For the first time in our history entrepreneurs are becoming part of the political furniture. Speakers at both the Republican and Democratic conventions mentioned small businesses, firms with fewer than 500 employees, endlessly — actually 106 times.
Small business is an expected mainstay of convention rhetoric. But, the debut of entrepreneurs as the people who form our new firms is critical because they were, accurately, described as the people who take risks and create, according to the Kauffman Foundation, over sixty percent of all new jobs in our economy.
Starting more new firms is not only the best path to resolving the recession, they are the principal source of wealth for America’s future. In fact, Republican speakers described the role they play in the economy 13 times while Democrats did 9 times. Joseph Schumpeter would be smiling that the little guys, the entrepreneurs, the people who challenge the incumbent firms with their upstart startups, the causers of all the “creative destruction” that drive government regulators crazy, the new companies that seem to relish what he called the “gales” of competition that big companies fear, are somehow beginning to be seen as the champions they are. Karen Mills, head of the Small Business Administration, said “America’s entrepreneurs are our greatest asset” during her speech to the Democratic convention.