How to Nurture Young Entrepreneurial Talent

Raj Dhonota shares his wisdom on How to nurture young entrepreneurial talentFor many young people, the job market can be a daunting prospect. With one in five 16 to 24 year olds out of work in the UK and the media constantly exposing us to images of deserted high streets and congested job centres, it’s no surprise that young people can become cynical and jaded when it comes to planning and pursuing their future careers.

However, the number of young self-employed workers in the UK this year has jumped to 4.1 million according to recent statistics, and it seems that things may not be as bleak as they first appear…

Young people across the country are hitting back against the economic climate and the negative stereotypes of work-shy youngsters in a bid to start their own businesses. These young people are showing true entrepreneurial spirit and with the right support and advice in place, these start-ups can achieve great success.

For budding entrepreneurs it can be difficult knowing who to turn to for help. It can be even more difficult knowing what kind of advice you need and how to turn your idea into a viable business. Below are a few tips for how to nurture raw entrepreneurial talent and begin your journey into self-employment.

Notice Your Potential

Whilst starting a business may not be for everyone, beginning your entrepreneurial journey at an early age can have many benefits such as more freedom and fewer financial restrictions and commitments than older counterparts may have. Although they may lack the experience, young entrepreneurs are often more adaptable and therefore are also able to thrive in such an unsteady economic climate.

Nevertheless, having the “entrepreneurial spirit” alone isn’t enough to start a business and make a success of it. The UK is full of young people with raw business talent but without the right support, this can often go unnoticed and underused.

Through my work with Apps for Good and The Kent Foundation I have met, and been inspired, by many passionate young people who have had an idea and the courage to follow through with it. With some help and mentoring, these young people have demonstrated that realising your true business potential can go a long way.

Do What You Love

Some of the most successful start-ups are driven by people who have turned their hobbies and interests into businesses. Whilst it may be tempting to be motivated by an idea that will make the most money, in reality having experience, knowledge and passion in your business idea is a great starting point.

Businesses that are built around your strengths, skills and talents will have a much greater chance of success. Of course it is important to create a profitable business but it’s also important that you’re happy and able to manage and grow it as well. If you don’t truly believe in your idea, how can you convince others to? Furthermore, running your own business takes over your life. It’s rarely a nine to five job, and therefore even more reason to truly love it.

Take Risks

Entrepreneurs are risk takers; but that doesn’t mean they are careless and nonchalant when it comes to business. One of the greatest advantages to being a young entrepreneur and having fewer commitments is that it allows you to take more risks.

Starting a business is inherently full of risks and even if you’re armed with a strong business plan, you will still find yourself venturing out of your comfort zone more than once. If you are serious about being an entrepreneur it is essential that you are mentally prepared to accept failure and to learn from your mistakes.

Ask For Help

Ignorance is bliss; and when it comes to starting your own business, you should embrace your ignorance. Nobody expects you to know everything and even the most successful and experienced entrepreneurs need help, even if they’re not willing to admit it. Surrounding yourself with the right advisers and mentors is fundamental to the start and growth of your business. It can be difficult knowing who to turn to when you need help but there are many organisations in the UK that can offer advice, mentoring and guidance to budding entrepreneurs. Meaningful feedback, both positive and negative, can help improve your idea or assist you with thinking of a new one altogether.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. In fact it’s one of the most difficult and arduous things a person can do. However, it is also one of the most rewarding and comes with a wealth of advantages and benefits.

The UK is thriving with young entrepreneurial talent but without the right advice and support in place, this raw talent can often go unnoticed or wasted. Mentoring budding entrepreneurs is crucial to the development of UK businesses and help the country on the road to overall economic recovery.

About the author

Raj Dhonota first came to the public eye in 2005 during the first series of The Apprentice. Since his time on the reality programme he has gone on to become a successful serial entrepreneur and investor in start-up businesses covering a range of industries from eCommerce, property, language translation, network marketing, recruitment, fashion and consumer goods. For more information, please visit:

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