Thursday, January 7, 2010

Entrepreneurship may be the answer for recent college grads who are struggling to find jobs

Many people, including recent college grads, are finding the abundance of jobs to be very slim. The LA Times reports that in November 2009, the national unemployment rate dropped from 10.2% to 10%, but rose to 16% for 20-24 year olds.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that employers hired 22% fewer grads from the class of 2009 as compared to 2008 and will likely hire 7% fewer grads from the class of 2010 as compared to 2009. With high competition and low availability of jobs, many recent college grads are turning to entrepreneurship as a career. Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc (a global outplacement consulting company that provides counseling and coaching services for executives, managers, and employees) states that the annual average percentage of all job seekers starting their own businesses increased from 5% at the end of 2008 to 9% through the third quarter of 2009.

Bo Fishback, vice president of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes entrepreneurs states, “Given the state of the economy, and the state of the job market, many young people are getting the push they needed to become entrepreneurs. It's a lot easier to decide to launch your own company when there aren't a lot of jobs out there." Entrepreneurship may also be a suitable career for young adults because they may find it easier to adapt to new technologies and may not have the monetary obligations (like children, a home, etc) that older adults may have.

This doesn’t mean that entrepreneurship will be a piece of cake for recent college grads (or any age group). A lot of hard work is needed to launch your own business. Before starting a business, look for resources created especially for entrepreneurship. Contact your local Extension office. There are many courses, materials, and web tools available. Also, by getting to know your local Extension Associate, you can learn about issues and regulations pertinent to your city/state.

As a recent (or soon to be) college grad, have you thought about starting your own business? Have you sought out any resources to help determine if entrepreneurship is right for you? Do you think that your age helps or hinders your success?

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