The entrepreneurial spirit always starts close to home! Economic Impact Catalyst’s Director of Economic Development, Carly Kendrick, had the opportunity to interview one of her favorite entrepreneurs—her dad! 

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

My dad, a true entrepreneur at heart, has a rich history of building and running successful businesses. He started with an accounting firm, leveraging his expertise as a CPA and CFA. But his entrepreneurial fire didn’t stop there. He then went on to own and sell a wholesale HVAC business.

Witnessing him navigate the world of small business for over 35 years was a valuable experience. It wasn’t easy. Long hours, competition from larger corporations, and occasional difficult customers were all part of the journey. Yet, through it all, there was a constant passion for building something meaningful and making a positive impact.

The Backbone of Our Economy

Small businesses are the cornerstone of our economy. They are the primary engine for job creation, as evidenced by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s finding that “Small businesses have generated 12.9 million net new jobs over the past 25 years, accounting for two out of every three jobs added to the economy.” [] That’s a significant contribution, supporting countless families and fueling economic growth.

The Challenge and the Support System

The entrepreneurial journey is fraught with challenges. Many businesses close their doors not because of a lack of skill, but because of a lack of resources to navigate the complexities of running a business. While my dad’s accounting background provided a significant advantage, he still faced challenges in areas like HR and government regulations, areas where larger corporations have dedicated departments.

This is where entrepreneurial support organizations come in. They provide the crucial “someone to help them be successful,” a factor my dad emphasized as essential for anyone starting and running a small business. These organizations offer a wealth of resources, mentorship, and guidance on everything from accounting and legal compliance to marketing and human resources. They bridge the knowledge gap faced by many small business owners.

Supporting the Ecosystem

The next time you’re deciding where to spend your money, consider the magic of small businesses. They create jobs, drive innovation, and add vibrancy to our communities. Remember, a thriving small business ecosystem needs our support. Look for opportunities to shop local and explore ways to get involved with organizations that empower entrepreneurs. By working together, we can ensure that small businesses continue to be a powerful force for good.