Tag Archives: Small business

Small Businesses and Our Economy

The Office of Advocacy defines a small business as an independent business with less than 500 employees. Few of us are aware of the impact small businesses produce on our economy. Small businesses:

  • Represent 99.7% of all employer firms
  • Employ half of all private sector employees
  • Pay 44% of total U.S. private payroll
  • Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP
  • Hire 43% of high-tech workers (scientists, engineers, computer programmers, etc.)
  • Made up 97.5% of all identified exporters and produced 31 % of export value in FY 2008
  • Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms

People who own and operate their own business often take pride in their work and as a result,   their efficiency is very high. They provide their customers personalized and high-quality products or services. This can be demonstrated by comparing a temporary employee in a big company with a small-business employee. If an employee in a big company is hired for 40 hours a week, for example, he or she may not give the company 40 hours of production. It is difficult to monitor employees in big companies and part of those 40 hours can be spent on orientation, gathering office supplies, getting the computer turned on and paper loaded, etc. The independent entrepreneur usually does not pay per hour, but according to how much work is completed. They also usually charge less money than big companies for the same services or products.

During the 1980s and through the 1990s, the United States saw a growth in minority-owned businesses. However, most experts agree that minority-owned businesses face challenges that their white counterparts are able to avoid. Some factors that might influence the growth of minority-owned businesses are community support, increased networking, training programs, access to financing, and higher levels of education. Many do not see community support as essential but it plays a big role because entrepreneurial minorities benefit by instituting businesses within their communities that meet needs of that community. Community banks were among the most visible supporters of minority entrepreneurs in the 1980 and 90s. Their support today could greatly impact the emergence of new minority-owned business.

Small businesses accounted for 65% of the 15 million net new jobs created between 1993 and 2009. “Small business drives the American economy,” said Dr. Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for the Office of Advocacy in a press release. “Main Street provides the jobs and spurs our economic growth. American entrepreneurs are creative and productive, and these numbers prove it.” Investing in small businesses will greatly benefit the economy and the U.S. should begin by giving minorities the tools to create their own businesses.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/3c7t3u6; http://tinyurl.com/3krukxm; http://tinyurl.com/3l956c2

by Betty Diop (Re:LIFE Writer/Columnist)
Pace University
B.A. Applied Psychology


Filed under Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship and Disconnected Youth

Re:LIFE Inc.’s mission is to refine and then infuse disconnected minority youth back into society as responsible citizens. This is made possible through training programs in a diverse set of areas with special attention given to entrepreneurship. According to Gallup and National Center for Research in Economic Education polls, ‘many students, particularly minority students, have a strong interest in entrepreneurship but lack the skills to pursue work in this field’. In light of this, Re:LIFE aims to provide entrepreneurial skills to youth of different ages, especially those who are out of work and not attending school. Entrepreneurship is a rewarding career path for a number of reasons.

Entrepreneurial education can positively impact a learner at all levels and in a wide number of contexts.

Youth from all ages can benefit from entrepreneurial education. For elementary school students, training in this field allows them to acquire basic understanding of economic and financial concepts. It also enhances their problem solving and critical thinking skills while providing them with an opportunity to explore a new career path. Some of these children become motivated to start a business of their own someday. Similarly, middle school and high school students experience improved economic, financial, and workplace literacy. They also become more empowered consumers who embrace diversity and networking with others. Most importantly, in every level, entrepreneurial education improves academic skills, behavioral performance, and motivates youths to further their education. If entrepreneurial education can produce all of these effects on youth who are already in school, imagine how much it could greatly change the lives of disconnected youth.
Disconnected youth will be equipped with skills to aid them in business start-up and management. They will learn how entrepreneurship can be an effective means of making a living and many will be motivated to start their own businesses as well. Personally, entrepreneurial education can provide a stronger sense of self-worth, the ability to control one’s life, enhanced responsibility, and the acquisition of interpersonal and problem solving skills.

Entrepreneurship is very flexible and provides an opportunity for youth to use their creativity.

A wonderful thing about starting your own business is that you get to be your own boss. Creativity and flexibility is highly available in this field. When all of the necessary aspects of the business are taken care of and everything is functional, entrepreneurs can change their work schedule to accommodate other things. There is time for other pursuits, hobbies, sports, and family. In addition, entrepreneurship is an effective mode of achieving financial independence. How much money you make in this field is utterly dependent on you. Entrepreneurs can establish unique goals and from this, they can determine how much is necessary to compensate their efforts and fuel  their businesses. The level of responsibility this field requires is surpassed only by the amount of flexibility available.

Entrepreneurship allows one to provide opportunities for others.

There is no better feeling than the one you get from helping others better their lives. Entrepreneurs contribute to their societies with the service(s) they provide. In fact, small business owners are usually respected people in the community because they are responsible for spurring community development and creating local jobs. Jobs provided by small business entrepreneurs can even be more fulfilling than jobs within a large company because there is more individual attention and thus, recognition for one’s efforts. Entrepreneurs are not only providing for themselves, but also for the community. This is especially true if the service they offer is designed specifically to benefit a group or groups within the neighborhood. No economy in the world can survive without the resourcefulness and labor provided by entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship can open several doors for the entrepreneur.

Small businesses have the ability to grow into bigger companies. They can begin by offering services in one neighborhood and soon find themselves expanding beyond their immediate community. Business can also grow in terms of the services they provide. They can diversify their services and reach a larger audience within the same community. Besides expansion, entrepreneurship also provides opportunities to meet other businessmen and influential people. Networking itself provides many opportunities for career development. Entrepreneurs might find themselves engaging in new projects and learning more about what they are capable of achieving. The possibilities for both career and personal growth are abundant in this field.

All it takes to be a successful entrepreneur is consistent motivation and diligence. Entrepreneurship is necessary for disconnected youth because of all the benefits it provides and because it is a field any dedicated and passionate individual can enter. With time, one can learn and cultivate the skills necessary to succeed in one’s business of choice.

Thus, Re:LIFE Inc. has different programs that aims to equip our youth with the concepts and skills necessary to facilitate successful entrepreneurship. Some of our programs include:

YoungLIFE Entrepreneurs Program

EarnLIFE Entrepreneurs Program

Re:LIFE Reengagement Program

authored by:
Betty Diop (Re:LIFE Writer/Columnist)
Pace University
B.A. Applied Psychology

Edited by Chike Ukaegbu

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Filed under Entrepreneurship, ReLIFE, Youth, Youth Development