by Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA
North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall recently shared data on new business formations for 2021, and the news is promising to say the least. Revised numbers for the remainder of the calendar year are projecting we will see more than 190,000 new businesses start this year: approximately 64,000 more than 2020.
According to responses cited in a survey from the Secretary’s office, only 12% of the new firms reported starting a company due to job loss and the pandemic, with 81% “indicating they launched their businesses in search of new opportunities.” Optimistically, “22% of those businesses reported having three or more employees on the payroll.”
When you extrapolate 22% of the record 64,000 more startups, at the low end of the employment number (3), we can anticipate an additional 42,000+ jobs created—on top of last year’s record numbers.
This is why promoting, supporting, and funding entrepreneurship, as an economic development strategy, is so important. We fawn over and fund companies to move jobs to the region, while the incredible job engine that already exists in our communities struggles to find the funding and bureaucratic relief to help more North Carolinians pursue economic emancipation by entrepreneurial aspiration.
For cities and counties that are receiving “found money” from various federal sources, may I humbly suggest that before you consider dumping it into brick and mortar, consider the entrepreneurial needs and opportunities in your backyard. If you don’t know where to start, feel free to drop me a note; and I can introduce you to some of our incredible ECOSYSTEM and ENGAGE partner organizations that could do so much good work for your county or city.
In the meantime, we are doing our part to add to the record number of startups with the opening of our Fall 2021 SEED ($50K) and MICRO ($10K) grant cycles. Applications are now open and based upon our recent statewide info sessions hosted with our partners, we are anticipating some great new companies joining our supportive entrepreneurial ecosystems.
When considering the encouraging data from the Secretary’s office, the incredible work of our partner organizations, and the robust ecosystems we have been building over the last several years, one could conclude that North Carolina is made for this moment. As uncertainty starts creeping back into our collective psyche, supporting the brave folks starting new ventures is exactly what we need to keep our economic fortunes healthy and hopeful while being a lighthouse for others.
Original Source: WRAL TechWire