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'Buy Young' wants you to vote with your wallet

By Noah Gray, CNN
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Young CEOs launch "buy young" campaign
  • Our Time is a nonprofit organization that stands up for Americans under age 30
  • Its "Buy Young" campaign asks people to support under-30-driven businesses
  • Founder wants to create the largest e-commerce marketplace of young people in U.S.

Atlanta (CNN) -- There's no question that younger Americans are having a hard time getting a job and feel a certain bleakness about their prospects.

Currently, 17.2% of Americans ages 18 to 24 are unemployed, according to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"This is important because we have the highest unemployment rate of any demographic," said Matthew Segal, founder of Our Time, a new nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.

Segal, along with more than 100 CEOs all under the age of 30, met last week in Washington to craft a new campaign encouraging people to "Buy Young."

Our Time's Buy Young campaign is fairly simple: Consumers are urged to support businesses created by people under 30. If you are a member of Our Time, you can save from 30% to 75% at the approximately 125 businesses that are on board.

According to a poll conducted by Twentysomething Inc., 85% of new college graduates are returning home after they graduate to live with their parents.

There are a handful of organizations geared toward getting young people to become civically engaged, but the folks at Our Time are taking a different approach to engage young people, Segal says.

"We are trying to tie together civic engagement and consumer engagement and show that you can be civically engaged by making smart buying decisions. It's about voting with your wallet," he said.

Our Time, a nonpartisan organization with the mission of standing up for young Americans under the age of 30, was founded in March by Segal and four friends.

After five months of ideas and four weeks of execution, Our Time put together roundtables at the Chamber of Commerce, Capitol Hill and the White House. Its Buy Young initiative comes after its "Living At Home Sucks" and "F#%K, I Need a Job!!" campaigns.

More than 300,000 young Americans are members of Our Time.

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