WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, hosted a simulated hearing for a youth group today, entitled “Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs: Why Young People are Starting Small Businesses.” The hearing was part of “Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” on Capitol Hill and was meant to inspire youth to turn their creative passions into successful businesses.

“The uncertain economy has forced many Americans to turn to part-time jobs once held by teenagers,” Sen. Landrieu said. “This has pushed the number of teens employed to the lowest it’s been in at least ten years. Now, unable to find part-time and summer jobs, some teens are turning their passions into small businesses.

“Not only is starting a small business becoming a necessary way for many to earn money, it’s also a way for young people to tap into their talents and use them to build a business they can be proud of. Creating a business teaches young people the importance of hard work, dedication and having a strong work ethic – all habits that will help to carry them through a successful life.”

The simulated hearing taught both the basics of creating a small business and how a committee hearing is organized. The group acted as senators and asked Committee staff, acting as witnesses, questions on small business issues.

Senator Landrieu’s eleven-year-old daughter, Mary Shannon Snellings, was among those attending “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day,” along with several girls who made the trip from Louisiana: Sophie Boudreaux, Meraux; Heather Duplessis, New Orleans; Maya English, Baton Rouge; Sydni Rita-Louise Sumas, New Orleans; and Brittany Watts, Tickfaw.