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The Undeniable Inextricability of the Entrepreneurial Spirit

(updated 2021) 

According to the SBA, there are 31 million small businesses in the United States, which represents approximately 99.9 percent of all businesses. Almost half of all employees in the U.S. work for a small firm, and small businesses accounted for more than 60 percent of all new jobs created. Small businesses are also the first line of employment or the initial “training ground” for the workforce.

Although the Small Business Act was passed in 1953 as a means of leveling the playing field for returning veterans, and the shift from war production to familial focus, the wing span of the SBA continues to change with our economic requirements. This is evidenced by our continued reliance on the small business for ingenuity, growth, and development, beyond the baseline competition.

Too Important to Ignore
The need to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit does not qualify as “too big to fail,” but it's obviously “too important to ignore.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government certainly recognized this, and sent the SBA to the front lines of Main Street with the Paycheck Protection Program to keep the economy afloat.

The SBA found that across the 16 years from 1998 to 2014, the small business share of GDP fell from 48.0 percent to 43.5 percent. Over the same period, the amount of small business GDP has grown by about 1.4 annually, while GDP for large businesses has grown faster, at 2.5 percent annually.1




”Integrity is one of those things that make our country desirable. In a free world, you worship as you please and move about at will; however, there are ground rules: we have morals and they are upheld. Without the promise to uphold our agreed upon morals society disintegrates into barbarism.”

- They Underestimate Integrity


There's no solid conclusions yet concerning the driver of the decline; but I'm sure the driver is multi-faceted, with the availability of capital to startup and to grow playing a small role.  

Traditionally, workers at large corporations were expected to fit a mold. But we are indeed human - complex one-of-a-kind originals. Trying to fit us all into a few specific molds simply makes for an oppressed and unfulfilled workforce. In recent years, large corporations made changes to recognize individuality and to make room for creativity, so that they could retain their highly specialized talent. This may also be a factor in the decline in small business GDP share.



However, I doubt that it's a primary driver, as seasoned workers are choosing entrepreneurship over Corporate America.  Generation X has opted for fulltime entrepreneurship, and Baby Boomers are choosing early retirement from Corporate America in pursuit of their entrepreneurial happiness.2


Recognizing the Happiness Quotient
Economic development refers to the enhancement of our productive capacity. It can be defined as the concerted actions of policymakers and communities to promote the standard of living and economic health. Economic development can also be considered as the quantitative and qualitative changes in the economy. As our old economic models become obsolete, or undergo revision due to their proven irrelevance, I think it’s time for us to develop new lines of thought, to observe new insightful correlations and interactions, and to incorporate what we may not have ever considered previously. We can't have an accurate measure of economic development without consideration of societal developments, including changes in attitudes, values, and expectations. It may be “fuzzy logic,” but our pursuit of happiness may in fact be a stronger driver than previously recognized.

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1 Small Business Administration: Small Business GDP 1998-2014



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