Meet Swarochish (Manu) Goswami from New York via Canada
Today, Millennials make up over 50% of the workforce. Despite the rapid growth of this professional population, Canadian businesses struggle to find and retain skilled young talent with the average tenure for Millennials to dwindling down to 16 months. The struggle is mutual with young Canadians facing increased unemployment: as of July 2016, the youth unemployment rate in Canada sits at 13.2%, a rate that is almost double the national average. A poll from CIBC states that finding a job that pays well after graduation is a top concern for post-secondary students in Canada and 37 per cent don’t know if they’ll be able to manage their finances after they finish school.
As the future outlook for young professionals becomes more and more unclear, a growing number of youth are turning to entrepreneurship as an answer to their mounting uncertainty. According to one study, 54% of Millennials either want to start a business of their own or have already started one. Additionally, another study states that 90% of Millennials think that being an entrepreneur means having a certain mindset rather than starting a company. Combining this growing interest in entrepreneurship with a focus on the mental aspects of entrepreneurship, we have seen a rise in social entrepreneurship in the last few years.
Born in Singapore, Swarochish (Manu) Goswami showed an interest in entrepreneurship from a young age. Beginning at 7, Manu began his entrepreneurial journey with humble roots, ripping out his neighbour’s flowers, wrapping them in bows, and selling them back to them.
Though his flower reselling business came to a rather quick end, his entrepreneurship career was just blossoming. At the age of 10, he founded his own hoverboard business – employing his father as Chief Project Engineer – and sold exactly one hoverboard, with proceeds going to a local charity.
Life wasn’t always easy for Manu, though. Similar to the experiences of our #ChangeLeader Samantha Sewel, Manu grew up with speech impediment, making him starkly aware of the stigma faced by individuals suffering from mental, verbal, and physical disabilities. This awareness inspired Manu as a social entrepreneur. Rather than create any business, Manu sought to channel his business acumen to build social ventures with a foundational principle of creating impact to benefit others. As a direct result of this commitment, Manu, in collaboration with Black & Veatch, established the Next Foundry, a $25,000 financing factory that aims to finance the next generation of high impact founders. As of 2016, the Next Foundry had financed 76 early-stage technology and social impact ventures.
Manu is a self-described serial entrepreneur and investor that finances early stage startups, as well as a TEDx speaker and co-founder of seven ventures – World Thinks, World Youth Fund, Millennial Council, The Next Foundry, RafikiMedia, GenSys, and FoodShare. In addition to all of these ventures, Manu is also one of the curators of the world’s first youth social capital fund. In 2015, Manu was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 and as one of Canada’s top young entrepreneurs.