How to influence the customer of the future
No one can accurately predict the future, but present-day research and information can direct us on how to make informed decisions for days ahead.
Her experience with the youth of South Africa and years of youth empowerment has led Jill Young Shutte founder of EvenMe! (an online portal and app aimed at providing support and education to the youth) to a finding that she believes can be profitable to business owners everywhere.
Schutte believes that business owners can ensure future customer loyalty and involvement by supporting programs that equip the youth today.
“Harnessing young talent, creating experts and forming supportive structures for the youth, is the best way to create greater participation in the economy,” she says.
What action should business owners take?
“We need partake in efforts equipping the youth with skills. The kind of skills that enables them to actively take part in the formal economy,” she says.
“Cultivate your customer today, reap the financial benefit tomorrow.”
Involvement in youth skills development according to Schutte is the golden thread between the business owner and the customer of the future.
Schutte believes that the customer of the future needs to have a solid foundation in the following spheres to contribute to future economic wealth:
- Educational opportunities
- Life skills
- Networking opportunities
“The good news is that business is in fact already focusing on skilsl development programs for youth through learnerships and CSI approach to skills development directly, but the fact remains that the life skills and soft skills pieces are missing from such initiatives.. The critical mass of our youth need to be equipped to get into the formal economy one way or the other , quickly, effectively and through mass reach of mobile” she says.
You can become a donor, sponsor or Social Sustainable Investment Partner to EvenMe which pushed to deliver the tools to more youth in South Africa creating the environment for greater impact.
A background of what the needs of the Youth include:
Life skills, in terms of access to information, decision making, communication, problem solving, alternative dispute resolution and others.
Employment/income-generating opportunities. (creating the “do something” rather than “wait for something”
Education, in terms of opportunities to continue their education and to restore the deficits of past education, as well as to gain exposure to life experiences in a positive and supportive environment Which EvenMe brings in a way that resonates with the youth online.
Respect, in terms of being listened to and having a safe space to discuss concerns.
A sense of self, identity and value.
Alternative to the fatalistic, violent youth culture and credible, positive role models.
Because so many young people have been systematically disadvantaged and damaged by apartheid, there is the need for youth organisations and initiatives that focus on structural and systemic change in young people’s position in society. The urgency of youth development cannot be overemphasized.