Raquel M. Reed
12th Grade
McKinley Technology High School
District of Columbia – 2nd Place Winner

Making a Greater Washington

    When asked who is responsible for bettering the lives of citizens of the Metropolitan area many would say that such responsibility falls on the shoulders of the government. However, young entrepreneurs and the government are the two most essential factors when it comes to building a better tomorrow. The government is not capable of accomplishing such a task alone and neither are young entrepreneurs. The governments are the law makers and they do consist of elected officials whose duty it is to better the society. However, with lack of support and suggestions from young entrepreneurs they will be limited to how much of an impact they can make. Young entrepreneurs start their businesses in order to cater to a certain group of people with a certain need. Their goal is to make profit from enhancing the lives of others. Whether it is with a product, program, or project, their objective is to improve the lives of their fellow residents. Not surprisingly, this coincides with the purpose of the government. Working together will only improve the efficiency of both groups. Young entrepreneurs’ unity with the government has the ability to strengthen D.C., Maryland, and Virginia politically, socially, as well as economically. 

    Policy is a tremendously important factor when it pertains to the Metropolitan area. Every person of every class wants to feel that policy is equal, just, and moral. They also want to ensure that they are included in such policy. Young entrepreneurs have an impact on the policies that are made. If many of them need a certain law to be passed or show their dislike to a certain policy the government should show their interest and try to come to a common conclusion. This is a very beneficial way to accommodate both the young entrepreneurs and those who they cater to as well. However, the government cannot allow the young entrepreneurs to have too much favor when it comes to policy because that can intern negatively affect the consumers. An example of this is workers compensation. This states that no matter how large or small your company is, workers must have some form of an insurance policy in which they will be compensated should they fall ill or be injured due to their line of work. (Entrepreneur Magazine's Ultimate Guide) When both these young entrepreneurs and the government come together they are really looking out for the residents of the Metropolitan area. Without them working together someone is sure to be shorthanded, whether it is the entrepreneurs, the government, or the young generation of tomorrow. 

    There is also a very important social aspect to the unity of young entrepreneurs and the government. The Metropolitan area had about a 31.8 percent increase in the number of twenty-five to twenty-nine year olds from 2000 to 2010. (The Washington Post published August 7) this means that the youth will want to see themselves represented throughout the community. Young entrepreneurship is a very good example of what they would like to see. However, they would be very unhappy if any disunity between such leaders and the government was witnessed. Unity between the two will cause this new younger generation to be inspired. It will encourage them to have new hopes in life about what is truly possible. Such unity will have a ripple effect of creating more and more young entrepreneurs who are willing to be involved in their government and make a difference in their community. The government should also get involved with young entrepreneur groups and organizations and support groups like TIE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) who are located around the world and in the Metropolitan area. They should encourage young teenagers and young adults interested in entrepreneurship to attend programs at universities like the “Handle Your Business Tour” at Howard that gave out prize money to start up businesses as well as the GW Pitch George which also gave out awards for new business ideas. The government should even support groups that just meet to have fun and speak about common obstacles or rewards like the Towson Young Entrepreneur Social Club. Young people are known to want to have fun and young entrepreneurs and the government should work together to show the next generation of young entrepreneurs that although starting a business may be difficult, it is all worth it at the end and you can always have fun along the way. 

    The economy is probably the quality of life that will improve the most with the coming together of the government and young entrepreneurs. The economy is greatly impacted by the work of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs provide jobs, conduct business locally, create and participate in entrepreneurial networks, invest in community projects, and give to local charities. (Entrepreneurship: A Driving Force in the New Economy by Kerri Tesreau Veronica Gielazauskas) By young entrepreneurs doing all of these things they are able to circulate money around locally which is good for the economy. They are also able to improve technology and innovations that we already have and make profits from such improvements. 

    The government and young entrepreneurs should really emphasize the importance of entrepreneurship. They should also emphasize the benefits that it can bring one personally. Successful young entrepreneurs should speak in public schools and inform teens of yet another possible career choice. Awards to start businesses should continuously be given out to teens and young adults with promising ideas for innovations or inventions. Programs should be created with the help of both the government and young entrepreneurs who are already successful or on their way to becoming just that. These programs should encourage children to be observant and cautious of their surroundings. They should challenge young people to try and make life better for their own sake and for the sake of the people around them. Such programs should also be competitive in order to make the participants comfortable with the never ending competition in the real world. These programs should cater to those who are willing to work hard and fight for their goals. By doing this it is possible that more students will pursue trying to become entrepreneurs. They might actually find it exciting and not only find it to be hard work. By creating more entrepreneurs, a better tomorrow will be created and the quality of life for the members of the D.C. community will become a lot more innovative.