SBA: Small business share of GDP continues structural decline

The share of the nation’s economy stemming from small businesses — “the lifeblood of the U.S. economy” — has waned since 1998, according to a new report by Kathryn Kobe and Richard Schwinn on behalf of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Despite overall growth in small business GDP, the number of small businesses and their employment levels have not yet recovered from their pre-recession value.

University conferences aim to win with entrepreneurship

A new platform to match promising start-ups with experienced business executives, investors and startup mentors from participating school’s alumni ranks is reporting momentum. Following a year of development, the University of Kentucky last month announced the launch of the Southeast Executives-on-Roster (XOR) and the Midwest Executives-on-Roster (XOR) platforms, collaborations between regionally-partnered universities to broaden access to experienced entrepreneurial talent and match that talent to university-affiliated startups in need of executive management. SSTI learned more about the program through interviews with two of the universities involved.

Launch Tennessee entrepreneurship festival registration open

The 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival, being held Aug. 29-30 in Nashville and powered by Launch Tennessee, is one of the Southeast's largest gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators, VCs and ecosystem builders. Join your peers to hear from Fortune 500 leaders, startup founders, and top VC's from around the country. Agenda highlights include impact investing, opportunity zones, startup ecosystems done right and going to market right the first time.

Loans for innovation: MN pilots a rare model

The Minnesota Department of Deployment and Economic Development (DEED) has launched a new loan program for entrepreneurs with high-tech products or services. The loans are similar in size to microfinance options increasingly available to new bricks-and-mortar establishments, but flexible payment options and innovation-focused criteria are intended to make Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs (MILE) uniquely appropriate for tech-based economic development.

New research finds successful entrepreneurs are older than stereotypes suggest

Age is a predictor of entrepreneurial success – and not in the ways that many might expect – according to a new National Bureau of Economic Research article. While the venture capital community and the media sensationalize young entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, the authors of Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship – Pierre Azoulay, J. Daniel Kim, Benjamin Jones, and Javier Miranda – find that older entrepreneurs have more success.

Recent Research: Student involvement overlooked in university entrepreneurship efforts

While conventional wisdom suggests that university entrepreneurship efforts should focus on faculty spinoffs or student inventions, recent research highlights the importance of student talent in entrepreneurial ecosystems. In an effort to create employment opportunities in the startup space, several universities throughout the country are implementing programs that embed students into their local startup communities.

Mentoring programs explored to find best practices

Mentoring programs may be celebrated across the nation as January marks National Mentoring Month, a movement started in 2002 to raise awareness of mentoring in all its forms. But more could be done to make programs more effective in both university and non-university settings, according to a recent working paper from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Mentoring in Startup Ecosystems, by Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks, et al, found that mentoring is fundamental to founder education, but that such programs could be improved, especially at universities.

Immigrant founders fuel list of most successful American companies

Adding to the national debate regarding U.S. immigration policy, the Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE) reviewed the 2017 Fortune 500 list, finding that 43 percent of the companies were founded or co-founded by a first or second generation immigrant. Those companies account for 52 percent of the top 25 firms, are headquartered in 33 different states, and accounted for $5.3 trillion in global revenue in 2016, the CAE analysis found.

Growth of technology-based startups helps power US economy

Despite concern that America’s entrepreneurial engine is severely damaged, new research from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) finds that the number of technology-based startups has grown by 47 percent from 2007 to 2016, with wage growth higher than the national average. Because of their high growth potential, the authors suggest that technology-based startups should be the primary focus of entrepreneurship policy.

New efforts support veterans in entrepreneurship, STEM careers

Last week in honor of Veteran’s Day, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, states, universities, and various nonprofits announced new efforts that are intended to help U.S. veterans succeed as entrepreneurs and launch careers in 21st century STEM-driven fields. From tax credits in Massachusetts to online training in data analytics, efforts will focus on providing veterans with the necessary training, education, tools, capital, and other resources to create a better future for those veterans, their families, and communities across the country.


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