I am thrilled that President Obama has declared that November is National Entrepreneurship Month. At the U.S. Small Business Administration, we’re using this month to celebrate entrepreneurship in a number of ways.
- We launched the Student Startup Plan to help more college graduates learn how to lower their loan payments in order to get the “breathing room” they need to start a business.
- We are hosting a Young Entrepreneurs Series (YES) to help more young people come together, exchange ideas, and get on a path toward building a viable business. We will start YES with young veterans in San Diego (Nov. 7) followed by young entrepreneurs from rural areas in Ames, Iowa (Nov. 9).
- We’re kicking off the “Apps for Entrepreneurs Challenge,” which starts this Saturday and runs through Nov. 20. It has $20,000 in prizes for the best mobile apps that help America’s entrepreneurs tap into federal programs to help them grow a business and create jobs.
The entire Administration has been highly focused on making sure entrepreneurs have the tools they need. After all, small businesses create about two of every three new jobs each year.
That’s why the President recently signed a law that will streamline the process for getting a patent. That’s also why the Department of Homeland Security is helping more immigrant-entrepreneurs get the flexibility to start a business and create jobs right here in the U.S. And, of course, that’s why we’ve been working harder than ever at the SBA. For Fiscal Year 2011, which just ended, we put an all-time record amount of SBA loans as well as growth capital in the hands of entrepreneurs and small business owners.
If you’re interested in starting or growing a business, check out www.SBA.gov/direct to find local free counselors in your area. Also, there are some excellent tools available at the Startup America Partnership site, which launched earlier this year to parallel the efforts that the Administration is making.
Today, it has never been a better time to be an American entrepreneur. America continues to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world with new, powerful ideas that are being born in our classrooms, over our dinner tables, and, yes, even in people’s garages.
This month, let’s find new ways to strengthen America’s entrepreneurial spirit. If we all work together, we can ensure that the future is indeed bright for both the next generation of entrepreneurs and the next generation of great American companies.