Making Entrepreneurship Attractive To Youngsters

6 Jan

At a time when most kids their age were playing video games or worrying about prom nights, Michael Tanner started his own company. The 18-year-old senior from Sierra Canyon High School owns Tanner Films, a film production company. Using the Tanner Films banner, he has already made three films (which have won several awards) and is in the process of directing another.

Given the spiraling rates of unemployment recently, one would think more youngsters like Tanner would be interested in entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

According to a recent study by the Kauffmann Foundation, the share of employed people who have their own businesses is lowest amongst people of Tanner’s age group (16 to 19). In addition, only 0.3 percent of recent college graduates own businesses. This is especially surprising considering that student debt has risen beyond $1 trillion. Several reasons, from lack of interest in entrepreneurship to unavailability of finances, have been put forward as causes. Out of these, only the latter reason holds true. After all, it is much easier to get loans, if one is older and has built a network of funding sources and credit scores.

As such, it is important that policy changes to encourage entrepreneurship should focus on making startup capital available to them to pursue their passions.


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