My Brother’s Keeper Encourages Millennial Entrepreneurship

By John Lovett Times Record, Fort Smith, Ark.

Encouraging millennial entrepreneurs is the focus of several new videos in the U.S. Small Business Administration's My Brother's Keeper Initiative at BizMyWay.com.

The six-part video series, titled "Biz My Way," encourages millennials to "follow their passion in business" and highlights millennial entrepreneurs from different professions ranging from technology to fashion and music.

The new My Brother's Keeper video series features digital innovator Reggie Miller, technology investor Jason Mowatt, celebrity trainer and boxer Ehinomen "Hollywood Hino" Ehikhamenor, Being Latino founder Lance Rios, Chef Maxcel Hardy and Beyoncé's stylist and designer Ty Hunter, who launched the series in November.

The video with Ehikhamenor was released Dec. 17. Those with Rios, Miller and Hardy will be released Jan. 6, Jan. 13 and Jan. 20, respectively.

In a documentary film style, each entrepreneur reveals their paths to entrepreneurship. In the first video, Ty Hunter talks about his transition from working in the health-care industry to fashion with Beyoncé. Mike Muse with My Brother's Keeper narrates and interviews the entrpreneurs.

SBA Arkansas District Director Linda Nelson said together with the My Broker's Keeper Initiative, a group with the SBA called the Small Business Majority also seeks mentors and internships with local nonprofits and businesses around the state to help prepare young people for the workforce.

In a blog about the My Brother's Keeper Initiative, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet writes that millennials are an "irreplaceable part of the entrepreneurial community" and studies show the age group represents "the most diverse group in history.

"By supporting entrepreneurs from every walk of life, we can support our nation's entrepreneurial economy," Contreras-Sweet writes.

In 2014, the Centers for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the SBA launched a new program called Business Sunday. It works with faith and community groups to connect current and future business leaders with valuable federal resources to help them start or expand their businesses.

Business Sunday involves local Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) business centers partnering with SBA field offices and local congregations or community groups to share information on federal business development resources, and provide attendees an opportunity to connect with field staff.

My Brother's Keeper is supported by the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the SBA through the SBA's Millennial Entrepreneurs Initiative which "addresses high unemployment while supporting skills development among young people of color through self-employment and entrepreneurship."

The National Association of Guarantee Lenders also helps put the "business took kit" together, Nelson said. All of it is part a White House initiative called "Ready, Set, Go," a three-phase umbrella program that aims to teach young entrepreneurs how to make their dream business idea come true.

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