Why Aren’t Island Youth Starting Businesses?

Image of Youth Reading

We recently took an interest in entrepreneurship among young people in PEI. It seems that the youth on PEI are not starting their own businesses as much as the province would hope . There are many theories around this fact. Some say there is a lack of motivation, or a lack of funding. This got me thinking, is our provincial environment not conducive to entrepreneurship? What are young people doing instead? What has changed?

Here is another shocking statistic; Island high school students are vastly ill equipped to contribute to the working world. Unfortunately, 40% of Islanders haven’t acquired a level of literacy or numeracy to allow them to complete their high school studies. Many Island youth are seriously lacking the skills we need to compete in the national and global workforce.

So let’s back track. Why don’t young Islanders start their own businesses?

Perhaps it is because they can’t. How can we expect Island youth to start their own businesses if they don’t have the basic communication skills to do so? A fundamental skill in business and specifically entrepreneurship is effective communication, both verbally and through the written word. How can someone fill out a complicated funding application or make a business plan without these literacy skills?

Our hypothesis is that those fundamental literacy and numeracy skills need to be addressed before we can expect Island students to go out on their own and start businesses. We need to learn how to communicate effectively and confidently before we can sell anything to the public.

Here at BID Inc. the issues of young entrepreneurs are very important to us. One of our goals is to be able to help youth succeed in their business initiatives. What do you think of this issue? What is causing young islanders to shy away from entrepreneurship?

Picture taken from guelph.ca


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