At a youth debate in the Wales Millennium Centre marking Global Entrepreneurship Week, Mr Jones said it was vital to ensure an economic outlet for younger people’s ‘can-do’ mindset.
There is already evidence of success in commercialising the great knowledge and skills of Welsh universities and colleges, said Mr Jones, who is Minister for the Economy and Transport.
"With just 5 per cent of the UK’s students, Wales currently generates nearly 9.5 per cent of the UK’s graduate start up businesses, almost twice as high a rate, the Minister said.
"Spin-off enterprises are just one aspect of how entrepreneurship can make a real difference to our economic prospects.
"But there can be no question of resting on our laurels – recent figures on youth unemployment throughout the UK show how vital it is to maximise opportunities for all our young people.
"This is why I am determined to ensure a strong role for youth enterprise within the programme of economic renewal that I announced last month.
"The Welsh Assembly Government is at present developing a Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy Action Plan to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship, ensure the right learning opportunities and support young people in creating and growing their own businesses."
The Minister was taking part in a debate in which young people joined with entrepreneurship experts and role models in helping frame the policies needed to encourage enterprise.
17 December 2009