At last night’s Surrey Top 25 under 25 Awards, the Surrey Board of Trade released the Surrey Board of Trade’s Youth Entrepreneurship Policy to government. It highlights the Surrey Board of Trade’s ongoing philosophy on continuing to create entrepreneurship pathways.
“Some of the policy roadmaps are being worked on by government. It is our intention to create a holistic roadmap and focus on youth entrepreneurship. It isn’t only about building a career for our youth, it is about creating innovative skill sets and building the jobs of tomorrow,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
Given persistently high rates of youth unemployment in British Columbia—at 13.6%, more than double the national average—preparing youth to follow an entrepreneurial path is not only an acceptable choice, but a strategic decision. There are many programs in BC and in Canada that introduce youth to career pathways, but not enough are available that support young people in developing practical entrepreneurial skills. This policy is about enhancing the focus on youth entrepreneurship by supporting the current workforce as well as future business owners. Nurturing entrepreneurial skills in elementary students is a key part of this strategy as it helps create sustainable and long-term impact.
The Surrey Board of Trade’s recommendations to both the provincial and federal governments are to:
1. Create a comprehensive youth entrepreneurship strategy, which entails:
a) Optimizing the regulatory environment,
b) Enhancing entrepreneurship education and skills development,
c) Facilitating technology exchange & innovation
d) Improving access to finance
e) Promoting awareness and networking
2. With regards to K-12 education, it is suggested that the Federal Government help facilitate collaboration between the provinces and territories regarding best practices in entrepreneurship education.
“The Surrey Board of Trade will be taking this forward through formal presentations to each level of government and acquiring support of our policy by all 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade in Canada this year.”
The Surrey Board of Trade as Surrey’s business organization has been focusing actively with teachers on teaching Surrey’s children entrepreneurship to students as young as in Grade 4 and all the way through to being a young adult for the past 11 years.
For the full position paper go to: https://businessinsurrey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Youth-Entrepreneurship-Policy-April-2017.pdf