According to the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (G20YEA), in developing countries almost 90% of jobs are generated by small and medium-sized enterprises. They account for 52% of GDP and 64% of employment and, more importantly, create all the net growth of jobs and account for the majority of hiring of youth. I
t is no surprise then, that promoting entrepreneurship amongst the world’s youth is the fulcrum of the G20YEA agenda.
The G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance is a global network of young entrepreneurs and the organisations that support them. It was established to convene each year in advance of the G-20 Summit, with the aim of championing the importance of young entrepreneurs to the G20 member nations, and to share knowledge. The Alliance consists of 20 of the leading organisations across the G20 that represent over 500,000 young entrepreneurs employing 5 million people. In Sydney last week, the Alliance met to give further voice to its claim that entrepreneurship is the solution to the global crisis of youth unemployment.
And a crisis it is.
As a quarter of Australia’s young people struggle to find full time work, 90 per cent of the world’s 1.8 billion young people live in developing countries where 66 per cent of them are underemployed. According to keynote speaker and CEO of Freelancer.com Matt Barrie, “Entrepreneurship is the solution for young people in Australia, and globally, who are struggling to find work. Entrepreneurial businesses create jobs – and on an impressive scale.
Start-ups and SMEs account for well over half of all job opportunities in most G20 economies, including Australia, and deliver double the employment growth rate of large enterprises.”
The 2013 EY G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer found small businesses deliver 69 per cent of the overall employment growth in Australia. While across the OECD, companies with fewer than 250 employees account for two-thirds of employment.
Australia is ranked highly against other G20 countries for the pillars of education, training and entrepreneurship. However, it is ranked 15 out of 20 for coordinated support – a measure of the collaboration between the public, private and voluntary sectors to support entrepreneurship.
For some, this is the crux of the matter – paying lip service to entrepreneurship is one thing, but supporting young entrepreneurs as they start their businesses is surely far more important.
One organisation that is doing just that is International Needs Australia. In partnership with AusAID and Future Now Cambodia, INA is providing young entrepreneurs in Phnom Penh with business plan development and entrepreneur management support.
INA reports that “the project will provide a combination of one-to-one services, business mentoring and coaching, training, and business networking events. Professional development workshops will be presented to at least 30 entrepreneurs on a monthly basis and a plan for growth and sustainability will be developed which may include the creation of a web and/or social media presence.”
These are the types of efforts that pay dividends, and you can help by donating. INA is just one of many charities and social businesses that need donations to continue helping young people support themselves and their economies. As a model, it makes more sense (and is surely ethically better) than asking the World Bank to fix everyone’s problems (although they’re happy to do it *evil laugh*). In this respect, the G20YEA is surely right on track.
For now, if you’re talking the entrepreneurial talk, then help another entrepreneurs out, by walking the walk as well.