The Employment and Training Administration’s top priority is getting U.S. workers back to work in good jobs. For some, the good job they’re looking for involves working for themselves. These budding entrepreneurs may have an exciting new business idea, dream of being their own bosses, or are looking for the flexibility self-employment can offer. They are willing to work hard and have specific skills, interests, and talents they can apply to a business.
Helping these workers succeed in their entrepreneurial efforts helps not just individuals, but communities, regions, and our nation. Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of the nation’s employer businesses. They employ just over half of all private sector employees while paying 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll. During the past 15 years, small businesses have generated 64 percent of net new jobs. And studies have shown a strong link between entrepreneurship and economic growth. That’s why the federal government supports entrepreneurs and small business owners through programs funded by the Small Business Administration as well as the Departments of Labor, Commerce, Veterans Affairs and others.
Many American workers are motivated to start their own business, but lack the business skills and access to credit they need to realize their dreams. People need training, planning, and support to succeed as entrepreneurs. The public workforce investment system is well positioned to help support budding entrepreneurs in a number of ways.
In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, ETA is showcasing how the workforce investment system can support entrepreneurial and self-employment training. Join us all week as we highlight best practices in entrepreneurship training, share research and tools, and feature policy guidance on supporting entrepreneurship under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
Ed. note: Jane Oates is Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration.