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September 1, 2020
Entrepreneurship is the most valuable experience for youth entering the workforce — here’s why

While many claim that youth don’t want to work, they change jobs too frequently, and don’t have the work ethic to succeed, we challenge these beliefs!

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(No, you’re never too young to start a business)

This title might have surprised you, since youth born between 1995 and 2015 have been stereotyped as one of the most “lazy” generations to date. While many claim that youth don’t want to work, they change jobs too frequently, and don’t have the work ethic to succeed, we challenge these beliefs. Not only are youth actively challenging politics around climate change, human rights and equality, but they’re living in different times that have created more part-time and precarious work, rather than full-time, secure employment that previous generations were accustomed to.

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This has also presented new opportunities for them to thrive and be competitive in the changing job force — even in a Pandemic. After speaking with talent recruitment specialists and youth consultation organizations, we learned what we already had a (slight) hunch about, which is that the skills involved in entrepreneurship are the skills of the future. We’ll walk through the top 10 strengths of entrepreneurs that are transferable, in high-demand, and bound to make you(th) stand out.

1. Communication

When we asked employers what the most important skill that they look for in new recruits is, it was hands down, communication. They’re looking for youth who thrive working in teams or independently, and communicate consistently with their supervisors. As an entrepreneur, you learn how to communicate effectively pretty quickly, when you’re sharing your big idea, goals and aspirations for your business… and you want to engage others as well. When you’re working with others to bring your idea to life, you develop strong teamwork and interpersonal communication skills — being able to effectively listen to others, express your idea, concern, feedback and get everyone on the same page to work towards a common goal. When you’ve developed your idea and you’re ready to bring in stakeholders, sponsors, investors and more, you work hard to put together a nice pitch deck, executive summary, and message that will make them see your vision, and want to support it. Lastly, entrepreneurs are most exposed to public speaking, especially when it comes to pitching at competitions, for investment, funding, and even engaging in networking sessions.

Believe us, if you’re nervous about speaking or not sure if you’ve got it down yet, practice speaking about what you’re most passionate about and how you could get a stranger to see why. Then, start thinking about the possibility of starting your own hobby business, and how you could bring in a team to work with you on it. When you start thinking along the lines of entrepreneurship, you’ll be motivated to succeed by passion for what you’re doing — and learn what works and what doesn’t pretty quickly

2. Initiative

What greater drive is there than to bring your vision to life? Take that hobby, that dream job and make it your own. As entrepreneurs, youth have proven they have what it takes to come up with an idea, create a plan to launch it, and do what is necessary to make it soar, on their own time.

3. Goal Setting

While many think that entrepreneurship is a race, it’s quite the opposite. It’s made up of short term and long term goals, and entrepreneurs can bring this experience of setting key performance indicators, deadlines, task lists and more that make them excellent candidates for future careers. When youth set their mind to something they’re passionate about, whether it’s creating artwork, baking, social media, tech, tutoring, and are determined to make their business thrive, they will hold themselves accountable to these goals, rather than a manager.

4. Problem Solving

From the ideation stage of entrepreneurship to the first (of many) bumps in the road, entrepreneurs become fluent in the art of problem-solving. Challenges arise when working on your own, with a team, client, potential stakeholder, and even with a computer program. Because they push boundaries and aim to do new things that they haven’t done before, entrepreneurs learn how to best react to a problem as they’ve received it, analyze the error, and develop an effective solution… over and over and over again.

5. Learning how to make mistakes and be adaptable

When young entrepreneurs run into roadblocks, get turned down by a prospective client or don’t receive the grant they hoped for, they are not ones to accept defeat. When they run into a pandemic, entrepreneurs will do their best to be adaptable and find new ways to thrive! Learning about the skills and traits involved in entrepreneurship will help youth develop resiliency, and become comfortable with being uncomfortable. In this game of entrepreneurship, learning to roll with the punches and innovate as you go is essential to grow, adapt and thrive; and is a very transferable life skill to have. Essentially, handling mistakes with responsibility and grace will help young people in all future endeavours, and is not a skill to be overlooked.

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These are only our top five strengths we drew from entrepreneurship. However, If you need five more to convince you, think of time management, understanding your team, understanding your clients, the desire to improve, passion and vision.

Which skills do you find to be most valuable to youth, especially as they head back to school in a partial or completely remote environment? How do you envision the potential of young entrepreneurs? Let us know in the comments below!

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We work with Ryerson University and the City of Niagara Falls on the Niagara Falls Ryerson Innovation Hub. This initiative is for tech-based startups in or looking to move to Niagara Falls, Canada to grow and scale their business.

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We are happy to help provide guidance on the necessary steps towards receiving external investments. That being said, we will not invest in your business nor are we affiliated as partners in your business.

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