Waetzig learns about economic impact of microbusinesses

Andrew Waetzig '15Linfield College junior Andrew Waetzig of Tracy, Calif., spent the fall semester exploring the world of small businesses as an intern with the Live.Learn.Intern program in Washington, D.C.

Waetzig, an economics and finance major, was one of only 15 students from across the U.S. in the Live.Learn.Intern program, which is funded by the Trust for America and hosted at George Mason University. Waetzig interned at The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), a nonprofit organization that works to promote microbusiness.

His internship focused on learning public policy and economics of microbusinesses, which are organizations with fewer than five employees including the owner. He was tasked with the job of gathering data on the economic impact that microbusinesses have in the U.S.

Microbusinesses represent 92 percent of all U.S. business, according to the findings in the report Waetzig contributed to, “Bigger than You Think: The Economic Impact of Microbusiness in the United States.” The AEO used this research to brief government officials on Capitol Hill about public policy regarding microbusiness.

“If one in three microbusinesses hired a single employee, the U.S. would be at full employment,” said Waetzig, who also earned 15 credits at George Mason University as part of the internship. “My internship gave me a great opportunity to live in a different city and gain valuable experience for my future career. I learned a lot about myself and what I want to do after graduation, which is become an insurance actuary.”

Randy Grant, professor of economics and Waetzig’s advisor at Linfield, said the internship provided Waetzig real world business experience, and personal and professional growth.

“This was an ideal opportunity for Andrew to apply his classroom learning to ongoing policy issues,” Grant added.