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. Their unprecedented enthusiasm for technology will spark change in traditional economic institutions and in the labor market. The priority that millennials place on creativity and innovation makes them an important engine for the U.S. economy for decades ahead.
In many ways, millennials were born to be entrepreneurs. As a mother of a millennial and interacting with her many millennial friends, I have observed first hand their ingenuity, willingness to constantly try and learn new things, and their proficient and fearless use of technology. One study found that more than half of the millennials surveyed expressed interest in starting a business.
The U.S. Small Business Administration District Office in Fresno is helping these aspiring business owners make the leap from interest to reality. We’re showing this new generation how to harness our many SBA resources and those of our resource partners to jumpstart their businesses. It’s exciting to witness millennials using SBA assistance to become entrepreneurial trailblazers in our local neighborhoods and communities and to learn more about their incredible business ideas.
President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative for Millennial Entrepreneurs” was recently launched to provide outreach and education to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by young people of color. The President’s new economic opportunity agenda for millennials creates new policies to support this generation, and ensure that all young people can overcome challenges and achieve their potential.
At the SBA, our message to millennials is clear. It’s a message of inclusion and possibility to support their small business aspirations that embrace their specific talents and interests. Overall, we want to help our young Americans reach their full potential as they start, grow, and succeed as small business owners.
If you are asking “What’s next for me?” entrepreneurship may be the answer. If you’re a potential millennial entrepreneur or know someone that is, you can learn more at www.sba.gov/young or contact the Fresno SBA District office for personal service at (559) 487-5791. With millennials’ independence, optimism and creativity, I see a bright and promising future ahead.