18 candid pieces of advice from under-30s to their peers that will deeply inspire you

by Mirabelle Morah / August 2022

What is the one (1) key piece of advice you wish every young person ⏤ social entrepreneur, student, changemaker, youth leader, etc. ⏤ knew? 

To celebrate 2022 International Youth Day, we asked 18 young people across the world – including our Youth Advisors and under 30 SEWF22 speakers – what advice they would give to their peers and these are the inspiring messages they had.

18 candid pieces of advice from under-30s to their peers

1. Lauren Black, Social Impact Specialist, Atlassian (Australia)  

“You are our future. Share the positive impact you are making because the time is ripe for businesses with a conscience”. 

2. Brady Cronin, Non-Executive Director, ACRE (Australia) 

“I wish every young person knew that it’s okay to be daring, make mistakes, fail and fail again. In fact, failing is an essential part of the learning process. Resilience is key to your success as a social entrepreneur, not success itself”. 

3. Goto M Cooper, Founder, Educate the Future Liberia – ETF Liberia (Liberia)

“When pitching about your social venture, make sure to challenge your intuition through storytelling and motivation of why it’s needed at the moment to solve global challenges. Most funders are always interested in why your venture is the best place to invest. You need to have the end in mind and be relaxed, confident and passionate when speaking. I am happy to help out if needed”. 

 4. Azima Dhanjee, CEO/Co-founder, ConnectHear and Co-lead, SEWF Youth Forum (Pakistan) 

“The right time to start your business is today. Use the free platforms (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok) to establish your brand and provide your services. Bootstrapping is a great tool for all young entrepreneurs out there. It helped me a lot in my journey”. 

Also read:  How the Postcode Lottery Group empowers social enterprises through trust-based funding 

 5. Affiong Ekanem, Youth Mentor, Education Sustainability and Vocational Development Initiative (Nigeria) 

“There’s no gain without pain. At the end, it will be all worth it!” 

 6. Matthew Goldsworthy, CEO & Founder, Youth Arts New Zealand (YANZ) (Aotearoa New Zealand) 

“My advice to young and upcoming social entrepreneurs is to be bold and brave! Social enterprises and impact-driven businesses are constantly testing boundaries because the problems they are solving are complex, which demands nuanced, innovative solutions. Don’t be caught up in what people have done before – take the time to listen and learn, but don’t be afraid to do what feels right for you, even if it’s different to what’s considered ‘traditional’. Trust your gut!” 

 7. Chidinma Ibemere, Lead Volunteer, Chidinma Ibemere Foundation (Nigeria) 

“Seek knowledge and be determined to implement all you have learnt. You will be surprised at the outcome. The mindset for success is to prioritize collaboration. You need to complement your weaknesses with the strengths of others”. 

8. Elizabeth Ita, Founder, Stilt NG, (Nigeria) 

“Living your life trying to meet other people’s standards is not a strategy for a fulfilling life or achieving big goals. The worst thing that can happen is that you get a NO. And even if you get a ‘NO’, there are many others that will say ‘YES’ or guide you towards a yes”. 

9. Precious Johnson, Product Designer, Internboxx (Rwanda) 

“Collaboration can make a huge impact. You don’t have to start an entirely new enterprise. Working with someone or an organization trying to solve a social problem you are passionate about can go a long way to making the change you want to see”. 

Also read:  Stronger in 2023: How SEWF was the biggest dare for Donna Wate

 10. Bek Lasky, Deputy Executive Officer, Ngarrimili (Australia) 

“My advice is tailored specifically to First Nations young and upcoming social entrepreneurs. If you want to do something, no matter what it is, you are capable of doing so”. 

 11. Michael Lim, Co-lead, SEWF 2022 Youth Forum (Australia) 

“Finding the right tribe for you; who you decide to work with and surround yourself with will be one of the greatest determinants of whether you succeed or not. Don’t underestimate the impact that people’s energy and perspective can have on your work and thinking. Surround yourself with people who inspire, challenge and uplift you. Don’t be afraid of moving on if the relationship is no longer serving you. If you want to move fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together”. 

 12. Pablo Luengo Martin, Co-founder, Living Energy (Spain) 

“One key advice I would like to give to any social entrepreneur is to design for your target audience, not for yourself. This means digging deep into what your target audience really needs without assuming that they will require certain products or services before taking the time to really speak and connect with them”. 

 13. SONUGA Moyosore, Program Coordinator, Hadassah School of Leadership and Values (Nigeria) 

“Be selfless! Your community needs you to share your solutions and values to solve her problems in all sectors”. 

 14. Joy Offere, Co-Founder, Shenovate (Nigeria) 

“As a young social entrepreneur, you are not competing with anyone, your mental health matters, know when to take a deep breath, get some rest and medical attention when needed. Imposter syndrome is real, but you are the best version to let your mind rub you, help it heal and then find balance”. 

Also read:  "Treat youth feedback as important" says Kenneth Kwok

 15. Nick Pearce, Co-Founder & CEO, HoMie (Australia) 

“Balance both your passion & logic!” 

 16. Sarah Roberts, Founder, New Venture Marketplace (Canada) 

“Here’s one piece of advice I wish every young entrepreneur knew: Your path is the right one, your decisions are catalysts for change, it is you who will make the difference”. 

 17. Tiarne Shutt, Associate Director – Business Advisory, First Australians Capital (Australia) 

“Don’t shy away from setting boundaries. Changing our world for the better is a marathon, you need to be able to last the race”. 

 18. Aimee Spence, Rural Social Enterprise Coordinator, Inspiralba (Scotland) 

“Take risks but know your market”.

Designed by and for young changemakers (aged 16-30), the SEWF Youth Forum (29 November) is your opportunity to connect, learn and be inspired. Register today to access a free ticket ⏤ only 1,500 available! Also learn about the Australian Social Enterprise Youth Forum (27 September) here.

Mirabelle Morah is the community and communications manager at SEWF