By Omer Gulzar
As discussed in my last blog youth entrepreneurship needs revitalization for it to be a successful endeavour. In my last article I discussed some problems facing Youth entrepreneurship. Here I will go over the current policies and practices in place to address this issue, which have failed to make a dramatic difference in terms of the number of young individuals who have started a company or business.
Banks by convention remain low risk lenders; unfortunately for young individuals this poses problem in terms of getting cash flow. They therefore need to turn to other sources for financing such as government loans and specially crafted policies to promote growth.
Some programs currently offerrings:
– Ages 15-29
– Award $3000
– Age 18-34
– Loan $15,000
– Finance a minimum of 10% of the business
– Must participate in a 2 year mentoring program
– Recent graduates and current students present innovation
– 2-4 people per group
– Program provides: workshops on IP strategies, product development, financial management, and market potential evaluation
– Provides lab space for prototype development
Other initiatives such as the centre for education and enterprise is a Canadian program aimed at cultivating and assisting youth entrepreneurship, through setting up programs and presentations directly to youth.
Although all three programs cater to students or young entrepreneurs, each one has its own draw backs.
Some programs fail to provide adequate funding, others present interest rates that are too burdensome to be tackled on by young, inexperienced entrepreneurs.
It is true that some policies have been passed by governments to ensure access to funding and mentoring program. However, the level of integration needed to adequately handle the volume of youth is not sufficient.
After viewing some of the current policies, next week, I will propose some innovative solutions that I think will be substantial in order to move in the right direction.
Omer is currently at the University of Toronto finishing his undergraduate degree in Biotechnology. At the RIC he is undertaking an internship as a Bio-business intern, where he brings together his science based analytical skills and merges them with business development.
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