Youth Business USA, a non-profit organization aiming to boost entrepreneurial initiatives from under-served populations, is looking to implement Bitcoin into the organization and "want [their] young entrepreneurs to acquire and use Bitcoin as they start and run their businesses to benefit from its advantages."
Launched in 2014, Youth Business USA is a public charity and tech startup social initiative that "helps aspire young people between 18 and 29 years old make their business idea a reality." The charity provides business literacy, training, business mentoring, and up to US$5,000 in interest-free loans once the business is launched.
In the last several months of the organization's pre-pilot, Youth Business USA has already helped 11 young entrepreneurs take their product to market.
While the non-profit organization is already accepting bitcoin for donations, Youth Business USA is looking to take it to the next level and implement bitcoin into its model.
"I believe in Bitcoin's ability to empower low-income young Americans, as currently our nonprofit's core demographic is especially taken advantage of by the current banking system," said Bo Ghirardelli, founder, president and CEO of Youth Business USA.
Some of the problems that under-served young Americans face in the banking sector are the exorbitant fees that include low bank account balance fees, overdraft fees, checking fees, ATM fees, account maintenance fees, as well as wire fees for outsourcing and international purchases, indicated Ghirardelli.
To this issue, he believes Bitcoin can be the right answer to the high barriers to entry set by the banking sector, and "be a more immediate solution for those kinds of micro-entrepreneur problems."
"I think Bitcoin represents a way for micro-entrepreneurs like ours to especially benefit.
We want our young entrepreneurs to acquire and use Bitcoin as they start and run their businesses to benefit from its advantages.
Perhaps even close the loop, purchasing supplies/equipment and selling product/service all in bitcoin with no conversion."
Additionally, Youth Business USA wants the Bitcoin community to be able to directly give to and/or purchase from its low-income young entrepreneurs.
This could take the form of a page on its website with profiles of each of their businesses and links to their points-of-sale, according to Ghirardelli.
The Prominent Role of Bitcoin Startups
The organization has begun discussions with some of its young entrepreneurs to educate them on how Bitcoin can empower their projects.
"As we train our young entrepreneurs to access existing resources to develop their businesses, I think that Bitcoin's value proposition for our young entrepreneurs will become clear," Ghirardelli said.
While these young entrepreneurs are generally uninformed about Bitcoin, they are "incredibly tech-literate," and the vast majority has smartphones.
"Companies that make understanding and using Bitcoin incredibly easy, like Circle, are part of the answer to unlocking under-served American communities," Ghirardelli stated.
"Youth Business USA is building our services with that in mind, and Bitcoin companies that keep that in mind when building their products might have an easier time reaching our demographic."
Youth Business USA is currently working on building strong partnerships with prominent actors in the Bay Area to follow its mission of empowering low-income young entrepreneurs and help them launch their businesses.
There are currently more than 19 million low-income young adults in the USA, according to the United States Census.
45% of the under-served young adults, especially those of color, do not have full time employment, and 1/5 of them live in poverty.
Among the young adults looking to start a business, 92% of them need entrepreneurship training and 85% need startup funds, according to Youth Business USA.
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