COLORADO SPRINGS – As millions of Americans experienced the freedom and flexibility of working from home as the pandemic pushed them out of their offices, many decided to create their own businesses.
Around 500,000 sole proprietorships and 4.5 million larger small businesses were created, according to PhD economist Tatiana Bailey, who also is the director for the Economic Forum at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
“One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been the increase in self employment and entrepreneurship…economists love this because entreprenuers are really the seed of capitalism,” Bailey said.
Of those busniesses, a higher proportion of entrepreneurs are women, compared to historical numbers. It’s an interesting time for women to jump into careers where they are their own boss, Bailey says, as many have been forced to juggle a work-from-home situation, with the added responsibility of managing kids learning from home, as well.
Flexibility could be one of the reasons women are making the move.
“I think the pandemic has really made a lot of people realize that flexibility is a wonderful thing, not only from a family-care perspective, but also from the perspective of what they accomplish in a given day or week has more to do with results and maybe passion, that it does being physically present in an office,” Bailey said.
A commonly cited statistic for business success is that about half fail in the first five years of operation, though Bailey is skeptical that will be the case in the post-pandemic economy.
She’s excited for what those new businesses can bring to the nation in terms of new ideas. Bailey says entrepreneurs and new businesses are more likely to create new processes, advance ideas, and develop new technonlogies than behemouth companies.
“When individuals come up with new ideas on how to do something or make a new product or service, it kind of just opens up the opportunity set of what we can do as a nation. Not to mention, spill over into jobs,” Bailey said. “Honestly, more so now than any other time in U.S History, innovation really matters. We have a lot of global challenges that are out there, but we also have the ability to innovate like never before. And to scale like never before.”
Bailey says resources are available for anyone looking to start a new businesses or who needs help after beginning the process: