Releasing the Entrepreneurial Spirit of a Let-down Generation

Colin Crooks - Social Entrepreneur

As I was out driving to the local pub last night I caught a snippet of a really interesting program about entrepreneurial spirit on BBC Radio 4. The last two and a half minutes of the show were enough to capture my interest; Needless to say, I had to have a quick look this morning at the Radio 4 schedule to see what I had missed.

The 15 minute show features a speech to an audience at the RSA in London by Colin Crooks, introduced by David Badiel as a “serial social entrepreneur”.

Crooks explains how and why he thinks that the current focus on “youth unemployment” is completely wrong and there are two even bigger issues to be dealt with; the loss of semi-skilled work and the failure of our education system.

Arguing that skills and attitudes are passed down by parents to their children, Crooks demonstrates how a “lost generation” of adults have suffered as inadequate role models for their own offspring.

Crooks believes that we should be “releasing the entrepreneurial spirit of that let-down generation” and that local social entrepreneurs understand what is needed in their neighbourhoods and apparently have the knowledge to generate local jobs.

The problems are numerous, according to Crooks – £5 billion spent on what he sees as a “flawed work program”, procurement rules that, he says, exclude small businesses, outsourcing abroad and big companies in the UK sitting on vast reserves of their own wealth. The social entrepreneur sees diverting funds to help people with low skills as the solution to unemployment in this country. By nurturing that entrepreneurial spirit in people, instilling the work ethic and teaching skills he believes will ensure that locals pass down those benefits to the next generation.

So, have a listen to the Four Thought show and see what you think. And when you’ve had a listen, visit Colin’s website Tree Shepherd to see his vision to “nurture local solutions”.

By is4profit editor Paul Mackenzie Ross

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