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Sparking the Youth’s Entrepreneurial Revolution

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The youth will play a crucial role in the future of the country’s economy with 70 percent of the Philippine population aged below 30. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recognizes by identifying young entrepreneurs as the nation’s hope. However, reforms must be made in the educational system to help them reach their full potential. “If we want to make smarter entrepreneurs, we should start by changing the mindset of the young through the establishment of entrepreneurship education,” Sec. Ramon Lopez, Chairperson of the DTI said.

Sec. Lopez posed this challenge at the 6th UNESCO-APEID (Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development) Meeting on Entrepreneurship Education held in Manila. The three-day conference brought together delegates, educators, and policy makers from UNESCO, DTI, and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to discuss how to advance youth entrepreneurship in the Asia-Pacific region.

TIn his keynote speech, Sec. Lopez stressed the importance of collaboration among nations to progress as a collective: “This meeting is an opportunity for our countries to learn from each other in advancing entrepreneurship education in our society.”

THe specified the steps needed to achieve this goal and highlighted the importance of the youth’s role in national development. “The way to foster an entrepreneurial mindset is establishing a more advanced ecosystem, policies, and programs for competence building. That is what this meeting is all about: establishing an innovative entrepreneurship education that would reshape the mindset of the youth towards the journey of entrepreneurship,” Sec. Lopez said.

TSec. Lopez added: “Our young entrepreneurs can help create stability and drive sustainable development via economic growth, employment generation, innovation, and poverty alleviation.”

Here are some insights from this year’s UNESCO-APEID Meeting:

Creating policies aligned with ASEAN’s developmental goals

TTo be aligned with ASEAN’s developmental goals, government policies must be formed to support young entrepreneurs and their businesses. The approval of Republic Act No. 10679, also known as the Youth Entrepreneurship Act, was a step forward in this direction. “With this law, government agencies like DTI, CHED, the Department of Education (DepEd), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are obliged to develop and promote entrepreneurship and financial literacy among the youth,” Sec. Lopez said.

Better equipped universities

TIn order to set a strong foundation for future business owners, universities must have the necessary tools for educating them. CHED Chairperson Dr. Patrcia Licuanan addressed this need in her speech: “All institutions offering BS Entrepreneurship must be able to provide a business incubation facility that must be equipped with a business center that provides students access to conference rooms, computer units with internet, telephone lines, facsimiles and the like.”

Technopreneurship

TPart of CHED’s efforts in preparing future entrepreneurs is to form them into tech-savvy individuals through the implementation of a mandatory 3-unit elective on Technopreneurship included in the New General Education Curriculum that takes effect in 2018. “In early 2015, CHED inked a memorandum of understanding with the Philippine S&T Devolopment Foundation Manila Inc. (PhilDev S&T) with the goal of producing Filipino engineers who can transform their ideas and innovations into economic enterprises,” Dr. Licuanan explained.

Empowering women

TDr. Licuanan’s speech highlighted the opportunity to further support the vital role of women in economic development. “An international study on entrepreneurship revealed that 70 percent of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) start-ups in the Philippines are led by women,” she stated.

 

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