Initiate 48 is grounded in the belief that young people can change the world, that no matter your age, you can be the change that you seek in the world.
Our recent event at UNSW Business School is our 8th event in our short history, and was one of our most successful, with over 100 students running around the UNSW Business School, working on their own ventures. Here are some of my personal reflections from last weekend:
Entrepreneurial Education is a big problem.
Over the course of the weekend, I made it an obligation to speak to as many people as possible about their Initiate 48 experience, extending from the students to the judges, and one of the biggest takeaways I have gotten is that the conventions of secondary education are wholly inadequate in preparing our young people for an ever changing future.
An argument I hear against the necessity of this point is quite simply: ‘Why does high school even matter? They’ll learn all of this stuff in University’, which to be honest, is quite astonishing and concerning.
What about those who don’t have the privilege to attend university? The ones that aren’t deemed academically inclined and are told they aren’t good enough? What about those students? The future is dependant on each child we bring up, it’s dependant on each child that realises his and her potential, it’s dependant on each child that believes that they can be the one that changes the world. This is what we’re fighting for.
The real impact of Initiate 48
As a NFP, our impact as an organisation is constantly questioned and it’s often easy to get lost in the numbers, the statistics that get thrown around to prove that impact. The truth is, we often forget the individual impacts we have on each student.
During our recent UNSW Initiate 48, I spoke to one of the parents who introduced me to his daughter, one of the youngest girls ever to attend our program. We only spoke to for about 15 minutes, but it was truly eye opening. He told me a variety of his concerns:
‘she’s very shy, she’ll find it hard to make friends’
He told me about his dreams, his dreams for his daughter, his own personal hope of helping her find what she’s passionate for, and throughout the event, I watched her, and he was right, she was finding it difficult. It’s incredibly difficult to come to an event with 100 other students you don’t know. It’s even more difficult speaking in front of an audience of around 200. It was difficult on our end not to feel bad for putting a young student in this type of position.
But something changed, on the final day, she did it. The team presented, and they won!
‘Amazing, you’ve completely changed her, I have never seen her so excited about anything!’
What a wonderful achievement.
It’s hard to argue against the point that our impact was just one student, but it’s more than that, it’s reflective of a generation. By changing the life of one child, we change the future of a city, and by changing the future of a city, we change the direction of a country, and together, we can change the world. The progress didn’t start here, nor will it end with here, because Australia is only getting bigger, younger, more boisterous, more diverse and more energetic — and there will be plenty more bridges to be crossed.
Generation Entrepreneur has, and always will be, about empowering the lives of young people. The truth is, change is hard, trying to do good is hard, it is a challenge, it’s supposed to be. There’s no respite from our ideals. Only time will tell what real impact we make as an organisation, but I finish off with an unshakable faith that with drive and commitment, we can all work together to bring the change that we seek.