1:40 pm - Wednesday August 16, 2017

SBA Feature Story: Millennials a force for change in Colorado‏

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, and 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.  This year the agency will roll out a new online tool called LINC, for Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital.  It starts with an online form for borrowers, containing the information that matters most for lenders.  The form takes less than five minutes to fill out.  Currently, a borrower’s answers will be blasted out to selected community-based lenders in that borrower’s county. Once lenders have reviewed the information that matters most to them, they’ll respond if they’re interested – usually within 48 hours. LINC is one example of how the SBA is transforming its programs to respond to the new way of doing business online.
Despite their promise, unemployment remains high among some millennials. One in four millennials are experiencing unemployment. Millennials who grow up in underserved 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 and their families. 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 up-to-date policies to support this generation.
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 where ever 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 towww.sba.gov/young to learn more or visit the Colorado District Office’s webpage at www.sba.gov/<http://www.sba.gov/>co.

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