Entrepreneurship is often seen as a solution to poverty. Perhaps, this optimism of the market is misplaced. Elisabeth Jacobs, from the the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, develops a framework connecting rising economic inequality and declining levels of innovation and economic dynamism in the United States. The article is of course relevant to the United States of America, however the insights on links between entrepreneurship, class structure, social policies and a range of other policies have a wider relevance.
The conclusion hints at possibilities for conducting such work in other contexts.
We don’t know where the next great American breakthrough innovation will come from, which means that bread-and-butter economic policy issues are important, including policies that don’t immediately come into play in the entrepreneurship debate—or, if they do, typically get treated as anti-small business. Consider policies such as the minimum wage, paid sick and parental leave, and expanded access to child care. All have potential implications for promoting overall economic growth and dynamism in the United States, and belong on the table. If the goal is to stimulate transformational entrepreneurship, it is not enough just to push narrow policies designed to “support entrepreneurs.” We need a comprehensive package of creative solutions that move the entire economy toward broad-based health and growth for all.