3.6 Conclusion: Where Do We Go From Here

Growth-oriented entrepreneurs have captured the world’s attention as they hold significant potential to revitalize stagnant economies. As advocates get the word out about the job creation potential of new and growth-oriented businesses, the YEO field is just beginning to analyze and understand what young people need in order to launch a growth-oriented business or make the jump from micro- to growth enterprises. More needs to be done. Next steps for growth-oriented businesses include:

  • Build the evidence base on how to support young, growth-oriented entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. In order to ensure equity, the field has to deepen learning on what it takes for AGYW and other marginalized youth to succeed as growth entrepreneurs. Race, ethnicity, religion, geography (rural versus urban) can all impact young people as they seek to start businesses. Experience from the United States and from emerging markets may be applicable to more challenging operating contexts. New research on AGYW, highlighted in Chapter 7, has just begun to pinpoint some of the legal and policy challenges that block enterprise development for AGYW. This research could be applied to future initiatives aimed at diversifying the pool of growth-oriented entrepreneurs throughout the world.
  • Identifying key ingredients for a comprehensive package of support. New research indicates that while critical, access to finance is not the only barrier for young entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs value the advice, mentorship, and contacts they gain through personal or professional networks. Presenters at the 2011 GYEOC noted that support is needed at both personal and structural levels. Nurturing young people’s ambitions, helping them develop pitches and business plans, networking, and finance all form important ingredients of a support package. Identifying and prioritizing those ingredients, especially for growth-oriented entrepreneurs from marginalized communities, will be an important next step.
  • Publicize growth-oriented businesses for programming and policy purposes. Global dialogue about youth unemployment provides the perfect opportunity to advocate for growthoriented businesses. Data, tools, videos, and fact sheets exist to spread the word about the importance of new and growth-oriented business to economic development. YEO stakeholders can utilize these tools when making the case for their interventions with donors, the private and public sectors, and other decision-makers.

Additional Resources

  • To access additional information on growth-oriented youth entrepreneurship, please visit Making Cents’ 2010 State of the Field publication on page 30.