Thursday, January 21, 2010

An Answer To The Unemployment Challenge?

I was pondering the other day about the economy, unemployment, recession-recovery, and it got me thinking about a topic I think is very important. This post takes a very different track from the usual analysis – in fact I will issue you a challenge.

In this time of high unemployment I think it is important to focus on the foundations of the economy, i.e. businesses. It is in these times that it is more important than ever for people to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit.

Especially for youth unemployment, where the rate is particularly high, those just out of college/university are particularly well placed to get into business. They will have built up knowledge and picked up skills, they would have made a lot of contacts, and probably have an extra affinity for new trends and mediums. It’s basically this; if you can’t find a job out of college, then make one.

The case is equally compelling for those that have been in the workforce for some time. They will have built up skills and talents, specialized knowledge, industry contacts, and have an awareness of businesses and opportunities.

In both cases you start from your strengths, and think about what sorts of opportunities can be created or exploited with your unique set of skills, knowledge, contacts, and experience. Then you look at your resources, your own labour, family/friends who can help, your own capital, and then that of others. You identify your weaknesses – maybe you don’t know much about how to run a business; but you probably know someone who does… or know someone who knows someone…

I don’t want to make it sound easier than it is, starting a business from scratch is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding things you can do. I have done it twice, and accomplished a lot, learnt a lot, and gained a lot in terms of character and fulfillment.

You might not succeed on the first try, but you will learn a lot, and you will take your destiny into your own hands. Of course you could also end up making a lot of money, or at least setting yourself up with a steady income stream and building a valuable asset.

Now here’s the challenge for you the reader (and no it’s not to get out there and start a business – but maybe that is a good idea for you?). Most of you reading this will probably have some knowledge and experience about running a business, or have capital or connections…

I call upon you to do what you can to help out an entrepreneur:
-Give someone who’s thinking about starting a business some encouragement
-Suggest starting a business to someone who’s out of a job and doesn’t know what to do
-Offer someone starting in business some advice and ideas
-Provide capital backing to those with sound business ideas
-Use your connections to introduce them to the right people
-Give them some business

You can do a lot or a little, it may have no impact but then it could make a huge difference. It could even payoff financially. You may not agree with all that I’ve written but your help could help someone help themselves. So why not give it a shot?

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