#407. BoomtownUSA’s Millennials: Supercharged Entrepreneurs

Posted on | The Agurban

BoomtownUSA’s Millennials: Supercharged Entrepreneurs

I’m ready for the road again! For the past three years I have been laying low on the speaking circuit, only occasionally doing a BoomtownUSA presentation. During this period I have spent a great deal of time researching the innovative group we affectionately call Millennial Entrepreneurs. I am astounded by the entrepreneurial spirit that millennials possess and want to share this powerful economic development driver with you.

Millennial Entrepreneurs, young people under the age of 29, are quickly transforming the boomtowns that we found in our original research for my “BoomtownUSA” book. Those towns that are figuring out how to inspire, instruct, and assist these young entrepreneurs are the ones that are going to transform their towns for the future. It is a profound paradigm shift that is occurring in rural America with economic developers spending less time on recruiting in new businesses, and instead channeling recruitment resources into new business development. One huge advantage of this shift is that these local entrepreneurs are putting down much deeper roots than those recruited into the community. But, it’s not just going to happen. There are reams of research that show you must connect with millennials to create the most positive economic future. In this new presentation, we will show you how communities are making that happen in real and meaningful ways.

I am teaming up with an incredible teacher, Craig Lindvahl, to do this talk. Craig is an Illinois teacher of the year finalist and also a multiple Mid-America Emmy award winning filmmaker, who developed and has taught a special high school course on entrepreneurism now in its fifth year, called CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) that has already transformed our rural county. We have over 20 new businesses started as a direct result of this course, and more importantly, we’ve transformed the lives of the young people who have taken this accredited course.

My “aha” moment with CEO occurred when we surveyed the students, who came from six county high schools, before and after the course. Prior to taking it, only 3 of the 25 students in the course that year, intended to return to the county after college. Afterwards, 21 of the same 25, were intending to return. It was the personal connection to the business community that drove this change. From only 3 to 21!

The presentation will focus not only on this course and other approaches from around the country, but will also include:
Towns transformed by entrepreneurs
Current research on Entrepreneurism in America
Examples of supercharged millennials
How to stay connected with our youth

The speaking tour, BoomtownUSA’s Millennials: Supercharged Entrepreneurs, will officially launch in June 2013. Craig and I are going to do a limited number of these talks around the country, and like my original BoomtownUSA talks, they will be filled with real life stories that are both inspiring and informative. Lisa Huston at 217-342-4443 or lhuston@agracel.com will be coordinating these talks. If you would like to hear me again, let her know.

I am psyched about partnering with Craig to help you discover what your millennials can mean to your community’s future!

Jack Schultz