Skills

“I have the knowledge and tools to identify and pursue a market opportunity.”

Young people require two broad types of skills to start and run successful businesses: hard or cognitive skills and soft skills. Hard skills include market understanding, business planning, financial management, sales and marketing, capital raising, deal making, and talent recruitment. Soft skills include risk-taking, self-motivation, cold calling and networking, pro-activeness, persistence, and creativity.

A young person can acquire these skills and knowledge through formal education, mentorship, and self-study. This section focuses on formal education.

Share your thoughts! For example, your response could refer to financial literacy, the availability of entrepreneurship education in elementary and high schools, access to post-secondary entrepreneurship courses, etc.

Submit a challenge that isn’t already listed, comment on an existing idea and vote for the challenge(s) you believe are the most important to overcome.

  1. Lack of role models

    If young people had more opportunities to practice these skills through short and long term mentor ship opportunities, then they would be better prepared. For example, funding for NGOs and businesses to hire youth to job shadow; job subsidy programs that also require those funded to create learning programs and curriculum for the youth completing the on the job training; and generally more support in school for young people to think outside of the box.

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  2. The validation to pursue their ideas and develop these skills in middle/high school

    Alberta's new "Inspiring Education" vision offers an exciting vision in aiming to develop entrepreneurial spirit in all students as a goal. Our education systems need to ensure that they provide space and validation for students to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas - in my case, I was lucky to have been able to convince my co-op education teacher to let me do co-op, and get school credits, for pursuing my business idea. Shouldn't any student be able to do this today?

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  3. Not being a "business" head

    There are plenty of young people without formal business training who should seriously consider entrepreneurship... and yet there is most certainly a jargon - resulting in a fear of being able to approach and talk to investors and financiers - that you run into very quckly without that business degree. Considering some of the most impactful businesses have been founded by average people, who either saw a problem that needed solving or recognized an opportunity, more opportunities to break down these barriers (without turning these people into business grads) would be very positive.

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  4. Logic and philosophy

    The ability to discern between well made arguments and poor ones is perhaps the most important skill in the 21st century. Young entrepreneurs need to deal with more information than previous generations and as such one would need to know how to manage it. Philosophical training can help guide people by introducing them to ways of thinking that can transcend the "ever-changing" world.

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