Graduation is quickly approaching for many college students across the country. They will be facing an unstable job market with only a slight sign of recovery. But for many, the competition will be fierce, leaving them with few options after graduation. Many have labeled this the “boomerang” generation—faced with few job prospects and mounting debt, many graduates are forced to move back home with their parents.

Spurred by a tough economy and stiff competition, a growing number of graduates are considering entrepreneurial endeavors. With today’s increased social media exposure and small internet startup costs, graduates are stepping out into entrepreneurial waters by taking advantage of innovative business ideas and concepts. Some experts believe that the success of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook has put “pie in the sky” visions into the eyes of young college graduates. Others are quick to point out that these successes are few and far between. However, if being your own boss, working long hours, and making financial sacrifices appeals to you, you should consider entrepreneurship.

Education increases entrepreneurial success

Studies conducted by the Kauffman Foundation, an organization dedicated to gathering data on entrepreneurs and their activities, indicated that “education provides an advantage in tech entrepreneurship.” The studies also indicate that those founded by college graduates had two times the sales and employment of the companies who were founded by people who didn’t graduate from college. In addition, founder education improves business success, increased profits and sales. The Kauffman Firm Survey also found that 57 percent of business owners who received an equity investment in their first year of business had at least a college education. More Americans have become entrepreneurs during this recession than in the past 15 years, and many of them are recent college graduates.

Why choose entrepreneurship?

In a recent New York Times article, “No Jobs? Young Graduates Make Their Own”, several recent graduates discuss their decision to go the entrepreneur route:

THE lesson may be that entrepreneurship can be a viable career path, not a renegade choice — especially since the promise of “Go to college, get good grades and then get a job,” isn’t working the way it once did. The new reality has forced a whole generation to redefine what a stable job is.

Scott Gerber, an NYU film graduate facing a tough job market, moved back home with his parents after graduation and started SizzleIt—an internet video marketing company. In October, Mr. Gerber started the Young Entrepreneur Council “to create a shift from a résumé-driven society to one where people create their own jobs,” he says. “The jobs are going to come from the entrepreneurial level.” Mr. Gerber also suggests several options available to all entrepreneurs to help minimize start up costs:

A business owner can build a Web site, host conference calls, create slide presentations online through a browser, and host live meetings and Web seminars — all on a shoestring. Can’t afford a Madison Avenue address? Try borrowing one instead. That is what Mr. Gerber did, for $300 a year, from a virtual office which forwards mail from a recognizable address. He says it saved him $100,000 in rent and gave Sizzle It the credibility it needed to start attracting clients that now include Procter & Gamble and the Gap. He does most of his actual work at home and in coffee shops and shared workspaces.

Getting help if you need it

Although it is possible to begin your entrepreneurial endeavor on a shoestring, at some point you will obviously need some type of help: training on specific enterprises and possibly venture capital.

FlyingStart is dedicated to getting student and graduate businesses started. “Whether it’s just an idea, an international hi tech venture, a social enterprise or a small consultancy FlyingStart is geared up to support graduates, up to five years out, realize their ambitions and support new businesses.”

Scott Gerber has created “the world’s first help desk for young aspiring entrepreneurs” and the Gen Y Fund to launch in 2011 to help young entrepreneurs locate and secure financing for their entrepreneurial businesses.

If being your own boss appeals to you or you’re interested in trying out that great idea you’ve been mulling over since you started college, consider the path of an entrepreneur. It will be hard work but the rewards could be phenomenal. And who knows, you might just be the next billionaire entrepreneur!

* If this post is a big motivator for you to earn your college degree, you can check out our online list of schools here on

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