The entrepreneurial spirit has fueled America's economy for centuries. And these days, that spirit is stronger than ever.
Over the last two decades, 65 percent of new jobs have been created by startups and small enterprises. Companies less than one year old have created an average of 1.5 million jobs per year over the past three decades. And in recent years, new enterprises have helped move our economy from recession to recovery to expansion.
As someone who has spent the majority of my career and life as a serial entrepreneur, starting my first company while still in high school, I am a true believer in the potential that American innovators have to change the world and commerce for the better. It takes an extraordinary amount of effort and vision. I have so much respect for those willing to take the leap and spur new growth and innovation.
That's why, today, I'm enthusiastic to be celebrating the fourth annual Startup Across America Day.
Since we launched Startup Day four years ago, this bipartisan endeavor has been supported by dozens of leaders from both the House and Senate. It has connected aspiring and accomplished entrepreneurs across the country with policy makers, helping them learn what it takes to succeed and compete in the 21st century.
That's incredibly important. Why?
As a country, empowering entrepreneurs to take smart risks and to aim for the stars - no matter who they are or where they come from - is something that benefits us all. From innovations improving education to new cures for diseases that have plagued humanity for centuries, the benefits of creative endeavors go far beyond the jobs directly created. That's why President Obama has prioritized removing barriers to innovation: by making it easier for entrepreneurs to buy health insurance, pay off student loan debt, connect to high-speed broadband, and have access to a free and open internet. But we’ve got more work to do.
Every startup is an experiment with the chance to change the world. The more we reduce the cost of researching, of experimenting, of starting up something new—the more we facilitate capital formation, to help get new ideas off the ground- the better the world will be.
That's worth celebrating. This Startup Day, I hope you join me in participating. From visiting a new small business in town, to offering support to a venture that's just about to launch, or becoming an entrepreneur yourself—we all have a role we can play in continuing to move America's economy forward.
Jared Polis is a Member of the United States House of Representatives for Colorado's 2nd congressional district.