Making youth entrepreneurship successful | Sunday Observer

Making youth entrepreneurship successful

22 November, 2020

Simply explained, entrepreneurship is known as the concept of starting, developing, and managing a business venture to make profits. The person who is willing to undertake a challenge and the related risks is an entrepreneur.

Among many factors, some of the key elements of entrepreneurship success are dependent on the skills, knowledge, creativity, self-confidence, and the personal commitment of the entrepreneur. An independent entrepreneur is appreciated in society as they are considered as individuals who are willing to take personal risks to reach the predetermined heights in the business world.

Under the sub-heading 'Harnessing the power of youth' in chapter four of the Presidential manifesto, special consideration is given to youth entrepreneurship. Besides, President GotabayaRajapaksa, in many forums, has reiterated the importance of entrepreneurship.

His opinion is that the youth must be self-employed through the plenty of avenues available in the country and become independent rather than hunt for government jobs. The manifesto pledges extensive opportunities and ample incentives to create an economy driven by young entrepreneurs.

Sri Lankan youth must be made aware of the key role they can play by being in business. By using the skills and initiatives, they can play a critical role in the economy. On one hand, they cease to be a burden on the economy and society and on the other hand provide for others to be independent by creating employment. Therefore, nurturing entrepreneurship will have an immensely positive impact on the economy and society. New entrepreneurs contribute to the national income by creating new wealth and new markets.


Entrepreneurship is the best career option available to a person keen to take on a challenge, at any age. For example, in my forty-year career, I was at one time employed by an entrepreneur who had started his business at the age of 50 with a negligible capital and created a billion rupee venture in furniture and interior solutions in a few years.

Contrarily, a young school leaver who visited me to sell digital marketing solutions some years back became the owner of a multimillion rupee business with a large staff in less than five years.

Having control over work is something only a tiny percentage of people can enjoy. In addition, there are several other perks such as functional and financial independence, decision-making power, freedom of practicing innovative ideas, and more importantly, self-satisfaction is an important benefit available for an entrepreneur.

However, a vital factor to remember is that entrepreneurship is not an ‘easy way out’ for someone who is not in favour of working under someone else. Successful entrepreneurship is much more momentous than that.

There are various salient factors to entrepreneurship success. Let us discuss some of the key aspects. In my view, the first and foremost feature is the person’s willingness to take action without fear of failure. However, the important criterion is that the entrepreneur must be completely aware of the business he or she wants to be in.

A thorough initial study of key aspects such as market feasibility, financial information such as capital and running expenditure, budgets, possible risks, and several other areas must be looked at even to start a small scale business. This information can be done simply without going into complex calculations.

Creativity is an integral part of entrepreneurship to be successful in business. Most often the people enter into a business that already exists in the market. Hence, creative thinking of how to gain entry into the business, particularly in terms of marketing, is imperative. The entrepreneur should have an adequate level of intelligence to manage all anticipated situations from day one. The business owner must learn to be a problem solver as constant issues are part of business.

Patience is important in business as the journey to success can often be demanding and thorny. Therefore, they must learn to make calculated decisions throughout the run.

Every successful business owner I have come across during my career as an employer, buyer, supplier, or service provider is habitually oozing with self-confidence. Most often they are natural leaders whether they are educated professionals or common folk.

Therefore, the self-confidence of an entrepreneur is an essential key factor in business success. Setting up a clear and measurable goal, preferably broken down to a few time slots is another vital factor to consider at the staff. In order to succeed, it is essential to keep a tab on the goals.

Close and frequent monitoring of the pre-set goals against the progress is a must to have a clear impression of where the business currently stands.


At the launch of a new business, setting up a structure as per the business plan is crucial.

The organisational structure can be imaginary and in line with the goals already established based on the vision. Recruitment must be made according to the planned structure, on a step-by-step basis. My recommendation is to commence with the minimum possible employees and gradually work the way up.

The essence of a new business venture is the workforce irrespective of the number. Therefore choosing the most suitable and the best people in the industry is important. The team, from the beginning, should be individuals with knowledge, skills, and character.

However, selecting and recruiting the best workers is always a daunting task as whatever the theories and preparations used at interviews, the actual recruitment is done based on guessing who the best applicant is. Therefore, through my experience, I can confidently say that these guesses can go wrong time and again.

As mentioned previously, building a successful and sustainable business, starting from zero, is an enormous personal undertaking. Therefore, going through a gradual process with patience is imperative.

Breaking down every functional aspect into small and measurable steps is vital. As mentioned, the goal must be split into smaller targets with short time frames and work furiously to achieve.

Many young entrants to business fail due to a lack of focus on the core business goal. An entrepreneur's life can be restless and scattered during the initial stages. Also, young entrepreneurs tend to work on too many different related sub-goals that make them concentrate on unnecessary diversions. Therefore, giving the best attention to the primary task is a crucial factor. Hence, my advice for youngsters is to avoid getting distracted by too many tasks and focus on one solid target.


New entrants to the business should look at mentors to get inspiration. Success stories of business leaders are a good example. To have mentors, one should not know them personally. Reading inspiring stories and biographies is one of the best methods to learn real lessons in business. In reality, a person can perhaps gather more information and derive knowledge by studying successful leaders more than all the theories that are learned from education. Particularly, for those who start with no experience, the following examples of mentors are the best way of gaining practical knowledge.

In my next column, I hope to offer a few guidelines. However, a fact to remember is that succeeding in business is not an overnight process. The entrepreneurs have to develop strategies step by step and work their way up, whatever the required time frame is. Also, one must be aware of possible pitfalls, dangers, and the chances of failures as well.

This is why the term 'risk-taking' is emphasised on every available definition of entrepreneurship. Business success will be a relatively easy task for those who can see opportunities without fearing failure, those who are enthusiastic, self-confident, and persons who can inspire others even in a depressing situation.