Thanks to my friend Ryan Paugh, I was lucky to get an early seat as a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (the Y.E.C.), an organization that has recently impressed me with its lofty goals and achievements. The organization has recently spearheaded the Youth Entrepreneurship Act with the White House, petitioning for student loan forgiveness programs for college graduates who start businesses, expanded access to micro-loans for Gen-Y founders, and increased investment in entrepreneurship education.
They’ve also started Gen Y Capital Partners—the first startup accelerator for Gen-Y, by Gen-Y, providing access to venture capital and peer-to-peer mentoring.
“Our government is being strangled by partisan politics. Youth employment is at a 60-year low. Student loan debt is approaching $1 trillion (and default rates are rising quickly).
Yet young Americans are far more optimistic about our country’s future than the pundits would have you believe – and they are demonstrating that optimism through entrepreneurship. According to a 2011 survey, 23% of young people started a business as a result of being unemployed. Fifteen percent started a business in college. And let’s not forget our veterans, who are twice as likely as other Americans to own businesses.
So why are so few pundits and politicians building on that entrepreneurial energy as a solution to joblessness and economic malaise? The fact is, it’s high time we funneled our collective energy toward rebuilding an entrepreneurial America.”
It’s a great article. If you find youth entrepreneurship compelling at all, then please go read it right now, and then come right back here. Go!
Alright, you’re back. Good. So…
This morning Scott emailed me about the YEC’s latest campaign, #FixYoungAmerica. Suffice it to say that I’m thankful to be involved in the YEC and what they’re doing as they grow more and more ambitious, and I agree wholeheartedly that it’s well time to bring our education system out of the industrial age and leap forward into the information age and the coming entrepreneurship economy which is upon us.
I’ve been living in Asia for over three years, where I’ve witnessed firsthand the entrepreneurial and creative power in this part of the world. And all I will say is that if we want to remain competitive in this “flattening” world, we’ve got to play some catchup. And it’s high time that the politicians in power stop wasting our time and money on their campaigns (speaking of which, peek at this too), stop with the misdirection and distractions, and start listening to the next generation of young people who will be coming for their jobs in the coming decade.
As usual, even those who campaign on a platform of hope and change haven’t delivered on their promises. All across business, we’re seeing new players slowly shaking things up in all the old games, they’re even slowly pushing banking to change… politics is the next frontier that needs some major disruption, and I’m excited because I know when my peers start to run things our generation stands at least a fighting chance at taking the world in a new direction.
That old game will be over soon. It’s time for a new game, and it’s time for them to start listening and taking the next generation seriously. All of this is what makes me proud to have a seat at the YEC, and it’s why I continue to build and expand my Digital Nomad Academy where a few colleagues and I provide mentoring to other young aspiring entrepreneurs.
Because it’s time for change.
So, to that end, I wanted to share the email that Scott sent me this morning to help spread the word about the YEC’s new campaign:
“Today is the day that we band together as one to #FixYoungAmerica.
Millennials are turning to entrepreneurship in record numbers in a bid to hang onto the American dream, but they’re doing it without our support. Why? We at the Young Entrepreneur Council have mentored thousands of young people and worked with dozens of American organizations, and we’ve seen firsthand that there ARE solutions out there. And that’s why, along with dozens of other organizations, we’re leading a solutions-based movement to #FixYoungAmerica. But we need YOUR ideas and support to make it work.
Here’s how you can help #FixYoungAmerica RIGHT NOW:
- Pass the Baby: Your ideas to #FixYoungAmerica are just as important to this campaign as the ones in our book. Visit our website and click on the Pass the Baby button to share your own idea to reduce youth unemployment and underemployment. Then, share your idea (and our baby mascot) on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or your website to show your support.
- Contribute: Your tax-deductible contributions to #FixYoungAmerica through IndieGoGo.com will help us put a copy of our book in the hands of every politician, thought leader and decision maker in America, and will fuel our efforts to transform innovative ideas into actionable solutions. YEC and #FixYoungAmerica is a 100% nonprofit effort, and part of your contribution will be donated to programs for young entrepreneurs. If you share our passion for rebuilding America through entrepreneurship, contribute to this campaign today.
- Visit our website for even more ways to help.
From the Arab Spring to the Tea Party, from Occupy Wall Street to the SOPA and PIPA protests, we’ve seen the power of what like-minded individuals can achieve. #FixYoungAmerica is about starting a much-needed conversation in America and implementing a REAL plan of action. I’m honored to be able to launch this campaign with so many great friends at my side.
Thank you so much for your help and support!
What do you think should be done to improve education, improve our standing in the political realm, and help put the economy back on the right track? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.