Young entrepreneurs are the future of our country - they will be the ones that grow our economy and shape our society.
Yet unemployment is having an overwhelming impact on today's young people. Over 750,000 are currently unemployed in the UK, and young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population - the highest level in 20 years. It is crucial that as a country, we look to tackle youth employment and champion young people and their ideas.
Research tells us that one in five 18-34 year-olds has a business idea and that 82% are hopeful of running their own business, a statistic which is 10% higher amongst millennials than in the older generations surveyed.
It is up to us to inspire and support this passion to succeed. As the CEO of my own company, I am extremely passionate about promoting entrepreneurialism as an exciting and accessible way for young people to take control of their lives and make a success of their passions.
So what can young entrepreneurs do to champion their inner entrepreneurial spirit and realise their potential?
Do something you love
This is key in entrepreneurialism. Doing something you love will make you work harder at it. Of course you can't survive on that alone - but it will stand you in fantastic stead. If you put passion as your number one priority, money will follow but you can't base a business purely on a desire to make money.
Many people have preconceived notions when starting out that running a business means less hours and more money. But the harsh truth is, with that attitude, many end up failing. Running your own business is exciting and rewarding, but making money and the ability to be more flexible takes years to establish and should just be a by-product to success.
Entrepreneurs are a unique breed and one of those distinguishing qualities that all possess is the ability to think differently.
To start your own business takes audacity and it is vital to develop a business mind where you see opportunities and grab them with both hands - especially in the early days. Don't discount things that you might have in the past - see all challenges as opportunities and don't be afraid to make mistakes.
Champion your differences
Don't worry if you don't conform - embrace different attributes and use them to make a positive difference to society.
An estimated fifth of the UK's entrepreneurs are dyslexic - and I'm one of them. When I was at school, I could never have imagined that my future could have been what it is. I was diagnosed with dyslexia late in my school life after many years of being told I was thick, but now here I am along with many others, tapping into a different kind of creativity that has always brought me great benefits.
My dyslexia has helped me to see the world in a completely new light and it took me a long time to realise it, but it is something to be celebrated and that's why it is important to be proud of and champion your own differences and unique approaches to business - it will help you to feel, and be, more confident, effective and happy.
Send a postcard from your future self to your current self. This always helps me to put my goals in to perspective. Sit and think about what success looks like for you in 5 years' time and visualise it. Imagine yourself waking up one morning in 2022 - how will you feel, what clients will you have, what kind of team will surround you?
Once you have the picture in your head, put yourself in that mindset and track back from there to work out what you need to do each year to get to your ideal future self. That will help you map out your success and achieve it. And achieve it you will.
In early 2017, I will be launching a programme called The Entrepreneur's Allotment for disadvantaged young people. The purpose of the programme will be to empower a group of young people to recognise their own talents, build their self-esteem and help them consider starting businesses. For further details, about The Entrepreneur's Allotment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about Novacroft can be found at www.novacroft.com
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