From Elaine Hungenberg, Manager Director of HOPE Office of Innovation, Research & Assessment
HOPE Programs Nurture Economic Energy of Youth
Operation HOPE (HOPE) partnered in 2011 with Gallup, Inc to measure the economic energy of youth across the United States via a national survey, The Gallup-HOPE Index (GHI). After three years of measuring youth economic energy, Gallup and HOPE discovered that youth have strong entrepreneurial aspirations. Almost half of all students in grades 5 through 12 want to start their own business, they want to be their own boss, and they believe that they will invent something that will change the world. However, these youth are often not given the opportunities to nurture their ambitions. Few students (less than 5%) have a business internship and even fewer own their own business. In addition, only half of all students are in a school that teaches them about money, banking, and how to run a business.
What does this mean? There is a gap. There is a gap between what students aspire to do in life, and what traditional schooling teaches them. Students do what they’ve been taught how to do. Students become what they see. With no education on how to run a business, and no mentoring, what becomes of their strong entrepreneurial aspirations? It is likely that their aspirations will dwindle, and that they will not grow up to be small business owners unless something changes.