It goes without saying that entrepreneurship has long been associated with an image of tech entrepreneurs building billion-dollar companies, typically with the significant backing of venture capital funders. However, this narrative overlooks the fact that most entrepreneurs are “Main Street” business owners with different aspirations for their businesses. Seth Levine’s book, written with co-author Elizabeth MacBride – The New Builders, challenges this traditional narrative and sheds light on the importance of recognizing the diversity of entrepreneurship.
According to Levine, nearly 50% of employment in the United States comes from small businesses, almost 100% of job growth, and 40% of GDP. They provide a wide range of goods and services that meet the needs of local customers. And help to keep money circulating within the local economy. They are largely responsible for the dynamism of the US economy. However, Main Street entrepreneurs face unique challenges, especially during the pandemic, which has hit small businesses particularly hard.
The pandemic highlighted the importance of Main Street businesses and the challenges they face. Many companies have been forced to close their doors permanently due to the economic impact of the pandemic. However, Main Street entrepreneurs have also shown incredible resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity. Levine’s book celebrates the success of Main Street businesses. It provides inspiration for those looking to start or grow their own businesses.
Recognizing the diversity of entrepreneurship
One of the key messages of The New Builders is the importance of recognizing the diversity of people starting businesses in the United States today. Women start businesses at roughly 4x the rate of men. And Black women account for over 60% of businesses started by women. Despite this, the traditional narrative of entrepreneurship often fails to recognize the contributions of women and people of color. The New Builders challenges this belief and showcases the diversity of entrepreneurs who drive innovation and create economic opportunities in their communities.
Challenging the traditional narrative of entrepreneurship
The lack of diversity in entrepreneurship is a significant issue that needs to be addressed. A lack of diversity can stifle innovation and limit economic growth. The New Builders challenges the traditional narrative of entrepreneurship and celebrates the diversity of entrepreneurs who are driving innovation and creating economic opportunities in their communities. Recognizing the important role of diverse entrepreneurship can create a more equitable and prosperous future for all.
Playing a crucial role in creating economic opportunities
The New Builders also highlights the fact that most businesses don’t take venture capital funding and don’t intend to build billion-dollar companies. This doesn’t make these businesses any less important. Main Street entrepreneurs are creating jobs, driving economic growth, and supporting their communities in meaningful ways. They are the backbone of local economies and play a crucial role in creating economic opportunities for local residents. In recent years, the tech industry has dominated the narrative around entrepreneurship. The media has focused almost exclusively on the success stories of tech entrepreneurs. At the same time, Main Street businesses have been largely ignored. However, the pandemic has highlighted Main Street businesses’ importance and their vital role in supporting local communities. Levine’s book challenges the traditional narrative of entrepreneurship. It celebrates the diversity of entrepreneurs who are driving innovation and creating economic opportunities in their communities.
Making the call to support Main Street Businesses
The New Builders is not just a celebration of entrepreneurship but also a call to action. It sets a challenge for businesses to recognize entrepreneurship’s diversity and support Main Street businesses. It means creating policies that support small businesses and promote economic growth. However, it means recognizing the importance of Main Street businesses in driving local economies and supporting communities.
In a nutshell, The New Builders is a must-read for anyone interested in entrepreneurship and the future of Main Street businesses through the lens of Seth Levine. Seth Levine is a partner and co-founder of Foundry, a venture capital firm where he works with companies and funds. He is also a co-founder of Pledge 1%, a global network of companies committed to giving back to their local communities through equity, time, and product donations. He is a board member of StartupColorado, an organization that supports entrepreneurship in areas of Colorado outside of the front range. Aside from his work with Foundry, Levine advises venture funds and companies globally, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, to promote entrepreneurship and economic development