Rate of Entrepreneurship at Record Lows
- Published: Wednesday, 01 October 2014
- Entrepreneurship and self-employment endeavors – the nucleus of new business and future business growth — are at record lows, according to many analysts. The decline has long term consequences, which has Ray Keating alarmed. Keating is the Chief Economist for the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council.
The SBE Council has been reporting on the weak state of entrepreneurship in the US for quite a while, now, and announced recently that they are “thrilled” that the House Small Business Committee, Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce seems to be taking up the issue.
The committee held a hearing on September 11, The Decline in Business Formation: Implications for Entrepreneurship and the Economy, to investigate the issue further.
A crash course in business for veterans
Twenty-six veterans of recent wars have come to Cornell to learn how to start their own businesses.
The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) hosted by the School of Hotel Administration (SHA), offers cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small-business management to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who were disabled as a result of their service to the country in post-9/11 wars.
“Just over 50 percent of veterans leaving the service today have some physical or mental disabilities,” said Neil Tarallo, senior lecturer at SHA and director of EBV at Cornell. “Entrepreneurship can empower these veterans by allowing them to craft a career that suites their lifestyles.”
Veterans are more successful as entrepreneurs than any other group in the U.S., he noted. “Military training reinforces and teaches behaviors necessary for successful entrepreneurship,” he explained.
SBA Reports Bogus “Scorecard” Numbers
On August 1, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced that in 2013, the federal government had awarded 23.39 percent of federal contract dollars to small business as required by law. However, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC all reported that a significant amount of federal small business contracts were diverted to corporate giants. SBA did meet its 23% goal of federal procurement dollars (VetLikeMe reported this in our August 6 issue (http://vetlikeme.org/government-meets-fy-13-small-business-goals-hubzones-and-wosbs-fall-short/ ).
While two small business categories (Women-owned Small Business and HUBzone business) did not meet the minimum federal expenditures established by the federal government, SBA reported that the overall small business minimums were met. The SBA gave the government an overall “A” rating for its FY 2013 performance. In the following narrative (published in The Hill on August 6), by Lloyd Chapman, (founder of the American Small Business League) explains how SBA “manufactures” Scorecard numbers. According to Chapman and many national media outlets, the inflated claims made by SBA are designed to fool the public (Chapman is a contributor to VetLikeMe).
October 06, 2014, 09:00 am
Time For Congress to end the charade at the SBA
Every summer the Small Business Administration comes out and announces the federal government has come very close to or actually exceeded the 23 percent small business contracting goal required by law.
This year the SBA stuck with their tried and true tradition of releasing the information late on a Friday afternoon to reduce media scrutiny. On August 1, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet claimed the federal government had awarded 23.39 percent of all federal contracts to small businesses.
As it has been for more than 15 years, the SBA’s data on the volume and percentage of contracts to small businesses is completely false and dramatically misrepresents the true volume of federal contracts awarded to legitimate small businesses.
The SBA significantly inflates the actual volume and percentage of federal contracts awarded to small businesses in two main ways.
IG Report Raises Questions About the Future of Reverse Auctions
by John Manfredonia, J.D.
You have heard by now that the VA IG has issued a scathing report about a senior VA procurement official in connection with the VA’s contract with fedbid.com. The report accuses Deputy Chief Procurement Officer at the Veterans Health Administration, Susan Taylor, of improperly promoting and protecting fedbid.com.
Fedbid.com runs a website which, among other things, hosts “reverse auctions.” In a reverse auction, potential sellers bid against each other to sell products and services to the government. Fedbid.com collects a fee added to the lowest price.
It all began with award of a lucrative reverse auction contract to fedbid.com only 48 hours after the solicitation was issued. The accelerated award allowed little time for competition. It also allegedly stopped plans for the VA to purchase its own reverse auction software and run it themselves. After the VA award, fedbid.com flourished, receiving guaranteed fees on awards made through their website. While fedbid.com claims to have saved the Government millions of dollars, the VA IG takes exception.
In a disturbing report, the IG investigation alleges that Ms. Taylor acted as an agent for fedbid.com, improperly endorsed fedbid.com, that fedbid.com and Ms. Taylor allegedly violated the Contract Gratuity Clause by distributing wine to lubricate social functions, and engaged in whistleblower retaliation.
Early in the process, after receiving complaints from SDVOSBs, Jan Frye, the Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS), Office of Acquisition and Logistics, placed a temporary suspension on the use of reverse auctions until the complaints could be sorted out. The effort did not last long. According to the VA IG, fedbid.com allegedly held an emergency meeting to strategize opposition. They discussed methods to “discredit Mr. Frye publically and to Congress.”
The Battle I Didn’t Choose – One Veteran’s Struggle with PTSD
by J.D. Palmer
“I find the strength every day to move forward and work on putting it all behind me…”
Smoke. Mortars. Loud, thundering explosions. The jolt of an M4 tapping your shoulder as you fire, move, and communicate on foreign soil doing all you can to survive. That’s the vision most paint of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder–a tragic combat-related event that wields someone powerless to its violent stranglehold.
Do you REALLY want to be an entrepreneur?
Michael I. Kaplan
Oct 1 2014
When I launched my first business start-up 25 years ago I was absolutely clueless.
It didn’t take long for reality to slap the visions of instantaneous success and immense wealth right out of my mind. In spite of the pain and suffering I experienced on a very steep learning curve, I continue to champion the entrepreneurial cause. I’m masochistic like that.
One of the most important lessons I learned along the way is that entrepreneurship isn’t a job that you do, it’s a lifestyle that you live. It’s a special mindset that isn’t for everyone. Don’t believe the glorified stereotypes portrayed in film, either … there’s nothing glamorous about having $10 in the checking account and having to choose between gas and food.
VetLikeMe is a weekly digest of news and information about veteran-owned business compiled and written by a disabled veteran. It has been cited by the New York Times for its interviews with key members of Congress. It is carried weekly by numerous blogs written for veterans. Re-posting is encouraged by non-commercial entities. Please call Hardy Stone, 301-845-1330 for more information.