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Fear of failure destroys the spirit of enterprise

15 November 2012 / 18:11:52  GRReporter
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Victoria Mindova

The culture of failure should be integrated in the education of present and future generations. Young people need to learn that they should not be afraid of failure. This fear is the basis of inaction and it destroys the emergence of entrepreneurship. This is the opinion of Peter Vogel of HR Matching AG, who spoke at a forum on the problems of the labour market and social security held in Athens this week. According to him, failure gives you the opportunity to learn directly from your mistakes - what to do and what not to do - to become successful at a later stage.

"We see a paradox now. There's a whole generation entering into retirement age. This means that there is a need for new young entrepreneurs and the unemployment rates for young people are higher than ever." This is due to the lack of connection between education and the real needs of the labour market, and this is also reflected by the increasing number of unemployed graduates, the expert said.

Being an expert in the field of human resources management, Vogel states that the lack of opportunity to gain experience before the age of 30 creates long-term problems in people. They will have low professional self-esteem, which will prevent them from developing to their full potential and from undertaking their own business ventures in a later period.

Peter Vogel pointed out several prerequisites for the development of entrepreneurship. The first one is human capital. The flow of young and well-educated professionals from countries in crisis to foreign countries (brain drain) is one of the worst phenomena that can affect the development of new business initiatives.

Funding for new ideas is also of crucial significance for the support of entrepreneurship. "Few countries in Europe have well-established policies for micro-funding," Peter Vogel said. Other important factors are social capital (access to information, openness and ability to develop relationships) and the surrounding infrastructure (government, legal framework for development, education system).
These factors together create a common environment that will shape the type of entrepreneurship. "Historically, the greatest inventions emerged in times of crisis. Detect the problems, look for solutions and try to implement them. It's not easy, but now is the time to be creative," Vogel advised the Greeks in conclusion.

It seems at least in theory that entrepreneurship is not alien to the new generation of Greeks and it is the conclusion from the analysis of the labour market in the country and in Europe, conducted by GfK Hellas. It shows that in Greece, two thirds of young people up to the age of 25 want to become entrepreneurs /employees of liberal professions. Young people are eager to fulfil themselves independently but they say that the main obstacle remains the fear of economic crisis.

Seven in ten people in Greece find employment in liberal professions a very attractive option. Young people up to the age of 30 and active men are the most enthusiastic about this type of employment. Eight out of ten believe that the greatest problem for the development of a business is the economic situation and the lack of funding for the initiatives.

One out of every eight Greek graduates prefers to start their own business instead of working for someone else. This is a new trend considering that five years ago, the majority of young people preferred to find secure and well-paid jobs in the public sector. One in three unemployed persons who participated in the poll does not envisage the opportunity to be independent professionals.

The conclusions of the poll indicate that the majority of respondents believe that after 10 years, entrepreneurship will have a much greater effect on economic development than it has now.

Odysseas Katsaitis, a professor at the American Deree College in Athens, insists that the biggest problem for Greece remains the lack of production and of real spirit of enterprise. "What we need to create is a new generation that is extrovert and competitive in the international environment," the teacher insists. He is firm that until recently, competition and entrepreneurship were alleged to be bad. This hinders the development of new competitive initiatives and today, the country is paying for the mistakes in politics and education from the recent past. Katsaitis believes that education should provide young people with general education without close profiling.

The opposite opinion is held by Konstantinos Pouliakas from the research and political analysis department of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. In his presentation on the challenges of the European and Greek labour market, Pouliakis said, "It is important that the educational system creates specific skills, rather than generalized knowledge."

He insists that the skills acquired will be the pawn of the 21st century. This leads not only to the need for increasing the range of well-educated people, but also of improving the quality of work. Pouliakas said that vacancies in Greece, for the most part, remain for unqualified staff, which shows the great gap between vocational and higher education and the real needs of the labour market.

Quality of communication, knowledge of foreign languages ​​and computer literacy are the roots of basic education, but the active people from the new generation should be much more flexible than their parents were. They must continually strive to acquire new knowledge and professional skills in order to remain competitive in the labour market. People need to learn that education should not stop during the entire period of employment.

Universities produce graduates who are not prepared and do not meet the needs of the labour market. Real business also confirms this conclusion - education in Greece does not meet the needs of employers, which leads to a high degree of frustration in the majority of workers in the country.

Tags: EconomySocietyLabour marketGreeceUnemploymentCrisisBusinessEntrepreneurship
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