OPINION: Young entrepreneurs dream big
All across the country, there are young men and women dreaming of opening their own businesses. Some are looking to start the next social media phenomenon, while others are focused on a business idea that fills an important niche on their campuses and in their communities.
At the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), we know that young entrepreneurs are a valuable source of American innovation, which is why we launched our Young Entrepreneur Series (YES). Nationwide, 20 events were held, including one in Anchorage and one in Boise, Idaho. The SBA has the tools and resources to help these entrepreneurs succeed.
SBA appreciates that young entrepreneurs have different sorts of needs – they’re not just online and mobile; they’re starting all kinds of businesses while working out of cafes or even dorm rooms. We’ve launched a new set of online tools, with links to resources and online courses, geared specifically toward young entrepreneurs at www.sba.gov/content/young-entrepreneurs.
And the SBA online community puts articles and advice from tens of thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs online and available for perusing on our website. Join the community at www.sba.gov/community.
SBA has many other tools available for young entrepreneurs and small businesses alike. We like to call these our “three C’s” and include capital, contracting and counseling.
We provide a government guarantee on SBA loans that are given by lenders to increase access to capital. One great example is SBA’s microloan program. It provides low-cost, low-dollar loans to entrepreneurs and small business owners who require a small infusion of capital to start or expand their business.
Opportunities available for small businesses in federal contracting include special efforts for women, veterans and disadvantaged businesses.
And we offer counseling and training to over a million aspiring entrepreneurs each year through our resource partner network including: SCORE, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Women Business Centers and Veterans Business Centers.
As young entrepreneurs build their small businesses, SBA resource partners are there for them to provide mentoring, coaching and advice for every stage of their business, from starting up and writing a business plan, to accessing capital and expanding.
SBA is dedicated to educating young entrepreneurs, connecting them to each other and other successful business owners and providing better access to tools, resources and information for starting, growing and managing a business.
But no matter where you are, how old you are, or what your business is, SBA has resources to help you grow your business. You can get in touch with your local SBA district office in Anchorage or resource partner at www.sba.gov/direct.