#FixYoungAmerica: 5 Resources For Young Entrepreneurs
Fixing young America may seem like no easy task. Unemployment looms over the heads of recent graduates, and for those preparing to graduate, opportunity seems elusive. #FixYoungAmerica is a campaign that got its start by Young Entrepreneur Council. Their mission? To provide a solution to the question of How to overcome the epidemics of youth unemployment and underemployment and #FixYoungAmerica?
Their take on the campaign? “If we genuinely want Millennials — and future generations — to survive and thrive in the new economy, then we need real solutions, and we need them now. Help me #FixYoungAmerica”
Recommended below are some resources that can benefit young and motivated entrepreneurs achieve goals, or even life-long dreams:
Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding startup is reported to distribute an estimated $150 Million to promote Kickstarter projects, just this year alone. According to Wire Inc. and Talking Points Memo, that’s $4 million more than the fiscal budget for the National Endowment of the Arts, which is an independent federal agency that supports the arts and artists it associates with. One of Kickstarter’s most important assets is that unlike the NEA, the way they choose eligible candidates is through their an application on their site. Applying through Kickstarter is much less a daunting task for timid artists and entrepreneurs, because they recognize talent and motivated young people trying to make a business move that may one day make the world a better place.
Crowdsourcing isn’t a completely new trend in society, but Kickstarter spins it to allow everybody an equal chance at getting their next startup idea funded by the generosity of strangers that fully support their idea.
Decoding the Digital Divide:
Zach Sims, founder of Codecademy had an idea that would flip the cost of knowledge from years worth of student debt by providing free coding to anyone with an Internet connection. As simple as the tag line of the site is, “Codecademy is the easiest way to learn how to code. It’s interactive, fun, and you can do it with friends”, it summarizes the exact point of what Codecademy is trying to achieve — beating the digital divide.
As technology continues to grow on it’s rapidly moving path, there is a lot of concern that a “digital divide” will split society amongst those that understand how to interact with the technology, and the other side of the divide may be left in the dust. Learning how to code not only helps the mind to develop good habits, but can also help minimize technology’s seemingly cruel learning curve, which is why Codecademy is a brilliant resource for entrepreneurs young and old.
Accelerate Your Startup Idea:
MassChallenge is a company lead by CEO John Hawthorne, who pledges to “catalyze a startup renaissance.” If you happen to be an early-stage entrepreneur looking for that golden opportunity – the accelerate program has your back. With an annual startup competition, MassChallenge puts your teams to work by providing a 3 month accelerator program that includes world class mentorship, access to funding, and a free office space to cook up your incubated ideas. To find out more about this program, simply go here.
Leveraging Social Media:
Author of The Education of Millionares Michael Ellsberg has a different approach to education. Rather than using a degree or MBA as a credibility marker, social media assets like the number of Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, or your blog or startup’s Page Rank are factors that lend to one’s credibility in this day and age. A modern version of credibility now comes in the form of social networking, and the ability to engage with influential community leaders.
Getting the Youth Involved:
Hack College friends The Youth Entrepreneurship Act has a strong interest when it comes to getting young entrepreneurs the help and assistance they need in order to overcome this tough economy. With the Youth Entrepreneurship Act, student loans are forgiven or deferred for young entrepreneurs which would forgive or defer student loans for young entrepreneurs using the Income Based Repayment System.
If you’d like to donate to #FixYoungAmerica’s $30,000 goal, you can do so through their IndieGoGo page.