For those libraries that offer support for small and medium sized local businesses as well as consultants and entrepreneurs, you might find these statistics useful:
“According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, people over the age of 35 made up 80 percent of the total entrepreneurship activity in 2009. That same year, the Kauffman Foundation conducted a survey of 549 startups operating in “high-growth” industries — including aerospace, defense, health care, and computer and electronics — and found that people over 55 are nearly twice as likely to launch startups in these industries.”
“First, older entrepreneurs have more life and work experience. In some cases, they have decades of industry expertise — and a better understanding of what it truly takes to compete, and succeed, in the business world. Second, they also have much broader and vaster networks.”
“Part of the reason that companies started by older workers don’t get much recognition is because they don’t generally produce hot Web apps or other easily understood products. Instead, they tend to involve more complex technologies like biotech, energy, or IT hardware. They also tend to sell products and services to other businesses, which consumers rarely see but which do most of the heavy lifting in powering innovation and economic growth.”
I’ve read in the past that women who fund new business are significantly more likely to succeed. The reasons cited usually include that they do more research, and are morelikely to ask for help.
Libraries can pay a key role in helpoing these local businesses succeed. Public libraries would be well advised to assure that they are marketing their services to these key contributors to the local economy. Who’s your best partner?