As the month of June comes to a
close and thousands of highs school seniors move on to the next chapter of
their lives, NFIB wants to salute those who have stepped up and taken the baton
as the next generation of young entrepreneurs. 
This is the ninth year that NFIB has awarded scholarships to high school
seniors through the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation, a scholarship
program designed to reward and encourage entrepreneurial talents among high
school students.

Owning and operating a small business is one of the most
profound ways for people to make a difference in their communities.  By starting a small
business, young people can look forward to the rewards that come with being
your own boss and creating jobs for others. 
The benefits of entrepreneurship are endless.  The statistics about small business owners
are impressive:

(Source is the NFIB National
Small Business Poll Series

Since 2003, NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation (YEF) has
worked to promote entrepreneurship and small business as a career path for
students.  We achieve our mission
primarily through our annual scholarship program recognizing graduating high
school seniors who have started their own small business.  Over the last eight years, 2,226 scholarships
have been awarded by the Foundation to graduating high school seniors totaling
over $2.5 million.

In California, 26 students received scholarships to continue
their education.  In addition, because of his work in becoming a
leading seller of custom miniature skateboards in the United States, Dillon
Morgan of Westlake Village, California, was named the 2011 Young Entrepreneur
of the Year by the NFIB/YEF. Mr. Morgan was selected from among 4,000
nationwide candidates. In recognition of his achievements, Morgan was awarded a
$10,000 educational scholarship that will help defray the cost of his tuition
at the University of Southern California.

The question is – how long will California be a place in
which young entrepreneurs want to stay and start their businesses?  A challenge for those who support small
business – this summer, find a young entrepreneur that you can support, mentor
and encourage to pursue their dream.  The
growth of entrepreneurship in California is the best way for the Golden State
to become that way again for future generations.