So how do we share this success formula with more people?
I believe growing your network and learning from other entrepreneurs are critical too. Home grown businesses may not be as flashy, but small businesses employ more people and can elevate more employees to employers. As a society, how do we create more employment, self reliance and prosperity? My answer: help more people start and run successful businesses.
Government programs can be useful, but my idea is for neighborhood businesses to help neighbors who want to start a business by contributing the capital and knowledge it takes to get a business off the ground. With a tax break targeting those investments, businesses who are motivated to help a local entrepreneur can make a contribution to their success both financially and with nurturing advice, networking connections and tough love when needed.
Not every business will succeed. But with a competent adviser who has skin in the game and the entrepreneur's interests at heart the odds will be much better. The neighborhood wins. If the new business fails - hopefully it will result in lessons learned and without the crippling debt and impact on credit scores that can happen when personal credit lines are stretched and then break.
If the business succeeds, the profits will be shared with investors and perhaps can be sheltered from income tax for a while to sweeten the deal. Hopefully, a virtuous cycle will begin and generations of prosperous business owners will transform a neighborhood, a city or our country - just like they always have.