4 / City Hubs for Entrepreneurship Series: Miami, Florida
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Miami’s Unique Context:
Many Miami residents are now launching startups, but the number of large businesses in the Miami area has decreased significantly since 2000. This indicates that few local companies are achieving significant growth. Studies have shown that fast-growing firms are a key driver of job creation. Between 1994 and 2006, for example, the fastest-growing 2-3% of U.S. companies accounted for nearly 100% of the net new jobs in the country. As a result of these factors, Miami-Dade County has 30,000 fewer jobs than it did six years ago, and unemployment in Miami is significantly higher than the national average. This indicates that Miami needs to improve its entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Framework for Action:
Cities that wish to become hubs of entrepreneurship must enable high-potential companies to access resources, such as talent and financing. This requires fostering the growth of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem, which is made up of individuals, companies, governments, and other organizations that interact to influence the development of local entrepreneurs and their firms. Successful ecosystems follow a specific cycle of growth, in which local entrepreneurs who succeed in building scalable firms go on to reinvest their financial, intellectual, and social capital into the next generation of local entrepreneurs and companies to create a virtuous cycle of support and success.
Miami’s entrepreneurship ecosystem already has a number of strengths. Entrepreneurs in the Miami area report that access to customers is high and the local quality of life is effective at attracting and retaining successful founders and companies. However, Miami’s leaders must address four major weaknesses that slow the growth of Miami-based companies and the development of the local ecosystem: poor access to earlystage financing, poor access to human capital, low levels of mentorship among successful entrepreneurs, and a lack of promotion of local entrepreneurs as role models.
PHOTO: FLICKR USER Xynn Tii
Plan for Improvement:
There is a clear and demonstrable need for Endeavor to work in Miami. Endeavor’s new office will select local high-impact entrepreneurs and support their growth with programs that increase their access to talent, capital, and mentors. It will then promote successful entrepreneurs as role models for the next generation of founders in the community. In collaboration with local stakeholders, Endeavor Insight also identified additional initiatives that can complement existing programs and help address Miami’s challenges. We recommend that Miami’s leaders implement four programs that have been successful in other cities: an early-stage investment education summit, a recruiting program for entrepreneurial firms, an award that promotes local mentorship, and a program to highlight examples of local high-growth companies.