The job outlook for unemployed workers from New York to New Delhi comes down to the numbers.
723 million. The total population of the 19 countries plus the European Union who make up The Group of Twenty (G20).
44 million+. The number of unemployed workers in the G20 countries.
500 thousand. The number of entrepreneurs represented at the G20 Summit.
2014. The year we come together as entrepreneurs to raise our voices for change in the global economy.
The time has come to focus on strengthening the world's entrepreneurial ecosystem: That's the directive we - myself and other entrepreneurs - shouted from the rooftops during this summer's G20 Young Entrepreneurs' Alliance Summit in Australia. I was honored to be part of this under-40 USA delegation, comprised of young entrepreneurs who were identified through the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO). We were there to offer recommendations to G20 leaders for utilizing entrepreneurship as a powerful driver of economic renewal, job creation, innovation and social change around the world.
Soon the economic world leaders representing 85 percent of the world's gross domestic product and more than 75 percent of global trade will come together for their annual meeting to discuss the state of the global economy at the G20 Summit. This group and their supporters enact policies that affect financial institutions, economic reform and jobs for people around the world. And yet, for all the changes they've accomplished since their inception in 1999, unemployment continues to grow in every country on earth. It's all in the numbers: Priorities need to change before the economy will.
I've long been a vocal proponent of thinking locally to enact changes globally through my NYC cleaning company. I have witnessed the positive, lasting changes that occur when cities focus on building sustainable businesses, empowering disenfranchised communities and encouraging an entrepreneurial mentality. I am not alone. Fellow small business owners from all four corners of the earth came together back in July to voice our shared belief: Opportunities created by entrepreneurs are the untapped hope of future generations of workers.
As the G20 leaders prepare to meet in Brisbane on November 15 & 16 for the 2014 G20 Summit, I recommend focusing on these five priorities for building a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem:
1. Educate future generations to embrace and celebrate risk. School curriculums should include strategic planning, careful investing and financial literacy. Above all, young people must be taught that they have the ability and know-how to take that first step in faith and succeed. Risk is an important part of success and even in our failures we have the opportunity to learn.
2. Encourage corporate leaders to think beyond ageism: Young entrepreneurs deserve the same business opportunities that are routinely given to established owners of large businesses.
3. Invest in women-owned businesses. At this time, female entrepreneurs receive less than seven percent of the investment dollars and tax breaks made each year.
4. Promote small business development within socio-economically challenged communities. This creates jobs where they are needed most-- in communities with high unemployment rates.
5. Develop additional investment and mentoring resources for new business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to support their continued growth at the critical three-to-five-year mark.
We can no longer expect or depend on our governments to create jobs. Instead we must focus on the number one--the only number with the power to enact real and lasting change.
You can contribute your unique skills to build the entrepreneurial ecosystem your community so desperately needs. This is the movement that was begun at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs' Alliance Summit this year; this is the direction we must continue to move in the future.
You can follow all the discussions around the 2014 G20 Summit by following the event on Facebook or Twitter. I would love to hear your thoughts on how we can strengthen our global entrepreneurial ecosystem.
This blogger graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.