The Small Business Administration is launching a national campaign to promote entrepreneurship education among young men of color, the agency said Friday.
The program is part of a public-private initiative titled “My Brother’s Keeper,” which President Obama announced last year to address the social and academic challenges faced by black and Latino boys. It comes as the administration is working to spur entrepreneurship to add jobs; nationwide 15 percent of businesses are started by non-white people, according to a 2012 analysis. The SBA said Latinos in particular are starting businesses at three times the national average, accounting for 3 million companies.
The SBA program is targeted specifically at millennials, and will be led by Mike Muse, a New York-based entrepreneur who owns music label Muse Recordings.
In his role, Muse plans to conduct events across the country focused on teaching entrepreneurship skills to boys of color in the fields of music, film, fashion and sports.
“I want to teach young black and brown boys that we don’t [just] have to be consumer-driven in these fields, we can lead the industry,” Muse said in an interview.
The agency and Muse plan to conduct a series of six-week workshops. Their efforts are to be documented on a Web site dedicated to the program and through conversations on social media.
“Millennial entrepreneurs are risk-takers making big leaps in small businesses and adding fresh ideas to boost the U.S. economy,” Maria Contreras-Sweet, the agency’s administrator, said in a statement. “Together, we will support President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative by empowering young people in many of our underserved communities with SBA resources, so that they can dream big and propel the entrepreneurial spirit of their generation forward.”
The agency’s goal is to help more young people get into successful entrepreneurship pipelines, Miguel Ayala, the administration’s spokesman, said in an e-mail.
The agency plans to achieve those goals through partnerships with business incubators and growth accelerators as well as hosting roundtables at venues in underserved communities, he said. Past discussions have been held at Harris Stowe State University in St. Louis or Maryland’s own Prince George’s Community College.
President Obama’s program, which he characterizes as a deeply personal cause, has received more than $300 million in funding since its launch from a mix of corporate donors and nonprofits. The White House also launched a nonprofit foundation last month to support the original initiative. It is backed by corporate donors such as Sam’s Club, Deloitte Consulting, PepsiCo, Sprint, AT&T and Discovery Communications. Muse’s companies will fund the workshops and the SBA’s initiative will be used to promote the agency’s existing entrepreneurship program, Ayala said.
The first workshop is set to begin in September, Muse said.