The UN Secretary-General’s high-level panel report on sustainable development, “Resilient People, Resilient Planet”, states that young people are the most affected by the economic crisis. In such times, young people are not only the first targets of job cuts but also their transition from school to the job market becomes almost impossible. Therefore, it remains essential (yet challenging) to open up new venues for young entrepreneurs as members of inclusive and prosperous societies.
Our proposed idea “YouthCanMakeIt” aims to turn this challenge into an opportunity through use of technology and innovation as follows:
“YouthCanMakeIt” will be developed as an online exchange platform as well as a mobile application (designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices). It will specifically target youth entrepreneurs from different communities in Cyprus (creating new ventures) as well as the involvement of the business sector. How?
“YouthCanMakeIt” will serve as an online platform where each young entrepreneur will create his/her personal profile; including personal details, academic background, interests, skills, expertise, work experience (if applicable). Following this initial step, each young entrepreneur will be able to search for other youngsters from different communities and exchange business ideas for joint collaboration. The basic prerequisite of any joint venture will be to find an entrepreneur from another community and to develop a business idea that would serve for the benefit of the two sides. This way, they will have a common stake and a common vision to work for. In this regard, it is important to highlight that having “YouthCanMakeIt” as an online application will have a particular added-value, since it will encourage youth entrepreneurs to overcome any physical barriers and exchange ideas more openly without feeling oppressed.
At the same time, “YouthCanMakeIt” will also be a business hub for investors who are looking for new people and fresh minds. With the changing regional dynamics, this application will be a place to-go for businesspeople both from Cyprus as well as the Euro-Mediterranean region. Once the youth entrepreneurs find their partners and build up their ideas, they will then decide whether they can use their own resources or whether they will search for external financial support. At this stage, they would have the option to bring in investors from the online platform and set-up their joint venture. Apart from the economic benefits, “YouthCanMakeIt” will make it more evident that people from diverse backgrounds can work together and create a common vision.