– Dr. Vikas Upadhyaya, Asst Prof (ECE) & Faculty Incharge of Centre for Innovation Incubation & Entrepreneurship, NIIT UNiversity
The past few years will be remembered for its unpredictable twists and turns. There’s no denying that the pandemic has slowed the pace of entrepreneurship in a variety of ways. The abrupt halt in global economic activity caused the world’s business to either fluctuate or change direction entirely. Despite the fact that this has affected and continues to affect many businesses, owners, and working populations, young people have taken advantage of this opportunity to begin educating themselves about issues of financial stability and independence. Since the beginning of the pandemic, small businesses and start-ups have been sprouting up everywhere, and it appears that there is no stopping this new generation from taking over the economy one young entrepreneur at a time. There is an immediate need to launch an “entrepreneurial revolution” to instill the entrepreneurial spirit in the society’s youth. Even more so today, it is critical to foster an environment beneficial to youth entrepreneurship.
Student entrepreneurs and startup founders have long been an essential component of the startup ecosystem. The repeated and structured cycle that a school system provides to a young person may not have the desired effect on every individual, which is to study and strive toward finding a good career and contributing to society. It highlights that certain people are better suited to jobs that allow them to broaden their horizons, be more creative, and eventually operate their own business. In fact, it emphasizes that certain people may not be cut out for the traditional 9-5 workweek in the future, and will pursue a less traditional lifestyle. This is one of the reasons for the growing interest in student-owned startups, which have emerged as a new business sector.
Every entrepreneur had to start somewhere, and some of the most successful ones did so in their university dorm rooms. While everyone, regardless of age, can develop entrepreneurship and free-thinking, the industry has traditionally been dominated by the elder generation. As the pandemic encourages many young people to pursue entrepreneurship, it’s worth remembering that many of the world’s most well-known enterprises began within the confines of schools and institutions. Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg both started their companies while still enrolled at Harvard University, only to leave out later to grow their businesses into multibillion-dollar businesses. Furthermore, student-owned enterprises and startups have long enhanced the business sector by introducing new ideas and contributing to countries’ net revenue and innovation. It could now be time for a new generation of students and youth to enter the world of entrepreneurship.
The pandemic appears to have had a significant impact on the global economy. With both current and emerging businesses suffering financial setbacks, startup businesses proved to be a valuable catalyst in reviving the global economy. Ultimately, it is evident that Generation Z and Millennials have propelled a new wave of entrepreneurship. These young change-makers have been and will continue to inspire us all to polish and enhance our entrepreneurial skills while giving back to society in some way, from introducing the idea that almost any skill can be capitalized and monetized in the digital age to raising the concept of starting from the ground up and developing small businesses even while still being students themselves. Half of the world’s population is under 30 years old, and young people who are educated, employed, and civically involved are the engines of economic growth, prosperity, and democracy. Organizations must continue to help young entrepreneurs, especially during this challenging time. NU, being a university with significant business connections, exposes students to the entrepreneurial world through incubation & mentoring support, internships and visiting instructors from successful start-ups and other organizations. Because of the institution’s strong research focus, it has been able to nurture innovation and instill an entrepreneurial mindset in its students.
Nobody knows what the new year holds, but it is apparent that young entrepreneurs are unaffected by the worldwide pandemic and are ready to adapt, whether online or off, to convert their ideas into viable businesses. They are the future of our economy, and it is our responsibility as a society to assist them in reaching new heights every day, knowing that even a word of encouragement may go a long way during these trying times.