After decades of business decline, record numbers of americans they have been forming their own businesses and going to work for themselves. Thanks to the Great Renunciation and a thriving economy, 360 out of 100,000 American adults they became new entrepreneurs every month on average in 2021.
recent immigrants, Black Y Hispanic Americans and younger workers They are at the forefront of starting new businesses in this country. More than a third of the US workforce. independent workand new companies have extend much further Silicon Valley and big coastal cities.
Instead of positioning entrepreneurship as a privileged endeavor open only to those with wealth and connections, it must become a viable career path for Americans of all ages, backgrounds, and degree aspirations through high-quality education and training programs. quality services that are accessible, inclusive and equitable. Entrepreneurship is critical to economic advancement, and more Americans need to develop this set of skills and mindsets to help them survive in turbulent economic times.
Startups and new businesses fuel job growth, underpin a more resilient economy, and help lift up entire communities. Whether it’s a personal and professional liberation, a desire to increase earning potential, or following a passion, entrepreneurship can be a rewarding path to a more prosperous life. Entrepreneurship should not be limited by race, ethnicity, or gender. To shield recent advances in entrepreneurship from a potential downturn, we need more and better ways to fuel genius and opportunity among all communities.
Historically, our nation has done a poor job of providing access to entrepreneurship. We’ve erected barriers that reinforced the legacy of systemic racism, failed to help people gain the skills they need, or denied funding to entrepreneurs of color. Venture capital for black-owned businesses, for example, shot up in 2021 but fell just as fast this year.
To ensure that entrepreneurship is truly an option for all Americans, we need a comprehensive strategy that spans multiple sectors of this country.
This effort must begin at home and in communities. Parents and adults should expose children early on to the idea that owning your own business is a regular job like any other. People model their behavior on what they see around them. If children can see entrepreneurs in their lives, they are more likely to see business ownership as a normal and affordable option for themselves as adults.
The nation’s educational systems have a huge role to play. K-12 schools must teach students that not all successful pathways require a four-year degree. Instead, they should encourage alternative career paths, such as entrepreneurship, and incorporate entrepreneurship training into career and technical education programs. Colleges and universities must continue increase its entrepreneurship offerings to accommodate growing student demand, especially among Black and Latino students.
At all levels of education, there should be programs that offer the development of fundamental skills in sales and marketing, finance and accounting, and leadership so that potential entrepreneurs learn to manage people, plan and budget for the future, navigate difficult economic times and grow their businesses. . In addition, these programs should support those seeking to start businesses in retail, service industries, or the fast-growing startup economy.
Non-profit organizations may establish or fund business incubators that can support innovators from underrepresented backgrounds as they translate their ideas into sustainable businesses. Venture capital and other financial vehicles must become more accessible so that promising new businesses can be started, developed and scaled. It is essential to target these programs specifically at black entrepreneurs, who launch their businesses with significantly less start-up capital than white businessmen.
The United States Small Business Administration, through its Business Education Office, you can play a vital role in helping small businesses succeed and expanding opportunities for inclusion. Congress should move quickly expand another SBA initiative, the Boots to Business program, which provides business training to people transitioning out of the military and their spouses, and fund similar initiatives to target other underserved populations.
The US Department of Labor could consider developing new programs aimed at supporting employers and reviving past efforts like DOOR project. This program added a pathway to self-employment to the services offered through its One-Stop Career Centers, which have historically supported those seeking entry-level opportunities that can lead to stable employment for life. Although Project GATE existed only briefly in the early 2000s, it reported small but significant increases in business ownership.
Existing models, along with new approaches reaching a broader swath of America, can help turn entrepreneurship into a viable and sustainable career path for people from all walks of life and a strong driver of growth. economic advancement and wealth creation for communities and individuals who have been historically excluded. . If we can grow the nation’s entrepreneurial ecosystem equitably, we can develop the next generation of successful small business owners who can create more quality jobs and deliver on the power and promise of entrepreneurship.
Kristina Francis is the CEO of JFFLabs.