There is an ongoing debate in the country regarding young entrepreneurs. While some take the position that young entrepreneurs will help revitalize the country, others take the position that many are over inflating young entrepreneur statistics and the numbers are more of a statement on the poor job market than anything. So is either side totally correct in this debate?
The answer is simple: both sides are correct but the stance you take is based on your perspective. It is no secret that American job market is not booming. Every month it seems like everyone is holding their breath as the job numbers come out. This lack of opportunity has caused some young industrious individuals to create their own opportunities. But does that mean that this boom in young entrepreneurs can’t help spur an economic recovery?
Entrepreneurs hire employees to help their businesses function. They also demand the services of other businesses who intern have to hire to meet that demand. Entrepreneurs also put new goods and services into commerce. These new goods and services need to hire vendors to sell the goods and services. Those vendors need to lease or buy real estate, hire professionals, hire employees, etc. It is easy to see how one entrepreneur can create not just one new job opportunity for themselves but multiple job opportunities for many. While big established businesses are looking to become more efficient and cut overhead (i.e. do more with less employees), entrepreneurs need man power.
Let’s look at our West Michigan community. 56.7 percent of the over 1.3 million residents have at least some college education. There are two dozen colleges, universities and technical schools in West Michigan that have a total enrollment of over 75,000. The median age for a West Michigan resident is under 36 years old. West Michigan also has over 40 organizations that are dedicated to supporting growth and innovation. In short you have a concentration of young, educated individuals that have multiple resources at their disposal. This is a perfect storm for creating young startups. This does not even take into account the state largest university, Michigan State University, is an hour away from Grand Rapids.
With the proper guidance and with the right incentives, these young entrepreneurs can be nurtured into successful business men and women. With less incentive these innovators are going to lean toward finding positions with established companies and settling for positions that do not utilize their talents. While a poor economy may have created a situation for an increase in young entrepreneurs, it does not mean that young entrepreneurs cannot guide us out of this situation either.
Source: “Young Entrepreneurs: Not the Cure for What Ails the Economy (Opinion)” by Scott Shane of Entreprenuer
Source: “Regional Data” provided by The Right Place