$8.1 billion in state angel tax credits: Creating investors or more successful entrepreneurs?

Many of the most successful technology, life science and advanced companies in the country received financing in the form of an equity investment during their rapid growth and scaling stages of development.  Whether viewed as valiant, villains or vultures, the presence of individuals and firms willing to provide capital to companies when they have few physical assets or revenues is strongly associated with healthy regional innovation economies. As a result, considerable policy attention has been focused by states on increasing the amount of risk capital flowing to local startups.

New entrepreneurs are increasingly older, minorities, and immigrants

A recent report from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation examined the changing makeup of entrepreneurship over the period of 1996 to 2019, finding that older people, immigrants, and minorities are becoming new entrepreneurs at increasing rates. The report pulls from data collected for the foundation’s Indicators of Early-Stage Entrepreneurship series, and examines the trends in race and ethnicity, age, and immigration among new entrepreneurs.

$1.5 million awarded through Kauffman Heartland Challenge

The Kauffman Foundation has announced 17 organizations will share the $1.5 million in funding allocated through their Heartland Challenge. These grantees will work to solve specific challenges entrepreneurs in the heartland region — comprised of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas — face, and will participate in facilitated, peer-learning communities of practice to share knowledge across the region.

MassTech annual innovation report focused on special analysis of entrepreneurial ecosystems, 10 “Leading Technology States”

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) — the state agency responsible for strengthening the commonwealth’s position as a leading hub for innovation and entrepreneurship — recently released the 2019 edition of its annual report, The Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy, which includes an updated list of the 10 leading technology states  and a detailed special analysis on entrepreneurial ecosystems. As a globally recognized center of science- and technology-based innovation, communities across the U.S. can learn from Massachusetts’ successes as well as from the challenges the state faces in further strengthening its entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Startup trends examined in recent reports

While startups consistently create more jobs than older firms, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis took a look at the trends in startup’s share of jobs and found that startup employment share has been declining for more than a decade. The Fed story provides an overview of startup employment dynamics between 1994 and 2018. While it found that the construction industry and leisure and hospitality industry contributed to the decline more than did the rest of the economy, the story calls for future research into the reasons behind the decline. Specifically, it notes that questions both about a decline in startups and about a change in employment dynamics among aging firms should be explored.

Kauffman Foundation releases second report on new Indicators of Entrepreneurship

Leveraging new data from the Census Bureau, the Kauffman Foundation recently released the second part of its new Indicators of Entrepreneurship series. This report focuses on the foundation’s New Employer Business indicators — a subset of the Early-State Entrepreneurship indicators provided in Kauffman’s first report of the series in September 2019 — meant to illuminate trends in the emergence of new businesses with employees and the time it takes for these companies to make their first payroll. The series replaces the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship series.

Millennials are growing up and bucking assumptions — but not starting businesses

A recent survey of millennials by professional services firm Ernst and Young (EY) provides insights into how the generation is aging — and bucking some long-held assumptions. Evaluating the generation’s trends in living arrangements, lifestyle and career preferences, financial health, and social perspectives, EY found that some of the assumptions about millennials are not holding.

Recent Research: The financial constraints entrepreneurs face

What holds people back from starting a business? How does lifting financial constraints help promote entrepreneurship? A recent article by Vyacheslav Mikhed of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Consumer Finance Institute,  Sahil Raina of the University of Alberta, and Barry Scholnick of University of Alberta and Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Consumer Finance Institute, explores these questions, and how lifting these economic constraints affected entrepreneurial and self-employed business ventures in Canada from 2002-2016. By comparing lottery winnings to new business endeavors, they found that entrepreneurs face greater financial constraint when starting a business than those who are self-employed.

New decade, new opportunity for advancement in inclusive entrepreneurship

A recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) focuses on increasing participation in entrepreneurship from underrepresented and disadvantaged groups such as women, immigrants, youth, seniors, the unemployed, and people with disabilities. The Missing Entrepreneurs 2019 report notes that addressing market and institutional failures that prevent equal opportunities in entrepreneurship “is an important requirement for achieving a new type of growth that is more inclusive, sustainable and people-centered.” The report recommends policies to increase opportunities for these groups, such as including entrepreneurship models in science-based programs in higher education to increase awareness about the potential of entrepreneurship for students, especially young women.

Regional actions to support entrepreneurs, capital access in 2019

Entrepreneurial support and capital access remain key concerns for regional innovation economies, as evidenced by the abundance of new activity in 2019. From accelerators, many of which are sector-specific, to seed funds, we highlight 26 of the most interesting developments from the past year. This is the latest in our series of articles highlighting innovation system activities in states across the country in 2019. Our previous coverage included stories on new university incubators, accelerators and funds launched in 2019; research universities and their partnerships with industry; higher education and commercialization programsfree tuition offeringsclimate changeclean energy; and broadband.


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