A lot has been said about how the Great Recession has hurt existing businesses. It's been nearly impossible to pick up a newspaper on any given day in the last five years and not see a story about layoffs, bankruptcies, declining sales or credit woes.
Less well known - but equally as troublesome - are the negative effects on startup businesses. Although the unpredictable economic environment has made it very difficult to start a new business, the federal government does not seem to have taken notice.
One group of wealthy businessmen is trying to fix this problem. Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and Scott Case, chief technology officer of Priceline (the two are not related), launched the Startup America Foundation one year ago in an effort to aid burgeoning entrepreneurs working on starting or growing a business. To date, benefactors including Google, Microsoft and Dell have pledged over $1.2 billion in resources and services.
Startups that register with the foundation have access to a number of benefits including discounted services, help expanding in to new markets, recruiting and training assistance and information about sources of startup capital. Entrepreneurs can also use the partnership to connect with potential mentors and advisors.
Startup Businesses Fuel Job Growth
Startup America's founders believe in the power of new businesses, and for good reason.
High-growth startup companies tend to be responsible for the vast majority of the net job growth in the United States economy. Over the last 30 years, the kind of high-growth companies targeted by Startup America have created more than 40 million jobs.
Partly because of the government's inattention to the role these companies play, formation and registration of new startups has dropped by approximately 23 percent since the recession began.
New business ventures can flourish, even in difficult economic times. What they need is careful planning and a robust network of support. Colorado entrepreneurs would be well-advised to consult regularly with a business and commercial law attorney who can identify avenues to help the business thrive.
Source: Business Week, "Corporate America Pledges $1.2 Billion in Services to Boost Startups," Nick Leiber, Jan. 6, 2012