THE BLOG

Don't Sweat the A-level Results - Today's Young People Are Taking the Business World by Storm!

15/08/2014 13:19 BST | Updated 14/10/2014 10:12 BST

Today students across the country are either celebrating or weeping into each other's arms over their long-awaited A-level results.

While I hope that the majority are very happy with their results, it has to be said the pursuit of academia is not for everyone - nor need it be. The UK is changing - academia is becoming less

prized.

Teenagers often believe their whole future depends on their A-level results; that all it takes is the difference between an A and B grade to predict future success or failure. But I would urge young people not to feel their whole lives hinge on further education. While Britain boasts some of the finest universities in the world, there is absolutely more than one way to progress.

It was music to my ears when Employment Minister Esther McVey recently encouraged school leavers to consider starting their own businesses as soon as possible to liberate their potential.

She urged teenagers to consider traditional trades such as florists, grocers and funeral directors and warned them against boxing themselves into degrees. Having emerged from at least two decades of a business climate where a degree was considered vital if you wanted to score a good job, it is really welcome to see the Government taking a more dynamic view of young people's choices.

Over the last two years The Start Up Loans Company has backed over 20,000 businesses and lent over £100m to budding entrepreneurs. Many are still in the first flush of youth and feel the world is their oyster.

With 642 brand news business started by 18 and 19 year-olds through Start Up Loans alone - this is reality for all to see.

This time last year 19 year-old loan recipient Josh Valman had his hopes of getting a place a place at Cambridge University dashed but he refused to give up his ambitions. So he set up his own web-based company - Miproto - specialising in product design.

Josh had planned to re-apply for Cambridge at a later date but his business has taken off so quickly he now employs 56 staff.

"I would say to anyone who hasn't got the A-level results they hoped for that they can either try again or think about where their passions truly lie," says Josh.

"Ask yourself what you really want to do and then work out how to get there. My philosophy at Miproto is to create an environment in which people really enjoy their work. The team and I have loads of fun and business is booming."

As we all know the great thing about going into business young is that you have few responsibilities and overheads (many teens still live at home) and gallons of energy and ambition. Our research indicates that younger people are less afraid of risk than more mature loan recipients because they feel they have far less to lose. If they fail at something, they can always pick themselves up and start over. Also - the younger you are, the less conditioned your thought, the more dynamic you tend to be.

New figures reveal that 4.5 million people are now self-employed, the highest number since records began in 1992, with an increase of 404,000 over the past year alone. Although the path to economic recovery has still some way to go, the spirit of enterprise is alive and kicking among the UK's teenagers.