The perspectives of three youth entrepreneurs

The Centre of International Private Enterprise (CIPE) has just produced a lovely collection of three essays by youth entrepreneurs from its CIPE’s 2012 International Youth Essay Competition. Each essay presents a perspective of a young person on youth entrepreneurship, social enterprises and the society they live in.

Writing in Uganda, Prince Karakire Guma a “Social Entrepreneur, Humanitarian, Political Scientist, Leader, Writer, and Scholar” who holds a BA in Political Science from Makerere University in Kampala and an MBA from Amity University in India, says youth entrepreneurs play a significant part in building Uganda’s democratic society by contributing to the country’s political and economic development. However, their stories are often untold. Young people in Uganda have a history of serving as social change agents––in the 1990s they contributed to post-conflict nation building at both local and national levels, and Ugandan youth today actively participate in the country’s civil society. Guma is the co-founder of over five entrepreneurial projects in Uganda, including the SEAD Project, which trains, motivates, and inspires change-making leaders around the country in their communities, and supports them to be able to improve lives and societies.

Surath Giri, a graduate from the Asia Institute of Political Economy at Hong Kong University, a student of economics at Tribhuvan University and a prominent Nepali blogger, writes on ‘Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Fostering Entrepreneurship: Lessons from Nepal’. He says that among the many hurdles facing Nepali entrepreneurs from reaching their full potential are the stigma associated with profit-making, an unfriendly business environment, and a lack of support mechanisms. Giri says that building an entrepreneurial ecosystem requires a multi-dimensional approach with cooperation among like-minded organisations and people to address different aspects of entrepreneurship development.

Finally, writing in India, Nivya Murthi, a university student involved with Parivartan (meaning “to change” in Hindi), a social entrepreneurial project started by her university friends says:

“The  young  and  ambitious  social  enterprises in India have many obstacles on their path as they set out to  change  the  society. This industry  needs  extensive innovation  and  the  youth  pool  is  full  of  potential which, if tapped, can be a gold mine. But still, work has to be done to attract Venture Capitalists or Angel Investors to  India.”

It’s refreshing to read the views of young women and men on this topic. Get the document here.