Photo credit: Congresswoman Grace Meng

Following Global Entrepreneurship Week, Congresswoman Grace Meng is enacting a new measure to help the youth become the next generation of entrepreneurs. 

Meng’s new bill, the 21st Century Youth Entrepreneurship Act, seeks to expand entrepreneurship programs in public schools (grades K-12), community colleges, libraries and other community spaces to equip young people with the tools necessary to become the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. 

“Entrepreneurship kindles the spark of creativity and ingenuity that has been such a cornerstone of our economy,” Meng said. “Entrepreneurs are the backbone of Queens and the nation — they drive innovation, job creation and economic growth. Throughout my time in Congress, I have fought to help small businesses and entrepreneurs flourish. I am proud to introduce this legislation to help create a pathway for aspiring entrepreneurs to grow and thrive.” 

The 21st Century Youth Entrepreneurship Act would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) to allow local and state educational agencies (grades K-12) to use federal funds for entrepreneurship programs, financial literacy programs and leadership programs. 

It will also amend the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to allow the use of federal funds for entrepreneurship programs in career technical education and initiatives at high schools, community colleges and public community spaces such as libraries. 

Meng’s legislation is endorsed by the Queens Economic Development Corporation, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Junior Achievement of New York, Association of Women’s Business Centers and the State University of New York (SUNY) Student Assembly, among other supporters. 

“Entrepreneurs drive the economy here in Queens and helping local students obtain the skills they need to be the future generation of business leaders is critical to the borough flourishing in the years ahead,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation. “We are extremely grateful to Congresswoman Meng for introducing this critical legislation and commend her for all she has done to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners in Queens.”

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