Millennial Entrepreneurs To Take Center Stage During National Small Business Week

Scores of millennials are expected to gather in New York City on May 7 for a town hall conversation focused around entrepreneurship.  The event will take place during  National Small Business Week, with SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and SBA’s My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneur Champion Mike Muse leading the conversation. Muse, a successful music executive and radio personality, will host the event highlighting the individual journeys of a diverse set of entrepreneurs.

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While the perception is that millennials are the most entrepreneurial generation in American history, it is a misnomer. A recent study conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City, Mo., nonprofit that focuses on entrepreneurship, shows that portion of young adults who start a business each month dropped in 2013 to its lowest level in at least 17 years, ages 20 to 34 accounted for 22.7% of new entrepreneurs in 2013, down from 26.4% in 2003.

The town hall, “NYC Unplugged: A Conversations with millennials in Business at LinkedIn,” will place emphasis on the importance of inclusive entrepreneurship–acknowledging entrepreneurs whose stories show exactly why America needs to foster more opportunities across all communities, especially in minority communities, to help us compete in the global market. The conversation will provide an opportunity for attendees to hear from successful Millennial entrepreneurs within various industries across New York City, ranging from fashion, culinary, manufacturing, to venture capital.

Featured panelists include Aliya Lee Kong, Culinary entrepreneur; Idyl & Ayaan Mohallim, of Mataano, Matthew Burnett, of Maker’s Row, Navin Thukkaram, serial entrepreneur and investor, and Miguel McKelvey of WeWork.

According to recent data from the Kauffman Foundation, 54% of millennials want to start a business or already have started one. Surveys also show that 90% of millennials being an entrepreneur means having a certain mindset rather than starting a company.

The SBA seeks to foster the growth of Millennial startups through many outreach efforts including a Millennial Road Show that is a part of SBA’s “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative,” a Presidential priority to ensure that all young people have opportunities to improve their life outcomes and overcome barriers to success. SBA’s initiative will focus on outreach and education to help America’s millennial generation improve their entrepreneurial skills and pave the way to encourage the next wave of entrepreneurs.

Each year since 1963, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. This year National Small Business Week will be recognized from May 4-8 with national events planned in Miami/Boca Raton, Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York and Washington, D.C.