By Betty Adamou CEO, Founder & Chief ResearchGame™ Designer Twitter: @BettyAdamou

This morning, it was announced that although 2,000 more people are now in employment in the UK, there are still 1.6 million people who are unemployed.

Having experiences both in employment with an organization, and being self-employed, there are pro’s and con’s to both sides. That’s why the Young Entrepreneurs Club initiative from Research Through Gaming is so important. 

It gives students the insight into business ownership, that they otherwise would not have had, so they can make the choice of which route to take. And essentially, know that they are resourceful enough to start their own businesses in the case they may find themselves in the unfortunate position of being made redundant, or simply finding it very difficult to gain employment for a number of reasons in their futures.

The future is unpredictable for employment – are we leaving the European Union, are we staying? How will the new economic climate encourage, or decrease, employment? Will this result in large companies pulling out their offices and factories from the UK, or not? Who knows.

Empty trays for each business after their cupcake sale day

Empty trays for each business after their cupcake sale day

What we can be certain of though, is that the future is unpredictable for employment. So with that in mind, that’s why I’m so passionate about encouraging students in secondary schools (any ages under 18) to think about being entrepreneurs.

As many of you know who follow this blog, you will see that we announced the launch of the Young Entrepreneurs Club four weeks ago, and you’ll see from our Facebook posts that the progress being made by the students is really great. When the young entrepreneurs worked in teams two weeks ago, they had just £10 per team to make cupcakes to sell. Sounds simple, but the students had to carry out market research, create marketing campaigns, project manage, price their products appropriately, make the cupcakes themselves, set out their stalls on the day etc. all while doing regular schoolwork and homework. In just one activity, the students had learned so much, and on the day of the cupcake sale they reaped their rewards. Each team made over £100 (one made £113 and the other £116) in less than 13 minutes and were absolutely swamped with customers.

In our most recent activity with the young entrepreneurs, the students are working individually to prepare a product or service that would be useful in the school or the wider Enfield Borough, and the ideas have been so incredibly diverse; from social enterprises, to drone manufacture, innovative sportswear, and more. The students will be presenting their pitches to four ‘dragons’ (local entrepreneurs) tomorrow and I’ve already seen some impressive pitch-decks.

So how does this relate to unemployment? The 15 students in the current Young Entrepreneurs Club are 13 and 14 now. But one day, they will be in their 20’s and 30’s and 40’s and so on, and may decide to open their own businesses. Let’s say of the 15 students, just 5 become self-employed. And let’s say each of the 5 students-now-adults hire 10 people. That’s 50 jobs.

Now let’s say there are 1,000 secondary schools in London. Each one has the Young Entrepreneurs Club, and runs the club once, with 15 students in each club. Again, 5 students from each club start their own businesses as adults, hiring 5 more people each. Including the entrepreneur who would have started the business, that’s 5,000 jobs. Five thousand. So what if secondary schools across England, Scotland and Northern Island adopted the club? That could be tens of thousands of jobs, just from inspiring students that entrepreneurship is genuinely within their grasp, and giving them the support they need to understand the many different aspects of business ownership.

I’m pleased to announce that today I’ll be speaking to a new school in the London Borough about the Y.E.C. This is the second but equally important step in taking this initiative to as many London schools as possible. Watch this space! More news to come!