Report: Indiana needs more entrepreneurs

Indiana lags behind other states when it comes to new entrepreneurs, and we need more.

Posted: Jun 7, 2019 4:54 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Indiana lags behind other states when it comes to new entrepreneurs, and we need more.

That's part of the message in a new 32-page report released Thursday by Indiana's Chamber of Commerce.

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Indiana District Office said there are currently more than 500,000 small businesses in Indiana.

That makes up 99% of businesses in our state.

The thing is, according to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, that's not enough.

Kristen Cooper knows exactly how it feels to start your own business.

"When you start a business, it can be terrifying." Kristen Cooper, CEO, founder, of The Startup Ladies.

She created The Startup Ladies in 2014, which now has offices across the state. They help entrepreneurs figure out the "how".

"We wanted to provide the resources, which include education and funding so these women can go from idea to market to growth." Cooper said.

Thursday, Indiana's Chamber of Commerce released their Vision 2025 economic development Report.

Part of the report states, despite Indiana's economic momentum and new business creation, our overall nationwide ranking for new entrepreneurs fell again.

We've dropped from 44th to 47th best in the nation. Why? Cooper has her own theory.

Cooper explained, "We know that 90% of start-ups fail, so you have to increase your shots at the goal."

The state chamber said the data hammers home the importance of regional economic development

About the entrepreneur portion of the report, Indiana Chamber President, Kevin Brinegar said in a statement Thursday:

"While Indiana overall lags other states in new entrepreneurs, as it has in the past, there are pockets of strong activity and some encouraging numbers behind the rankings. New businesses in the state have higher survival rates than national peers and employment at both new and particularly existing firms has been growing at strong rates. We just need more of them.

"Venture capital for entrepreneurs is below average but on the upswing and will further benefit from the transferability of the venture capital investment tax credit when it becomes available next summer. Still, we must continue to improve the tools available in order to compete nationally.

"We encourage state officials and business leaders to be bold in telling Indiana's success story. We need to continue the focus on quality of place initiatives. The state, as a whole, will only be as strong as each region."

Laura Schafsnitz, with the Indiana District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, explained Thursday

"Entrepreneurs and small business owners, really they're the backbone of the economy. They are the engine that makes our state purr, if you will."

Schafsnitz said Indiana does, in fact, need more entrepreneurs.

"We always need more entrepreneurs. We always need more people with ideas, with vision, with passion. What are they going to do? They're investing in their community." Schafsnitz explained Thursday.

It's that passion Cooper hopes inspires you to turn your idea into reality.

"I'm totally optimistic that the state of Indiana is going to be attracting bright minds and growing the talent that we have right here." Cooper said with a smile.

What if you have an idea in your mind, but you aren't sure how to bring it into reality or are afraid?

Ian Nicolini, vice president of Indianapolis Economic Development with the Indy Chamber, explained.

"Reach out. Learn about those resources. Especially at your community centers. Those are the places where your support infrastructure is right there, ready to serve. Yeah, it's a risk, but every entrepreneur has had to take that jump. Most of them will tell you it was a challenge and it was scary, but it was worth it."

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