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America’s New Business Plan: Support

THE ABILITY FOR ALL TO TAKE RISKS

When entrepreneurs strike out on their own, they leave behind the salary and benefits an employer provides. Assuming the full risk of failure, they are responsible for health care, retirement savings, and other necessities they, their families, and their employees depend on.

Becoming an entrepreneur is a courageous act, but many feel it is currently out of their reach. Some are held back by financial obligations, such as paying off student loans. Others fear the impact on their personal finances. And some have medical conditions that make maintaining affordable and quality health care essential.

Prior to starting their businesses, nearly half of entrepreneurs feared the loss of job security, while nearly four in 10 were concerned about losing health insurance. According to the 2017 America’s Small Business Development Center survey, 41% of Americans would quit their job and start new businesses in the next six months if they had the tools and resources they needed. One critical resource is a safety net that supports entrepreneurial risk-taking.

More business owners believe it has become harder to leave a job and start a business (35%) than those who believe it has gotten easier (23%). Policymakers must take actions to ensure that the creep of “job lock” from these and other factors does not stifle the next generation of entrepreneurs.

What can government do?