Entrepreneurship Is Hard And Young People Know That


Young people are starting to realize that being a successful entrepreneur isn’t something they can do overnight. According to research from New York University, the percentage of high school students discouraged from starting their own business has risen significantly.

Let’s get one thing straight—being a successful entrepreneur is hard, and running your own company is even more. A lot of young people don’t want to become Warren Buffets or Elon Musks, and that’s not bad at all as most folks are starting to think.

According to a Citi Foundation funded BizCamp program, 91% of the participants agreed they would like to establish their own business. But later, they realized that it takes a lot of time, hard work, and commitment to run one when they realized they were too busy and plenty of risks were involved. “I’d rather work for a company versus becoming an entrepreneur and try to start from the bottom because it takes a lot of hard work, and it might not pay off, and I’m not that big of a risk-taker,” said one student.  

After the end of the program, the proportion of students who like to own their own business went south to 85%. This notable decline in entrepreneurial ambitions has raised concerns as new businesses are crucial for overall economic growth and development.  Taxpayers, investors, and educational institutions all want to see young people set up and run healthy new businesses. But such reality checks are critical because it exposes the potential risks young people face when starting a company such as miscalculations and misallocations of resources.

The research also reported that BizCamp, which is a two-week, 9-to-5 boot camp, changed the way how students think when it comes to starting a new business. They were told there were other ways to kick start a new business, and lack of funding and age aren’t significant barriers to entrepreneurship. This is important as the objective of this camp was to lower various perceived obstacles new businesses face initially and to prepare and motivate fewer participants to budding entrepreneurs.

The study also explained that studying entrepreneurship helps in instilling an entrepreneurial mindset in young people. Learning about entrepreneurship allows people to think and act like entrepreneurs, improve their communication and networking skills, and how to recover from failed business ventures. Notably, entrepreneurship education does not necessarily translate to business creation. Entrepreneurship is a vital 21st-century workforce skill linked to higher academic achievement.

Furthermore, taking entrepreneurship courses makes young people flexible and adaptable during major downfalls, take small, yet smart risks, and become opportunists and problem solvers. All of these are in high demand during job hunting because hiring managers are looking for potential employees who are skilled communicators, flexible, and persistent.  The research also showcased the role of entrepreneurial thinkers, or “intrapreneurs”— who don’t necessarily start a business but make great employees nonetheless. They innovate and take charge of organizational change within companies.

Last but not least, what this recent research on entrepreneurship has taught us is that there is a need to invest in and evaluate entrepreneurial education. Hopefully, this will change the way young people think about being entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial mindset.

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