What Small Businesses Can Teach Us About Responsible Business

Small business leaders often build tight bonds with the communities they serve and because of that, their civic engagement is driven by the customers and clients they see every day, not Madison Avenue marketing firms, focus groups, or message testing. In a recent study, 72% of people believe locally-owned businesses were more likely than large companies to be involved in improving their communities.

Great lessons on responsible business practices we can learn from small businesses:

  1. Focus on the issues that matter to your community.
  2. Listen to the needs of your constituents before acting, which will help you achieve better results.
  3. Put people first.

Source: What Small Businesses Know About Corporate Responsibility

“America has a shortage of job creators”

Here’s an interesting perspective on education and entrepreneurship, but Michael Ellsberg’s point about start-ups vs. small businesses is worth noting:

America has a shortage of job creators. And the people who create jobs aren’t traditional professionals, but start-up entrepreneurs.

In a recent speech promoting a jobs bill, President Obama told Congress, “Everyone here knows that small businesses are where most new jobs begin.”

Close, but not quite. In a detailed analysis, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that nearly all net job creation in America comes from start-up businesses, not small businesses per se. (Since most start-ups start small, we tend to conflate two variables — the size of a business and its age — and incorrectly assume the former was the relevant one, when in fact the latter is.)

If start-up activity is the true engine of job creation in America, one thing is clear: our current educational system is acting as the brakes. Simply put, from kindergarten through undergraduate and grad school, you learn very few skills or attitudes that would ever help you start a business. Skills like sales, networking, creativity and comfort with failure.

Source: Will Dropouts Save America? – The New York Times