New trend! With the job market, both generally and in particular for smart, ambitious college graduates (who might be inclined to look for jobs in, say, finance), being dismal right now, many college kids and recent graduates are looking into creating their own jobs rather than going looking for them--and the small business/entrepreneur establishment is only too eager to help.
The National Federation of Independent Business has smelled the Zeitgeist and responded accordingly: they are now offering a special discount student membership rate of only $25 per year. That's compared to a standard membership rate that, depending on the size of a prospective member's business, can range from $300 to $2400 annually. Those in college or within a year of graduating are eligible for the special rate. This is a great service the NFIB is providing (it's also a wonderful example of recession-era discounting--retailers, take note!).
Earlier this week, meanwhile, Independent Street ran a great post that contained several valuable tips for young entrepreneurs, basically mirroring an article that appeared the day before (the one difference: in the print edition, the young are called Generation Y; online, they are called by the apparently savvier "Millenials").
The blog advises having modest funding expectations--the credit markets being what they are; asking advice of your elders--yes, they may be older and more staid in their ways of thinking, but they've also done it before, and on top of that, they and their generations control the purse strings;?nab those young people-specific loans--many special programs offer loans exclusively to young entrepreneurs; get a lawyer--annoying, but you'll need one.
Finally, Entrepreneur weighs in with the tale of two Babson College undergrads who were able to get their business up and running in part by reaching out to current and former members of their fraternity. The point? Colleges provide the kind of extensive, helpful, built-in networks that older entrepreneurs dream of, and pay thousands of dollars a year to be party to, for free.
This will give older entrepreneurs yet one more reason to wish they were young again, and for that we apologize. But you know, a great way to feel young again--and to be young at heart again--is to help an up-and-coming entrepreneur get his or her ventures running. Just a thought!????
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