Who are microentrepreneurs? Are they in Bangladesh? Are they very small business owners? Are they startups? Are they employers or are they workers?
All of the above! Microentrepreneurs in the US are self-employed workers who have started a business with less than $35K in startup capital and fewer than 5 employees. Many of the businesses in your neighborhood are most likely microenterprises!
Starting a microenterprise has traditionally been a strategy for disadvantaged entrepreneurs to achieve economic self-sufficiency and build assets through business ownership despite the lack of business capital. Microentrepreneurs contribute significantly to the unique character of neighborhoods as well as the local economy because they create more local jobs and spend more locally than national chains.
As part of an ambitious campaign to educate all of our public policy makers about the important role that microentrepreneurship plays in our current economic recovery, we have focused our research and public policy efforts on Job Creation Through Microenterprise Development. Women’s initiative has presented our findings report to public policy makers from here in the Bay Area to Sacramento and Washington DC.
In November the Department of Labor released a ground breaking statement that encourages workforce investment in entrepreneurship training because small businesses:
· Represent 99.7% of employers
· Employ over half of workers
· Have generated 64% of new jobs
· Are essential for economic recovery
Getting this statement of support from the Department of Labor is a great start to making 2011 the year of Job Creation Through Microenterprise Development but training, funding and business support services are still only available to a fraction of microentrepreneurs, very small business owners, startups, small employers, and self-employed workers in the US. Please see the Women’s Initiative website to learn how you can get involved in Job Creation Through Microenterprise Development.