The world is changing….fast! Rapid change is occurring in all sectors, including education, technology, science and family. Even the way we pursue our daily living continues to evolve.
Some futurists predict that we are in an era of creating jobs for ourselves because the number of big organizations that employ people will continue to decline. They may be right. On the other hand, this is not a new phenomenon. It has only been in the last generation or two that our mindset shifted from “I want to build my own future” to “I want to get a good job.”
While creating our own job is a scary thought for some of us, we must also look at the opportunity in the situation. After all, wherever there is a challenge there is also an opportunity!
Entrepreneurial activities, including small business activities, have been recognized as vital components of the U.S. economy for a long time.
The United States Small Business Administration defines small businesses as those having fewer than 500 employees. I am sure we can all think of a lot of businesses with fewer than 500 employees, and there is a good reason for this.
According to a recent report on small businesses in the United States by the US Small BusinessAdministration, small firms account for 99.7 percent of employers in the United States. This means that most workers in the US are employed by small businesses!
The US Small Business Administration also noted that there were 27.3 million small businesses in 2008. Six million of these firms were responsible for 49.6 percent of private-sector jobs in the United States. This means that almost half of the private-sector jobs in 2008 were available because of small businesses.
The bulk of job creation has grown from our small business sector for a long time. Statistics reported by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2007 demonstrate the significant impact of small business: Small businesses generated 60 to 80 percent of the (net) new jobs in the decade prior to the report and produced 13 times more patents per individual employee when compared to large patenting firms. Further, small businesses produced approximately 55 percent of all new innovations. In the twentieth century, small businesses invented many of the things people use every day, including the airplane, the soft contact lens and the zipper.
We all benefit from developing and supporting entrepreneurial capacity and the innovations that come from these activities. Seriously, could you imagine living without a zipper? Part of developing this capacity includes opportunity recognition and the ability to take calculated risks that move ideas and opportunities forward.
Our very opportunity to be entrepreneurial and create our own destiny is a wonderful freedom we sometimes take for granted as citizens of the United States.