Entrepreneurship goes hand-in-hand with innovation and the ability to produce new ideas, provide better solutions, and pioneer new products. The most successful entrepreneurs are not simply the hardest working, they’re the most innovative. Great innovators do not see the world in black and white. While many people come to “either/or” conclusions, they strive to see “both/and.” When cell phones only made calls, and music devices only played music, innovators overlooked these conventional boundaries.
Turning the young person’s idea for a business into a clear, well-argued business plan is the first and vital part of the process. Business plan templates are available from a range of enterprise agencies, banks and training agencies and the Internet, and the classical business plans have in a way been already outdated, there is much more talk about business models and modeling as such. Some groups of young people may require special help and support when developing a business idea and a business model. Having mentors or counselors may be the most effective approach, which also provides at the same time a role-model for the young person. Their needs can range from counseling and encouragement to see self-employment as an option through to specialist advice and facilities once the business is running. Often it is necessary to give the mentors additional training and advice on how to meet the special needs of these groups. For young people who are early school leavers, or drop outs and dependent on government or charity help, starting their own business can be a source of intense pride and independence, as for the first time they may be able to reduce this dependence.
It is important to keep in mind certain aspects of entrepreneurial development:
A good business idea may be let down by a poorly presented business plan. Many young people have difficulties with writing but nevertheless have strong business talents and the potential to become a successful entrepreneur.
A business mentor to the young person as they prepare their plan/model to help the young person develop their ideas and prepare for further steps can be the most valuable help a young person gets.
The process of developing a business plan will often identify any skill gaps the young person may have.
Preparing a business plan often raises more questions than answers, such as: is there a market?, will the idea work?, does the young person really want to be an entrepreneur?… Mentors/youth workers role should be help youngsters clarify these questions in the best possible way.