It may be surprising to hear but the rate of new business creation in America has been relatively flat for the past 20 years, which is a stark contrast when compared to how much the businesses formed in that time period have changed not just America, but the world.
Twenty years ago, Google was celebrating its first birthday. Amazon was competing to survive as an online book store, a far distant memory for the company worth nearly $900B today. Mark Zuckerberg was 15 years old, “the Facebook” nearly a quarter of his life away from being founded.
Let’s not forget to mention the many unicorns coming out of the woodwork: Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat, Lyft, Tesla, SpaceX, Slack, and so on.
These companies have not only created multi-generational wealth for their founders, early employees, and investors – but have also created hundreds of thousands of jobs and value for the world economy, ultimately changing the very fabric of life in America and around the world.
However, we’re far from creating the lasting change needed to usher in the next golden economic era. Hundreds of thousands of people are working jobs that won’t exist in the next decade, and worse yet, will only be able to fall back on archaic skillsets no longer in demand.
Entrepreneurs, not big businesses, are responsible for the great majority of all net new job creation. Unfortunately, policymakers tend to be misguided and prioritize support for entrenched large, businesses over small, scrappy startups. Automation, artificial intelligence, and outsourcing pose an enormous threat to the American workforce, but it’s not one that is unavoidable.
“America’s economy is out of balance. We’ve got businesses that have become too entrenched and powerful, while people and communities across America are being left behind,” said Wendy Guillies, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. “There’s a solution. Supporting and expanding entrepreneurship increases jobs, innovation, and productivity.”
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, in collaboration with over a dozen entrepreneurship advocacy groups, launched a coalition called Start Us Up, an organization that aims to provide policymakers at every level of government a bipartisan roadmap to encourage entrepreneurship as well as to reduce barriers to entry across the country and for all people, leveling the playing field.
Outlined in America’s New Business Plan, Start Us Up aims to empower ambitious Americans to act on their ideas by making sure they have access to four core categories:
- Opportunity: A level playing field and less red tape
- Funding: Equal access to the right kind of capital everywhere
- Knowledge: The know-how to start a business
- Support: The ability for all to take risks
The plan tackles obstacles for every American, especially those systemically and indirectly imposed on women, people of color, and rural residents by:
- Creating a single checklist of everything entrepreneurs need to do from a regulatory perspective to start a new business
- Reforming immigration policy to establish a startup visa that authorizes foreign entrepreneurs to start businesses in the U.S.
- Expanding access to capital
- Providing a stronger safety net that includes things like more affordable health care options and student loan relief.
By democratizing the ability to start new companies and encourage entrepreneurship, we’ll be able to give people the power to create new jobs, instead of depending on large companies to dictate their financial wellbeing.
About Start Us Up:
Start Us Up is a diverse group of organizations working together to eliminate barriers to starting new businesses. For more information, visit us at www.StartUsUpNow.org.
About the Kauffman Foundation:
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful. The Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and uses its $2 billion in assets to collaboratively help people be self-sufficient, productive citizens. For more information, visit www.Kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation on www.Twitter.com/KauffmanFDN and www.Facebook.com/KauffmanFDN.