- 1. What motivates you to be part of Bounce Back Ideas?*
Humanity should not be defined by its failures and downfalls. Our resilience is what has kept us going and ensured we continue to thrive on this planet. COVID is not the first tragedy that humanity has faced. It probably won't be the last. But by making an effort to rebuild bigger and better, we set standards for the younger generation on what life is all about. Yes, there are times for happiness and mirth, but at the core of life as we know it is the ability of humans to collectively face challenges and never give up. That is what has gotten us to where we are today as a modern civilization. That is what will get us to the next step in human progress.
- 2. Problem/Opportunity Statement*:
Unemployment has been a growing problem in modern society. Previously, the transition from education to the job market was smooth due to the scarcity of graduates and the growing formal job sector. Nowadays the job market has stabilized, more people are educated, and traditional formal jobs are not expanding as fast as people are graduating. Therefore, there needs to be a slight shift in how the youth are educated so that they can assimilate themselves into employment more smoothly.
3. Short Idea Description*: Colleges/Universities should maintain a strong link with the job market. This will improve the training offered so that businesses and companies are able to participate in the training process and get graduates who can fill job openings that they have. Additionally, the institutions can research for viable, sustainable, and contextualized business opportunities. They can then attract investors and mentors who will partner with students to turn these ideas into running businesses.
- 4. Long Idea Description*:
We aim to turn colleges/universities into job creation hubs. This can be accomplished in the following ways:
1. Institutions actively partnering with companies and businesses to offer training that suits jobs on offer.
2. Institutions carrying out research in collaboration with students to discover viable business opportunities.
3. Recruitment of investors and mentors by institutions to turn these business opportunities into businesses that the students are part of.
For a stronger link between education and employment, courses offered in colleges/universities should be linked to not only specific jobs but specific companies. This will ensure that the training offered is able to meet the labour requirements of these companies. If companies are actively involved in the training of students, they are more likely to hire them than strangers. Furthermore, courses for which no direct line of employment is available will be phased out until the need arises.
Being centers of research, institutions are in a good position to investigate the market for business opportunities. Students can be involved in this research from the very beginning. The research will allow careful investigation of the market to discover business ideas that are sustainable and suitable for the local market.
After research, colleges/universities will then seek mentors and investors who can turn these business ideas into reality. The institutions stand a better chance of doing this than the students. This will inject crucial experience and capital into the businesses, factors that are crucial for a business to survive and thrive.
An investor should know that it is possible to walk into an institution and find a viable business idea as well as a team trained and ready to implement the idea.
If unemployment is to go away, then the path to employment should be as clear and direct as possible. Research has accomplished great things for humanity, that is why we are backing colleges/universities as competent partners to tackle youth unemployment.
The creation of successful businesses will also have a trickle-down effect, because the businesses themselves will present job opportunities, even for those who were not able to get higher education.
- 5. Why is your idea innovative?*
Higher education is very necessary in our current times but it is incomplete to an extent. The idea that people could read and get employed worked for a while but it has been overrun by time. We need to create simple and straightforward solutions if we are to see this and the next generation succeed. The incorporation of market research and job creation modules into the curriculum will aid in solving the current unemployment crisis. The existence of institutions of higher learning all over the world will make the idea easier to adopt and enable the creation of employment solutions that fit the local context. The student should get out of school knowing where exactly they are going to work, whether in self-employment or regular employment. This should be given as high a focus as academic work in the institution.
- 6. What are the potential impacts of your idea?*
Overall whenever people have known exactly what to do the chances of success have been higher. If the youth will know exactly which jobs to do and where then unemployment figures will plummet. The incorporation of research into tackling unemployment will yield solutions that fit the current COVID market situation. New jobs will mean better standards of living directly by service provision and indirectly through income generation. Vices will reduce as people find better ways of earning a living. Health itself will improve because there will be income to spend on treatment. Nothing good exists without work being put into it. If unemployment is to become a thing of the past then we need to be deliberate about tackling it.
- 7. How do you plan to implement this idea?*
We have a working prototype in the magazine that we have built as a team. It is an idea that we had while in university and we started to implement it then. A similar prototype is Rock Health, implemented by students at Kenyatta University. It gave us a starting point in our careers. Formalizing this concept in institutions of higher learning is the cornerstone of the project. By engaging young thinkers over time to develop and implement ideas under senior supervision, the youth will be able to get out of school with a job that is up and running. The trickle effects will be felt a well, since businesses expand over time and generate jobs themselves.
- 8. Why is your team ideal to implement this idea?*
We have a business in operation that was born out of the blueprint that we are proposing. With the increasing levels of literacy in the world, we are confident that institutions of higher learning are the best place to implement this idea. We had to navigate the business world on our own and we still managed to make significant steps. The sheer diversity of people in the institution created a dynamic team where everyone knew something about something, so to speak. We know that with the mentorship of experienced professionals, we could have made even faster progress. Armed with the knowledge that we have gathered while setting up our own venture, we will formalize the steps of implementation of the idea from an insider's perspective. This will make the project easier to adopt, and it can be fed into the current curriculums as a crucial cog in the gears of education.