A report out Monday shows that almost half of university students won’t be looking for a job when they graduate, they’ll be creating their own. Sean Leathong spoke to some young entrepreneurs and has the story.
The report comes from the Council of Ontario Universities. They say there is a shift away from university graduates trying traditional modes of employment like the entry level job, they are now trying the entry level business. When he started business school more than a decade ago, Eugenio Fortino didn’t see himself here. The B. Comm with a specialty in marketing is one half of Fortino Bros., a Hamilton painting business: “We just decided to bite the bullet and do it.”
Eugenio and his brother tried careers in marketing and finance, but found that the traditional streams of business were not for them: “We work very hard, but there is a very unique lifestyle as an entrepenur that you cannot have unless you are an entrepenur.”
And entrepenurs like the Fortino Brothers are becoming more and more common. A recent survey shows that as many as 46% of University students plan on starting their own business within the first year after graduation.”
It may be out of necessity. There is record unemployment over 25% for people under the age of thirty in Ontario. Students are seeing this and acting before they get stuck. Marvin Ryder is with the DeGroote School of Business: “I have seen an interest in entrepeneurship outside of the business school. So students perhaps in humanities, social science, even some in science and engineering who are just not finding the opportunities they want when the graduate say can I start a business.”
Places like the McMaster Innovation Park aim to capitalize on this trend, by helping people like Drew Thachuk, who is working with a local tech startup called Advantag. He says without places like the innovation park, they might not be in business: “It would be much more difficult to roll out a startup, and especially a technology start up, it’s such a competitive space.”
Advantag aims to connect a business with customers by creating a rewards program and after just three months in business, they are already up for an award in Dublin, Ireland as the hardest working startup; coming from right here in Hamilton.
In talking with Marvin Ryder, he was quick to point out that not all of these startups will become big employers, but they are a mode of generating experience for those who need it. So many of these may not make it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.