SBA wants to jump-start millennial entrepreneurs

The agency wants to help them start, grow and succeed as small business owners


Millennials, born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, are the largest generation in the U.S., 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 an important engine for the U.S. economy for decades ahead.

Millennials were born to be entrepreneurs, and at the U.S. Small Business Administration in New England we’re making millennial entrepreneurship dreams come true.

Overall, we want to help millennials start, grow and succeed as small business owners, and we won’t charge them a dime for it.

For example, in Center Ossipee, N.H., millennial entrepreneurs Matt Trahan and Ash Fischbein, of The Sap House Meadery, harnessed assistance from Kit McCormick of the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center to jump-start their business. It’s exciting to witness millennials becoming entrepreneurial trailblazers in our local communities and neighborhoods with SBA assistance.

Despite their promise, unemployment remains high among millennials. One in four millennials are experiencing unemployment. Millennials who grow up in under-served communities face even 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 isn’t about monetizing a hobby for some extra cash, it’s about finding a way 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 SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet 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 to millennials is clear. It’s a message of inclusion and possibility, to help jump-start their small business potential in where their talents and interests lie. Overall, we want to help millennials start, grow and succeed as small business owners, and we won’t charge them a dime for it.

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 to learn more.

Seth A. Goodall is New England regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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