In an ever-so-slight bit of good news, there were more businesses started in Rhode Island in 2011 than in 2010, the first time the Ocean State has seen a year-over-year increase since 2006-2007.
At slightly less than 1 percent, the gain was modest. But it is a sign that the state’s entrepreneurs have not been cowed by the Great Recession.
It is true that difficult economic times weed out underperforming businesses. But they also create opportunity.
Resources are there to help those willing to take the risk. Traditional programs run by the Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University, the Center for Women and Enterprise and the South Eastern Economic Development Corporation, among others, offer free or low-cost seminars and networking for traditional small-business candidates.
On the venturing side of the spectrum, Betaspring, Social Venture Partners Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offer support, connections and very often capital to bring the next great thing to market.
The message then is simple: Now is the time to start a business. •