World entrepreneurship: We're number 3?!

A new study shows that the US trails behind Denmark and Canada among countries whose cultures support entrepreneurship.

Oli Scarff / Pool / Reuters
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (blue tie) visits the London 2012 Olympic Park site in London, Nov. 4. Britain, which scored 14tth on the list of global entrepreneurship, will create a new "entrepreneur visa" and reform its intellectual property laws. The UK hopes to develop its cluster of East London start-ups into the British Silicon Valley.

A new study released by the SBA Office of Advocacy suggests that in terms of what it takes to support entrepreneurship, the US lags behind Denmark and Canada. Note that the study does not measure entrepreneurial activity, only what the authors define as the attributes that support entrepreneurship.

The factors that pull the US down in this analysis include cultural support, the strength of the tech sector, and high growth entrepreneurial businesses.

The authors suggest that the changing political climate may be at work regarding the weakening cultural support. Ya think?

The attack on free enterprise and capitalism has been relentless the last few years. No wonder entrepreneurs are no longer feeling our culture is behind them.

One of the observations made by the authors is that "the American youth's perception of entrepreneurship as a viable career choice seem to be limited."

Really? We have seen a dramatic increase in students switching to our major here at Belmont University. The most common reason? They see little hope in the stability of the traditional job market. They see entrepreneurship as the best path to a successful career.

Carol Tice in her blog at Entrepreneur also disagrees with this conclusion by the authors of the study:

I'm not sure they're right on that. As the mom of a high-school teen who's been active in Futue Business Leaders, and a reporter who's written about wonderful youth-entrepreneurship programs such as Empowerment Group's Youth Entrepreneurship Program, I think the problem isn't at that level.

A new poll by the Kauffman Foundation poll reveals that 40 percent of youth ages 8 to 24 would like to start a business at some future point, or already have done so. Other polls show that the percent of those entering college who cite owning their own business as a primary goal from their education is over 50%.

Do America's youth really receive that entrepreneurship is not a viable career choice? I don't think so!

All the evidence I see shows that America's youth are indeed ready, willing, and increasingly able to take on the challenge of helping to rebuild our economy. We need to continue to educate them to give them the skills they need to be successful entrepreneurs. Then we need to get out of their way and turn them loose.

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