During a recent trip to Galvanize (Denver, Colorado), Hillary Clinton announced a bold new plan that aims towards fostering the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans. How does she plan to do this? There are five major steps to this initiative that are focused on improving the technological state of America as well as the environment for STEM careers. These commitments may include student loan forgiveness for new business entrepreneurs
Before the breakdown of her initiative, here is a quick overview on what this plan means for entrepreneurs. Recent studies reveal that student loans are a major barrier towards individuals with aspirations for startup companies. Roughly 50% of young graduates and college students claim that student loans have “impacted their ability to start a business.” Furthermore, about three quarters of this demographic with a business started it themselves (as opposed to inheritance). With so many young entrepreneurs striking out on their own, it is more alarming that over half of them experience difficulties from student loans.
Many of these millennial businesses find their beginnings in the technological department which is one of the main focuses of Clinton’s initiative. One segment calls for “commitments in computer science and STEM education” in order to support “entrepreneurial ecosystems.” This point is reiterated with another segment that calls for new rules or guidelines to create innovative environments. On top of all this, Clinton aims to improve the technological know-how and performance of the United States government. The plan calls for an overall renewed focus on technology. This new focus is meant to help foster an entrepreneurial environment for startups with better support from the government.
While this initiative broadly encompasses technological improvement, there are specific points that may be of great interest to entrepreneurial graduates. Upon showing proof of a new startup company, a business owner can qualify for up to three years of initial deferment on student loans; after a few more years under this plan, borrowers may qualify for at most $17,500 in student loan forgiveness.
This plan from Hillary Clinton is a world away from Rush Limbaugh’s prediction who claimed she would announce a plan for a total student loan forgiveness package. Additionally, it is in direct contrast to rumors that Candidate Trump would transition student loans to the private market. This recent proposal is much more targeted towards technology and innovation which is a promising venture. It is a product of the increasing emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education which is yet another product of the student loan issue. At any rate, this proposal will be talked about, criticized, and advocated for in the future.