The next generation of American entrepreneurs is rising

The number of student entrepreneurs at Belmont University tripled this year – a good sign for America's next generation.

  • close
    Google cofounder Sergey Brin participated in a panel discussion in Mountain View, Calif., earlier this month. With a sour economy, the next generation of American entrepreneurs could be even more motivated to start their own businesses.
    Robert Galbraith/Reuters/File
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

"So are you seeing more students interested in entrepreneurship given the depths of this recession?"

I get this question a lot. And it is a good question because historically we saw a small upswing in student interest in entrepreneurship when the economy and job market softens.

But this is a much deeper recession and more worrisome long-term economic climate.

How are student reacting this time?

When the bottom fell out of the economy the initial reaction among my students was shock. This generation is one that has been protected from failure and insulating from risk. I tend to have graduating seniors in the class I teach, so those not already in business did not know what to do next.

But over the coming months, I saw a transformation. My students began to accept the new state of the world and adjusted their expectations. I began to think that this generation is ready to show their entrepreneurial spirit is for real. Maybe they are willing to step forward and help rebuild our economy one business at a time.

Then, as interest in business majors began to decline overall -- some theorized due in part to disillusion with corporate America -- the number of students in our major held steady.

Finally, the other day I received a piece of data about our program that affirmed my theory.

Each year we usually see about 15-20 new businesses started by our undergraduate students. Mind you, they do this in the midst of taking classes and often while also working part-time.

This year we have seen a tripling of new practicing student entrepreneurs. We went from 18 last year to 54 this year. Keep in mind that these students are not just our majors. They are coming from all across our campus from many different majors.

So it seems at least among the young people I work with, the entrepreneurial generation is willing. This news has certainly raised my spirits about our economic future.

I am also confident that our students will be able -- the success rates among alumni are solid.

Now it is time to turn them loose. It is time for policy makers to give them the capital they need by cutting income taxes and the freedom they need by cutting regulations so they can help build a better future for all of us.

Add/view comments on this post.


The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.




Save for later


Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items


Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items


Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items