Although sometimes true, this does not do justice to the idea of higher education. I It creates a system by which individual look for jobs rather than present ideas for innovate businesses which they can launch themselves. Stay tuned next week to see what current solutions are in place to promote youth entrepreneurship and the challenges associated with their implementation.

Omer is currently at the University of Toronto finishing his undergraduate degree in Biotechnology. At the RIC he is undertaking an internship as a Bio-business intern, where he brings together his science based analytical skills and merges them with business development.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit Altitude Accelerator for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.



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