As the economy begins its upward climb, it's already clear that we're on a different road than we were before. The new realities are redefining the world of business overall--but especially the culture of entrepreneurship.
Yes, there are enormous obstacles for small businesses. Taxes are out of control, credit remains tight and banks are still stingy. Add to the list the thorny and expensive topic of healthcare, and things seem downright gloomy. But guess what? There are more people than ever who are gutting it out as entrepreneurs--building fierce hybrid sports cars, twittering from remote ranchland in Oklahoma, wrapping a baseball stadium in plastic (no kidding!). In this issue, we celebrate those unsung (and largely stimulus-package-free) heroes of the economic recovery.
But the story doesn't stop with them. There's something much bigger going on here.
Is it possible, we asked, that this much-ballyhooed new economy is really something more, something hipper, something more sustainable? Is this "New Economy 2.0: The Ascent of the Entrepreneur"? We hoped, but we weren't sure.
So, we embedded reporter Jason Daley deep into the story. (OK, we didn't exactly embed him, but we did give him a stack of economic data and trend reports, and a researcher to help sift through it all.)
It turns out the theory of the entrepreneur economy has roots in the post-recession reality: Crumbling corporate cultures and cracked monolithic business models are giving way to scrappy upstarts. Entrepreneurs who zig when everyone else is zagging. These are the people who will create the companies that will create jobs that will get the economy moving and keep it moving. And the numbers support the conclusion. In Daley's story, "The Entrepreneur Economy", we explore the possibility that the "jobless" part of the recovery is creating an economy powered by entrepreneurs. And while we acknowledge that entrepreneurs have long anchored the economy of this country, we submit that in fact something bigger is at hand.
And so, we give you this: the entrepreneur economy issue, and a potential blueprint for a new economy.
Amy C. Cosper,
Follow me on Twitter, @ EntMagazineAmy