The demand for entrepreneurship education is rapidly growing across the United States and in recent years faculty, staff, and students from UW-Platteville have participated in local, state, and national events promoting entrepreneurship. UW-Platteville prides itself on providing high quality undergraduate education serving the tri-state area and beyond. The dedication to practical application and experiential learning is a critical reason for the recent discussions and subsequent RiverLands grant funding for the development of a proposed campus wide entrepreneurship curriculum.
An increasing number of students are realizing the opportunities that exist for starting their own business and are requesting information and resources to aid them. Even corporate America is recognizing that entrepreneurial abilities are becoming increasingly important for their own success and are advocating for programs in corporate entrepreneurship. The United States government and other organizations are providing additional financial resources focused on small business development and entrepreneurial ventures.
Entrepreneurial firms are the essential mechanism by which millions enter the economic and social mainstream of American society, enabling millions of people, including women, minorities, and immigrants, to access the American Dream (Kuratko, 2004).
According to the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, in the United States, small businesses:
- Employ about half of all private sector employees (ranging from 44 percent in Florida to 69.8 percent in Montana)
- Pay nearly 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll
- Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the last fifteen years1
- Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer workers)
- Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises
- Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms2
- Make up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters (and produced 30.2 percent of the known export value in FY 2007)3
1 Kobe, Kathryn. Bureau of the Census and International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce. Advocacy-funded research, 2007.
2 CHI Research, 2003.
3 Federal Procurement Data System; U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Reference: Kuratko, D.F. (2004). Entrepreneurship Education in the 21st Century: From Legitimization to Leadership. Coleman Foundation White Paper, USASBE National Conference.