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Where the Jobs Are: Entrepreneurship and the Soul of the American Economy Hardcover – September 16, 2013
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“Three years ago John Dearie and Courtney Geduldig, who both worked for the Financial Services Forum, which represents America’s biggest financial institutions, came up with an inspired idea. Why not ask entrepreneurs themselves what is going wrong? Both big multinationals and established small firms have lots of representatives in Washington, DC. Entrepreneurs are too busy inventing their companies to spend time lobbying. The pair organized meetings and conducted lots of polls. Across a vast and diverse country they heard the same message from everyone they asked: entrepreneurship is in a parlous state. And everyone pointed to the same problems. The result is a new book, “Where the Jobs Are”, which should be dropped onto the heads of America’s squabbling politicians.”
From the Inside Flap
During the Great Recession of 2008-2009 and the difficult year that followed, nearly 9 million American jobs were eliminated. The damage to U.S. labor markets was the most extensive, in both absolute and percentage terms, since the Great Depression, destroying all employment growth over the prior decade. Just as alarmingand in stark contrast to the historical pattern of deep recessions being followed by sharp reboundsmore than four years into the recovery, economic growth remains stalled and 24 million working-age Americans remain jobless, underemployed, or have left the workforce discouraged.
Perhaps most worrying, Washington seems out of ideas. Having done what history teaches must be done, policymakers now seem at a loss for what to do next.
With the hope of generating new policy alternatives, co-authors John Dearie and Courtney Geduldig launched an effort in April of 2011 to understand the nature and scope of the damage to U.S. labor markets and, if possible, identify new ways to enhance the economy's job-creating capacity. Shortly after they began their investigation, they learned of research that demonstrates how virtually all net new job creation in the United States over the past 30 years has come from businesses less than a year oldtrue "start-ups."
Stunned, they realized that Washington policymakers too often overlook and neglect the economy's true engine of job creationnew businesses. Investigating further, they also learned that America's job creation machine is faltering, with the rate of start-up formation declining precipitously in recent years.
To find out why, they launched an ambitious summer road tripconducting roundtables with entrepreneurs in 12 cities across the nation. More than 200 entrepreneurs participated in these roundtables, explaining in specific terms the obstacles that are undermining their efforts to launch new businesses, expand existing young firms, and create jobs. Dearie and Geduldig came away from their summer journey struck most of all by the nation's stunning entrepreneurial dynamism. Another major takeawaywhich is enormously significant from the standpoint of potential policy solutionsis that entrepreneurs from Austin to Boston and from Seattle to Orlando face the same burdens, frustrations, and difficulties.
The summer on the road with American entrepreneurs made several critical realities vividly clear: First, young businesses are extremely fragile, and yet, those new businesses that survive tend to grow and create jobs at very rapid rates. Second, the policy needs and priorities of new businesses are unique. Policies intended to enhance the circumstances of large corporations or even existing small businesseshowever well intendedoften miss the needs of new businesses. Third, policy help for America's job creators is urgently needed. Given the critical role they play in our nation's economy, America's young businesses need a comprehensive and preferential policy framework designed to cultivate and nurture start-ups.
Fortunately, Dearie and Geduldig now know what needs to be done. Meeting and listening to America's entrepreneurs revealed with unprecedented clarity and precision the major obstacles undermining their ability to launch new businesses, grow those businesses, and create new American jobs. In Where the Jobs Are, they present 30 specific policy proposals based on what the nation's job creators told them they need. The resulting policy agenda amounts to an altogether new, uniquely credible, and vitally important game plan for unleashing the job creating capacity of America's powerful entrepreneurial economy and putting a beleaguered nation back to work.
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Top Customer Reviews
As an author of two books on innovation, I agree on its importance as our defining national strategy and unquestionably entrepreneurs are critical to break through innovation which changes lives and produces jobs. Apple, Google, Zynga, Facebook, Group On and hundreds of other successful companies started recently and created tens of thousands of good jobs. We need more of these companies and our government should do everything they can to provide fertile ground for emerging start ups.
The authors present a lot of strong research and facts in a very readable style. They present a strong case for bipartisan action by Congress. I hope readers take note and urge their politicians to act.
This book should be a must-read for higher education, community and civic leaders, entrepreneurs, Chambers, and any group or organization that claims to support small business growth. It will certainly open some eyes and should definitely generate much-needed dialogue on what really needs to happen to ensure small businesses successfully launch and grow and become the job creators we are trying to be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, neither of the authors are engineers, and very few, if any, of the people interviewed in the book are American engineers. Read morePublished 17 months ago by John Callister
This is a superficial collation of interviews of enterprise owners about job needs. It lacks any serious data about enterprise employment capability and scale. Read morePublished 18 months ago by milton kotler
This writer found an opinion piece in the December 30. 2013 Edition of the Wall Street Journal by Dearie and Geduldig disturbing. Read morePublished on December 31, 2013 by Audrey Ihrig
This is a very important perspective for anyone that really cares about job creation. All too often, policy discussions occur without the benefit of the real entrepreneurial job... Read morePublished on December 3, 2013 by J. Thomas Ranken