Giving Startups a Leg Up
July 22, 2013
Businesses of every kind and capacity are essential to a growing economy and prosperous society. Today, startups and entrepreneurs make up one of the most rapidly developing and dynamic segments in business. They blur the lines of size and sector. They buck trends and disrupt the status quo. And more than ever, our nation needs their contributions.
We need their economic activity. According to the Kauffman Foundation, a leading think tank dedicated to entrepreneurship, startups add an average of 3 million new jobs to the economy each year. And when entrepreneurs build companies that are meant to last and expand, they drive growth, competition, and job creation.
We need their ideas and advancements. While traditional business owners want to make a good, stable living, startups and entrepreneurs want to make a change. They aspire to improve the way we live our lives through innovation. So they often take bigger risks and more readily welcome failure because they know that those are inevitable steps to achieving breakthroughs.
In turn, what do entrepreneurs and startups need? A vibrant free enterprise system - without it, the fundamentals of entrepreneurship can't exist. The system allows them to succeed based on their own ideas and efforts. Under free enterprise, failure isn't fatal - they can keep trying until they get it right. And when they do succeed, they are rewarded and can share the benefits with others. Thanks to free markets, they can compete for the business and allegiance of customers. That propels the cycle of innovation, which is good for all of us.
Startups and entrepreneurs need a policy environment that enables them to thrive. They need a modern and equipped labor force of both educated native-born workers and high-skilled immigrants. They need access to vibrant capital markets to get started and scale and sustain their companies. They need a rationale regulatory system and a simple, predictable, and competitive tax code.
Entrepreneurs just getting started also need the guidance of pioneers and the support of organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A variety of factors have combined to make the barriers to entrepreneurship lower than aeverage but that's also elevated the competition. To help startups get a leg up, the Chamber recently hosted its inaugural Free Enterprise Summit, an event bringing together both leading and fledgling entrepreneurs to network, seek new customers, explore investment opportunities, and share advice.
The Chamber is committed to fostering businesses, large and small, as well as the unique segment of entrepreneurs who strengthen our economy and enrich our society in extraordinary ways.