In the immortal words of Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue, the kids are alright. In fact, despite the stereotype of the lazy millennial, young people do want to learn and work — and they can even teach older people a thing or two.
Bizifyd, a social initiative launched by social enterprise HYPA Works (Helping Young People Achieve) in South Australia, has taken that idea on board and created an accredited learning program that both provides young people with a pathway to entrepreneurship or employment and helps established small businesses learn a thing or two from millennials.
Based on the idea that one size doesn’t fit all in the workplace, Bizifyd helps young people aged 18 to 24 who are passionate about social media, technology, and business who have not been able to find full time work. It gives participants six weeks of practical training and teaching before connecting them with a small business, where they spend a further six weeks delivering social media services and, in turn, seeing first hand how a business is run.
Jessica Wright, project manager at Bizifyd, said the program was established after identifying a gap in the market for a learning exchange between social media savvy young people and small businesses.
“Social media is everywhere. There are a large group of business owners who aren’t connecting to social media and their businesses would benefit greatly from being present on these platforms. Young people are very savvy in how to use it personally, and it is an existing skill that can be used powerfully for business,” Wright said.
Bizifyd has just begun its third program, with three more to be run in Adelaide this year and four programs set to run regionally. Each program has ten participants, which allows for a concentrated learning environment and one on one mentorship opportunities.
Applicants can be referred to the program by family and friends, by Centrelink or other job finding services, or can apply themselves.
“We are building our networks to ensure the Bizifyd program is a well known name through Adelaide. We find the best referrals come from a genuine understanding of the kind of person who is appropriate to be involved in the program,” Wright said.
This network is also helping small businesses come on board, with the businesses paying $200 a month to take part.
“We pitch the program as an affordable method to have a consistent social media presence, with access to a variety of services, as well as being able to work with young people to help them achieve their goals,” Wright said.
“We have found that many of the small businesses are excited to work with young people who are in a training program catered to helping them grow their own businesses. The service takes away the stress of being on social media and taking the time and effort to post daily or weekly, so the business owners can concentrate on running their business.”
While the small businesses are receiving a key service, Bizifyd’s greatest feature is that it’s filling a gap left by other entrepreneurship learning programs. While initiatives like Bo$$ Camp, an entrepreneurship program for high school students, and university startup programs help young people currently enrolled in education, young people who have finished school and have decided not to – or for various reasons can’t – attend tertiary education have been missing out on similar business learning opportunities.
After establishing a solid base in South Australia, Bizifyd hopes to have a program in every state and regional centre.