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Guest blog from one of our Yorkshire Fellow’s, Jane Walton:

“The RSA’s recent report Disrupt Inc. aims to plug the gap in knowledge about young people and entrepreneurship. The report is based on accounts of young entrepreneurs and challenges what it suggests are widely held assumptions about how young people start and run businesses. Whilst I am prepared to support the challenge to the entrepreneurial stereotype perpetuated by the media in the form of the Sugars, Bransons and Jones’ I would argue that we do know a lot about young people’s entrepreneurial journeys and what is missing is a policy framework that builds on the experience of organisations like Enterprise UK, Young Enterprise and Princes Trust.

I have been working with potential entrepreneurs in Yorkshire for the past 13 years and have always recognised that they come in many different guises. My mentees have included DJs, chimney sweeps, inventors, accountants and stand up comediennes to name a few. I have also worked with young people who want to change the world or improve the communities they live in. In most cases they have not been introduced to the idea of self-employment as part of careers guidance and have not been introduced to the many  examples of entrepreneurs in their own communities.

What all these young people have had in common is the need for information and inspiration which appears sadly lacking in most education institutions. The RSA had a huge opportunity to both challenge this gap and promote the need for a curriculum which builds on students ideas and enables them to be realised. RSA Fellows are a great resource as speakers, mentors, role models and community members who can offer both encouragement and challenge to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Where next? I would ask all Fellows to consider what they could do to promote entrepreneurism in all its guises, how they could support young people and how we can make the case that enterprise education is crucial to economic and social well-being not an add on activity at the end of term.”

Jane is part of our active Fellowship in Yorkshire.  If you want to know more about what is happening across Yorkshire please get in touch @juliadavis111, Regional Programme Manager


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