When communities talk about needing more local capital, without acknowledging that capital is mobile and full-time entrepreneurs the bottleneck, there’s a disservice to the community. When a community increases the number of full-time entrepreneurs, more viable startups will emerge, and more net new jobs will be created. It isn’t purely a numbers game, but it is heavily correlated.
Here are a few ideas for increasing the number of full-time entrepreneurs by way of programs that require a nominal amount of capital:
- Instead of an annual $100,000 business model competition do a quarterly one that’s for $25,000 (a business model competition is a much better route than a business plan)
- Find a local foundation that’s interested in economic development for the community and start a program that gives a $5,000 grant each week to a local full-time entrepreneur picked by the community using an idea exchange
- Solicit a large local company that is heavily invested in the community to offer small loans ($10,000 – $50,000) to local entrepreneurs that wouldn’t otherwise qualify for them (e.g. the company or it’s community foundation becomes the guarantor of the loan)
- Run a relocation campaign and provide incentives to startups in surrounding cities to relocate their company to increase startup density and create more net new jobs
Increasing the number of full-time entrepreneurs is hard, but with more startups comes more opportunities for success.
What else? What are some other ideas to increase the number of full-time entrepreneurs?