Sectoral Discussion: Problems and Prospects for Youth Entrepreneurship in Belarus

On April 25, a sectoral discussion "Problems and Prospects for Youth Entrepreneurship in Belarus" was held in Minsk. Belarusian expert Sergey Chalyi, author and host of  "Economics in Layman's Terms" (TUT.BY) programme, attended the meeting with young entrepreneurs and students to give a talk on how to start a new business and what is the secret of startups. The discussion was held within the framework of Belarusian youth festival on economics and entrepreneurship "Ladder of Success". The event was organized by youth public association "Youth Entrepreneurship Support and Development Center" in partnership with the "Clearing House" programme.

Sergey Chalyi, host of "Economics in Layman's Terms" (TUT.BY)


Turning to global statistics on youth entrepreneurship, Belarusian expert Sergey Chalyi noted that almost half of young people aged 16-25 (47%) have a desire to design and start their own business. However, only a handful of them go all the way from desire to actions and success: according to American statistics, 92% of startups "die" in the first 3 years for one reason or another. At the same time, a young entrepreneur has a lot more chances to go through the "death valley" if they are supported not just by resources but by mentors through exchange of experience and information.

According to the expert, no serious sociological surveys on youth entrepreneurship in Belarus have been organized yet. At the same time, in his opinion, Belarusian business has a "generational" problem.

Sergey Chalyi: "People who started business in the 90s cannot transfer it to professional managers. Almost every person when thinking how to open their business, "stumble upon" the same questions, the same things. It is that many people have to invent the wheel or the bicycle not knowing that many before them have already gone through these things. One of the problems is that there is no exchange of experience ".

According to young entrepreneurs, when they opened their business they often faced prejudice, including comments that no one could create a business without specialized education. Participants of the discussions cited the following issues as some of major challenges that young people face in entrepreneurship: lack of experience and qualified mentors, absence of entrepreneurial culture, startup capital and well-known positive examples of their predecessors, as well as low motivation of peers.

At the same time, young people who took part in the discussion thought that Belarus has essential prerequisites for successful development of youth entrepreneurship: in comparison with other countries, the market here has a lot of vacant niches, low level of competition and a relatively easy registration system for new business and startups.

Maxim Podberyozkin, Clearing House coordinator


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