Last week was Global Entrepreneurship Week, a worldwide celebration of entrepreneurship in which 160 countries participated. It was an opportunity to see what’s going on entrepreneurship-wise in the U.S. and abroad.
Here are some reasons why I’m grateful to be a small business owner in the U.S.
In the U.S. just about anyone can become an entrepreneur. All it takes to get started is an idea and some capital. In other countries, students are pigeon-holed early in their lives and may become locked into careers that don’t support entrepreneurship.
Statistics in the U.S. show that whether you’re a women, minority group member, veteran, foreign born, or any other so-called minority, you have virtually the same chance of making it in small business as anyone else. In fact, the SBA’s Office of Advocacy reported "[t]he business ownership rate is higher for immigrants than non-immigrants. "
Entrepreneurship is celebrated and supported in many quarters. Some examples:
- Entrepreneurship programs in colleges and universities. There are more than 200 undergraduate programs in the U.S.; there are also dozens of graduate-level programs in entrepreneurship. There are also scholarships unique to entrepreneurs (e.g., the 2016 Grasshopper Entrepreneur Scholarship).
- Business plan competitions. There are money prizes for the best plans (e.g., Rice Business Plan Competition for graduate-level plans).
Small business owners contribute substantially to the economy and their communities in a number of ways, including:
- Employing workers. Small businesses employ more than half of all workers (56.1%) in the U.S., according to the SBA.
- Creating jobs for others. Small businesses help create jobs in other companies by utilizing their goods and services. The existence of small businesses in a community helps improve the local economy and, thus, jobs there.
- Doing charitable work. Small businesses contribute cash, property, and time to help various charities.
I could certainly gripe about some things, like over regulation and taxes. But there’s a lot to be thankful for. I am!