Why Entrepreneurship Matters

Entrepreneurship is the bedrock of America. The following statistics were curated to demonstrate why social and business entrepreneurship are so important, particularly post-COVID.

Startups Create Jobs & Economic Growth

  • Small businesses comprise 99.9% of all firms, 99.7% of firms with paid employees, 97.4% of exporters (280,496), 46.8% of private sector employees (61 million), 43.5% of gross domestic product, 39.7% of private sector payroll. Source: SUSB, NES, ITA, SBGDP
  • Microbusinesses, those with five or fewer employees including the owner, represent 92% of all businesses in the United States and contribute 26 million direct jobs. Source: ProsperityNow
  • “[E]ntrepreneurs throughout modern economic history…have been disproportionately responsible for truly radical innovations – the airplane, the railroad, the automobile, electric service, the telegraph and telephone, the computer, air conditioning, and so on – that not only fundamentally transformed consumers’ lives, but also became platforms for many other industries that, in combination, have fundamentally changed entire economies.” ~ Robert Litan and Carl Schramm

Entrepreneurs Scale Positive Change

  • The Schwab Foundation’s Impact Study provides insight into the power of social entrepreneurs (Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, 2020). According to the study, 130 entrepreneurs can collectively reach 662 million people across 190 countries for the purposes of supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • According to the World Economic Forum's "COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship brought together 60 leading organizations that collectively support over 50,000 entrepreneurs reaching over 1 billion people, to raise awareness of the vital role these front-line entrepreneurs play and to mobilize greater support for them".   
  • Entrepreneurship education develops creative problem-solving skills for social and economic issues, competencies aligned with sustainable entrepreneurship (Johansen, 2010; Lin & Nabergoj, 2014).

Entrepreneurial Education Instills Employer-Demanded Skills

  • A degree in entrepreneurship signals to job recruiters an acquisition of in-demand 21st century skills, such as collaboration, problem-solving, and communication (Drucker, 1985; Kauffman Foundation, 2005; Neck et al., 2014). 
  • Bloomberg publications surveyed recruiters to find out what competencies are most in-demand. The findings indicated a demand for analytical thinking, CPS, motivation, communication, global mindset, collaboration, and entrepreneurial mindset (Otani, 2015).
  • Entrepreneurship education instills an action-oriented ability to address complex problems creatively, embrace ambiguity, identify opportunities, advocate for their ideas, tolerate risks, and adapt to change (McGrath & MacMillan, 2000). 

Entrepreneurship Creates Wealth

Business equity accounts for 20% of total household wealth in the U.S., making it the 2nd largest source of wealth creation. In fact, 90% of new American billionaires are self-made entrepreneurs (CFED, 2014).

Defining Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs are change agents that bring potential into reality, resulting in a wide variation in business performance and value creation. There are many different types of entrepreneurial categories, including:

  • Main Street 

  • STEM 

  • Social and Sustainable 

  • Inventors

  • Artists

  • Technology

  • Rural

  • Veteran 

  • Academic

  • Solopreneurs

  • Tourism 

  • Institutional 

  • Gaming 

  • Agricultural 

  • Online Influencers

  • Recently Incarcerated 

  • Intrapreneurs (Employees)

  • Minority, Hispanic, and Women 

  • Cybersecurity and Data

  • Gigpreneurs, Freelancers, and Consultants

  • Writers, Editors, Bloggers, and Vloggers