The emergence of a truly entrepreneurial economy in the United States during the last 15 to 20 years has been, perhaps, the most significant and hopeful event to have occurred in recent business and social history, the director of Washington State University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies believes.
“All market-oriented countries are now committed, if not obsessed, with creating and implementing an entrepreneurial culture within their business and economic systems,” says Rom J. Markin.
“It is the world-wide entrepreneurial spirit and endeavor that is creating new jobs, lowering unemployment, increasing disposable income and creating vast new wealth,” Markin said. While the economies of most developed countries, particularly those of Western Europe during the last 20 years or so, have actually witnessed a reduction in their work force, the number of people gainfully employed in the U.S. has grown steadily, according to Markin.
For example, between 1975 and 1995, the labor force in Western Europe grew from about 65 million to 74 million — about 14 percent — but in the United States, the labor force grew by more than 40 million, or about 45 percent (three times the Western European performance). The number of Americans in paid jobs grew during the same period by one half — 59 percent — from about 75 to 115 million.
“We are witnessing nothing less than an entrepreneurial revolution,” Markin said. “We are now creating nearly 1.2 million new enterprises each year in America. What may astonish some is that over 90 percent of the nation’s wealth has been created since 1980, a direct result of this entrepreneurial revolution.”
Markin is a professor of marketing and the Huber Professor of Entrepreneurship at WSU. From May 1980 to July 1995, he served as dean of the College of Business and Economics. His academic research includes entrepreneurship, marketing, retailing strategy, and consumer behavior. His major publications include Marketing, Strategy, and Management, and Retailing Management.