Watch out Occupy Wall Street, there's a new movement in town. This one, dubbed #FixYoungAmerica, kicks off tomorrow and is aimed at overcoming the "epidemics of youth unemployment and underemployment." #FixYoungAmerica is being launched by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit consisting of the world’s top entrepreneurs under 35, and dozens of partners and supporters (including Junior Achievement, Babson College, Codecademy, and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship [NFTE]).
The YEC says the goal of the campaign is to kick off a national conversation about how to solve the nation's youth employment problems.
The group proposes the following solutions:
- Student loan forgiveness or deferral for young entrepreneurs, using the precedent already set by Income-Based Repayment (IBR);
- Passing a crowdfunding bill, so young entrepreneurs can openly crowdsource startup capital;
- Franchise ownership as a viable alternative path to self-sufficiency (in lieu of college or MBAs) for aspiring entrepreneurs and veterans;
- Graduating more entrepreneurs from our K-12 schools, community colleges and four-year colleges through entrepreneurship education, integrated entrepreneurship programs, technology education initiatives and nonprofit partnerships;
- Expanding Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) to all 50 states so unemployed young people can use their UI benefits to fund a new venture;
- Fostering innovation, new company creation, and new “Silicon Valleys” in regions across the U.S., including underserved regions and cities in economic decline.
"There are solutions to the problems Millennials face," said Scott Gerber, founder of the Young Entrepreneur Coucil. "The challenge is exposing them and executing on them, and that is what the YEC and our supporters intend to do with the #FixYoungAmerica book and campaign. With every dollar we raise, we are that much closer to getting real, proven solutions into key decision maker's hands for the 2012 elections, and beyond."