Promoting and Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship in the Community

Supporting entrepreneurs demands specific types of action that differ from promoting economic and business growth in general.

Economic initiatives that use top-down models, such as large-dollar government contracts or technology parks rarely benefit entrepreneurs. Large corporations soak up all the advantages of these initiatives since they are the ones capable of collecting the mass amounts of resources and man-power needed extract benefits. Start-ups, without vast capital to draw from, are left out in the cold.

Spurring entrepreneurship growth requires bottom-up models. Many states have already recognized the importance of bottom up growth. Nevada, Colorado, New York, and Tennessee are all making it a significant point in their development plans.

In addition to bottom-up programs communities should avoid mimicking successful entrepreneurial communities of the past like Silicon Valley. Cities should play to their strengths and focus on local policy. Perhaps the single most important action for a community to take is to connect its aspiring entrepreneurs. Start-up businesses and start-up communities survive on synergy. In order to promote synergy communities can designate areas and markets for entrepreneurs to locate their businesses. They can also host networking events to bring entrepreneurs together.

The final major push for a community to make is education. Education bolsters the foundation for youth entrepreneurship. Perhaps the biggest threat to the future of entrepreneurship is the education gap. People are the most important resource to entrepreneurship and education is how a community invests in people.

Communities that focus on educational programs build entrepreneurs for the future. Instruction in business finance and economics sets up students to successfully manage assets and resources, a crucial talent for the survival of a start-up company.

Classes that teach coding prepare students to compete in an economy plugged into the world wide web. In this regard the United States is falling behind. Schools in Estonia begin teaching coding in the 1st grade, equipping students to succeed in a technology dominated world. A community that is serious about securing its future in entrepreneurship might consider a similar program.