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Michigan Entrepreneurship Score Card shows continued economic growth, slowing signs on the horizon

April 15, 2019

LANSING, MI – Michigan’s entrepreneurial economy is continuing to grow but is growing at a slower rate than previous years, according to the 15th annual Michigan Entrepreneurship Score Card released today. 

“Fifteen years ago, the Small Business Association of Michigan set the goal for Michigan to become a top 10 state for entrepreneurs and that goal stands strong today,” said SBAM CEO Rob Fowler. “To achieve this goal, we must compare ourselves to other states and measure our progress. This Score Card helps us create a policy discussion that drives change in order to improve our standings so that we can once again be a Top 10 entrepreneurial state.”

The Score Card, released by Michigan Celebrates Small Business in collaboration with the SBAM, evaluates the state’s performance in the three areas essential to a successful entrepreneurial economy. More than 200 factors were looked at that impact the entrepreneurial climate 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,” said Brian Calley, president of SBAM. “This Score Card provides real insight and helpful data to help guide policymakers as they consider enhancements and needed interventions to our entrepreneurial 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 Score Card is released annually by Michigan Celebrates Small Business (formerly MiQuest), a nonprofit serving Michigan’s entrepreneurial community. Analytics and methodology for this analysis was developed by Dr. Graham Toft of Growth Economics, Inc. The Score Card is sponsored by the SBAM, Consumers Energy, DTE Foundation, MIBiz, Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Association of State Universities and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. For a complete copy of the 2019 edition, click here.

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