THE BLOG

Inspiring the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

05/06/2015 17:48 BST | Updated 05/06/2016 10:59 BST

Newspapers and reporters said that young people wouldn't care about the election we just had in the UK. They said that kids weren't into politics and we were disenfranchised from important issues. But everyone I spoke to had strong opinions and knew their vote carried weight - particularly on issues that affected them directly.

The main thing we talked about was jobs, and making sure there were enough of them now and in the future. There's so much talk in the media of global youth unemployment, and that definitely means that young people are worried about what they do after studying. How are they going to support themselves without an income?

From my point of view it doesn't need to be like that. Not at a time when being an entrepreneur and starting up your own business is more possible than ever. I heard recently that in China, entrepreneurs provide 75% of all jobs, which is massive. And it shows how important entrepreneurs are to economic growth and stability.

But at a time when a lot of the conversations reaching young people are that its hard to get a job and build a career, it should be businesses inspiring the next generation by teaching them the things they need to know and how to be entrepreneurial. Empowering young people to believe in their ideas and their potential should be at the core of businesses everywhere.

Yeah I needed to take a leap when I decided to build SB.TV into a business; there was a lot of risk involved. But it was the best decision I ever made. Just think of the potential if some of the world's biggest businesses made a promise to encourage entrepreneurial skills in young people - more jobs, more innovation, more economic growth. And those same businesses were started by entrepreneurs themselves - so it just shows that anything is possible.

This week I was invited to attend the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monaco with EY CEO Mark Weinberger, meeting amazing and inspiring business leaders like Sir Martin Sorrell and Biz Stone. They had to make the exact same choices that I had did - to be brave enough to believe in your own idea and keep trying when things don't work out first time. But these are guys who have shaped their industries and influenced billions of people.

At the end of the day, we are not the lost generation. We are the generation with the best digital skills, the biggest ideas, the farthest-reaching connections, and the most creativity. And importantly, the most potential.

Businesses need to recognise this and reach out to young game-changers; this will be the surest way to create jobs and secure their own growth.

Jamal Edwards is the founder and CEO of SB.TV, and one of the UK's leading young entrepreneurs

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