[Sub ID 4616] Future Starters (Spark Strategy)

Submission ID: 4616
Organisation name: Spark Strategy

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?

Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Structural changes in the Australian economy have left young people with fewer employment opportunities. Youth unemployment has nearly doubled since mid-2008, with around 300,000 youth now unemployed in Australia, accounting for over a third of total unemployment (Carvalho, 2015). In this current climate, young students are lacking self esteem and confidence in their future, which is significantly impacting on their wellbeing, resilience and ability to meet life’s challenges.

Despite these difficulties, many young students have expressed an interest (to consortium partners, the Reach Foundation and Young Change Agents) in starting their own business, attracted by the desire for self-determination, freedom and deriving meaning from the work that entrepreneurship offers. The problem is accessing the education and support needed to learn the entrepreneurial and technological skills required to start and run a business, and thereby achieve financial independence (Crossroads Report, 2016). An additional challenge is finding like-minded collaborators who could work as co-founders on the business as well as business mentors, networks and start-up funding to allow them to achieve sustainability.

What is your idea?
FutureStarters is a design-thinking based entrepreneurship program specifically targeted to young people aged under 25 who have moved, or are at risk of moving, from study to an extended period on an unemployment payment. It will provide young students with the opportunity to think creatively and critically, exercise leadership, build decision-making skills, enhance computational thinking, and increase communication skills, while empowering them through connections, funding and support.

FutureStarters is based on 5 step process, which will boost job creation for young students by helping them reach their full potential:

  1. Students will build their self esteem, optimism, awareness, and self understanding (Reach Foundation)
  2. Students will identify their personal passions, interests and the problems they wish to solve (Young Change Agents)
  3. Students will develop and validate their business models, value propositions, create prototypes, and pitch their ideas.
  4. Selected students will partake an YINC incubation program over 3 months (Young Change Agents & Coder Factory)
  5. Students will launch their business with a business mentor.

By empowering young students to see problems as opportunities, FutureStarters will be a win-win for spurring entrepreneurial activity and helping young students at risk of long-term unemployment.