The history of our nation is filled with stories of people who came to America with nothing but a wish and a prayer. People who wound up incredibly successful because they were free to throw the dice and become independent business owners. Some of their enterprises became huge corporations, many failed, but most of them were small, local, Main Street businesses that added to local economies and hired local people. Restaurant owners, mechanics, plumbers, and retail shop owners are the treads that bind us together and fuel the economy.
Early this morning I read something Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Chair of the White House Council of Women and Girls, wrote celebrating small business and the spirit that makes America great in the Huffington Post. She mentions speaking at the inaugural 10,000 Small Business—Tony Burch Foundation early-state business graduation in New York. New York is a long way from where we are out west, but it’s exciting to see institutes of higher education like Babson College and LaGuardia Community College partner with private enterprise like Goldman Sachs and the Tony Burch Foundation, focus on helping early-stage small businesses learn the skills they’ll need to be successful.
Here in Utah, the Salt Lake Community College and the Miller Resource Center (named after former owner of the Utah Jazz and local entrepreneur, Larry Miller) are part of the same 10,000 Small Businesses movement. The Miller Resource Center has been helping startups and other small business owners for many years, long before the 10,000 Small Businesses movement began, but I applaud these efforts that are taking place all across the country.
Eighteen women from around New York were part of the graduation ceremonies Jarrett describes, all of them with inspirational stories not unlike those that were probably told 100 or even 200 years ago by other hopeful entrepreneurs. Unlike the entrepreneurs of 100 years ago, women are taking a well-earned place among the successful entrepreneurs of today.
A few months back Brock Blake, Lendio Founder and CEO, was interviewed by local TV station KSL, with Vivian Bohme of Bohme Botique about the state of women entrepreneurs and the growth among women owned businesses. It’s hard not to be as excited as Valerie Jarrett watching this trend unfold. “It’s a wonderful celebration of our deeply American values of ingenuity, creativity, and the entrepreneurial spirit,” she said.
“Our country’s prosperity depends on small businesses like the ones represented at the graduation yesterday,” said Jarrett. “I was so inspired by each of the small business owners I met. They embody the hard work and entreprenurial spirit that help make America great.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.