When Brown University student Walker Williams had difficulty finding part-time job listings, his response was to launch his own job-search website, Jobzle.com. But a crucial factor in transforming the website from a hobby to a business was the funding it got through startup accelerator Betaspring.
“It gave us the money, the offices, resource space and mentorship to focus on the product 100 percent,” the 22-year-old Williams said.
The Young Entrepreneur Council is one organization that aims to support entrepreneurs through ways such as education. Given the high youth unemployment rate – more than half of Americans aged 16 to 24 were unemployed according to a July 2010 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – founder Scott Gerber is a firm believer that youth must create their own jobs.
“I think entrepreneurship used to be a renegade’s choice, but today it’s a viable career path,” said Gerber, author of “Never Get A ‘Real’ Job“, whose mantra is “you need to create a job to keep a job.”
The organization recently released results of its Youth Entrepreneurship Survey, conducted by YEC and the Buzz Marketing Group, which gauged the needs of underemployed and unemployed youth.