Youth And Entrepreneurship, Where We May Be Getting It Wrong

By Thabang Letsatsi - Originally Published by NUL Research and Innovations

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

1.”Youths must study to be self-employed, no more brown envelopes.”

95% of us are not entrepreneurs by nature (including we who preach self-employment). It’s not a surprise then that most youths feel insulted by this self-employment chorus.

No, let’s not ask the youths to self-employ beyond what they are already doing, let’s create self-standing businesses that employ masses and let’s financially support small existing businesses to help them hire more.

We can’t beat unemployment with “self-employment,” we need to create businesses.

 

2. “We should teach more and more entrepreneurship, our youths don’t have business skills.”

While that may be true, we are overemphasizing and sometimes misapplying it. We can’t all have business skills to support business.

Instead of spending too many resources creating entrepreneurship skills we think we don’t have, let us use those resources to financially support existing entrepreneurs with a proven track record. They are already here with us. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

Is it not time to have a transparent and big entrepreneurship fund?

 

3. “We need a strong private sector, a strong private sector is a backbone of a strong economy and youth employment.”

Not that the statement is wrong in itself. But (and this is the irony of it all), listening to us preaching the benefits of “strong private sector” in which we don’t invest, is like listening to a farmer taunting the benefits of soil which he never fertilizes. That soil will never give harvest.

 

4. “Youths must join hands and form groups to get funded. You can’t be funded if you are on your own. “

Why not? We all know that this community thing and business don’t mix quite well. So why should youths by funded only if they are a community? What is wrong with a single young entrepreneur running his own business and creating jobs for others? Why must they be 10 to get support?

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