In the United States, entrepreneurial optimism is riding high. That's the conclusion of the newly published Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 United States Report (GEM), authored by researchers at Babson College and Baruch College.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor surveys have been conducted since 1999 in economies across the globe. An interesting aspect of the GEM methodology is that it aims to increase the understanding of individuals who start businesses around the world and also seeks to assess a broader societal view of entrepreneurial activity.
It's a macro view of i2E's micro-priorities — entrepreneurs and the people and institutions that affect, support and influence entrepreneurship success. Our experience shows over and over that you can have an amazing technology, but without a passionate, committed and capable entrepreneur and a supportive infrastructure, new businesses don't get built.
It's very encouraging from the GEM team's report that 43 percent of Americans believed that there are good opportunities for entrepreneurship around them. That's a jump of more than 20 percent from 2011 and the highest level recorded since GEM began.
Fifty-six percent of Americans believe they possessed the capabilities to start a business. This is a third higher than the average of 24 innovation driven economies. When entrepreneurs believe in the possibilities of entrepreneurship, they give it a try. It's been demonstrated time and time again that there's a positive correlation between the number of new company starts and the level of new job creation.
One not so bright spot for the U.S. in the GEM report is that while we are ahead on business starts and our ratio of business discontinuances matches that of other innovation economies, two-thirds or more of those stops resulted from the challenges entrepreneurs have in getting investment capital or other types of financing.
There's no doubt; raising entrepreneurial capital is very competitive.
That's why at i2E we are focused on providing a continuum of investment funds for various stages of growth. That's also why our advisory services help Oklahoma's entrepreneurial companies and entrepreneurs maximize their opportunity for success.
Working with inspiring entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial “wannabes,” as we did last Friday at Oklahoma's inaugural Entrepreneurial Summit, we are reminded in a big way that our state has the talent and the ideas to ride the wave of entrepreneurial enthusiasm and create new jobs for Oklahoma.
Scott Meacham is president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state's technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state appropriations from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Contact Meacham at i2E_Comments@i2E.org.
DID YOU KNOW?
Slightly more than 5 percent of the population provided funds to entrepreneurs, with most of that coming from relatives, friends, and