Message for Young Entrepreneurs

Here are words of wisdom I often share with young entrepreneurs. I used this in the intro in a recent book for young entrepreneurs:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the wind in the sails. Explore, Dream. Discover.”

Mark Twain

Young adults recognize the entrepreneurial opportunity. In a 2017 Gallup/Operation Hope report measuring student attitudes about entrepreneurship, here are some key findings:

  • Nationally, about four in 10 students (41%) agree they plan to start their own business, but the percentage of schools offering classes in how to start and run a business has decreased since 2011 — from 50% to 43%.
  • Half of students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds agree that they plan to start their own business, compared with 35% of students from high socioeconomic backgrounds. However, students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds will potentially face more obstacles — such as a lack of social or financial capital or other resources — than their peers from high socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • “Our index shows students remain optimistic but lack the financial literacy to compete globally with other students. This is bad news for America,” said John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE. “We need to prioritize the economic engagement of today’s youth and promote financial literacy, financial dignity and entrepreneurship in underserved communities.”
  • Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton noted, “There are some promising signs, however. About 40% of students want to start a business or invent something that will change the world. The problem is, only 5% of these students are in internships in companies or organizations. This is arguably the single biggest failure of our leadership. Not Washington’s, not the public schools’ — but yours and mine.”

Check out my comments on a Washington Post article Teaching High School Students Entrepreneurship Drives Jobs And Economic Growth in October 2011- progress has been made but much more can be done (

Young entrepreneurs fuel today’s entrepreneurial revolution. We have some challenges but their opportunity outlook is positive, exciting and unbounded- that is my message. 

Best to all and stay safe.


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