Work culture is shifting with young people showing more interest in entrepreneurship and business ownership than ever before. While the next generation is motivated and driven, starting a business remains challenging.

As the next generation enters the workforce, established entrepreneurs can inspire, encourage, and mentor young people to pursue business ownership. Here are some tips on how to effectively encourage entrepreneurship among young thinkers 

Reward creativity and unique thinking

In the business world, unique and creative thinking are invaluable skills. Creativity leads to more innovation, which is a key component of successful entrepreneurship.

Young people are often the most creative and unique thinkers because the expectations or beliefs of others have not yet shaped their thought process. Having different ideas from the masses should be embraced and rewarded at a young age. Creating an environment that is receptive to and rewards creativity will empower young people to believe in themselves and provide them with the confidence necessary to act on future business ideas.

Create a mentorship program

While the younger generation has incredible drive and skill, aspiring entrepreneurs face challenges that can be made easier with the support of experienced business owners. Mentoring programs are an opportunity for successful entrepreneurs to educate and guide youth in the right direction.

Participants in mentoring programs will receive knowledge, advice, answers, and support from more experienced role models. Mentoring also contributes to higher confidence levels among mentees looking to start their own business.

As a supporter of entrepreneurship and small business ownership, The UPS Store understands the impact of youth mentoring programs. The UPS Store has recently introduced a new program called “Start Small, Grow Big.” Kick-started with a donation from The UPS Store, this program enables customers across The UPS Store network of more than 5,000 centers to donate to Junior Achievement at the register. These donations fund lessons in career readiness and entrepreneurship for elementary through high school students, ensuring the next generation is empowered and educated before starting their own businesses.   

Encourage the unknown

Starting and running a business comes with uncertainty that can lead to feelings of unease and stress. Society teaches people to fear the unknown and even avoid it when possible. However, making decisions based on fear places limitations on what is possible.

There are steps that can be taken to become more comfortable with uncertainty, and these must be taught to our youth. Everyone will benefit from the understanding that the unknown offers the growth opportunities, and those challenges can only make you stronger.

Teach youth how to embrace “failure”

Parents and teachers naturally want young people to learn and succeed. However, failure is part of succeeding. Embracing failure is a critical part of growth as learning from our mistakes teaches us lessons and allows us to make better decisions that will lead to greater success in the future.

Almost every entrepreneur has at least one “failed” attempt. However, in most cases, these seeming failures have made them stronger and paved the way for future success. Teaching a mindset in which failure is seen as an opportunity to try again is the first step in helping children discern mistakes, challenge themselves, and better their performance.

While entrepreneurship comes with challenges, it is full of rewards. As the next generation weighs the possibility of business ownership versus holding a traditional job, empowering and encouraging our youth to believe in themselves is more important than ever before.