5 awesome resources for young entrepreneurs
Forget lemonade stands and mowing lawns. With a little guidance, many of today's tech-savvy teens could probably helm their own software companies.
A number of local, national and online resources exist to help the next generation of small business owners -- from scholarship programs to blogs to financial assistance. Here are just a few:
NFIB Young Entrepreneur Program
College-bound high school seniors who have launched their own business can compete for 2013 scholarships from the National Federation of Independent Business. The deadline to apply is Dec. 17. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation will announce semifinalists in January. The merit-based awards range from $1,000 to $10,000. The foundation has awarded 2,300 scholarships worth more than $2.5 million since 2003. To apply or for more information, visit the foundation’s scholarship page.
Founded in 1999, this website describes itself as the place “where young entrepreneurs meet and start up.” It offers forums, startup advice and profiles of successful young business owners. Recent posts include ideas for businesses aimed at gluten-free consumers and the top 10 reasons why newbie entrepreneurs fail. Learn more at: http://www.youngentrepreneur.com.
An offshoot of Entrepreneur.com, Teen Business is another good launch pad for youthful CEOs. Check out the recent article, “Top 25 Undergraduate Programs for Entrepreneurship.”
Student Startup Plan
With the motto “Defer loans, not entrepreneurship,” this program helps college grads manage their federal student loans while launching a great business idea. Part of the White House’s Startup America initiative, the program offers income-based repayment plans. Visit the SBA’s Student Startup Plan page for more information.
Young Entrepreneur Council
To join this invite-only organization, you need a referral from a member. Their impressive ranks include the founders of Klout, Docstoc, HootSuite and other successful ventures. Not quite ready for prime time? You can still get peruse the YEC’s website for advice, tips and resources.