Despite the U.S. economy’s steady improvement since the end of The Great Recession, new data from the Census Bureau suggests that the United States is seeing a significant decline in start-ups from previous years.
The reason for the drop? That depends who you ask. Some economists say it’s because the massive companies that dominate different sectors of the market are so big that they can either swallow up or completely disregard any competition. Some point to the aging Baby Boomer generation, meaning there are simply fewer Americans who are around the prime age to start a business. Others say there’s simply less access to capital -- banks are lending less and venture capitalists are turning their attention away from funding brand new businesses and toward investing in businesses that are already growing and excelling. And still others say that increased regulation at the state and federal level is scaring off would-be entrepreneurs from starting a company.
What do you think is fueling the decline in entrepreneurship across the country? Are we seeing similar trends in Southern California? What could be done to change this trend?
Robert Litan, adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; economist and antitrust lawyer
Vincent McCoy, executive director of the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center
Susie Pryor, associate director of the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship and associate professor of entrepreneurship at Cal State San Bernardino