Encouraging More People to Start Companies

Earlier today I had an interesting conversation regarding how to get more talented to people to start companies. The general consensus is that in places like Atlanta there are a number of smart, self-starting people with an entrepreneurial itch but who choose not to act on it. While entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, I do believe there are a number of people that could do well if they gave it a shot.

Here are a few thoughts on encouraging more people to start companies:

  • Figure out how to get more publicity and media about the local entrepreneurial success stories (the more people that see the person down the street be successful, the more likely they are to believe they can do it themselves)
  • Engage with professionals that are already attending entrepreneurial meetups, but haven’t started a company, as it’s clear there’s an interest level
  • Help professionals understand the existing technology clusters in town and explain that starting a company where there’s existing expertise can increase the likelihood of success
  • Build more entrepreneurial programs into the local universities to highlight entrepreneurship as a viable career path (encourage students to create their own jobs)

Of course, the biggest barrier to starting a company for most professionals is being trapped in a middle class lifestyle that requires extremely hard decisions to unwind (mortgage, car payments, etc.) Regardless, we can do more to encourage people to start companies and help them succeed.

What else? What are some other ways to encourage more people to start companies?

3 thoughts on “Encouraging More People to Start Companies

  1. I completely agree with what have said. In particular, entrepreneurial programs in schools are super smart for teaching students beyond the classroom. My tiny alma mater has several entrepreneurial programs (http://www.berryentrepreneurs.com) and student run enterprises (https://www.berry.edu/studententerprises/). The enterprises are a cool idea using school resources (in Berry’s case- Beef, milk, land, etc) as a frame for a business and letting students run with it and get their feet wet in running a business and working as a team. Wish they had that when I was in school there!

  2. David, nice post.

    Coming from 10 years in corporate to startup, I would make one suggestion — We should encourage people to work for a startup first — before starting their own. I wish I had. I believe this helps an emerging entrepreneur truly understand the pros/cons and gives time to adjust their financial life.

  3. I agree with your statements regarding the unkind current middle class lifestyle and you also have to figure in that many took a big hit financially a few years back and are in recovery mode with new careers and lost income. So it makes taking a leap more difficult.

    Kind of going off subject, my fiance is from Brazil and she looks at the U.S. through a lense that is filtered against her country. In Brazil, if you want to start a hair salon you can just take out your living room and put in some chairs and hire employees and give it a go. There is a booming underground economy there. Not saying that we should circumvent our current laws but things should be easier to start a business…whether that be obtaining capital, etc.

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