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NC State Economist Mike Walden – Declining Entrepreneurship

Mary: This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program looks at declining entrepreneurship. Mike, our economy thrives on people being able to take risks to start new companies, which we call entrepreneurship. However, various measures show the rate at which new companies are started has been declining. Is this cause for concern?


Mike: Summary Answer

a. Is is, because we need that new blood to stimulate the economy and produce new ideas and products

b. So some see this trend as signaling danger for the future economy

c. Others, however, say it’s too early to worry

d. They argue there’s a simple explanation – demography

e. Despite publicity surrounding young business people like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg, the most common age for entrepreneurs is mid-life, around 40

f. Turns out the proportion of the population in the mid-life age range has been falling

g. But will rise again as Gen X’ers and Y’ers age, so could see rate of new business formation again rise

h. I’m MW

Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.