by Johannes Bürgin

Since several European countries are facing high rates of youth unemployment, the European Union must find a wayhow to overcome and combat the current situation. Therefore, young entrepreneurship and an innovative start-up culture could be a key factor for success. Moreover, it is crucial that Europe guarantees its wealth on the international economic market with strategic and creative solutions.

As the European Union is; facing economic and political pressure from the USA, dealing with flourishing markets in Asia and expecting new economic competitors from around the world, the requirements for a strong economy within Europe itself, are on a high level. Europe needs to have a robust labour market with low rates of unemployment, especially among young people. Hence the European Commission proposes to support young entrepreneurs and founders of start-ups. The aim is to reduce unemployment by stimulating innovation and encouraging young people to develop new market-ideas and solutions. Therefore, it is important that the European Union focuses on strengthening the labour market by creating new jobs in this sector.  

On the other hand, it is crucial that start-ups have good conditions, to grow rapidly. When the economy of a country has a demand for jobs, it is important that there is a high number of positions available, to guarantee the economic growth of the country. Especially when you have a look at the so-called “global players” and bigger firms, you recognise that they often have more positions to offer, due to their financial situation. Furthermore, start-ups often provide jobs where a college degree is required. Of course, the goal is to reduce poverty and unemployment by education, but society also has to provide jobs with lower requirements for a working position. That is the reason why it is necessary to not only focus on start-ups but also in the industrial and manufacturing sector. Value creation can be fulfilled in different ways. 

Moreover, universities and colleges should offer courses and classes, which especially deal with entrepreneurship and founding a company. If Europe wants to reduce the gap between leading states in this field, higher education must create the basis of a new start-up culture. It is essential that students get different perspectives of what they could do after graduation. Since there is a high rate of unemployment among young people in many European countries, entrepreneurship and the opportunity to be their own boss by creating a business idea could lead to higher employment.  

The sharp increase in new inventions and the changing environment we are living in, provide enough possibilities for thinking about new economic opportunities. 

Also, the mentality and the way of thinking about founding a start-up and being an entrepreneur needs to change. If an idea or a project fails, people should stop blaming the founders and criticising them for their decision. On the contrary! Young people showcase their courage when taking such risks. Meaning that they are showing an honourable virtue. Sometimes you need two or three attempts to be successful. Young people and students should not be afraid of founding a start-up. Even if the business idea is not successful, the experiences made can be very helpful in the working life, and besides, can be seen as enrichment for personal development. 

To conclude it is important to strike a balance between innovation and employment. It is necessary to support start-ups and young entrepreneurs with financial and political incentives, but there needs to be the right mix in society regarding the number of start-ups and the number of conventional companies. In the end, higher education is decisive for the development of a start-up culture. Without talented people developing creative ideas and solutions, politicians are helpless in their efforts.

20 September 2018
This text was published in Bullseye issue 73