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Top 5: Supporting young social entrepreneurs

May 6, 2016

supporting young social entrepreneurs

Unsurprisingly for a network focusing on early-stage social entrepreneurs, a lot of GSEN members work with young people, whether at school, university or still making their way in the world of work. Many GSEN members are young people too (well, young at heart anyway). It’s probably not an area that generates a lot of commercial revenue for most members, but it remains a hugely important part of our collective role in creating the pipeline of future changemakers. And with the ELYSE event coming up, what better time could there be to explore the world of supporting young social entrepreneurs?

  1. A great place to start is The Confidence Curve from UnLtd UK. UnLtd works a lot with young people, and this captures our learning and tips from that work. Accessible and packed with insight.
  2. is a comprehensive guide to supporting young people into social entrepreneurship. There are some great resources, especially:
    1. Changing the World, a beginner’s guide to SE. This gorgeous publication is super accessible for school-age children and covers all the areas of starting up a social enterprise.
    2. UnLtd’s guide for parents and carers: working with YP brings lots of other people into the picture, and engaging them well is important. This is quite specific to UnLtd methodology, but the tips and format have very wide applicability.
  3. Young people can really benefit from accessible overviews detailing how to start, manage and grow a social enterprise. Here are two of the best:
    1. Startup and Change the World, by S. Dev Appanah and Sunit Shrestha. Comprehensive and inspiring, it gives a more detailed overview with features on why SE is important and illustrations of inspiring social entrepreneurs.
    2. Built to Last, by UnLtd. Full of diagrams, exercises and practical tools, this is a great place to
  4. Kristina Notz at SE Akademie has recently developed a MOOC, Enabling Entrepreneurs to Shape a Better World, targeting first-time and young social entrepreneurs. This complements their Global Entrepreneurship Summer School, which already does excellent work bringing young people together around these topics.
  5. And for a longer read, Youth Business International has published a number of research pieces on the needs of young entrepreneurs, for example into how young people’s context affects their approach to SE.

As always, the best resources are probably around the network and may not be available online. Do you have some insight, resources or tools from your work with young people that could enrich our global collective practice? Let us know and share the love! (And come to the Lisbon gathering, if you are in Europe, to tell us in person).

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