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Score Card released

Score Card released

By Brian Calley

Fifteen years ago, the Small Business Association of Michigan set the goal for Michigan to become a top 10 state for entrepreneurs. This year’s Score Card report shows that we have made progress toward that goal but we still have a lot of work to do. The Score Card was developed because we must compare ourselves to other states and measure our progress. It also helps us create a policy discussion that drives change in order to improve our standings relative to our competitors.

The Score Card, released by Michigan Celebrates Small Business in collaboration with the SBAM, evaluates the state’s performance in areas essential to a successful entrepreneurial economy. More than 200 factors were looked at that impact the entrepreneurial environment, including transportation, workforce readiness, education and business costs. 

Entrepreneurs drive innovation and economic activity in our state, making Michigan communities vibrant places to live, work and play. This Score Card provides real insight and helpful data to help guide policymakers as they consider enhancements and needed interventions to our economic environment.

This annual report offers insights and rankings on entrepreneurial climate, change and vitality. These rankings relative to other states continue to shift. 

The rankings shows: 

  • Entrepreneurial Climate, including factors that support the entrepreneurial economy, Michigan is ranked 18th (up from 22nd on last year’s Score Card). 

  • Entrepreneurial Change, measuring the direction and momentum of growth in the entrepreneurial economy, Michigan ranks 24th (up from 31st last year).

  • Entrepreneurial Vitality, comparing the level of entrepreneurial activity compared to other states, Michigan falls into the bottom 10 ranking at 41st(down from 36th last year). 


The data points to five insights about the evolution of Michigan’s entrepreneurial economy. Though Michigan entrepreneurs have had success, many are also experiencing a growing number of adverse conditions and uncertainties that inhibit their success. 


The insights that stand out are: 

  • Poor infrastructure continues to worsen and progressively threaten business growth.

  • The rate of improvement in Michigan’s post-recession entrepreneurial economy is slowing, yet there is a better overall entrepreneurial economy today than 10 years ago. 

  • Michigan continues to hold onto key technology and high-skill economy leadership remarkably well. 

  • Michigan’s general business climate continues to grow, but largely remains mediocre. 

  • Michigan’s quality of life continues to support and attract entrepreneurs.


The bottom line is that Michigan has a lot going for it. Small businesses have become increasingly important, and are responsible for much of the job and income growth with experienced in recent times. That same economic growth from small businesses provides both diversity and resiliency to our economy as it starts to cool off a bit. This report provides a very clear indication about where our strengths lie and which weaknesses we need to address.

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