Ernst & Young (EY) has launched ‘Avoiding a lost generation – ten key recommendations to support youth entrepreneurship’. The report, put together in collaboration with The G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (G20 YEA), identifies and analyses the different youth unemployment issues faced by countries and seeks to offer actionable recommendations, as well as providing examples of successful entrepreneurship schemes and policies already in place.
Youth unemployment remains high, at 54 percent in Nigeria. Encouraging entrepreneurship is widely seen as one of the solutions to the problems such as insurgency, kidnapping, ritual killing, armed struggles and other crimes.
Indeed, recent EY studies show that entrepreneur-led businesses will create more jobs than large corporates over the coming year – with 76 percent of entrepreneurs saying they will expand their workforces in 2014 compared to 31 percent of senior executives’ at large corporates.
Bunmi Akinde, EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Leader (West Africa), said: “Youth unemployment is a persistent issue across the world and, despite improving economic conditions, it remains stubbornly high. This is not only a tragedy for the young people affected, but it is a huge wasted opportunity for governments across the globe.
Fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem is one of the best ways to deal with youth unemployment, thanks to the large number of jobs that entrepreneurs create and the path to employment and fulfillment that starting a business can offer young people.”
10 key recommendations for action were revealed in the report :
•Create funding mechanisms, either government run or government backed, that make mentorship and financial education a condition of funding.
•Create strong relationships, and provide incentives, with venture capitalists, incubators and business angels to develop or create initiatives that enable alternative sources of capital.
•Sponsor start-up growth with low-cost funding for targeted groups.
•Create a new class of loan for small businesses and young entrepreneurial firms that offer targeted funding to meet expansion capital needs.
•Encourage investment in start-ups by offering tax benefits.
•Encourage top international talent by changing visa rules and offering funding support.
•Simplify and streamline tax administration to ease administrative burdens on young entrepreneurs.
•Create a positive narrative around entrepreneurship to help engage young people from an early age.
•Encourage and foster hubs, incubators, accelerators and networks to bring relevant talent together.
•Create the foundation for a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem to flourish.
Bunmi concludes, “While the solutions to promoting entrepreneurship vary by country, our experience is that there are some key principles that all countries should follow, these include tying funding to mentorship, which helps to ensure that government money and support is not wasted.”