Entrepreneurship and Youth Development

Written by James Okere

ENTREPRENEURSHIP & YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: the need to create value in the lives of our Youths has given rise to various calls for inculcating entrepreneurship skills amongst them.

The youths in discuss span through the secondary schools, tertiary, the unemployed and the under employed categories be they graduates or not.

Since entrepreneurship involves wealth creation leading to gainful employment and advancing society, the need therefore to strengthen entrepreneurship programmes. We are aware that if the youths are mobilized to embrace entrepreneurship it would go a long way to reduce societal crimes like armed robbery, kidnapping, drug abuse, immoral behaviours etc.

THE ENVIRONMENT OF OUR YOUTHS

Our Youths presently live in an environment predominant with the influences of parents, schools, peer groups, government policies, social values and the wave of internet related issues. All these work to shape the thinking and direction of our youths positively or negatively. In the positive sense, the mind and thought of these youths become properly and positively directed to face the issues of life, while the reverse becomes the opposite.

The need to champion entrepreneurship amongst the youths have therefore led to the establishments of many institutions supporting this noble cause. Some of these institutions are:

a. Student In Free Enterprise (SIFE) established in 1978; is an international non-profit organization that brings together students, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. It is currently active in many countries of the world, and exists in various higher institutions with thousand of students across the world.

b. National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) founded in 1987 and based in USA. NFTE was founded by astute entrepreneur turned New York City Public School Teacher called Steve Marriott.

c. Pan African Youth Council (PAYC) which is chaired by a Nigerian – Obinna Adim is also involved in entrepreneurial issues.

Fundamental Base: Any youth desirous of embarking on entrepreneurship must identify with some foundational issues amongst which are:

Determination: This is a key factor in the pursuit of any enterprise. Any youth therefore in any chosen field of endevour must persevere to succeed.

Mentorship: The Youths in question must have an eye to identify and study how people succeeded in life, and adopt them as role model.

Focus: Entrepreneurial youths must remain focus and have direction, and not to wallow in ignorance. Remaining focus will enable the youth to realize his ability and talents.

Education: Reading makes a man (says Francis Bacon, French great author). Entrepreneurial youths must attach self to studying issues bordering on entrepreneurship and applying same accordingly. The person could as well attach himself to entrepreneurial institutions for training; teaching the young people to go all out to start a business, which at the end creates sense of responsibility and self esteem.

Therefore entrepreneurship amongst our young ones will equip them with the tools to become successful and to create prosperity for themselves and nation. These youths must have the mind of achievers. Achievers remain focused towards their planned action. They see delays and difficulties as opportunity to plan better. To them the end result is more important than the challenges on their way. To them they believe that hard work employed in their enterprise would reward them accordingly, and that such accomplishment would impact on the society, thereby growing the economy.

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