Learning from American entrepreneurship ecosystem

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The American entrepreneurship ecosystem provides a case study for developing countries like Nigeria struggling to battle high youth unemployment and economic slump. It clearly points way for governments across the world scavenging for policies to stimulate start-ups and small businesses.

For starters, the American economy is driven by small businesses which constitute 99 percent of enterprises and employ 55 percent of working Americans, according to John Dearie, founder and president of Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE).

The economy is full of entrepreneurs working to disrupt the status quo. It has produced world’s biggest entrepreneurs such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates of the Microsoft fame and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, among many others.

One of the biggest steps taken by the United States is to prioritise new businesses without neglecting existing ones.

A study done by the United States Census Bureau on the jobs created between 1980 and 2005 showed that 100 percent of new jobs within this period were created by businesses that were less than five years. Older existing businesses, in aggregate, shed about one million jobs annually on the average.

Another study by Ewing Marion Foundation revealed that in the 22 of the 29 years between 1977 and 2005, 100 percent of the net new jobs were created by businesses that were less than one year. Start-ups contributed an average of three million net new jobs annually.

Armed with the data, American government pays special attention to attracting new businesses—local and foreign.

“Innovation mostly comes from small businesses,” Dearie told journalists in Washington DC during the Foreign Press Centers international reporting tour, which was part of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

 “New businesses and existing businesses are different,” he further explained.

“New businesses are exceptionally fragile and can be affected by issues like … Read More...