Youth Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities

Podgorica, 22 June 2017

What are the perspectives for youth entrepreneurship in Montenegro? How ready are young people to start their own businesses? Which barriers do they face in the process and how can they overcome them? How do we improve the environment to foster entrepreneurship?

Possible answers to these and many other questions concerning youth entrepreneurship were provided by the participants of the round table “Youth Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities“ which was held today at the Chamber of Commerce, in the organization of the National Partnership for Entrepreneurial Learning and with the support of the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro and the United Nations System. The event gathered representatives of relevant institutions and young entrepreneurs who discussed the measures for the support of youth entrepreneurship – both the existing and the missing ones.

Research shows that over a half of the young population would rather be self-employed than working for an employer, with almost third of them considering starting their own business. However, these aspirations are rarely realized due to a number of obstacles.

“The entrepreneurial spirit needs to be developed in primary schools,“ said Mladen Perazic, from the Chamber of Commerce. Bojana Boskovic, from the Ministry of Finance agreed, emphasizing the importance of practical experiences for entrepreneurial spirit development. “That is why the new Law on high Education introduces mandatory practice,“ she added.
“The entrepreneurial spirit needs to be developed in primary schools“

Mladen Perazic, Chamber of Commerce

Participants of the event agreed that coordination of relevant institutions is of vital significance for motivating youth to take up entrepreneurship.

The significance of synergy of various actors was also highlighted by the UN Resident Coordinator, Fiona McCluney. „It is only through joint efforts that we can work towards solutions and overcoming obstacles in starting businesses“ – she said.

“The main goal of the society should be to develop young people's potential to grow,“ said Elin McCallum, expert in the field of entrepreneurial learning who wrapped up the event by an interactive workshop „Roadmap of a Young Entrepreneur“.

Recommendations prepared through the Joint UN Youth Programme in partnership with the Agency for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Ministry of Finance were also presented at the event. Recommendations mostly refer to the entrepreneurship competences acquired through formal and informal education, openness of institutions, availability of information and financial resources, councelling and mentoring support, entrepreneurial infrastructure, improvement of the business environment and creation of a positive attitude of the society towards entrepreneurship.
"Only through joint efforts that we can work towards solutions and overcoming obstacles in starting businesses“

UN Resident Coordinator, Fiona McCluney

“Self-employed young people form 9,9% of the total number of employed youth, with 1,5% of them being employers. Over 60% of young people would rather be self-employed than work for someone else; 75% of them think taking up their own business would be risky; and one third of young people consider starting up their businesses“ – said Dragana Radevic, author of the recommendations.

Participants of the event agreed it is necessary to invest in improving young people's motivation and knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship, as well as in developing entrepreneurial culture in Montenegro and improvement of business environment, thus contributing to acceleration of economic growth and increasing youth employability.