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Apr 05, 2017 10:02 AM EDT

Anderson University Encourages Entrepreneurs To Pay For Student Loans

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Anderson University came up with a new program in Indiana that offers to pay off student loans. The catch is, one has to start a business in Anderson to get paid off. The new program is part of a plan to boost the city's economy.

The idea came from Ben Orcutt, Owner of Buckskin Bikes and alumnus of Anderson University. His business has been around for five years and is even opening a coffee shop next door. He was asked to join a committee to help spurn entrepreneurship.

Orcutt made a simple observation and noticed one factor why graduates where hesitant to open up their own business. He said if he had a student loan debt there was no way he would have started a business, which gave the committee the idea of offering to pay for the student loans.

Program Director Deborah Miller of Fox said that on February, they launched "Anderson Now," a way to get young entrepreneurs to set up in Anderson by paying their student loans.

The program can take graduates from any Indiana College who have student loan debt and wish to own their own business. If the business is established in Anderson, the program will pay the student's debt up to $25,000.

Fox said that there are a certain criteria for the program and once applicants get chosen it could be a win-win for them and the city. Orcutt said that Anderson is ready for more future business owners and it's time for them to take the jump, WWLP reported.

Millers said that they aim that these entrepreneurs will come and stay not just for a year and then give up. But become planted in the community and let their business thrive. He added if the new program is effective it will be an excellent model for duplication in other communities around the state of Indiana.

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