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Today’s startups must engage tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

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Aimed at empowering the next generation of business leaders, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) has quickly established itself as a major event in the business calendar. That week in the UK alone, 300,000 people took part in 2,000 events – a mere fraction of the global picture.

But the philosophy behind the event is one which startups should apply to their businesses all year round. There are clear, mutual benefits from working with young, entrepreneurial talent. At the same time, you can provide those individuals with the tools, experiences and inspiration to launch their own ventures. 

Read more about Global Entrepreneurship Week:

Here’s why you should be engaging with the next generation of entrepreneurs:

It’s easy! 

Reaching out to university professors and liaison officers is a great way to bypass traditional recruitment routes to find graduates who’ll make a genuine difference to your business. We’re working with top London universities to identify bright young talent, with professors acting as the bridge. 

Gain fresh talent

Whether you’re offering internships, permanent roles or other schemes, engaging with tomorrow’s entrepreneurs makes business sense. We’ve found graduates eager for startup experience (many of whom are already running their own businesses) and they’re ready and willing to get stuck-in. Even if they ultimately move onto their own ventures, they’ll bring passion and fresh perspective to your business – and that entrepreneurial mindset is what you’re buying into.    

Prime entrepreneurs for success

Offering entrepreneurially-minded graduates real-world experience in a startup is invaluable – and worlds apart from what they can gain via academic qualifications. An MBa can’t teach you what it’s like to pitch investors. For a budding entrepreneur, there’s no better teacher or inspiration than an entrepreneur who’s already kick-started their business journey.   

Open doors

Working with entrepreneurs and businesses at a different growth stage opens possibilities. My startup won a competitive pitch to become Dell’s first startup-in-residence and the partnership has broadened my perspective, made a direct impact on the business and opened more doors than we ever imagined. Likewise, working with those at an earlier stage in their startup story paves the way for future partnerships and networking opportunities. Many of those we engaged in their youth are still connected with us today.  

Pass it forward

Small businesses form the backbone of the UK economy, so raising the profile of entrepreneurship and helping people explore their potential as entrepreneurs is vital. That’s why events like GEW are so important. In fact, 78 per cent of 2013 GEW delegates left the event feeling more confident about their entrepreneurial ventures. We need to build an ecosystem of support for the next-generation of entrepreneurs – something that simply didn’t exist when I was first starting-out. 

Having been the beneficiary of mentorship and networking opportunities from a larger corporation, I’ve seen first-hand the value of a support network. Having a mentor saves entrepreneurs making avoidable mistakes and helps connect them with the right networks. 

Support tomorrow’s entrepreneurs today and you’ll benefit from an exciting mindshare that could shape the future of your own business. 

Image: Shutterstock

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