Whether or not you have a teen who fancies themselves as the next Alana Spencer or they are quick to spot opportunities and run with them, with the changes happening in the economy it pays to develop an enterprising mindset and develop business skills and understanding.
This article written by experts, Jon Powell and Kate Beresford of the network association Enterprise Educators UK, gives you all the help and advice you need to help your teenage develop what it takes to be successful in the modern world of work whether they end up working for themselves or for someone else.
So why does enterprise and entrepreneurship matter?
More young people than ever before are considering starting a business and, even if they don’t want to be the next Richard Branson, they may well choose a portfolio career where much of their work will be freelance or in what is now known as the ‘gig economy’. There may be a family business they could work in building up their skills to eventually run or they may be driven by wanting to start a project or movement for social change. What’s more, employers are looking for young people with enterprising mindsets. So whatever direction young people head in, enterprise and entrepreneurship matters.
What is an enterprising mindset?
If you have a ‘can do’ attitude, are good at challenging the old ways of doing things, coming up with creative new ideas and acting upon them to bring about innovative change, then you are enterprising and likely to be able to contribute effectively to the 21st century working world. An enterprising mindset doesn’t mean you want to build a business empire necessarily!
Is that all I need in order to start a business?
An enterprising mindset is essential and can be developed with the right support. But if you want to start a business or social enterprise or become self-employed, you also need specific knowledge about starting, growing and running a new venture. That knowledge can also be developed with the right support. Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes and from all backgrounds.
Where do I find support in my school, college or university?
Many schools, colleges and universities offer enterprise and entrepreneurship education but sometimes you have to be a little bit enterprising to find it! Schools often offer Young Enterprise programmes or bring in companies to run enterprise competitions so it’s worth looking out for these. Colleges and universities may offer enterprise and entrepreneurship education within their courses or alongside the curriculum to support the learning of their students. Look out for posters and flyers and ask the Careers Service or Team if you can’t find what you are looking for. Members of Enterprise Educators UK provide information about the support they offer here.
Where else can I get support
There are a number of other resources and websites that can help including
Support for individuals
Throughout the UK – The Princes Trust – Works with 18-30-year-olds to turn big ideas into a business reality through their Enterprise programme. This includes training and mentoring support.
In England – your local Growth Hub provides a one-stop shop for business support including start-up support. To find the Growth Hub in your area visit http://www.lepnetwork.net/growth-hubs/.
In Scotland – Business Gateway has resources to support start-ups, you can call them to find out more about the support available.
In Northern Ireland – local councils provide support to design and start a business including tailored guidance from a business advisor.
Wherever you are based the most important thing you can do is encourage your teenager to speak to someone to find out what support is available at their school, college, university or area. There are lots of people out there to help your son or daughter develop an enterprising mindset or help them plan their business or social enterprise. But these people won’t always be immediately obvious so utilising your current contacts to help them build their own new network is crucial.
Support through schools
Your teenager may already have taken part in some form of enterprise activity such as the fiver or tenner challenges run by Young Enterprise and other programmes include:
Lionheart Challenge – a nationwide enterprise programme for schools. The challenge is run in schools with progression through regional and national finals, and
Ryman National Enterprise Challenge – runs in schools with progression to a national final.
Whichever opportunity you choose to encourage your teenager to take part in, you can be sure that you are helping them to develop the skills and attributes needed to thrive in today’s economy.
Our thanks to Jon Powell and Kate Beresford of Enterprise Educators UK for writing this article.
If you choose to copy and use it, it must be attributed as: © Jon Powell and Kate Beresford of Enterprise Educators UK and Careers Advice for Parents 2017.