What does it take to fix young America? Is it student loan forgiveness for young entrepreneurs? Is it passing a crowdfunding bill, or expanding self-employment assistance? Well, Scott Gerber, founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council, thinks he has several solutions. Move over Occupy Boston, because there’s a new movement in town, and it’s called #FixYoungAmerica (#FYA).
Aimed at overcoming the epidemic of youth unemployment and underemployment, #FYA has begun a crowdfunding initiative through IndieGoGo, already receiving $20,000 from LegalZoom. Through the initiative, Gerber hopes to raise enough money to create a solutions-based book written by some of the country’s brightest intellectuals, nonprofit founders, philanthropists, educators, entrepreneurs and politicians. Through the book, the YEC will be able to promote — and encourage — entrepreneurial education, as well as get people involved in a national conversation on unemployment.
The YEC has been envisioning a 10-city bus tour in partnership with Young Invincibles that will kick off on March 14th. The crew will be visiting cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Boston to lobby for the Youth Entrepreneurship Act, while using the #FixYoungAmerica campaign to spotlight the proven solutions already working to propel young workers toward entrepreneurial success.
Twenty-three percent of 16-19 year olds, 13 percent of 20-24 year olds and nine percent of 25-34 year olds are jobless, as of January 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The #FYA campaign intends on implementing a plan of action in every area of entrepreneurship, however, including: K-12 education and parenting, higher education, nonprofit programs and networks, private enterprise, government policy, community-based ecosystems, leveraging technology and access to capital.
For those looking to help implement those plans and spread the message, they can do several things, although the must fun might be “Pass the Baby.” All it takes is thinking of a way to “Fix Young America,” writing the idea down and sharing that idea through Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter. Interested parties can also contribute to the cause. With 56 days left, #FYA has already reached $20,895 of their $30,000 goal.
“No single organization can alleviate youth un- and underemployment alone,” says Gerber in a press release. “It will take a collective response from academia, nonprofits, the government and the private sector to rebuild the American dream for our youth. There are solutions to the problems Millenials face; we at the YEC have seen them firsthand in the work we do every day. The #FYA movement’s goal is to expose them — and with every dollar we raise, we are that much closer to getting these proven solutions into decision makers’ hands.”
Some essayists behind the book, set to release in May, include Len Schlesinger, president of Babson College; Jack Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement; Senator Ron Wyden, representing Oregon; and Congressman Patrick Henry of the 10th District of North Carolina.
To hear more from Gerber, check out this promotional video from their campaign —