As America continues to grapple with the sudden crisis in employment and an economy that is likely forever changed, entrepreneurship remains the spark that will power the nation’s rebound.
In a recent research brief, the Kauffman Foundation showed rising Google Search interest in new business. From the brief:
Interest in searches for open a business, new self-employed, and new small business went up substantially during the period we observed and were highest in the week of March 23, 2020. Interest in searches for independent contractor and how to work for yourself were highest in the weeks of March 30 and April 13, 2020, respectively. Prior to March 2020, there was only one week in which either of these search terms had even moderately high interest, relative to the other search terms over the time period analyzed.
Amid an employment crisis, the spike in early interest in entrepreneurship isn’t surprising. Many see opportunity at the end of the tunnel — and policymakers should too.
Historically, businesses that are less than five years old create nearly all of the net new jobs in the American economy, including fueling net new job creation during economic downturns. That statistic — straight from America’s New Business Plan — is the key to a strong recovery. With the seedlings of historic interest, it’s critical government opens the door for a new wave of American entrepreneurship.
But there’s tremendous work to be done. Though there is heightened interest in entrepreneurship, the pandemic has also devastated new business applications, per a different Kauffman brief.
Between late March and April, weekly business applications were down anywhere from 23.3% to 36.5% relative to predictive modeling. Business applications with planned wages — which are likely to become employer businesses — underperformed by as much as 39.1% in late March.
“Historically, businesses that are less than five years old create nearly all of the net new jobs in the American economy, including fueling net new job creation during economic downturns.”
For those who understand the role entrepreneurship can play in ending the current recession, it’s our collective imperative to turn that initial interest into concrete action. Government will play a large role, and can turn to America’s New Business Plan’s “opportunity” recommendations, particularly our framework for streamlining the startup process, to support this new wave.
COVID has brought unimaginable consequences to every industry and sector of our economy. But it’s also forced policymakers to have long overdue conversations about what business owners in America need. With a new wave of entrepreneurs potentially waiting in the wings, the roadmap for addressing the employment crisis is crystal clear — and it begins with entrepreneurs.