Entrepreneurship has been sadly lethargic over the last decade or so.
The rate of startups has been disappointing (it’s about half of what it was in 1980), and the number of firms closing their doors has been troubling.
However, things seem to be turning around.
Information from National Entrepreneurship Week
Kauffman Foundation’s 2017 State of Entrepreneurship Address took place on February 16, 2017, during National Entrepreneurship Week. The address discussed three major trends shaping the future of entrepreneurship. Here are some of the highlights from that address, and what I think may change going forward.
Three trends identified in the address (the following is a quotation):
- New demographics of entrepreneurship: The U.S. is becoming more racially diverse, but entrepreneurs – 80.2% white and 64.5% male – do not reflect the changing population.
- New map of entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship is an increasingly urban phenomenon, and it is taking place in mid-sized metros and outside traditional hubs like Boston and Silicon Valley.
- New nature of entrepreneurship: In the past, as companies grew their revenue, jobs would scale at almost the same pace. That’s no longer true. Technology has made it possible for startups to grow revenue without as much hiring, and high-growth companies by revenue are not creating as many jobs as they did in the past.
The address referenced a Kauffman Foundation report that shows an uptick in business births in the U.S.
New small business initiative
The Kauffman Foundation is launching a new initiative called “Zero Barriers to Startup.” The initiative, based on the belief that entrepreneurship is a fundamental human right, wants people—current entrepreneurs and dreamers hoping to launch their ideas—to join a movement aimed at eliminating barriers to starting a business. You can sign up to receive a newsletter and use #ZeroBarriers on social media to follow ideas being discussed.
Linda McMahon has been sworn in as the new administrator of the SBA. In her remarks in the Senate during her confirmation hearing she said: “small businesses are people with goals and values that cannot be calculated just on a profit-and-loss statement” and that she would do her best to advocate on their behalf. She also said that “Small businesses want to feel they can take a risk on an expansion or a new hire without fearing onerous new regulations or unexpected taxes, fees and fines that will make such growth unaffordable. We want to renew optimism in our economy.”
I’m wishing for a brighter future for entrepreneurship. Initiatives by the Kauffman Foundation and a new administration in the SBA may help this come to pass.