When youth recognize a problem or challenge in the world, they can use entrepreneurship skills and knowledge to organize, create, and manage activities that change the world. Engaging youth as entrepreneurs can help build economic and cultural value as young people learn skills and develop knowledge that contributes to their communities in unique ways.
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive. — Howard Thurman
Ways Youth Engagement Happens through Entrepreneurship
Youth as Inventors — Youth are creating, generating, making and developing newness everyday. Combining that passion with entrepreneurship can allow young people to increase their social and political awareness, and meet needs throughout their communities and around the world.
Youth Business Starters — Creating businesses and organizations to meet unmet needs can help generate money, skills, knowledge and power needed in many families and communities. Empowering young people to use their innate acumen and abilities, and combining those with reasonable investment and encouragement can change lives and the world.
Youth as Investors — Whether they are assigning enormous amounts of capital or distributing microloans, engaging youth as investors can build new energy, security, wisdom and trust within a community and throughout industries, including social service agencies.
Tools for Youth Engagement through Entrepreneurship
Education — One of the most powerful tools for engaging young people as entrepreneurs is education and learning. Whether happening through mentorships, schools, family relations or the local library, young people can learn how to start businesses, operate in the economic, expand their wealth and build their mindsets in order to become and maintain entrepreneurship in their lives.
Opportunities — Creating launchpad opportunities for youth entrepreneurship is a powerful tool social change. These activities, whether youth business incubators, startup weekends, or economic development classes, can all transform the hearts and minds of youth and adults, and change communities forever.
Mentors — Finding entrepreneurs or businesspeople can allow youth to expand their knowledge, learn from others’ challenges, and build their self-reliance. At the same time, youth can share their wisdom, knowledge, ideas and abilities with adult entrepreneurs, too.
You Might Like…
- Youth and Economics
- Youth and Consumerism
- Youth and Commercialism
- Youth Social Entrepreneurship
- A Short Guide to Youth Engagement in the Economy by Adam Fletcher
Other tools are out there, too – share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support youth engagement in entrepreneurship in your community or organization, contact us.
Special thanks to Jim Toole for his contributions to this page!