Over the past several years the news media has reported on the doom and gloom aftermath of the global economic crisis that has impacted young America and the world. Primarily the headlines cast shadows on a plight of epic proportions, “Global Youth Unemployment Rate Staggeringly High: ‘Lost Generation’ Feared.”
And while policy makers, thought-leaders and young entrepreneurs agree that we must overcome the youth unemployment epidemic and #FixYoungAmerica, who’s really up for the task at hand?
Is it you… will you save us?
According to a United Nations World Youth Report, “The global youth unemployment rate, which has long exceeded that of other age groups, saw its largest annual increase on record in 2009; at its peak, 75.8 million young people were unemployed.”
Across regions, young people are disproportionately affected by unemployment, underemployment, vulnerable employment and working poverty. Even during periods of economic growth, many economies have been unable to absorb large youth populations into the labour market. In recent years, however, the global financial and economic crisis has further hit young people particularly hard in the developed world.”
Essentially, the world’s bright young minds bear the brunt of this economic burden. And some fear that current trends offer little to no hope on the job creation front, as supply continues to outweigh demand for young America’s labor force.
What’s to blame? Is it a lack of skill set, a deficient educational system, discord between education and labor market needs, a shortage of self confidence and self esteem, or simply a structural lack of opportunity?
These questions plague our government and leave us, young America, “holding the bag.” Yet one simple idea could spark massive change – entrepreneurship.
Is it a viable solution? Young America’s entrepreneurs think so.
There’s no shortage of fear-mongering surrounding youth unemployment, but there’s a substantial shortage of discussion aimed at real solutions and most importantly, action. This could be why one young entrepreneur, Scott Gerber the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council and co-founder of Gen Y Capital Partners, is fiercely determined to #FixYoungAmerica.
His goal is to highlight proven solutions and tackle youth unemployment. To do this he’s rallied a force of respected leaders in academia and government, to private and non-profit sectors, to help twenty and thirty-somethings, recent grads, young veterans, and other unemployed or under-employed individuals shed light on the predominant issues and reveal unprecedented ideas.
“Our government is broken,” says Gerber. “Youth employment is at a 60-year low, and student loan debt is approaching $1 trillion — and yet only the most negative voices in the room are getting attention. If we genuinely want Millennials — and future generations — to survive and thrive in the new economy, then we need real solutions, and we need them now.”
The solution? This month, the Young Entrepreneur Council and campaign partners have sparked a national conversation with a set of entrepreneurial solutions. The YEC-led coalition has launched the #FixYoungAmerica campaign. From policy ideas and educational programs, to private sector solutions and philanthropic activities, #FixYoungAmerica’s goal is to provide leaders with best practices and tangible solutions that include, but are not limited to:
- Student loan forgiveness for young entrepreneurs
- Passing a crowdfunding bill
- Supporting franchise ownership for veterans & youth
- Ways to create new “Silicon Valleys” throughout the U.S.
- Best practices for colleges to graduate more entrepreneurs
- Expanding Self-Employment Assistance (SEA)
- Increasing young founders’ access to capital
- Teaching entrepreneurship to all young Americans, including at-risk youth
How You Can Help #FixYoungAmerica
Not everyone agrees that entrepreneurial based solutions will actually work. According to a United Nations Report, “entrepreneurship is not for everyone, and so cannot be viewed as a large-scale solution to the youth employment crisis. Entrepreneurship requires some business acumen and an entrepreneurial spirit, which many youth do not have …”
But as a successful young entrepreneur, I don’t agree.
Together we can spark an entrepreneurial revolution and restore the American dream to millions of young people. But it starts with you. You have a unique voice and a seat at the table. Join us and “Pass the baby” to share your solutions on how to fix Young America. Set out to do what no government or organization can do alone.
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