[Editor's Note] Milos Bezanov is a second year student currently studying International Politics at King’s College London.
A prolonged recession. Increased university fees, education cuts. It almost feels like the current economic and political climate has consciously conspired against young people, especially those yet to enter (or in the process of entering) higher education. The fact that you may not be able to go to university, regardless of whether you have the potential, is a difficult fact that many young people are trying to swallow. Enfuse Youth are a youth education consultancy dedicated to young people fulfilling their absolute potential. There are many education services, but none that so explicitly target 14-19 year olds, the age group most affected. How effective can Enfuse youth really be? Andre Campbell, the founder, says they're all about “establishing dream careers, and making them happen”, but is this really possible? Looking around at all that's going on, it seems almost too good to be true.
Regardless of whether it's possible, there is no doubt that Andre and the Enfuse Youth team are serious about their goals. Combined they bring 360 years of knowledge and experience to share with young people (If it doesn't feel like a lot just think of it as the difference between 1752 and 2012!). This experience is applied extensively through various initiatives that include 1 to 1 sessions, intensive six week entrepreneurship programmes and many others. The aim is “ to bridge this gap between skills, knowledge and opportunities”, the same gaps that Andre himself faced in his youth. These aren't just empty promises. Enfuse youth works with educational institutions and industry experts “to package our knowledge, expertise and passion and help young people achieve their potential”. Their scope of influence is not small either, as they currently work with over 10,000 people in four different countries, as well as “enfusing” 1500 students in four months.
Sounds good, but how do they do this? How do Enfuse Youth succeed in motivating the young of today? Well for one, they are all around 22 and facing the same challenges which makes it easier for them to offer relevant insight into current challenges; “ The qualifications… that’s not enough… I want to know how you're going to make me money”. The skills sessions aim to do just that. The students at one of Enfuse Youth's workshops were asked to identify and present unique selling points of a product (a green Skoda), and also come up with a logo and website design for their company. The various skills tested meant that students could take different things from the experience; “I think it was the push I needed to carry on doing what I like to do”. Another student added “I think it showed me how to approach businesses… and I liked the self confidence thing as well”. It is through challenging young people with these types of tasks that allow young people to find entrepreneurship. In times when things beyond your control limit your options, Enfuse Youth realise the importance of fostering an attitude that doesn't believe in limits.
Again, if we look back to Andre's claim that Enfuse Youth helps establish dream careers, it's important to remember that what you do, where you do it, and whether or not it's what you wanted is ultimately down to you. Enfuse Youth use entrepreneurship to help tap into that energy in all young people. It's that energy that they, through experience and expertise, help you channel towards your ambitions. Whenever you get started on a journey, you have doubts. You may be trying to figure out your potential and what you really want to do. Even after this step, it doesn't get any easier (if anything it gets harder!). Andre and the others know the stakes. Times are tougher than ever, which is why they are here to help you along the way, no matter what stage you're at. “Think big, start small and move fast”. Repeating these words in the workshop, it was clear Andre wanted to get this point across to these students, if nothing else. After hearing them myself for the first time, I think I'll take them with me also.