Nurturing and Building Youth Entrepreneurship has got to be a long term developmental program with strategic focus and policy framework at the National Government level identifying specific areas and programs to nurture and build awareness of amongst the Youth, train and enhance their skills required for starting business enterprise. This calls for including Youth Entrepreneurship building as a regular curriculum at high school and University levels throughout the country. Secondly there has to be a common YE program involving all NGOs, Societies and Communities to create an environment and culture that is conducive to Youth Entrepreneurship. The effort of building YE does not stop with this.
There has got to be sustained campaign in media and other forms of communication to show to the Youth some of the successful role models that they can emulate. Besides Government has got to set up the required framework and policies to provide assistance required for Young Entrepreneurs to start businesses. Besides training Youth and equipping them with Business skills, there is a need to provide guidance, mentoring as well as provide assistance in start up financing and help them market themselves by providing them the opportunities at various trade forums. These are but a few of the action plans that are outlined here to help kick start Youth Entrepreneurship development strategy and programs.
In the long run the effort in this direction has to be sustained with the same enthusiasm and many more action plans involving various other agencies and fields have got to be built into the programs.
To help build Entrepreneurship awareness programs as a part of Education, it helps to understand how the Youth Entrepreneurship develops and progresses in the early years. Chigunta has proposed a three stage transitional phase in Youth Entrepreneurship. Of course the stages can vary depending upon local environment and cultural factors in different countries.
- Pre-Entrepreneurs: The onset of this stage starts at 15 years up to 19 years. This is the stage when the youth is leaving home and starts identifying himself as an individual. His thoughts and ideas about his future and career start forming at this stage. Entrepreneurial attitudes are formed naturally or as a result of awareness programs and honed from this stage onwards.
- Budding entrepreneurs: This stage lasts from 20-25 years. During this period the youth would have tried their hand at some kind of work or tried to start and run a small business. Whether they manage to succeed or burn their fingers, they will have acquired the practical knowhow and pitfalls of Entrepreneurship and the outside world.
- Emergent entrepreneurs: Youth between the ages of 26 to 29 years fall into this category. By this time they would have had the necessary experience, made mistakes and realised what it takes to manage a business. They are more likely to be grounded, realistic and ready to prepare and start their enterprise on more mature and sure footage with good lot of preparation and wisdom.
The above classification can help us understand the growing up trends amongst the youth and help us design policies and programs more effectively. Providing the right input at the right time helps the Youth assimilate the necessary information in a better way and use it effectively.
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