engage magazine issue 003 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'07 - Page 74

engage in Youth enterprise comprises a range of concepts from, at one end, the promotion of self–employment and the development of businesses through to a focus on young people being ‘enterprising’ and entrepreneurial in their personal and collective actions.1 1 2 There is a lot of entrepreneurial talent amongst the young in our society. The Prince’s Awards annually showcases talent across business sectors and prides itself on its ability to build success from the most disparate starting point with many of the young people they have helped. The Prince’s Trust, Shell Livewire, and Launch Pad, amongst others, are agencies which support the young to develop their confidence, self esteem and skills so that they gain an understanding of the practicalities and legal requirements involved in running a business or social enterprise and are supported in many ways to start trading. Many young people also have family and school networks where they can be supported or signposted to appropriate agencies for information and advice to develop their business idea. 3 Enterprise is generally seen as a ‘good’ thing for the individual. In the last decade individual accountability and achievement have been values reinforced by school and the media2 and personal enterprise has been given the highest value of all. It can give scope to creativity, develop individual talents and create employment and wealth. Studies have shown that even where a spell of self– employment is not sustained the experience can be a positive one and leads to a favourable chance of entering employment.3 My experience of developing bespoke training for would be and established entrepreneurs within communities has exposed me to a wealth of unexplored entrepreneurial talent and robust ideas amongst the disaffected and excluded. I have met young people who would not feel comfortable working for other people as they do not believe that they would be able to get the basic respect they would require in order to feel good about themselves and be motivated to ‘join in’ an already established work based culture and environment. They experience themselves as better able to build a business to deliver a product or service thus maintaining their sense of self and gaining empowerment through self determination. 4