LANSING — The Small Business Foundation of Michigan’s eighth annual Entrepreneurship Score Card finds that Michigan has dramatically improved in the measure called Entrepreneurial Climate, rising to 15th in the nation in 2011 compared to 45th in 2010 among the 50 states.

“We are especially pleased to see this improvement in Entrepreneurial Climate, because it’s a key measure of Michigan’s gains in the general business, capital access and technology innovation qualities of our economy,” says Rob Fowler, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan. “This is a strong indicator of healthier conditions for future small business and entrepreneurial activity.”

Other Score Card measurements show little dramatic change but rather a slow continuation of positive economic trends. Notably, Michigan’s five-year business survival rate, which had been underperforming since 2003, is now at the U.S. average.

The Score Card finds that Michigan’s economic assets remain postsecondary education and a highly skilled work force. Science, engineering and graduate program output remains healthy and technology competitiveness is an asset, giving the state above average performance in the Research & Innovation metric.

On the downside, Michigan remains challenged by such trends as the cost of doing business and regulatory and legal measures, though there are select tax, fiscal and regulatory policies and outcomes upon which the state is now scoring higher.

Fortunately, these negatives are all areas where public policies are currently being focused — for example, business tax reform took effect Jan. 1.

“These public policy efforts are vitally needed to help overcome low performing trends like the fundamentals of K-12, infrastructure and quality of life,” says Fowler. “Michigan needs to continue its efforts to further accelerate entrepreneurial growth if we are to reach our goal of being counted among the top five friendliest states in the nation for small business and entrepreneurship.

The Score Card is available for download at Printed copies may be requested by calling (800) 362-5461.

The Entrepreneurship Score Card is a project of the Small Business Foundation of Michigan in partnership with the Small Business Association of Michigan, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, Consumers Energy, Dow Corning Corp., the DTE Foundation, the Michigan Municipal League, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Crain’s Detroit Business and the Edward Lowe Foundation.


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