This article was originally posted at the Idaho Business Review.
The exceptional economic boom Idaho has witnessed over the past few years has been largely driven by entrepreneurs, who are essential to the state's success. The Gem State is one of just four states with more jobs than before the pandemic — an incredible accomplishment supported by Idaho business owners.
Following are four reasons why entrepreneurship is critical for Idaho.
1. Entrepreneurs help grow Idaho’s economy
Entrepreneurs drive Idaho’s economic expansion. As they develop new goods and services, jobs are created and economic growth is stimulated.
The U.S. Small Business Administration's most current report shows that Idaho is home to more than 176,000 small firms, which employ more than half of the state’s workforce. Supporting entrepreneurs is key to creating new jobs and economic prosperity in our communities.
2. Entrepreneurs solve problems
Many of America’s most successful businesses were founded by entrepreneurs who recognized a problem and wanted to develop a solution.
Adam Stock, Boise Entrepreneur Week pitch winner and founder of Cargo Made-EZ, lost his grandfather in a trucking accident caused by a poorly secured load. This inspired Adam to develop a motorized strap system that integrates into truck beds and flat-bed trailers. This invention could help companies save millions of dollars from compliance fines, damages and theft — all because of an idea that originated from an Idaho entrepreneur.
3. Entrepreneurship helps create equal and inclusive opportunities
In our capitalist society, entrepreneurship is the great equalizer. It allows people from all backgrounds to take control of their lives, define success on their terms, use their skills and work ethic to help others and make money in the process. Anyone can achieve financial prosperity based on the effort they put forth.
Jenny Anderson, Boise Entrepreneur Week runner-up and founder of MaggieCo.io, escaped poverty by creating a successful career in business-to-business and tech sales. She launched her company to help women leave low-wage jobs and start successful careers in the tech industry. Her company could help thousands of women provide for their families, especially given today’s challenges of inflation and wage stagnation.
4. Entrepreneurship drives innovation
In an open market where businesses compete against each other, innovation is a major competitive advantage. The public ultimately benefits when companies develop new solutions to pressing challenges. Growing entrepreneurship helps cultivate a larger pool of talented, driven individuals who can address some of the greatest challenges in our society.
These challenges range from healthcare to renewable energy, but Idaho entrepreneurs are well positioned to take on these issues. The Gem State has many advantages, including business-friendly policies, a strong talent pool and the presence of the Idaho National Lab.
Do you want Idaho to generate the next game-changing idea? Invest in our entrepreneurial community.
Entrepreneurship needs to be cultivated
Entrepreneurship doesn’t happen in a vacuum. If we want the next generation of Idaho entrepreneurs to succeed, we need to actively support them.
Here are some ways you can make a difference:
The entrepreneur’s path isn’t an easy one, but it can be deeply impactful. When Idaho entrepreneurs succeed, they create a brighter future for the Gem State.
Nick Crabbs and Tiam Rastegar are the co-chairs of Boise Entrepreneur Week, Idaho’s largest entrepreneurship-focused community event. Since its inception seven years ago, the event has provided more than $300,000 to startups and early-stage entrepreneurs. Boise Entrepreneur Week is made possible by many leaders, volunteers and sponsors who recognize the importance of entrepreneurship. Nick and Tiam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com