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· Volume II Issue IV

The youth are the future of every nation and the world's inheritors. This stands true in every sense. If a country has a healthy young population, it can make progress in advancement and general development. However, a country with a high aging population and a low young population has several challenges that might stifle growth.

There are numerous reasons why people decide to start their own business at a certain point in their lives. Some see a good business opportunity, while others feel challenged by a few issues. They may have an education and a set of skills, but cannot find a job. The lack of employment among young people has consequences for their health, wellbeing, and future. Thus, one of the ways to get young people engaged in the labor market is through youth entrepreneurship. Not only does it give work opportunities to inexperienced young people, but it also influences economic growth through additional jobs, increased competition, and innovation.

Today, as the world has transited into a technology era, there is enabled progress in all fields and societies. It has changed the lives of many people, bringing healthcare, information, and connectivity to even the most remote areas that were previously isolated. This also helped every entrepreneur of all business ages to better reach and serve their customers as well as grow their business.

Youth unemployment is one of the major dilemmas experienced by most countries today. Amongst the unemployed, the unemployment of young people seems to be particularly disturbing. Its rate is increasing at an alarming speed. Unemployment affects 67.6 million young people around the world. Based on a 2020 report from the International Labor Organization (ILO), the global youth unemployment rate stands at 13.6%. Northern Africa has the highest alarming rate of 30% unemployed youth, which is more than twice the global rate. This shows that there is a need to help young people to become and stay employed. Moreover, the ongoing disruption of the pandemic and the resulting global economic challenges make this need even more complicated. In the situation of a health crisis when many have lost their jobs, young people are more prone to being excluded from the labor market. The pandemic affected young people in different ways, such as income loss, disruption to on-job training and learning, increased difficulties in employment, and even poor quality of employment. Being unemployed at a young age can have long-lasting effects in terms of career paths and future earnings. 

Fortunately, the government and some organizations have started to address the issues that every young entrepreneur is currently facing because of the COVID-19 crisis. Over 100 young Filipino innovators from throughout the country convened in December 2020 for the first virtual Youth Social Innovation Lab to submit their ideas for addressing social protection, digital divide, and green economic concerns during the pandemic. Last September 2019, the Department of Trade and Industry in Region 4-A (CALABARZON) established a Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) at the Laguna Cultural Center. It is a nationwide program that aims to help young Filipinos develop their entrepreneurial skills through a comprehensive package of interventions. Youth entrepreneurship has always been advocated by our government. For young individuals, starting and maintaining a business can be a viable option, providing a method of achieving both financial and personal independence. Even while there are numerous advantages to starting a business at a young age, this does not rule out the possibility of older people succeeding. Anyone with a good concept and the desire to make it a reality has the potential to be successful and an inspiration to others. Youth entrepreneurship is becoming more and more popular in the country. The social impact is one of the reasons why entrepreneurship is attractive to young people. Many success stories, particularly in the field of entrepreneurship, have proven a correlation between youth and success. Being innovative may give them the chance to turn their ideas into a successful business. It is believed that a country to have a better future must shape its youth. Now that the health crisis adds more to the economic uncertainty, young people consider entrepreneurship as a way to take control of the future. While they create solutions, at the same time, they also boost local communities, create social and economic change, and accelerate sustainable growth. Not only do they make profits, they can also help some unemployed people to become employees of their businesses, reducing the rate of hunger and poverty.

It has long been assumed that youth entrepreneurship may help to alleviate the future economic crisis. Yet, a large percentage of today’s youth are losing their way. At the moment, it is everyone’s responsibility to secure the future. And for us to achieve this, adults must maintain and develop young people’s potential and sense of responsibility. Abraham Lincoln once declared, "You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." The burden of responsibility is not easy to deal with, especially when it is a duty to future generations to secure their future by ensuring the present. Possibly, the most difficult task of all is how a man can, at the end of the day, stand up by himself and what he has done and still live with it.