Just 22 percent of young people aged 15-18 are interested in founding a startup, according to a recent survey of 1,021 teenagers by YouGov, commissioned by Google.

The tech-giant decided to respond to the worrying figures by setting up a Future Founders scheme from its London Campus space this week.

The first Future Founders session with students from Sir Charles Kao UTC in Harlow, London
The first Future Founders session with students from Sir Charles Kao UTC in Harlow, London

Starting this week, groups of 16-18 year olds from schools countrywide will visit Campus London for half-day workshops run by experts and inspiring entrepreneurs, and will have ongoing access to mentorship.

Changing mindsets

Head of Google's Campus London Sarah Drinkwater wants to see around 60 young adults pass through the scheme each month.

Head of Google Campus London Sarah Drinkwater

Speaking to Techworld.com Drinkwater said that she wants to change the British mindset around entrepreneurship: "A lot of the icons we have are like Richard Branson or Zoella, that are so successful it can feel remote."

What Future Founders is hoping to do is bring more realistic success stories home to inspire young people, such as Campus alumni GiveMeTap founder Edwin Broni-Mensah, who founded his water bottle startup aged 24.

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Drinkwater is aware that only a small number, if any, of the students that pass through the Future Founders scheme will go on to start their own business, but the cultural benefits are still significant.

"We're not expecting everyone to leave as a founder," said Drinkwater, "but there is so much value in creative thinking and problem solving. Personally my rate of learning grew exponentially when I joined a startup. You have to grown and scale fast, and those sound like Silicon Valley cliches, but they are true and even large corporates are looking at these skill sets."

Google Campus London Future Founders scheme: How it works

This is pretty much a pilot scheme, with Campus targeting schools from London and the UK. Drinkwater explains the logic: "We are taking it slow and aware that if we do open nominations the floodgates will open […] This is such a new programme we want to gauge the appetite and be welcoming to a diverse smattering of schools across the country."

Groups will come into the Campus London space and get a feel for the startup community in London. The half-day workshop will consist of talks from young entrepreneurs and then a group project, such as brainstorming ideas for reclaiming a local space, prototyping ideas and pitching back.

The first group of students came from the Sir Charles Kao University Technical College in Harlow, London, as schools with an appetite for science, technology and computing are a natural fit for the programme early on.

The Future Founders scheme is also backed by UnLtd - the world's largest network of support for social entrepreneurs - who will listen to pitches from students attending sessions. UnLtd was an early-stage investor in GiveMeTap.

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Teenagers and startups: More figures

The survey threw up some more interesting figures, particularly in the way it paints a picture of a surprisingly risk-averse younger-generation, with 78 percent of teenagers surveyed wanting to work for a well-established company.

In terms of being their own boss, British young people are apparently not exactly ready to follow in Mark Zuckerberg's footsteps, with 56 percent saying that starting their own business is risky, 21 percent as unstable and 11 percent as outright reckless.

There may also be a lack of female role model entrepreneurs, as just 28 percent of girls surveyed saw any benefit in starting their own company compared to 36 percent of boys. The survey also reinforces the divide when it comes to science and engineering, with boys almost twice as likely to focus on science and engineering after school.

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