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Helping High Growth Small Businesses Create Jobs

Karen Mills, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, discusses the importance of high-growth small businesses as an engine for our economy.

Small businesses have played a critical role in supporting economic growth and creating jobs.  Small firms employ half of all working Americans and create two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S. economy. 

A specific subset of these small businesses, high growth firms, account for a disproportionately high share of job growth and innovation.  These high-growth firms have different needs, face different barriers, and require different policies than the traditional “Main Street” small businesses. 

In May 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) brought together a group of practitioners for a High-Growth Conference, to discuss specific ideas for the role of government in supporting high-growth firms.  During the Conference the group discussed the barriers facing high-growth small businesses, ways the government can help reduce these barriers and areas in which the government can do more or less to support high-growth firms. 

I am excited to share the findings from the High Growth Conference.  The recommendations that emerged from the Conference fall into five categories:

  • Increasing access to capital across all stages of the life cycle of the high-growth business
  • Improving access to talent
  • Celebrating entrepreneurship and focusing on increasing the number of startup businesses
  • Strengthening the underlying “Innovation Ecosystem”
  • Leveraging government programs more effectively

The group came up with specific suggestions for carrying out each of the recommendations above.  For example, to increase the number of startup businesses, the report suggests decreasing costs associated with business creation and facilitating mentorship for early stage entrepreneurs. 

Although this report does not represent official views of the SBA, I feel confident that these recommendations and ideas will help to encourage and stimulate additional conversations around providing support for high-growth companies. 

When a startup company has a great idea, success does not happen immediately.  The challenge is to ensure that small businesses have the support they need as they make the transition from small startup companies to large successful corporations.  The High-Growth Conference Report brings us one step closer to ensuring that these high growth small businesses are provided with all the resources they need to continue to play a vital role in the recovery and growth of the U.S. economy.