Rajeeb Dey of Enternships looks at the year ahead:
1. I’ll remember 2011 for… the launch of our partnership with Santander Bank. The Santander Breakthrough Enternships initiative was a major win for us as a company and a great way of encouraging more SMEs to take on enterns?. The partnership is a genuine effort to connect university talent to Santander business banking customers and a great example of how a startup like Enternships, can work with a corporate bank to unlock opportunities within SMEs at a time of record levels of youth unemployment.
2. 2012 will be great because… the message is getting through to young people that working in entrepreneurial companies or even starting your own business is a viable and rewarding career path. While the youth unemployment figures makes for grim reading, it provides an opportunity for young people with entrepreneurial inclinations to pursue their ideas and realise that they can make a job rather than take a job. On top of that, Enternships is going global and we’re really excited about taking Enternships to new territories such as South Africa in 2012.
3. One industry we’ll hear a lot from next year will be… startups. We work with 4,000+ startups and small businesses at Enternships and it’d be difficult for me to pick any favourites (I think they’re all great!) but what I can say is that I think that we re going to see a lot more startup success stories from business incubators, university enterprise societies and seed accelerator programmes such as Seedcamp, Entrepreneur First and the Startup Leadership Programme. It’s encouraging to see more support infrastructure being developed for early stage entrepreneurs and thus in 2012 no doubt we’ll be seeing a whole new wave of great entrepreneurs.
4. The one thing that would help me grow my business in 2012 would be… for government to make it easier for firms to hire. There are over four million SMEs in the UK and if they each could hire just one person each, we wouldn?t have an employment crisis! This is clearly an over-simplification of the problem but the UK’s SMEs are the ones that will create jobs, wealth and drive economic growth. The government needs to make it attractive for companies to hire graduates and unemployed people via NI holidays and tax credits. While the Youth Contract (from April 2012) is a step in the right direction, more work needs to be done to bring together industry with HE to ensure that young people are more equipped for the world of work in the first instance.
5. My New Year’s resolution for 2012 is… to just say “no”! I suffer from something I suspect a lot of entrepreneurs do: the inability to say no. I get overly excited by lots of things and love to get involved in new projects which can get pretty exhausting so in 2012 I need to try and learn to say “no” more often!