Future Here Now: Choking out Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses
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This week’s Future Here Now focuses on our need to grow a robust small business and entrepreneurship small business sector — something we are not doing at all well, and something that we need more than ever.
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We have this mental image of entrepreneurs and small business owners as lone guns - people who can Make Stuff Happen, despite long odds and tragic setbacks, through some sort of mystical combination of grit, luck and magic.
But that’s not the case at all, and less so now than it ever has been. Despite the fact that entrepreneurship rates are now rising for the first time in 30 years or more, the overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs now come from backgrounds that cannot give them the social support, economic resources or knowledge that entrepreneurs have relied on throughout history. And while small businesses historically account for the majority of new employment in any community, longstanding barriers to growth are keeping small businesses from reaching that potential in communities that need those jobs the most.
A big part of this problem has to do with the fact that we have done a lousy job of systematically growing the entrepreneurship and small business sectors.