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National Report Spotlights Need for Growing Entrepreneurial Base In Delaware

WILMINGTON, Delaware – Delaware slipped slightly in new entrepreneurship when it compares to other states, according to a national study released Thursday that measures the rate of new business creation across the country.

The 2016 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity found that Delaware ranked 16th among the 26 smallest states in new business creation – down from 14th in the 2015 study.

The findings put a spotlight the Delaware Business Roundtable’s Delaware Growth Agenda, which calls on the state to fundamentally change its approach to economic development and nurture a growing entrepreneurship base in the face of intense competition for jobs, investment and talent.

“Delaware has a real opportunity to reset its economy over the next five years – but only if it fully embraces a spirit of entrepreneurship that will make the state a global magnet for leading-edge technologies, talent and investment,” Roundtable Executive Director Robert Perkins said. “This new report is just another example of the work we have ahead of us as we compete with states across the country.”

The Kauffman Index of Startup Activity relies on three indicators to look at new business creation:

  • The Rate of New Entrepreneurs in a location, calculated as the percentage of adults becoming entrepreneurs in a given month.

  • The Opportunity Share of New Entrepreneurs, calculated as the percentage of new entrepreneurs driven primarily by opportunity vs. necessity.

  • Startup density, the number of new employer businesses normalized by population. More specifically, the Startup Density is the ratio of the number of new employer businesses divided by the total population of existing employer businesses.

Delaware’s rate of new entrepreneurs was 0.24 percent, the opportunity share of new entrepreneurs was 86.22 percent and the startup density was 72.6. Taken together, those numbers dropped from No. 14 to No. 16 among smaller states. See how the state compared to other smaller states here.

The Delaware Growth Agenda, released last month, recommends in part building an entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. This includes bolstering federal, state and private investment in higher education, and emphasizing the healthcare, science and technology fields, engineering and entrepreneurship programs.

The framework calls for the creation of an “Innovation District” as a destination for entrepreneurs and startups, as well as for marketing Delaware to regional and national angel investors and risk capital networks.

About the Delaware Business Roundtable

The Delaware Business Roundtable is a non-partisan, volunteer consortium of CEOs whose companies collectively employ over 75,000 people in Delaware. Since its inception in 1981, the Roundtable’s broad mission is to enhance the quality of life in Delaware by promoting commerce, job creation and select public policy issues. In recent years, the Roundtable has been a leading supporter of public education transformation and entrepreneurs in Delaware.

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