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Business leaders 'must support young entrepreneurs'

Mon 23 May 2011

Business leaders 'must support young entrepreneurs'


Business leaders should be "actively supporting" young people who aspire to be entrepreneurs, according to an award-winning businessman.


Terry Hamill, who left school at 15 with no qualifications before building up a successful chain of hairdressers in Liverpool, said recent research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research had illustrated the "pretty de-motivating picture" facing graduates.


The survey found that six months after graduating, 52 per cent of the class of 2010 were either unemployed or underemployed - working in an unskilled or menial job that does not require a degree.

Of these, 20 per cent were out of work altogether, the highest proportion for a decade and double the rate seen at the start of the recession in 2008.


However, Hamill said separate research by insurer Axa offers a glimmer of hope for the younger generation, as it showed that starting a business is now the joint-top career choice for 11 to 18-year-olds, alongside becoming a teacher or a top sports star.


But while one in 20 British teenagers would like to try their hand at being their own boss, they worry they will be held back by difficulties in finding start-up money and advice on where to begin.


Hamill, who is now director of business network BNI Merseyside, said, "In my role as a coach and mentor to businesses both locally and across the UK, I meet young people with business dreams and ideas, but they need good business role models who can help to direct their ambition and talent, and I believe this is something which everyone in the business community should be actively supporting."


Earlier this year, a poll by private bank Coutts & Co showed 29 per cent of business owners believe teaching entrepreneurialism in schools and universities would be the best way to create more British tycoons.

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