Region VII Administrator Pat Brown-Dixon (left) shares a lighthearted moment with Mary Nelson and Mike DiGiacomo during KMTV-TV 3's The Morning Blend March 16, 2012. Brown-Dixon was in Omaha to host the Youth Entrepreneur Summit at the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Mammel Hall Auditorium, and used her appearance on the CBS affiliate to promote the event.
Also serving as hosts for the Summit: the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Nebraska Business Development Center.
The Young Entrepreneur Summit looks to connect SBA resources and programs with a cohort of enthusiastic would-be business owners, allowing the latter the chance to voice their concerns about the current business climate in Omaha, the state and the country, and bring their ideas to the table. Omaha was proud to be one of the locations across the country to be selected for this event, with its strong core of entrepreneurial energy and success in start-up financing.
According to the Young Entrepreneurs Council, more than half of 16-39 year olds do not feel they have sufficient resources to start a business; 24 percent reported not having enough government or financial support. With youth unemployment twice the national average in many communities, particularly underserved neighborhoods and among veterans, SBA recognizes a need to promote and better support the efforts of young people looking to create jobs for themselves and others.
The goal for this summit is to provide a comprehensive overview of resources to start a successful small business and encourage a new generation of people to create a foundation of long-term economic growth by hearing from existing successful entrepreneurs.
Since Oct. 1, 2010, more than 740 SBA-backed loans for upwards of $228 million have been approved for small businesses in Nebraska, creating more than 3,000 new jobs and helping keep more than 7,600 jobs on company payrolls in our state.
In Omaha alone, during that same time small businesses were approved for more than 260 SBA guaranteed loans for a total of $89 million, directly resulting in the creation of more than 1,200 jobs in the city, and helping companies keep more than 3,200 jobs on their payrolls. Of those loan approvals, 47 percent went to new businesses in the city, a promising sign for the local economy; usually, 33-40 percent of SBA loan approvals are made to new firms.