For existing or aspiring entrepreneurs who may be wondering whether or not owning your own business is particularly challenging in this country versus any other, some recently released research should put things into perspective. According to Ernst and Young’s (EY) G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer for 2013, the U.S. remains among the top five countries on the planet when it comes to business startup and ownership, news that is enhanced further by some other key research released just this week.
“The US provides one of the most favorable entrepreneurial environments of any country in the (world),” according to EY’s summary of findings,” particularly when it comes to three of the five pillars of entrepreneurship measured by the study. In fact, when it comes to both overall entrepreneurial culture and access to funding, nobody does or has it better than the U.S.—its rank in each case is number one, while the U.S. ranks third on the benchmark of education and training.
Those three pillars alone make the U.S. an entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with, according to the study’s authors, even today when the world at large remains somewhat economically unstable. However, there is room for improvement, particularly on the remaining two pillars of tax and regulation and coordinated support.
But, some are asking, just how bad are things on those two fronts really?
According to Robb Madelbaum in his enlightening and informative New York Times evaluation of the study’s more discouraging findings earlier this week, there is room for discernment. In fact, he suggests the U.S.’ shortcomings may be a matter of perception as much as anything else. “These studies are a tricky business,” he concludes after unearthing some less obvious nuances to the study's findings. “The responses can be subjective, as can the indicators that are selected for measurement.” In other words, it’s just possible that things are not as bad as they seem when they are evaluated relative to the alternatives or presented in context with more in-depth information or given other extenuating circumstances.
Complementing the encouraging news that the U.S. remains a worldwide entrepreneurial powerhouse is this week’s Wall Street Journal proclamation that there is a “New Flash of Optimism (among) Small-Business Owners.” Citing a number of recent surveys, including findings from its own CEO Survey with Vistage Small Business and Wells Fargo/Gallup, the article asserts that “small-business optimism surged in July and August to some of the highest levels since the recession started.”
And finally, there’s evidence that the U.S. may be making strides in winning back its title as a leading export manufacturer of goods. New research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as highlighted by CNBC last week shows that it is quickly becoming one of the lowest-cost countries for manufacturing in the developed world, with production costs rising at a much lower rate than for its counterparts like Germany, Japan, France, Italy and the U.K.
Given this encouraging trend, BCG’s report predicts it is just the beginning of what may very well be a drastic shift in global manufacturing, one that will bode well for the U.S. economy by 2020. In fact, it predicts the unemployment rate could drop by as much as three percentage points by then as a result, largely due to the influx of American factory and service jobs that will manifest as production shifts back to the U.S. from low-cost countries like China.