By now you or someone you know has probably been hit with the national unemployment crisis. College diplomas and the skills developed through internships and past jobs no longer guarantee a job tomorrow. For this reason many young people have turned to starting their own business as a way to secure their future. This is what Scott Gerber, founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council, believes will help bring back the economy with his mantra “You need to create a job to keep a job.”
Gerber wants everyone to realize that starting a business is a viable alternative to getting a job. He has a simple approach “Identify and provide a service people need and will pay for”. While no one is saying it is easy, starting a business needs to better recognized as an alternative to the traditional career path.
The Young Entrepreneur Council was created in 2010 to bring together successful young entrepreneurs to help mentor other young people. The council and the content it creates to help answer questions from aspiring entrepreneurs has been featured in places like The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post and AMEX Open Forum.
This month, to gauge the needs–and goals–of his unemployed and underemployed peers, Gerber partnered with Buzz Marketing Group, directed by YEC member Tina Wells, to conduct a Youth Entrepreneurship Survey, presented by LegalZoom.com. Of the 1,632 respondents ages 16-39 from across the country, 63% are college graduates. The result:
- 18% of the respondents are unemployed; 24% hold part-time jobs: only 52% currently work full time.
- 27% of respondents are self-employed; 21% of respondents started a business as a result of being unemployed – 52% said they didn’t have enough resources and 24% didn’t have enough government or financial support to do so.
- 79% of survey respondents have an interest in entrepreneurship.
- More than 35% of respondents with jobs started their own “side-business” to supplement their income – 18% plan to quit their full-time jobs this year to pursue entrepreneurship.
- 89% believe entrepreneurial education is imperative today, given the new economy and job market, but 73% were not offered classes on entrepreneurship in college. Of those who were offered such training, 70% felt the classes were ineffective in giving them the skills needed to start a business.
- 89% of respondents who are self-employed don’t feel they have enough support from the government – 67% of self-employed respondents don’t feel that they have enough financial support from banks.
- 69% of respondents would like to work for an entrepreneur.
It is clear that young people are interested in entrepreneurship and most importantly are interested in more educational offerings on the topic. Today’s education system, while improving, is still not caught up to the interest level of starting a business and entrepreneurship education. For this reason things like the Young Entrepreneur Council are stepping in to try and fill some of the gaps.
The full survey results were recently announced at the first annual Future of Entrepreneurship Education Summit, an event that includes many of the nation’s top leaders in entrepreneurship education and philanthropy.