MADISON — For the third year in a row, Wisconsin has ranked dead least in business start-up activity. Unfortunately for hard-working families in our state, the infamous ranking is becoming an annual trend under the tutelage of Gov. Scott Walker.
“America is a land of entrepreneurs. Many of us want to create the next big thing for ourselves that also would create new jobs for others. But thanks to the failed economic policies of Gov. Scott Walker many people live paycheck to paycheck working unreliable hours, with few or no benefits,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning. “We need a governor who understands that launching a new venture requires first making ends meet today and having something left over to launch a new venture tomorrow. We need someone who will prioritize our higher education system which spurs innovative research and technology that helps create new businesses and industries. We need someone who gets it, instead of Gov. Walker who prioritizes tax giveaways to the rich while the state economy falls farther and farther behind the rest of the nation.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: For third straight year, Wisconsin ranks last in business startup activity
Another year, another last-place ranking for Wisconsin on the business startup front.
For the third year running, Wisconsin has placed 50th among the 50 states in startup activity as measured by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, one of the country’s leading entrepreneurship advocacy and research organizations.
Not only was Wisconsin last; the gap between Wisconsin and the next-lowest states widened significantly from 2016 and 2015. While other states are clustered with relatively small differences from one state to the next, Wisconsin stands as an outlier – on the low end.
“It just feels like such a broken record,” said Joe Kirgues, co-founder of gener8tor, a company with offices in Milwaukee and Madison that runs a respected training program for startups. “We’ve played this song so many times in terms of we’ve been dead last and dead last and dead last.”
“At some point, I think we have to decide to have a strategy that we’re going to a take a little bit more risk in hopes of pursuit of more rewards,” Kirgues said.
Zach Brandon, president of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, agrees. The chamber this week released a new legislative agenda that, among other things, calls for creation of a statewide council to study ways to grow entrepreneurship in Wisconsin.
“With the new report from Kauffman, Wisconsin as last place is officially a trend,” said Brandon, a former deputy secretary of the state Department of Commerce under former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. “We can no longer sort of argue that it’s a blip.”