Is entrepreneurship the solution to global youth unemployment? Part II
My interview with Carsten Lexa President of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, Germany
The magic of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and other digital platforms is changing the way we do business, the way we work and the very nature of work itself. In this digital age these technologies present exciting opportunities to tackle global youth unemployment.
A brief discussion of these technologies is how Part I of my interview with a friend of mine, Carsten Lexa, on rising global youth unemployment and specifically the solution of entrepreneurship ended. Carsten is the President of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs´ Alliance Germany, member of the National Board of JCI Germany and the new Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Alliance, representing Germany in the G20 Young Entrepreneurs´ Alliance (G20 YEA). And as can be seen below is a man that knows a thing or two about the magic of augmented reality.
But now back to the interview.
Ainsley Brown: So each of the G20 nations is represented in the Alliance by a delegation of young entrepreneurs. What is the textbook best candidate to be part of such a delegation?
Carsten Lexa: The G20 Young Entrepreneurs´ Alliance is for young entrepreneurs. Therefore, first the people who engage with the G20 YEA should be entrepreneurs. Second, for them to get the most out of it and for the Alliance to be of the most value, they should be full-time entrepreneurs. Then they should be young — probably under the age of 40. Another point would be that they should be interested in international relations and international business — the big advantage of the G20 YEA is the annual Summit bringing together about 400 to 500 young entrepreneurs and representing an excellent opportunity to network with a lot of like-minded people. Finally, they should be interested in doing political work, that means presenting the official G20 YE Communique and the ideas of the Alliance to other relevant organisations in their own countries as well as to politicians and influencers.
A: And who is the G20 YEA not for?
C: I would say it is not for those who only want to focus on national solutions and don’t see the global picture, it is not for those opposed to open borders and also not for those who are not interested in new ideas with regards to international business, trade and commerce.
A: Let´s get a little bit more abstract — what kind of political power does the G20 YEA hold? Does it have any real influence at all?
C: When it comes to specific actions and real-world projects, I have to say that there are none. But that does not mean that the G20 YEA has no influence or relevance — quite the opposite! Its power lies in words and arguments based on facts and real-world experiences of the people involved — pointing the political leaders worldwide into certain directions, helping them understand what the younger generation of entrepreneurs needs and how they think and preparing them for the actions that need to be taken by national governments. And I am happy to say that the political leaders listen, because they have understood that the G20 YEA is not just any gathering of young entrepreneurs, but a very focused group of the best young entrepreneurs from the G20 countries with a common and strong determination, supported by the internationally renowned Knowledge Partners Accenture and EY who provide insights into the areas where the Alliance focuses on.
A: Is there any structure behind this group to retain the learnings and the progress that are made and gained from one year to the next or does information get lost in time?
C: Every G20 country is represented in the Alliance by a national President and Sherpa. It is a hope that whoever assumes one of these positions should hold onto it for more than one year to create a certain level of continuity. The Alliance itself has a Chairman of the Steering Committee who acts as a spokesperson for the Alliance — at the moment that would be me. And finally there is a Secretary in Toronto, Canada to help with the general administration and organisation of the Alliance.
A: Are there any flagship international partnerships that are organized in order to demonstrate examples of best practices in the relationships between businesses from different countries?
C: The G20 YEA tries to raise its voice as often as possible. There are, of course, a lot of international business relations that were established because of the network of the Alliance. Apart from that, events and meetings take place around the world, and they happen because of the groundwork of the G20 YEA. I think for example of the G20 Model Laguna, the B20 Taskforces or a very recent meeting of several young entrepreneurs from various countries at HEC Montreal University in Canada, where these young entrepreneurs shared their experiences with start-ups from Montreal.
A: And how are you involved in the G20 YEA as a German lawyer?
C: My client base is very international because my law firm helps foreign businesses and entrepreneurs to start or buy companies in Germany. It also helps designing the contracts they need to do business in Germany or with German customers, suppliers and partners. Of course, my firm also helps German businesses to deal with foreign customers and partners. Since we are able to provide these services both in German and English, we have a lot to offer for foreign businesses. Having been active as a lawyer for more than 10 years and having focused solely on advising entrepreneurs and businesses, I know how to help them best in respect to the legal aspects of business. And this is how I can provide the most value for my clients.
A: Carsten, thank you for your answers so far. I have one last question: what would be the next big challenge for the G20 YEA?
C: Promoting entrepreneurship worldwide is an ongoing process, so that is the lasting challenge. However, I would say we should focus at the moment on getting the endorsement for the G20 YEA by the G20 itself as being THE voice for young entrepreneurs in the G20 countries.
A: Thank you very much for your insights into the G20 YEA and all the best for the future!
Originally published at www.commerciallawinternational.com on August 20, 2017.