Lucas Remmerswaal: Being an entrepreneur a way out of unemployment trap

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

This week is money week and I am really excited because financial literacy is in our school curriculum.

Youth unemployment figures are pretty horrible all over the world.

When you look at Europe, everyone is in double digits except the Netherlands, Austria and Germany.

Getting an education is no longer a guarantee of employment. Thousands of graduates are working as waiters.

Teaching our children to be innovative entrepreneurs is the only solution to the unemployment trap that faces graduates.

I have met a lot of teachers who are making a difference.

But they are the outliers, the 1 per cent.

So what can the other 99 per cent of teachers do to show their students the first steps of becoming an entrepreneur?

* Share success stories using YouTube.

* Empower students to find their passion.

* Encourage young enterprise.

We want people with passion to share the joy of being an entrepreneur.

Sam Morgan and Victoria Ransom, of Wildfire, can be found on YouTube talking about the first steps of becoming an entrepreneur.

Sam Morgan says: "We all have ideas, so we all see things and think, 'Could we do that better?' The entrepreneurs are the people that crossed that chasm between thinking that and actually doing something about it.

"A team approach is the recommended and the more common approach. I know that I certainly did have a strong team beside me when I was building the Trade Me business."

Victoria Ransom says: "Certainly things like perseverance and being well prepared for meetings I think were very important.

"Coming in having thought very carefully about what questions you might be asked. Presenting a good, compelling story where you have thought everything through.

"I think a lot of women have these qualities. Perseverance and hard work and leadership skills and creativity. All the things it takes to be an entrepreneur."

So what can we do to encourage our children to take the first steps to becoming an entrepreneur?

On YouTube some of the world's greatest entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, offer advice.

Jobs shared his rules for success: "You need a lot of passion for what you're doing because it's so hard.

"Without passion, any rational person would give up. So if you're not having fun doing it, if you don't absolutely love it, you're going to give up."

Once children have found their passion, get them to think of ideas for making money employing their passion as a springboard to success.

Talk to them about the dream of owning their own business.

The next step is to get them involved with the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES), www.yetrust.co.nz

"YES is a programme where students in senior secondary school have the opportunity to learn about setting up and running businesses," says Young Enterprise Trust chief executive Terry Shubkin.

"By doing it first hand, they create real companies, with real products and services, with real profit and loss. And they learn about business while having fun at the same time."

Branson says: "Creating businesses in themselves can solve social problems. Because by being an entrepreneur creating a business you create jobs, by creating jobs you can help take people out of poverty."

Gates and Jobs are both dropouts.

They never finished a degree or attended teachers training college.

But when you are teaching entrepreneurship isn't being an entrepreneur your qualification?

* To find sponsors, Remmerswaal has contacted banks and corporates as he believes "they have a social responsibility to teach financial literacy to New Zealand children".

Fidelity Life has adopted Kamo Intermediate School in Whangarei, with 850 books, and RaboDirect will sponsor Willowbank Primary School, Howick, with 800 books.

Lucas Remmerswaal: 13habits@gmail.com is co-founder of the Success for Students charitable trust. Resources are available online: www.13habits.org.

- NZ Herald

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