In a ringing endorsement of the importance of new-business creation in the U.S. economy, an overwhelming 90 percent of Americans surveyed in an Oct. 14-16 Harris nationwide poll agreed across the board that entrepreneurship is a fundamental driver of economic growth now and in the future.
The findings, on which 94 percent of those 55 and older agreed, came on the heels of congressional and White House agreement to end the government shutdown and raise the national debt ceiling, thereby avoiding a calamitous U.S. and global economic set-back that would have severely curtailed new-business creation.
The survey, sponsored by the non-profit Center for Productive Longevity (CPL) in Boulder, Colo., found similar levels of support expressed for small-business success as the future of the U.S. economy, with 87 percent of all adults agreeing.
On the issue of more government action to stimulate and support new-business creation, 85 percent of all respondents agreed this would be desirable; 63 percent of all adults said people 50+ should be encouraged to start a new business. When asked whether they would consider starting a new business, 46 percent of all adults answered affirmatively.
This survey bolsters the importance of the National Conference on the Entrepreneurship Imperative for Engaging People 50 and Older that CPL will hold Nov. 7 in Washington, DC, at The National Press Club. The conference will focus on the 99 million Americans 50+, almost one-third of the U.S. population. In light of the ongoing high unemployment, entrepreneurship is a viable option for many in this age group who are qualified and ready to continue adding value.
CPL President William Zinke said, “The Harris survey results confirm that entrepreneurship is the driver of the U.S. economy, and the conference goal is to stimulate substantially more entrepreneurship by people 50+.”
He added, “Americans 50+ comprise a large and growing talent pool whose experience, expertise, seasoned judgment and proven performance must be tapped to benefit them and increase employment and economic growth.”
CPL has urged President Obama to appoint a Presidential Commission to review and provide recommendations on what tax and other laws can be revised to encourage and stimulate substantially more new-business creation by people 50+ and what regulations can be revised to eliminate or dramatically reduce existing obstacles and impediments.
The conference will attract thought leaders from business, government, academia and non-profits to discuss and agree upon actions necessary to encourage and stimulate substantially more new-business creation by Americans 50+. It will conclude with a Call to Action, which CPL will be committed to facilitate within 12 months.
Featured speakers will include:
►Carl Schramm, leading economist, called “the evangelist of entrepreneurship,” and Kauffman Foundation president emeritus;
►Ralph Sorenson, Babson College president emeritus and founder, Babson’s Center for Entrepreneurship;
►Sergio Arzeni, director, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, Paris;
►Entrepreneur and technology trailblazer Candace Johnson, co-founder, SES ASTRA and SES, the world’s pre-eminent satellite system; and,
►Bruce Merrifield, former Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs and chaired professor of entrepreneurship, The Wharton School