Starting a business is easier now than it’s ever been in the history of America. Yet, despite the ease of access, Millennials are not starting as many businesses when compared to previous generations. According to Forbes, “between 2010 and 2014, only about 165,000 new businesses were started, compared with almost half a million new businesses between 1992 and 1996.” With over 300,000 in lost business, Congress is now seeking to create new opportunities for the next generation of potential business owners.
The recession of 2008 along with a decrease in small business lending may have created the current risk averse Millennial situation, but Rep Steve Chabot the chairman of the House Small Business Committee wants to use education as a way to increase business ownership. The House Small Business Committee recently held a hearing with Gregory Crawford, Ph.D., the president of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council to understand how universities are being used as testing grounds for the next generation of innovators.
According to Dr. Crawford, Miami University has transformed their traditional internships into “interactive apprenticeships” where students can jump into the middle of a “messy, complex, sometimes risky, tension filled” real-world experience of entrepreneurship
This is a good first step but I believe Rep Chabot is missing a much more basic idea. The idea of a business has changed. Crowd funding has changed much of the business concept allowing anyone to ask fans or friends for payment donations which can reach millions under today’s atmosphere. Due to this ease, many people are shunning the need to incorporate. Corporate culture matching employee lifestyle has also risen creating a lack of desire to start a business. In addition, the current skills gap and global economy has made it much tougher for the average American to win business with both consumers and large corporations.
If Congress truly wants to create more opportunities for small businesses, lower taxes, small business lending, and benefits for corporations and consumers who look to do business with American small firms must be enacted to help spur growth.