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Question of the Week 8

What should governments and the private sector do to improve education opportunities for young people aiming to start a business?

Reactions (8)

Muriel Dunbar - Cambridge Education
2016-08-25 12:47

First of all, recognise that education-related support to entrepreneurial young people may not immediately bear fruit and that it may take some time for other aspects of their development to come together before they are able to successfully launch a small business.  These include developing technical skills and experience through a period of waged employment, building a business and social network of contacts which will be useful to them in attracting customers, amassing enough financial capital to fund the costs of launching a small business ... read more »

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Micheline Goedhuys - UNU-MERIT
2016-08-25 15:02

To address this question, one has to take into account that individuals with very different socio-economic characteristics, personality, age, education, gender and family background engage in business start-ups and they do so for different reasons.  The entrepreneurship literature broadly distinguishes between ‘opportunity’ entrepreneurship – entrepreneurs starting a business to seize a profitable business opportunity - and ‘necessity’ entrepreneurship – people pushed into entrepreneurship by lack of alternatives.  When thinking about education... read more »

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Justin Flynn - Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex
2016-08-25 17:01

In order to address this question, I briefly review available evidence on the impacts of entrepreneurship education and training. Overall, the evidence is mixed, and provides little clear guidance on how to help young people who want to start a business. Some reviews are quite negative. For example, a recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) review of self-employment programmes and entrepreneurship interventions targeted at young people found that they have had little success thus far in creating “good” or “decent” jobs, and that they are... read more »

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Maggie Kigozi - Crown Beverages Ltd
2016-08-25 19:49

In Uganda, I think business is not optional. We have about 300000 graduates from the various tertiary institutions every year. Only about 50000 will find a job. Government and private sector employ workers on contract basis. Many contracts are not renewed. The pension schemes are not comprehensive and the retirement age of 55 means pensioners cannot live on their pensions and must also start a business. I beleive all students should be trained in entrepreneurship skills, financial literacy and specific sectoral skills like agriculture from prim... read more »

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Walter aan de Wiel - iMPACT Booster
2016-08-26 12:00

To start with: Teaching how to do business is not done in the setting of a class room. Only through hands-on education and support of potential entrepreneurs, the succes rate of these entrepreneurs can be enhanced. That said the education system could however be improved on teaching of soft skills. In the current curricula gaining knowledge is most of the times the main focus. Learning e.g. creativity, asking the right questions, team work and leadership skills are vital to kids coming out of high school. Not only if they want to be an entrepre... read more »

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Linnet Taylor - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society
2016-08-31 09:41

This answer comes from a systematic review we recently conducted for 3ie on support to SMEs in LMICs. 

The answer below comes from a systematic review (PDF) and from my own research. Overall, our findings indicate that business support to SMEs improves their performance, helps create jobs, has a positive effect on labour productivity, on exports and on firms’ investment. Business support refers to indirect types of public supp... read more »

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Ingrid Flink - Royal Tropical Institute
2016-09-1 16:26

Identify the target group. It is firstly important that the young people you are targeting are defined; what is the "young person’s” educational level? Then that way you can understand what their necessities will be in terms of soft and technical skills needed to start a business.

·         Support the design of sound and interlinked Labor Market Information Systems . Carrying out surveys to companies and business associations helps to receive feedbacks into curricula design an... read more »

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INCLUDE secretariat - INCLUDE
2016-09-2 13:47

Contributors to Question of the Week 8 are in agreement about the importance of education and training to stimulate entrepreneurship and growth of enterprises. Most of them also indicate  that the provided training should focus on more than business skills alone: technical assistance and soft skills (such as negotiation and communication) are equally important.

Governments and private sector actors play different roles in improving these skills. Governments are mainly considered the most important ‘facilitators’ and are thought responsible f... read more »

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