Startups and entrepreneurship are the key to boosting the numbers of middle-class jobs according to Steve Case and Carly Fiorina. The University of Virginia’s Miller Center released a report on Thursday from a commission led by Case, the co-founder of AOL and Fiorina the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard proposing ways that state and local communities and governments can increase entrepreneurship and middle-class jobs.
The report, officially the work of the unsubtly named Milstein Symposium Commission on Entrepreneurship and Middle-Class Jobs, is titled “Can Startups Save the American Dream?” It’s not much of a spoiler to say that the answer according to the commission is a resounding yes. There’s a lot packed into the report, but it basically comes down to making it education and access issues. The report recommends educating students and governments on entrepreneurship and making it easier for startups to get capital and navigate regulatory ecosystems. There’s a lot more to the details of course, but the broad strokes of the plan are very clear as are the reasons the report’s writers think they are important.
“Entrepreneurs are the secret sauce of America – building not only iconic companies but entire industries,” Case, currently a partner at venture capital firm Revolution, said in a statement. “Historically, entrepreneurship has also been about creating pathways to the middle class, and helping people attain the American Dream. Entrepreneurs must again be at the heart of rebuilding the American economy.”
There’s no denying that startups and venture capitalists would be eager to generate more startup companies and make the early stages easier or at least more straightforward for a company to get through. A lot of effort in that direction has already begun albeit often in a piecemeal manner or only when the overwhelming reality of successful startups make it necessary. New regulatory frameworks for Airbnb or for alcohol delivery apps and tax incentives for startups are good examples of the kind of changes recent startups have initiated. The report encourages even more movement in that direction.
“Entrepreneurship has always been the great American pastime,” said Fiorina, whose presidential ambitions for 2016 have become obvious of late. “But for the first time in our history, more businesses are being destroyed than created, and this has had a profound impact on America’s middle class. The ideas contained in our report will make it easier for Americans to fulfill that fundamental human urge to build a better life.”
Startups may not be the solution to every economic problem in the U.S., but boosters of the entrepreneurial world won’t stint any time soon in their efforts to aid them. And if the tactics proposed in the report have any success, you can expect plenty of renewed support for startup ecosystem building.