Entrepreneurship training is key

Published

25th August 2020

New research by Launch It and Enterprise Nation finds entrepreneurship training is key to increasing social mobility and saving UK’s young people from ‘dead-end jobs’

The Launch It Trust, in partnership with Enterprise Nation, on Monday released flagship research showing that self-employment can lead to greater job satisfaction and income prospects for young people than the conventional employment market.

In carrying out research for their report “Level UP: Changing Lives Through Enterprise”, the two organisations followed the fortunes of thirty- two young entrepreneurs, who have accessed enterprise training and support through Launch Its two-year business support programme. The report found that three-quarters of those involved reported greater job satisfaction and income prospects that their peers with jobs.

The young people Launch it works with typically come from areas with some of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the UK. The Level UP report found that, despite typically receiving little to no recognition or encouragement to pursue self-employment throughout their education, few role models and limited investment opportunities, 81 per cent reported their finances were at least as good or better than before, 73 per cent said they had higher job satisfaction than their peers in work. Those entrepreneurs whose companies are at a more advanced stage reported that they had provided employment opportunities for an average of 40 individuals in their community.

Launch It CEO Pat Shelley has called for the Government to take note and consider incorporating an enterprise training element into its £2bn Kickstarter plan to avoid ‘siphoning off’ those from the most hard hit areas into temporary low paid work.

He said: “Young people from deprived areas have always had the odds stacked against them and with rising unemployment in the wake of the pandemic, life will undoubtedly get even harder.

“While the new £2bn Kickstarter scheme is a welcome mechanism to tackle the wider issue of youth unemployment, it’s a blunt tool which is likely to siphon young people like those featured in this report into low-paid dead-end jobs.

“What is needed is a more considered approach that would equip and support more young people from minorities and deprived communities to follow a passion and build a long-term career for themselves. Funnelling investment into enterprise and opportunity – with advice for starting and growing a business, grants and on the ground support in deprived areas - would help more truly remarkable businesses get off the ground and effectively tackle the worrying wealth gaps in our society.”

Emma Jones, founder Enterprise Nation, said: “This report demonstrates that entrepreneurship impacts equality, social mobility and the earning potential of young people from deprived areas and diverse, often BME, backgrounds as well as delivering a boost to their local economy and community.

“The really shocking reality this report brings to light is that our education system prepares our young people only for the world of employment, and the options for them there are mainly low-skilled and low-paid. If we could only instil entrepreneurial ambition and expectation in these young people earlier at school, via relatable role-models and training; throw open unused high street spaces for them to work from and encourage them to create and participate in like-minded peer networks, we would be empowering more young people to fulfil their potential – and that has never been more important than now with so many young people losing their jobs and having education plans scrapped.”

Launch It Dundee

London Youth Support Trust (LYST) was established in 2000 with a simple aim: to break down the barriers young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds face when starting their own business; these included a lack of affordable workspace, finance, advice and support.

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