U.S. falling behind in entrepreneurial activity

Editorial

Our nation was founded by people risking their lives to personally profit. They became people who risked their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to establish a never-before-attempted form of governance, also for individual and mutual profit.

America emerged as the world leader in innovation, risk-taking and optimism, the most profitable country on Earth. Calculated risks undertaken for profit are hallmarks of entrepreneurial spirit. We are an entrepreneurial nation.

This week, 1,200 sponsors have organized events throughout the nation to celebrate Entrepreneurship Week USA, an opportunity to share forward-looking ideas.

In an increasingly competitive global economy, amid mind-boggling changes in technologies and markets, entrepreneurship has never been more essential. Also, never before have opportunities been more abundant, or potentially rewarding.

Those facing changing work places, evolving markets and dying industries can thank entrepreneurs there is hope. The innovator and risk-taker will create tomorrow’s jobs and transform today’s jobs. We are moving to a “new economy,” as explained in a report by the private Kauffman Foundation, the prime mover behind this week’s celebration.

“The formula for success” says the report, “is quite different. Now, firms must innovate by developing new products, services and business models and by continuing to transform existing business processes and make them more productive.”

Is it instructive that the U.S. may no longer lead the way? The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor at the London Business School in 2004 found the U.S. lagging behind nine nations, including Australia, Jordan and Peru on a scale measuring “total entrepreneurial activity.”

Such measurements aren’t precise, but it’s clear the U.S. no longer holds the patent on innovation.