Entrepreneurship and the Middle class

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Hope and opportunity are the currency of a growing middle class and the foundation of the American Dream. Entrepreneurship can help cultivate this. And yet, as our economy and society have drifted into a greater divide between haves and have-nots, we have seen our middle class shrink. We have seen our politics become divisive as we look for easy answers and all go to our own corners and reinforce our own views.

Entrepreneurship most directly benefits the middle class by being the driving force for net new job creation in our country. There is also great civic improvement when new local small businesses are able to open, both for the entrepreneurs themselves and the surrounding community. This sense of freedom is a critical part of what makes the middle class prosper
Part and parcel with the decline of the middle class, which can be traced to the last several decades, we’ve lost a lot of industry competition. We’ve lost a lot of our ability to start new businesses. And the middle class has lost a lot of its relative position of income, meaning that factory workers make less today than they used to, and that has been the case for a lot of blue-collar jobs. In fact, incomes for families near or below the median income levels have been stagnant for nearly four decades. New business formation is the engine for nearly all net new job growth and innovation, and we must ensure that access and opportunity is able to reach all Americans.
I grew up in a lower-middle-class family in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I never once thought I wouldn’t be able to start and own my own business. That was a right that I had as an American. Entrepreneurship is not exclusive and cannot be only for the privileged. New small businesses have long been the vehicle for economic advancement for the middle class, and as I outline in BOOM: Bridging the Opportunity Gap to Reignite Startups, we need to bridge our country’s current entrepreneurial opportunity gap to resuscitate our middle class.

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