by: Jennifer Quail, Director of Entrepreneur Support, Brookings Economic Development Center
Entrepreneurs come in all sizes and shapes, from all walks of life and across all markets and industry sectors. One “title” for such a varied and diverse group seems a bit misrepresented or under appreciated. So, what is the common thread that binds this group together? Is it a thread or is it more of a passion or mindset - a belief in the ability to create a better tomorrow, expand opportunities and challenge limits.
Many of us are dreamers and believers, but it is the doers that earn the “title” of entrepreneur. These individuals have taken action, and that makes all the difference. This action leads to impact; building and strengthening the local economy.
By being aware of their local community and its unmet needs, entrepreneurs are able to capitalize on opportunities to fill a gap in the market. By utilizing local assets and providing an innovative solution to meet those needs, they help keep business local and support the economy.
The development of new technologies tends to lead to increased efficiencies. These efficiencies may be seen in a variety of ways: increased output, lower production costs, expanded distribution, product diversification, new product development, etc. These efficiencies can lead to increases in profitability, expansion and growth.
By providing additional options or new and innovative solutions to the local market, entrepreneurs stimulate competition. With competition comes the need for businesses to be innovative to remain viable. As the process continues, it becomes a positive loop of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development.
In opening new businesses, entrepreneurs provide new and sometimes unique employment opportunities. Depending on the market, these positions may require additional training or specific degrees. As a result, these additional opportunities may help to retain the local workforce or even be an attractive option to recruit individuals to the community.
New businesses generate new opportunities for wealth creation. This is evident not only in the entrepreneur themselves, but also through the hiring of employees. Salaries and wages spent locally continue to support the economy. In addition, entrepreneurs are often times very philanthropic and give back in many ways (time, talent, financially) to their communities with the desire to continue to strengthen and grow the local economy.
Action leads to impact. Entrepreneurs’ actions can change the way we live and work, improve our standard of living and most definitely impact economic development. As the Director of Entrepreneur Support with Brookings Economic Development Corporation, I assist entrepreneurs to help them take action and have an impact here in our community!