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Young Should Stop 'Hiding Out in Universities': Investor

Young people struggling to find a job should consider starting their own businesses, Barclays Capital co-CEO, Rich Ricci, told CNBC last week.

Ricci said young adults should be encouraged to “pursue their dreams” rather than taking refuge in further education to wait out the global downturn.

“You don’t necessarily need that MBA, if you’ve got a great idea, the energy, and the wherewithal to do something on your own. We need to offer a better alternative to people than just hiding out in universities. We need to encourage them to pursue their dreams,” he said.

According to an October 2011 report by the International Labor Organization (ILO), 2010 saw the highest-ever youth unemployment numbers and rates across the developed world, since measurement began in 1991.

The ILO report said that in developed countries, long-term unemployment rates for young people generally far exceeded those for adults. In Italy for example, youths were three times more likely to be unemployed for more than one year than adults.

Despite this, Ricci said cultural attitudes in Europe discouraged young people from considering entrepreneurship.

“It seems in Europe [as opposed to Asian nations and the US] there is more of a traditional approach to the job environment, and young people wanting to work… They are more comfortable taking the educational approach, rather than taking the risk, and being encouraged to take the risk,” he said.

Ricci said credit was available at reasonable rates for those in need of funding, but lack of confidence in the macroeconomic situation, plus market instability, was deterring would-be entrepreneurs from accessing it.

He added that organizations exist which help young people build their own businesses, including Youth Business International(YBI), which provides financing, mentoring and training to entrepreneurs worldwide aged between 18 and 35 years old.

YBI also hosts yearly entrepreneurship awards, of which Ricci was a judge this year. 2011’s ‘Entrepreneur of The Year’ is Amir Asor, the Israeli founder of Young Engineers, which provides educational programs, based on Lego, which teach math, physics and engineering. Asor hopes to launch the program in schools worldwide, and is already in conversation with both the Israeli and Nigerian ministers for education.

“Something like Amir’s idea is fantastic. It is something that can be pursued and driven globally. I think he is a good idea of what you can do to be successful.” Ricci said.


Barclays Capital co-CEO Rich Ricci will join CNBC on November 16 to discuss market fears about the Euro Zone and the banking sector.

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