Ógra Fianna Fáil has launched its proposals on Youth Entrepreneurship. The proposals were launched last weekend at the Fianna Fáil Ard-Fheis by Ógra President, Eoin Neylon and Dara Calleary TD for Mayo and Fianna Fáil spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Senator Mary White, Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin Rathdown and founder of Lir Chocolates and guest speakers Seán McBride, Founder of Dublin Differently and Jamie White, founder of Youth:Nation.

Ógra Fhianna Fáil President, Eoin Neylon, says that the aim of this policy document is to enable young people to drag themselves out of unemployment rather than wait on endless Government promises of jobs that are not forthcoming.

Unemployment in Ireland is running at 10% but among young people that figure jumps to an alarming 22%. Young people have been forgotten about in the so call ‘recovery’ that the Government keep talking about. By giving young people the tools and the access to finance, however, we have the means to take charge of our employment situation ourselves. Leveling the playing field would enable the creation of start-up companies that would in turn take many more young people out of dole queues and off emigration lines.

The Ógra proposals include:

· Allowing self-employed people to opt to pay into Class A PRSI so that if the venture is unsuccessful, they will not be penalised for making the attempt;

· Changing “family employment” so that these family members are covered by the social insurance system;

· Creating “business ghettos” akin to that achieved at Grand Canal Dock for the tech industry for other industries in towns and cities around the country;

· A coordinated Entrepreneurship program built into the curriculum in schools backed up by a centralised, wide ranging, incentivised Entrepreneurship program;

· Encourage commercial landlords with vacant town centre properties to use their premises to promote new businesses receiving Local Enterprise Board support;

· Incentivise said landlords to reduce rent of vacant properties by waiving backdated commercial rates attached to the property is rented out to a new venture for 6 months at low rate;

· Ensure that key professional titles are protected by statute to ensure that Ireland maintains a reputation as a high skills, highly educated destination that manufactures top class products;

· Introduce a focused mentoring program in order to give new businesses the commodity they most need, time. Advice from people who’ve been through it all before is invaluable as well as information that might be initially obvious;

· A centralised, dedicated website that give broad and niche information and advice to people starting up a new business on a wide range of topic and industries;

Specified micro-finance options for young entrepreneurs.
Neylon concluded, “As we look to emerge from an unprecedented global financial crisis that had devastating across the world, but notably here in Ireland, we should be trying to encourage employment by any means possible. The Government has failed large parts of Ireland in attracting foreign direct investment and utterly failed in promoting indigenous business. These plans could see locally run businesses lead Ireland’s recovery in a manner that is community focused. By removing the barriers that keep young people from starting their own venture, we will have an Ireland that promotes unique ideas and hard work rather than rewarding the status quo and those who already have the financial backing to begin with.