A new survey of Harvard Business School alumni pointed to entrepreneurship as the strongest element of the national economy -- and that it is still improving. Entrepreneurship was joined by capital markets, universities and innovation as significant strengths in the U.S.
What is at the opposite end of the spectrum? The tax code, politics, health care and education.
The report, "The Challenge of Shared Prosperity," asks respondents to share their experiences with, and perceptions of, new firm formation. It focused on the barriers to starting a business and the steps that local leaders might take to lower those barriers.
The report also showed that HSB alumni around the world feel that the barriers to entrepreneurship are receding and that it is easier to start a new firm today than it was ten years ago. And while the strides being made outside the U.S. are impressive, "all elements of entrepreneurial ecosystems, from capital and talent to professional netorks and office space, are more available in the U.S. than elsewhere."
The number one barrier to entrepreneurship in America is the cost of health care (64%), followed by regulatory burdens (57%), tax burdens (54%) and lack of startup capital (52%).
In other parts of the world, HBS alumni pointed to lack of startup capital (71%) as the top challenge, followed by lack of growth capital (68%), lack of managerial talent (66%) and regulatory burdens (66%).
How important is it to focus on investments to bolster entrepreneurial ecosystems? 82 percent of all respondents said that it was equal or higher priority to other investments to improve the economy of a respondent's region.
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