Catalyzing cross-generational entrepreneurship to foster economic growth, employ youth, and optimize retirees’ experience

Group Affiliation: 
- Private group -
Global demographic and economic trends reflect increasing numbers of unemployed youth and potential retirees.  An estimated 13.9% of youth between 15 and 24 years of age are unemployed and underemployed (Economist, 2013; Ernst & Young, 2013; ILO, 2013; World Bank, 2017).  By 2030, the number of individuals 55 years of age and above will grow by 25% (PwC, 2016).  Perspective determines whether these data present problems or opportunities.  Transforming challenges into achievements is predicated on capacity to see the world differently (Souba, 2016).  The reframing process creates solvability by visualizing solutions to situations (Coutu, 2002; Sotile & Sotile, 2002). 
 
Community integration promotes disruptive innovation, entrepreneurial ventures, and economic development (Samila & Sorenson, 2017).  Relevant, results-oriented school curricula aligned with industry needs enhance employability (Tang & Shi, 2017).  Matching thematic interests of youth with thematic experiences of 55+ individuals creates reciprocal learning circles in which youth teach seniors IT skills and seniors teach youth strategies for accessing the labor market and responding to the challenges of corporate life (ECEA, 2016). 
 
The purpose of this conceptual study is to suggest cross-generational entrepreneurship as a strategy to mitigate youth unemployment and optimize the experience of retirees.  The 55+ population represents an immense natural resource; they are not a silver tsunami, they are a silver lining, yielding golden dividends (Isele, 2014).  Retirees can teach youth economic survival skills.  Career technical education provides a useful lens for promoting entrepreneurship in youth through mentoring, engaging government support of these projects, stimulating involvement from businesses, and rectifying imbalances in the ratio of apprenticeship and full-time students in the United States in comparison to Europe. 
 
International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Louise Underdahl, Elizabeth Isele, Ronald G. Leach, Matthew Knight, and Ronald Heuss
Presentation Date: 
Monday, March 5, 2018
Event or Conference: 
ICIE 2018: 6th International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2018
Presentation Type: 
Paper Presentation
Boyer's Domain: 
Presentation Location: 
Washington, DC
United States
Abstract: 
Global demographic and economic trends reflect increasing numbers of unemployed youth and potential retirees. Perspective determines whether these data present problems or opportunities. Transforming challenges into achievements is predicated on capacity to see the world differently and visualize solutions to situations. Relevant, results-oriented school curricula aligned with industry needs enhance employability. Matching thematic interests of youth with thematic experiences of 55+ individuals creates reciprocal learning circles and develops social capital. The purpose of this conceptual study is to explore strategies for catalyzing cross-generational entrepreneurship through the lens of career technical education and propose a model to foster economic growth, reduce youth unemployment, and optimize the experience of retirees.