Fix Young America HTML version

four have a job at all, the lowest percentage since the government
started keeping track in 1948.2 And student loan debt just topped
$1 trillion, with default rates rising quickly.
Yet young Americans are far more optimistic and entrepreneurial
than the pundits would have you believe. According to a 2011 youth
entrepreneurship survey conducted by Buzz Marketing Group and
the YEC, 23 percent of America’s young people started a business as
a result of being unemployed. Fifteen percent started their business
in college.3 And let’s not forget our veterans, who are twice as likely
as other Americans to own businesses.4
So why are so few politicians, pundits and decision makers
building on that entrepreneurial energy as a solution to joblessness
and economic malaise? From the Arab Spring to the Tea Party, from
Occupy Wall Street to the SOPA and PIPA protests, we’ve seen what
like-minded individuals can achieve. And it’s high time we funneled
that same energy into something positive—namely, rebuilding an
entrepreneurial America.
h is book is not the end-all, be-all compendium of solutions—
far from it. h e solutions in this book mark the beginning of an
important conversation, one we wanted to play a role in starting. By
opening the door and leading with solutions (instead of negativity),
we hope to create the momentum needed for long-term change. In
that spirit, we will continue to solicit hundreds of new solutions as
part of an ongoing national campaign.
2 Paul Taylor, et al., Young, Underemployed and Optimistic: Coming of Age, Slowly, in a Tough
Economy, Pew Research Center, (Pew Social & Demographic Trends, February 9, 2012), 6, les/2012/02/SDT-Youth-and-Economy.pdf.
3 Data is from YEC and Buzz Marketing Group’s annual youth entrepreneurship survey of over 1600
American males and females ages 16-39.
4 Scott Gerber, “Why We Should Help Veterans Start Their Own Businesses,”, February 7, 2012,