The Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) has taken a strong effort in making sure its services and resources are appealing and attractive to the millennial generation of entrepreneurs. In doing so, it has been at the forefront of the America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) network in the dialogue and delivery to drawing the next generation of business owners.
Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Senator David Vitter said much of the nation’s economic success “has been built around the strong and powerful backbone of America’s small businesses.”
“Louisiana continues to grow as a vital hub for exciting new businesses, and Louisiana SBDC is doing a great job of making sure the next generation of entrepreneurs have a seat at the table,” Vitter said. “Our economic future rests largely on the entrepreneurial drive and spirit of these young folks, which is why it’s important to have an open, honest dialogue to address their concerns now.”
In June the LSBDC hosted a national SBDC conference, Maximizing Millennial Minds (M3), to identify ways to engage the millennial generation from an internal perspective and external, client perspective. The M3 event welcomed over 60 SBDC attendees from nearly a dozen states as far as the West Coast, Midwest and East Coast to a two-day event in New Orleans.
That was the initial event for SBDCs to begin a dialogue and a strategy to engage millennials within the SBDC, and from it the LSBDC has been able to use ideas to reach the next generation of clients.
M3 creator DeRon Talley said the SBDC Millennial Committee began working on the internal issues of the millennial generation within the SBDC and from there “we’ve been able to use what we learned from each other to reach our potential clients.”
“I felt like in our respective centers and networks our voices may not have been heard in the staff meetings, but together amongst each other we recognize each other’s value and ideas,” Talley said, LSBDC Communications Specialist. “And afterwards some of us have been able to go back to our own leadership teams and present more substantial ideas that have been well-received and implemented.”
The LSBDC has hosted two millennial workshops for entrepreneurs in Northeast Louisiana co-hosted by the LSBDC at University of Louisiana Monroe. Talley said more millennial events are slated for Louisiana during Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is November 14-20.
“You can expect to see a millennial event in each region in the state that is tailored to bringing information to the next generation of entrepreneurs and answering questions to advance those who are already up-and-coming business owners,” Talley said.