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SBA Celebrates Millennial Entrepreneurs
By Cassius Butts, Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
Millennials, those born between 1980 and the 2005, are the largest generation in the United States, representing one-third of the total U.S. population in 2013. Millennials are a technologically-connected and diverse generation.
Their unprecedented enthusiasm for technology has the potential to spark change in traditional economic institutions and the labor market. The priority that millennials place on creativity and innovation make them a critical component of the U.S. economy for decades to come.
Millennials were born to be entrepreneurs, and in SBA’s Southeast Region, we are helping millennials achieve their entrepreneurship dreams. In Kentucky, for example, millennial entrepreneur Lori Crowe, her sister and mother received assistance from the Women’s Business Center of Kentucky to jumpstart their business, Sister's Tea Parlor & Boutique, located in Buckner. It is exciting to witness millennials becoming entrepreneurial trailblazers in our local communities and neighborhoods with SBA assistance.
Unemployment, however, remains relatively high among millennials, and those who grew up in underserved communities face much higher rates of poverty and unemployment. Young African-Americans and Latinos under the age of 25 are twice as likely to be unemployed.
For many young millennials of color, entrepreneurship is not about monetizing a hobby for some extra cash. Instead, it is about finding ways to support themselves. Research shows that more than half of millennials are interested in starting their own business, especially African-American and Hispanic males.
That’s why Maria Contreras-Sweet, the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), recently announced the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative for Millennial Entrepreneurs. It’s a new federal outreach and education campaign to help America’s millennials become what we call "enterprise-ready."
President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by young people of color and to ensure that all young people can overcome challenges and achieve their potential. The President’s new economic opportunity agenda for millennials creates new policies to support this generation.
At the SBA, our message is a clear one, that of inclusion and help in jumpstarting small businesses where talents and interests lie. We help millennials start, grow and operate successful small businesses and provide free counseling services and programs to increase the opportunities for entrepreneurial success.
If your question is "What will I do with my life?” then consider entrepreneurship. More information for millennial entrepreneurs can be found at www.sba.gov/young, or you can contact the Kentucky District Office at 502-582-5971 or www.sba.gov/ky.