LegalZoom CEO John Suh at Collision Conference 2017: Who Are Entrepreneurs? The Myth and the Reality

LegalZoom CEO John Suh at Collision Conference 2017: Who Are Entrepreneurs? The Myth and the Reality

by Michelle Kaminsky, Esq., October 2017

“If small business owners are the 'engine of job growth,' we're starting to stall."

In his Collision Conference 2017 talk, "Who Are Entrepreneurs? The Myth and the Reality," LegalZoom CEO John Suh went under the hood to check out the "engine"—and what he found may surprise you.

To provide context for the United States' alarming 40-year decline in small business growth, here are some key points Suh presents about entrepreneurship in 2017:

  • Today's entrepreneurs do not generally have “rags to riches" stories but rather are college educated, high earning, and from a family of entrepreneurs.
  • Young entrepreneurship (ages 20-34) has declined but older entrepreneurship (ages 55 and up) has increased.
  • Immigrants are essential for business growth: Immigrants are twice as likely to start a new business than native-born US citizens. Although immigration has helped mitigate the effects of the decline in business starts, policy changes that would hurt immigration could make the crisis worse.
  • The cost of higher education is prohibiting new business growth. Thirty-three percent of millennials say they can't fund a start-up because of student debt and parents often must choose between starting a business and funding their children's education.

In nineteen fascinating minutes, Suh shines a spotlight on the systemic issues affecting small business growth and encourages us to look forward to systemic solutions—offering hope that the trend is, indeed, reversible.