Study: Entrepreneurs in U.S. Twice as Likely to Describe Economy as “Racist” Than “Fair”
A new study by impact and innovation company SecondMuse, in collaboration with market research firm Ipsos, provides unique insight into “The State of Entrepreneurship in the United States.” The study found that entrepreneurs across the country are twice as likely to describe the U.S. economy as “racist” than they are to describe it as “fair.”
Results from the inaugural SecondMuse “The State of Entrepreneurship in the U.S.” study of more than 200 entrepreneurs launched on Tuesday, October 13. It was conducted amid the global pandemic and national movement for racial justice and offers a timely temperature check on the impact these events are having on innovators across the country.
Results show that racial equality is one of the key societal issues on the minds of entrepreneurs, with 59% naming it as their top concern. Yet, despite the strong focus on equality, just 17% of respondents described the economy as “inclusive” and more than a quarter described the country’s economic system as “racist.”
“This study substantiates the problems SecondMuse has seen across the country and has been working to solve through programs focused on building inclusive, resilient economies, often in underserved areas,” said Todd Khozein, Co-CEO of SecondMuse. “Our intention is for this study to put a fine point on the challenges entrepreneurs have been facing for decades that have more recently come to light, so we can work together with partners to tackle these challenges.”
Most surveyed entrepreneurs also believe that the country’s current economic system exacerbates wealth gaps, creating an environment that makes it more difficult to be an entrepreneur, particularly for Americans based in certain parts of the country. The overwhelming majority of respondents, 67%, see geography as an even greater obstacle to entrepreneurship than gender, race, or ethnicity.
Despite their clear negative outlook on the current system, most entrepreneurs see the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to rethink the economy. And nearly 9 out of 10 respondents believe local, community-level coordination is essential to entrepreneurial success.
“The past months have laid bare our broken systems and structures, made visible in entrenched racism, our astounding wealth gap, and divisive politics. That is why we are increasingly looking to our own communities for support,” said Suma Reddy, entrepreneur, and past M-Corps Cohort Member, a New York-based accelerator run by SecondMuse. “Entrepreneurs need the right people in the room, not just our engineers and investors, but also our local community members, policymakers, activists and others who are vested in building a strong, local economy that is sustainable and inclusive.”
With race topping the national conversation, entrepreneurs overwhelmingly see the benefit to more inclusive local economies; 82% of respondents support an “economy of the future” that focuses on building economic resilience through inclusivity and engagement with local communities.
“We’re encouraged to see that entrepreneurs overwhelmingly see the value in local support networks,” said Khozein. “Building these networks is at the heart of what we do at SecondMuse through programs that simultaneously support entrepreneurs and the communities around them. We hope this study will encourage even more of this work.”
The SecondMuse Study will be conducted annually to provide longitudinal data on “The State of Entrepreneurship in the U.S.” The full study findings can be found here!
SecondMuse is an impact and innovation company that builds resilient economies by supporting entrepreneurs and the ecosystems around them. They do this by designing, developing, and implementing a mix of innovation programming and investing capital. From Singapore to San Francisco, SecondMuse programs define inspiring visions, build lasting businesses, and unite people across the globe. Over the last decade, they’ve designed and implemented programs on 7 continents with 600+ organizations such as NASA, The World Bank, and Nike. To find out more about how SecondMuse is positively shaping the world, visit: www.secondmuse.com.