The United States is one of the most entrepreneur friendly countries in the world. I mean, they don’t call it the “American Dream” for nothing. All that you need to be a business success in this country is a good idea, some investment or interest (which can also lead to investment) in that idea and then put in more hours to your business than you though humanly possible. Since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognized the achievements and entrepreneurial spirit of small business leaders from around the country. Every year, the US Small Business Administration holds conferences throughout the week, featuring high profile speakers and small business success stories alike. In honor of Small Business Week, this week on the Accolo blog will be all about how small businesses, which account for about half of the jobs in this country, are moving our economy and innovating in their industries.
This years National Small Business Week will kick off in San Francisco, one of the largest small business hot-spots in the country. There are over 12,000 start ups operating in the greater SF Bay area, making it a natural location to begin the week long series of talks on small business strategies and success stories in major cities throughout the country. The San Francisco conference will commence with talks from Nancy Pelosi, Adam Bain (President of Global Revenue) and keynote speaker Premal Shah (president of Kiva.org). Shah will be going through how her organization has helped 1.3 million small businesses across 40 states and 75 countries with crowd funded micro-loans at 0% interest. According to a Small Business Administration press release, “Vivienne Harr, a 10-year-old Bay Area girl who started ‘Make A Stand’ Lemonade will give closing remarks. Harr has raised more than $100,000 to go toward helping end child slavery. Her lemonade is now bottled and being sold in retail stores.”
Besides the huge concentration of start ups in the SF Bay Area lending itself to great networking opportunities for small businesses, the city itself provides incentives for employers to operate within its limits. In an effort to promote hiring and training, the Office of Small Business of San Francisco offers subsidies to employers who invest in on-the-job-training for their employees. With the sheer number of start ups in the area and the generous programs that San Francisco has enstated for its employers, it’s no wonder that this year’s National Small Business Week starts out in the city by the bay.