Yes and no, but how you approach the government can decide the answer for you.
The government can be good and bad for entrepreneurs for a number of reasons. While there is much governmental regulation for everything, there is also considerable support provided by the government for entrepreneurs.
It would seem like entrepreneurship is a private sector activity that wouldn’t really be impacted by government. But, as a business is developed from this private sector and becomes successful, the government does get involved. And, depending on the country, this government involvement can vary from intrusive to minimal. Here are some ways that government in the U.S. tends to be good and bad for entrepreneurs.
Regulations and struggles
There are many laws, taxes, and barriers that government creates that can stifle entrepreneurs at times. This includes everything from raising the minimum wage to an extremely high rate to requiring health insurance for any employees, to adding to the tax burden of startups.
As a 2015 report by The Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity noted, the number of regulations rose sharply in 2014 with 27 more rules or a total of 184 just over six years of the Obama Administration that all have impacted entrepreneurial sustainability. By 2013, regulation was noted as the biggest problem small businesses faced.
One article explained why it tends to hit small business owners more than other types of businesses: “Citing a report for the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Nicole and Mark Crain of Lafayette University explained that the per-employee cost of federal regulatory compliance was $10,585 for businesses with 19 or fewer employees, but only $7,755 for companies with 500 or more.” This clearly stifles (actually, at times, chokes) entrepreneurs and their hopes for their startups and small companies.
At the same time, government can play a positive role in stimulating the development of entrepreneurs and their businesses, providing incentives to start and grow a company from the ground up. This includes Startup America, which is a government program designed to encourage people to start businesses. The program includes such entrepreneur-focused policy initiatives as unlocking access to capital, connecting mentors and education to entrepreneurs, reducing barriers, accelerating innovation, and unleashing marketing opportunities.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a government agency designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners as well as the communities they serve. Some people believe that the Better Business Bureau only handles customer complaints, but in reality it also serves as advocate for small business and they actually do everything for free. The U.S. Small Business Bureau is another excellent source of support for entrepreneurs, providing significant information, access to loans and grants, and access to local support to drive business development and growth. There are even programs and information directed at millennial entrepreneurs, helping them get started the right way to ensure they can survive.
The U.S. Patent Trademark Office is another source of valuable information and support for entrepreneurs. The site offers a wealth of advice for inventors and entrepreneurs that can provide a way to jump-start their efforts, including access to funding and grants. Business USA is still another government website that is full of tools and resources for entrepreneurs to help them fund, launch, and manage their startups.
Entrepreneurs survive and thrive regardless
Regardless of whether government helps or hinders, entrepreneurs tend to be a savvy group that continue to survive and even thrive regardless of the governmental impact. Entrepreneurs consider the barriers government puts into place and then work on creative ways around such barriers. And, when there is considerable support of a country government, entrepreneurs leverage this assistance to help make themselves stronger for when they must fight again to keep going in the wake of new regulations.
It’s good to know what government does and does not do for entrepreneurs, but time and time again, those entrepreneurs out there have proved that they can do anything they put their minds to and, as an entrepreneur, you are able to fight through any adversity, and you can thrive regardless of the governments impact. Likewise, even when government has helped, there have been entrepreneurs who have failed. This teaches us that it is up to us as entrepreneurs to make success happen and to find the tools and resources to help us press forward and win whether our business is helped from government or the private sector.