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When asked in which sector they would most want to make a difference as an entrepreneur, 36% of respondents to the Your Big Year survey said they wanted to make their mark in the NGO and charity sectors. Despite 44% of respondents opting to make a difference in the finance sector, the survey results show signs of a move away from the more traditional industries entrepreneurs often align themselves with.
The survey was conducted by Mazars and Smaller Earth as part of the Your Big Year initiative, a competition that encourages young social entrepreneurs. Entrants to Your Big Year were asked a number of questions including in which sector they would like to make a difference. See the results below.
Tony Treacy, member of the judging panel of Your Big Year and Marketing Director at Mazars, London, is not surprised that entrepreneurs are now turning their eye to more alternative and sustainable sectors.
“The results are possibly down to a number of factors, including a younger, less cynical view of life, which is focused less on personal wealth and more on helping others. Other research shows young adults don’t vote and tend to be less engaged in politics. They are also more critical of banks and governments — the institutions who are blamed for the current economic crisis. Putting whether this is fair to one side, the current ‘capitalist’ economic model is deemed to have failed and young entrepreneurs are looking for new solutions.”
There is also considerable difference between the preference in sector choice for male and female respondents. Men were much more inclined (51%) to want to make a change in the world of business and finance while women (48%) veered towards vesting their interests in the charitable sector.
Looking at the results by country, over half (52%) of those surveyed from the US wanted to make a difference in the charitable and NGO industry compared to their international counterparts in the UK who opted for the more traditional industries of business and finance (49%).
Treacy notes that this trend from US respondents may be a result of a growing despondency and lack of faith in the current financial system.
“The scale and depth of economic failure was perhaps felt more keenly in the US, because the psyche couldn’t comprehend the economic system could fall so quickly and so far. Perhaps that’s why young American entrepreneurs have turned their attention towards creating businesses that have a social value.”
This enthusiasm for making a difference in the social and charitable sector is characterised in Smaller Earth’s social entrepreneurship competition Your Big Year. The international competition encourages young budding entrepreneurs to flourish in today’s business climate, through which the winner secures a once in a life-time opportunity — an all-expenses paid, 12-month trip around the world as Smaller Earth Your Big Year Ambassador.
This year, Insight Out will be following Your Big Year 2012 winner, Charles Batte, from Uganda. Join us as he travels across five continents fulfilling a series of volunteer programmes while also having the chance to dedicate five months of his time to work on a CSR project of his choice.
For more information on Your Big Year and to register for next year's competition visit http://www.yourbigyear.com/