In actual life, every great enterprise begins with and takes its first forward step in faith.
August Wilhelm von Schlegel
In the news there is a lot of talk about the high rates of unemployment and in particular youth unemployment. Just today, 15th August 2012, figures were released that the UK has 8% unemployment with the youth rate being higher still.
In the UK we have unemployment benefits and Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), which many other countries in the world do not have. The question has always been asked whether this makes people show less urgency to find new work or take on an offered role.
However the picture is not that great, a 24-year-old single will only get a maximum £56.25 per week. That is less around £8 a day, only slightly higher than the hourly minimum wage.
There are 24 hours in a day so by accepting not to find a job an individual is using 1/24th of their productive potential. Further what will £56.25 get you in today’s economy? It doesn’t get you a room to rent in London, forget food, travel and other basics.
There is also much talk of graduates not getting jobs. Has the whole higher phenomenon meant that graduates are too arrogant to take on hands on jobs or ones less intellectually demanding?
Has the art of entrepreneurship and enterprise also subsided?
May I suggest 2 entrepreneurial strategies that will reduce unemployment and increase enterprise.
Entrepreneurial Strategy 1 : Get stuck in
Observe your surrounding and talk to those nearest to you, there is often a need not being addressed in the local community or society.
Provide a service that is currently under provided or in need. In North London it is ridiculously difficult to find a gardener or a window cleaner. Go door to door and offer such a service.
Once you get regular clients you can hire someone to do calls or appointments you can not make, give them a per job rate.
Do odd jobs if need be. If you do anything well, people will notice and they talk, you will be surprised how quickly word spreads and referrals are the strongest marketing possible and it’s FREE.
Alternative to observing the surroundings, do something you are good at and enjoy, it may be fixing computers, or writing blog articles or cooking. Find a way to offer this service to those around you. You usually enjoy what you are good at and working with passion, you will make an impression.
Entrepreneurial Strategy 2: Trade Services
For new or existing businesses times are difficult. So in this economy has anyone thought of trading services, so that both parties save money and are productive? Trade good and services, the supplier gets it at cost price, be it you or the person trading with. If you want something but cannot pay, offer to do something in return for free. Finding it hard to pay rent? Ask your landlord if you can do DIY work on your property in return or ask if there is any work needed on other properties they may own.
Think what can you offer that someone else would pay money for if they could?
Overall even if you still look for a permanent job, being enterprising will give you an edge on competitors and something to talk about on your CV and in interviews. It shows initiative, perseverance, ability to work independently and strength of character.
If your enterprise idea works you may not need that job, you expand and run a successful business. If it doesn’t work, what have you lost?
It is my opinion that if someone is claiming unemployment benefits, the government should provide community work that justifies the benefit, and if this is successful, benefits should be made more rewarding. There are countless community tasks that need doing, basic cleaning and updating the streets, teaching new skills, recycling and many other community support roles.
Looking for a window cleaner in North London, if you want to do this, I will go into partnership with you provide all the business knowhow and marketing. I will only take a share of profits once you are earning 5 x JSA so almost £300 per week.