U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) introduced a new bill this month aimed at spurring young entrepreneurs by creating a competitive grant program to establish, expand or enhance business incubators at universities and colleges.
"Because of rising student loans, entrepreneurship among young Americans is at 24-year-low," Swalwell, whose district includes San Ramon, said in a statement. "We shouldn't let student loan debt hold millennials back from pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams."
House Resolution 3990, dubbed the "Start-Up America's Students Act," would establish the first-ever Small Business Administration competitive grant program that specifically funds university business incubators -- facilities on college campuses that provide shared spaces, resources and assistance for creating and growing student-owned small businesses.
"Universities and colleges can provide the perfect environment to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. However, many schools lack the resources to invest in an incubator," Swalwell said, adding that his proposed legislation would help fill that financial void.
Joining the local congressman in co-sponsoring the bill were U.S. Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).
All five are members of the Future Forum, a group chaired by Swalwell and comprised of the youngest Democratic Congress members that focus on issues and opportunities for American millennials.
They hope HR 3990 will "give more students opportunities to get businesses off the ground," according to Swalwell.
The bill was referred to the House Committee on Small Business on Nov. 5.