Why we do it
For young people, the need for what we do has become a right.
But why is financial education and enterprise important?
UK personal debt is at a record £1.4 trillion, around £9,000 per person; this is hardly surprising given that 90% of the UK population have never received any form of money management lessons. Youth unemployment stalks Europe and the traditional routes to employment are changing. This generation will have to make smarter financial decisions and create their own opportunities.
Need for Financial Education
Young people engage with money from an ever earlier age but face a financially challenging future.
They are extremely vulnerable to dangerous sources of debt. Research by the Citizens Advice Bureau shows 62 per cent of young people accessing credit, turn to high-cost payday loans. The roll out of Universal Credit, the introduction of personal budgets and the self-management of benefits, such as housing, also increases the risk of poverty by poor money management.
In September 2014, financial education, up to GCSE level, was included on the National Curriculum for maintained secondary schools in England. However, given timetabling pressures, the absence of extra funding and limited specialist teacher training, we believe schools may struggle to become experts and deliver impactful lessons. By focusing on quality and impact, we help young people gain invaluable life skills and enable educators to demonstrate they meet OFSTED requirements. For the 50% of schools outside the statutory remit, in academies, sixth forms, colleges and free and independent schools, the need remains. Excluding schools, money spent on services for teenagers in England fell 36% over the past two years.
Need for Enterprise Education
Youth unemployment and long-term joblessness is still stubbornly high. Record numbers of young people are starting their own business, yet fewer than 4% go on to create a company that pays a wage or makes a profit.
Initiatives like Start-up Loans and the New Enterprise Allowance work best when young entrepreneurs’ skills are developed earlier. Our real, structured and tangible education experiences increase young people’s workforce potential including exploring entrepreneurship as a route into work. The ability to assess risk and learn from failure improves ‘soft’ and personal skills such as leadership, communication and problem-solving.
Enterprise helps bring financial knowledge to life and can provide a successful route to long-term participation in the job market.
The willingness to take risks, the courage to face possible failure, and self-belief are all known characteristics of entrepreneurs. Being entrepreneurial incorporates a set of behaviours and outcomes that extend across all working environments, and organisational contexts, and into the wider world of individuals outside and beyond work.