How SBDCs Meet the Needs of Millennial Entrepreneurs

If you’re a Millennial who’s ever thought about starting your own business, you’re in good company. America’s SBDC recently teamed up with the Center for Generational Kinesthetics to learn more about how different generations approach and perceive entrepreneurship. Recent data from their collaboration, the America’s Voice on Small Business study, reports that a whopping 62% of Millennials have a dream business in mind they’d love to start, and 49% intend to start their own business in the next three years.

With a particular focus on the perceived barriers to entrepreneurship for Millennials, the study also shed insight on what’s stopping them. But with 63 SBDC networks around the country, at nearly 1,000 locations, with thousands of advisors trained and ready to assist small business owners and startups with every aspect of the process of launching and growing, we think we have some good ways to address those barriers.

Here are three specific ways that SBDCs meets the needs of Millennial (and all) American entrepreneurs.

1. Knowledge
Though money is a big obstacle for Millennials, their biggest perceived barrier is knowledge. More than 13 million Millennials cite “not knowing how to run a business” as their biggest barrier to getting started.

SBDCs are ready to step in to provide training, counseling, and resources. We provide free and low-cost workshops, as well as free one-to-one counseling when you’re ready to take actionable steps — like developing a business plan, obtaining financing, navigating licensing and filing, and much more. Our business counselors are trained to help you see the big picture, make a road map, and learn how to tackle each step along the way.

 2. Money
A whopping 55% of Americans (including 63% of women) from all generations believe that accessing money is the most difficult aspect of starting a business. Some 33% say that not having enough money or financing is the number one reason keeping them from starting a business.

SBDCs across America have helped entrepreneurs obtain more than $4.6 billion in capital to launch and expand their small businesses. First, we know where the money is — each regional SBDC is a wealth of knowledge on the most appropriate banks and local programs with capital available for your type of business and financial needs. And second, we help you put your best foot forward. Along with working with you to identify your business’s realistic financial needs, we can help you polish your application and prepare for interviews so you know how to land a small business loan.

3. Partnership
According to the study, 75% of Millennials would be encouraged to start a small business if they knew where to go for help.

The SBDC model is not just about learning some business skills and being sent on your way. We partner with entrepreneurs. Many of our clients build a relationship with a business counselor who navigates the unique challenges they face in the current phase of launch or growth. And as your business grows — whether you’re opening a new location, scaling output, hiring new employees, or even moving into international marketing — you can be confident that you have a resource to turn to, who celebrates your success.

Would you believe that 59% of Millennials say that with the right idea and resources, they would start a business within the next year? It’s true! If you’ve got an idea, your local SBDC is here for American entrepreneurs!