FAIRFAX, Va., April 15, 2009 - With the unemployment rate at a 25-year high (in February, Virginia's rate was 6.6 percent) and the average work week dropping to a record low of 33.2 hours, current economic conditions may discourage entrepreneurs from starting a business in a trying environment.
However, many entrepreneurial success stories were launched in bad economic times, and starting a business now may be a unique opportunity to take control of your own career by opening an Allstate agency.
Allstate (NYSE: ALL), the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, has launched a recruitment campaign in Virginia to attract successful, self-motivated entrepreneurs for a career as an Allstate Exclusive Agent. Unlike typical entrepreneurships, Allstate provides its new agents essential tools and resources to help them get off to a great start including insurance product education, expertise from sales leaders, customizable marketing and advertising materials and performance incentives.
"The economic downturn is fueling business professionals from all career levels to seek out second career choices," said Dave Prendergast, Field Vice President for Allstate's Capital Region.
"As an agency owner, you are on your own but not alone. If you don't have an insurance background, we will provide you with insurance education to help you hit the ground running. In addition, our agents have the independence to run their own agency, hire and manage their own staff, and set their own direction while receiving support from one of the largest insurance companies in the country," Prendergast said.
Allstate says agents will have the opportunity to sell the company's wide range of insurance and financial products including auto, property and financial services. Ideal candidates should have the skills to run their own business, the drive to meet business objectives and $50,000 in liquid capital to open a new Allstate agency.
In fact, the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains $730 million in additional funding for the Small Business Administration, including $30 million for expanding SBA's microloan program, which provides small loans (up to $35,000) and technical assistance to start-up, newly established or growing small businesses.
New agents will also have the opportunity to expand their business by opening multiple locations and watch its value grow with every sale without ever paying franchise or licensing fees.