HUNTER youth attending a free three-day boot camp will learn entrepreneurial and life skills to help them succeed post-COVID.
The Hunter Futurepreneurs Program, with support from the City of Newcastle, will host the Young Entrepreneurs Bootcamp from April 7 to 9.
Program entrepreneurship facilitator Cheryl Royle said all 25 spots had been filled, but encouraged anyone aged 15 to 25 and interested to join the waitlist.
The program is also planning future events to cater to more people.
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"That age group, they're all potentially at a decision making time of their lives," Ms Royle said.
"We're hoping we find some little spark within these three days where they think 'Things aren't as difficult or bad' or 'I shouldn't see all these things as challenges, I should see them as opportunities'."
Ms Royle said the diverse cohort included high school and university students, immigrants and people with a disability.
"Young people have seen there's alternatives to potentially working traditionally, in a tradition role, and they're wanting to explore that," she said.
"Young people who are already maybe creative want to take that creativity and commercialise that."
She said the bootcamp was designed for anyone who wanted to set up their own business or gain key employment and enterprise skills, which she said were also useful life skills.
"The skillset that's in this program is around thinking a little bit differently, it's about curiosity, it's about growth mindset, it's about seeing opportunities, problem solving and I think another one which I think is really important for young people today is resilience and the fact that everything that we do is a bit of a gamble and we often fail - and as a result of that failure that's when we can learn the most."
Participants will create a business solution to a real-world problem and present their idea to a panel of experts on April 22.
However, she said, entrepreneurship did not just mean being a business founder.
"I see entrepreneurship as more opportunity seeking, it's seeing challenges, it's seeing problems in the world and coming up with solutions to those problems," she said.
"Entrepreneurship to me is not necessarily 'I'm starting a business', it's seeing a problem, coming up with a solution, executing that solution and potentially moving on to the next problem."
She said the bootcamp will also focus on personal development, including each person knowing their own strengths and weaknesses, identifying skill gaps and being open minded.
She said the Hunter will reap the benefits of upskilling its young people.
"We get a more resilient region and we get a more innovative region," she said.
"We're going to keep our kids in our local region and keep that talent and diversity here and we're also going to get young people who really want to have a go and see opportunities locally."
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