Voices of Children & Youth in Business: Empowering the Young to Lead Change

no picture Saket Mani
Member since April 29, 2011
  • 6 Posts
  • Age 24

Children & Youth of today are demanding for systematic and democratic changes around the world using political & economic tools. Participation of Youth in Development is very important and moreover, development without youth cannot be sustained. Due to Globalization, young entrepreneurs play a vital role in building a democratic society through their contribution in political & economic development. Youth empowerment is being recognised as an important aspect of sustainable business prototype.

I often hear company HRs sulk over the lack of skills of graduates who come for jobs. Well, in most cases it’s the disconnection of education & employment. Due to increasing unemployment, companies should consider ways to introduce youngsters to the world of business through short term career or long term internships or even mentoring programs. Businesses must develop programs where work experience is fundamental. Promoting youth entrepreneurship in both developing & developed countries is crucial in the fight against rampant unemployment and poverty.

Globally, the vast majority of jobs are created by small businesses. Many businesses have already started to recognize the profits they can develop from connecting with young people and out-of-school projects that support them. Businesses no longer want to simply donate but invest in young people. By investing in young people, businesses receive benefits of financing in potential future customers and/or employees and developing deeper relationships with other business with similar corporate responsibility interests.

Companies should develop CSR in such a way that it reflects the developing inclusive business model with a long term growth perspective that engages children & youth and recognizes their rights while taking initiatives to promote sustainability. CSR activities will help children & youth especially the marginalised ones to overcome the shortcomings of lack of experience by giving them right vocational training through various leadership roles. Being a student of engineering in India, there’s constant buzz or rather fears of unemployment after the completion of bachelor’s degree. More corporate houses & business should recognise the opportunity & need to invest in young people so that they can help in developing the qualities they need for education and future employment. There are many private sector organizations which are already working to support young people such as the Rockefeller Foundation. Their innovative social enterprises are aimed at digital employment & youth empowerment and are creating ICT related employment in Africa.

That said businesses not only provide financial resources but also impart resilience, motivation, team working, communication skills and visionary leadership to children and youth. They should provide more opportunities for children & youth through entrepreneurship development, demand-driven curricula to improve skills and apprenticeship. Through these opportunities, young people can benefit from other areas of community engagement with support from businesses such as increased motivation, engagement and opportunities to develop new skills.

I think that all business have an opportunity and a responsibility to help create pathways to employment for children & youth (especially the marginalised and disconnected ones) in this hour of global unemployment. The importance of grooming children and youth on business early in life cannot be underscored. I strongly believe that there has to be collaboration between Businesses, Governments and the Academia to prepare young people for future employment. My vision of a sustainable company is to provide the training, research and funding necessary to gain good jobs that pay sustaining wages available to all young people.

Name: Saket Mani

Age: 20 years old

Country: India

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