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Millennial Entrepreneurs are a Force for Change

Millennials, the cohort of Americans born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, are the largest generation in the United States, representing about a third of the total population. This generation tends to be more technologically savvy, connected, and diverse in thinking. Their unprecedented enthusiasm for technology has the potential to spark change in traditional economic institutions and the labor market. These Millennials place a priority on creativity and innovation making them a critical and important force for change in the years to come.

Many Millennials were born with an innate entrepreneurial spirit. Montana’s expanding technology sector, coupled with its long history of being a great place for small businesses to start, grow, and succeed, creates an entrepreneurial climate that offers rich possibilities for young entrepreneurs.  Especially in a rural state like Montana, we need to make sure our young people know that we support their entrepreneurial endeavors.

The SBA recognizes that it must find ways to more effectively address this generation’s unique way of learning and doing business.  We have transformed our traditional business training methods to be more interactive, dynamic and online.  SBA has an extensive learning center online where current or potential entrepreneurs can learn not only about SBA’s programs and services, but also topics including, strategic planning, employee recruitment and retention, finding and attracting investors, financing options for your small businesses and many more.  Entrepreneurs can also communicate with our network of resource partners, such as the Montana Women’s Business Centers, SCORE and the Montana SBDC networks, via phone, email, and sometimes even skype.     

Despite their promise, unemployment remains high for some millennials. One in four are experiencing unemployment. Millennials who grow up in underserved communities face even higher rates of poverty and unemployment.

For many young millennials, entrepreneurship isn’t about monetizing a hobby for some extra cash; it’s about finding a way to support themselves and their families. Research shows that more than half of millennials are interested in starting their own business.

At the SBA, our message to millennials is loud and clear. It’s a message of inclusion and possibility to help jumpstart their small business potential wherever their talents and interests may lie. Entrepreneurship can be the answer if your question is "What’s next for me?” If you’re a potential millennial entrepreneur or know someone that is, go to www.sba.gov/young to learn more or visit our Montana District Office web site at www.sba.gov/mt.