IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 22, 2012
Ms. Landrieu (for herself, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Kerry, and Mr. Harkin) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
To strengthen entrepreneurial education, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as
Today’s Entrepreneurs are
America’s Mentors Act or the
In this Act—
the terms Administration and Administrator mean the Small Business Administration and the Administrator thereof, respectively; and
the term small business concern has the meaning given that term under section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632).
Office of Entrepreneurial Education
The Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631 et seq.) is amended—
by redesignating section 45 (15 U.S.C. 631 note) as section 46; and
by inserting after section 44 (15 U.S.C. 657q) the following:
Office of Entrepreneurial Education
There is in the Administration an Office of Entrepreneurial Education, which shall develop and provide innovative entrepreneurial information, education, and resources, to promote prospective entrepreneurs and successful small business concerns.
The head of the Office of Entrepreneurial Education is the Director of the Office of Entrepreneurial Education, who shall report to the Associate Administrator for Entrepreneurial Development.
The Director of the Office of Entrepreneurial Education shall—
manage the online courses, online publications, and other online resources provided by the Administration to entrepreneurs and small business concerns;
manage the youth entrepreneurship programs of the Administration, including—
online resources for youth entrepreneurs; and
coordination and outreach with entrepreneurial development service providers that provide counseling and training to youth entrepreneurs desiring to start or expand small business concerns;
coordinate with nonprofit and other private sector partners to share educational materials on money management and financial literacy for entrepreneurs and small business concerns; and
provide assistance and courtesy services to individuals and foreign dignitaries visiting the United States who are interested in issues relating to entrepreneurs and small business concerns.
National Primary and Secondary School Entrepreneurial Education Program
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the
Today’s Entrepreneurs are America’s Mentors
Act, the Associate Administrator for Entrepreneurial Development
(referred to in this subsection as the
shall establish a program under which the Associate Administrator may make
grants to nonprofit organizations, including small business development
centers, SCORE chapters, women’s business centers, and other resource partners
of the Administration, to provide technical assistance to primary and secondary
schools for the development and implementation of curricula and mentoring
programs designed to promote entrepreneurship.
A nonprofit organization desiring a grant under this subsection shall submit to the Associate Administrator an application that contains—
a description of the goals of the project to be funded using the grant;
a list of any partners that plan to participate in the project to be funded using the grant; and
any other information that the Associate Administrator determines is necessary.
Not later than 1 year after the date on which a nonprofit organization receives a grant under this subsection, the nonprofit organization shall submit to the Associate Administrator a report that describes—
the individuals assisted using the grant;
the number of jobs created or saved through the use of the grant; and
any other information concerning the use of the grant that the Associate Administrator may require.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $3,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Report on best practices of entrepreneurial education and training programs
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Entrepreneurial Education shall submit to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship of the Senate and the Committee on Small Business of the House of Representatives a report that describes best practices of entrepreneurial education and training programs throughout the United States.
The report submitted under paragraph (1) shall include—
a description of any programs that the Director of the Office of Entrepreneurial Education determines are exemplary, including national programs, regional programs, State programs, and local programs; and
a summary of entrepreneurial education and training programs carried out by—
the Federal Government;
State and local governments; and
as nonprofit organizations and private sector groups.
Master of Business Administration scholarship pilot program
The Administrator may award not more than 100 scholarships of not more than $1,500 on a merit-reviewed, competitive basis to students who are pursuing a Masters of Business Administration degree.
Agreement to provide assistance
A student receiving a scholarship under subsection (a) shall enter into an agreement with the Administrator under which the student shall, during the fiscal year during which the student receives the scholarship, provide free technical assistance, counseling, and other assistance to small business concerns and entrepreneurs on a full-time basis for a period of 1 or 2 weeks.
The Administrator shall ensure that—
not less than 50 percent of the students receiving a scholarship under subsection (a) are students at an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)) where entrepreneurship opportunities are limited;
the activities carried out under agreements under paragraph (1) support a variety of small business concerns and entrepreneurial projects, including independent investigator-led projects, interdisciplinary projects, and multi-institutional projects (including virtual projects); and
each student receiving a scholarship under subsection (a) has a mentor to help the student relate the academic course of study of the student to the assistance to be provided under the agreement under paragraph (1).
A student receiving a scholarship under subsection (a) and a small business concern or entrepreneur receiving assistance under an agreement under paragraph (1) shall agree to provide to the Administrator information relating to the use and result of the assistance provided and employment status until the end of the 3-year period beginning on the expected graduation date of the student.
Failure To comply with agreement
If a student receiving a scholarship under subsection (a) fails to comply with the agreement entered under subsection (b)(1), the amount of the scholarship received by the student shall, upon a determination of such a failure, be treated as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan under part D of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq.), and shall be subject to repayment, together with interest thereon accruing from the date of the award, in accordance with terms and conditions specified by the Administrator (in consultation with the Secretary of Education) in regulations under this section.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator $200,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2015 to carry out this section.
The Administrator may not award a scholarship under this section after September 30, 2015.
Regional entrepreneurial competitions
The Administrator, acting through the Associate Administrator for Field Operations, shall establish a program to host regional competitions and a national conference to address regional challenges through entrepreneurial research and business planning.
The regional administrator of each regional office of the Administration shall—
identify a prominent public-private issue that challenges a broad range of individuals in the region;
sponsor a single regional competition among local small business concerns, inventors, and entrepreneurs under which persons or groups of persons submit research and business plans to address the issue identified under subparagraph (A);
provide outreach to universities, colleges, business communities, industry leaders and organizations, and nonprofit organizations to promote the competition and to request proposals for research and business plans;
in coordination with the Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship Education, select the 3 research or business plans that best address the issue identified under subparagraph (A); and
submit to the Administrator a report that contains the research or business plans selected under subparagraph (D).
The Administrator, acting through the Associate Administrator for Field Operations, shall organize a single national conference for the presentation of the research and business plans selected under paragraph (1)(D) by the regional administrators.
The Administrator shall designate 11 employees of the Administration to serve on a panel that shall select, from among the research and business plans presented at the conference, 1 plan from each region that best addresses the issue identified under paragraph (1)(A) for that region.
The Administrator shall designate as a member of the panel under clause (i)—
1 employee of the principal office of the Administration; and
1 employee from each of the regional offices of the Administration.
The Administrator shall award a grant of $50,000 to each person or group of persons who submitted a plan selected under paragraph (2)(B).
Not later than 1 year after the date on which the Administrator awards a grant under subparagraph (A), the recipient of the grant shall submit to the Administrator a report on the use of the grant.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator $750,000 to carry out this section.
Study on entrepreneurial deferment of student loans
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, shall submit to Congress a report that includes detailed recommendations for legislation—
establishing a program to forgive student loans in a manner that assists youth entrepreneurship by making available capital for business formation; and
establishing a program to defer student loan repayments in a manner that assists youth entrepreneurship by making available capital for business formation.