Last month, in order to honor the enterprising spirit of the American entrepreneur, the Obama Administration declared the week of November 14-20 as National Entrepreneurship Week. November 19 will also be, from now, on National Entrepreneurs’ Day.
This is part of an effort, says the Obama Administration to “…focus on key investments to foster American innovation, improving education, building a 21st-century infrastructure, and bolstering our ability to conduct cutting-edge research.”
But can National Entrepreneurship Week actually result in increased opportunities for entrepreneurs? Business coach and entrepreneurial motivational speaker Michael Hudson, founder of Money Talks International, says unless there is actually substance behind the declaration, no. " To be honest at this point I don´t see much substance. There needs to be more concrete information distributed to entrepreneurs, such as the special contract types, training to get the contracts, etc.," he says.
Obama has also formed a new advisory council, the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to collect ideas from the public that can increase the growth of innovation and economic growth in the United States. Again Hudson hopes the Obama Administration looks into holding workshops in large cities and the second-tier cities such as Charlotte and Minneapolis. "The workshops could encourage entrepreneurs to come pitch their ideas and get constructive feedback, such as `Your business plan needs this or that’ or `You’re asking for too little or too much funding´. Entrepreneurs need guidance."
President Obama is hoping the week will help to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship. According to the Economist, "for all its current economic woes, America remains a beacon of entrepreneurialism. Between 1996 and 2004 it created an average of 550,000 small businesses every month." The Economist found that America is still ideal for entrepreneurs for several reasons: Americans believe in risk-taking that is at the heart of entrepreneurialism. It is "the first of the world’s most mature venture-capital industry"; "America’s universities are economic engines rather than ivory towers, with proliferating science parks, technology offices, business incubators and venture funds"; and the U.S.´s "immigration policy, historically, has been fairly open...52% of Silicon Valley start-ups were founded by immigrants, up from around a quarter ten years ago. In all, a quarter of America’s science and technology start-ups, generating $52 billion and employing 450,000 people, have had somebody born abroad as either their CEO or their chief technology officer."
In fact, according to stats, there are an estimated 29.6 million small businesses in the United States, which employ more than half of the country’s private sector workforce. This includes 52 percent home-based businesses.
"Entrepreneurship is still thriving in the United States because people are looking to create opportunities for themselves," says Hudson, who advises entrepreneurs to look beyond America. "There is a lot of opportunity oversees that we are missing out on--in China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan," says Hudson. "We need to have workshops that help entrepreneurs to reach out to a global market. And entrepreneurs have to be willing to expand their horizons. Instead of spending $1,500 in Vegas for yet another entrepreneurial convention, take that money and go to Hong Kong, China and learn about the markets there and how you can find a niche."