The most important challenge for entrepreneurs isn't starting a company, but growing it from three employees to 30 ... to 300, to 3,000. Small businesses, which account for 99.7 percent of firms and 64 percent of job creation, aren't hiring quickly enough to significantly lower the unemployment rate.
Let's start by thinking about the smallest firms. The companies of one. Self-employment is the new employment these days. Accounting for one-third of the workforce, the self-employed population is 40 million and growing. By the end of this decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 40 percent of the U.S. labor force will be self employed.
The self-employed can be a major force for job creation. But they need a push. There's been an uptick in start-ups since the recession; however the number of start-ups that hire in the first year declined before the recession, and it's still declining. More people are striking out on their own, but they're not hiring help.
How do we scale our start-ups? Here are seven ideas to boost entrepreneurship and help creative people move from starting a company to building a company.
Twenty-five percent of successful tech start-ups are founded by immigrants. But every year, we kick out tens of thousands of immigrants after giving them a U.S. education. Instead, we should encourage them to stay by offering "entrepreneur class" visas to immigrants who start companies, ramp up revenues, take investments, and make hires. This plan costs nothing and creates jobs. So why aren't we doing it? Because expanding our visa program is bound up with controversial immigration reform.