Youth Entrepreneurship: What Needs to be Done? January 9, 2012 RICCentre By Omer Gulzar In my last blog we saw many policies present to combact the lack of youth entrepreneurship, but these programs failed to address the underlying cause of the problem. To develop the business mind of youth we must put them in an environment where they have the power to create and modify. A successful entrepreneur needs to have motivation, bright ideas and the ability to manage people. To drive entrepreneurship in youth, we need to do more than tackle it at a superficial level, we need to: Develop an entrepreneurial culture Manifest good business characteristics/goal into early schooling Create a well incorporated co-op programs for students Provide integrative support at all levels of start-up If you recall from my first blog I proposed that students coming out of university should have the mindset to create jobs and not necessarily look for them. To facilitate such individuals, we need to remodel the schooling system in a way to provide individuals looking to start a new business to develop the specific skills listed above; such as South Peace Secondary School in British Columbia that provides some education specific to aspiring entrepreneurs. Research shows that successful young entrepreneurs have little to moderate experience in their field of work. The level of integration in the co-op education offered in Canada is limited. In contrast, Europe stands as an excellent example of amalgamating youth in to the workforce via highly integrated roles for youth coming out of school. We should consider adopting this model as the European rate of unemployment for youth is marginal. To address this problem a broader picture must be considered. This along with setting up a mentoring program for all youth entrepreneurs will give them the fundamental qualities and values needed to carry out a successful venture. 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. The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.