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Amy M. Wilkinson
Scholar

Amy M. Wilkinson

Amy M. Wilkinson is a senior fellow at Harvard University's Center for Business and Government and a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Visit her < a href="www.amymwilkinson.com">website for more.

The unsung heroes: Enterprising entrepreneurs

Question: Considering all spheres of endeavor, who would you nominate as Leader of the Year in 2010? Why?

Enterprising entrepreneurs are the distinguished leaders of 2010. Despite struggling with a recession, a bank crisis, a real estate meltdown, a technology shift, uncertain policy outcomes in Washington and scant access to credit, entrepreneurs persevered in 2010, all the while creating much needed jobs.

While economists talked of teetering on the edge of a financial cliff, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, added 5 million new users a week. In 2010, Facebook's population grew beyond 500 million people, second only to China and India, and ahead of the United States.

Andrew Mason, CEO of Groupon, championed group buying discounts in cities across the United States while Zygna CEO Mark Pincus led a social gaming phenomenon. Entrepreneurs made better cupcakes, designed green energy solutions, recycled your computer and built breakthrough medical technologies, all the while tackling consumer and business pain-points, of which there were plenty.

In the United States, small companies create 75 percent of new jobs. We need entrepreneurs who will take on risk, hire additional employees, and build the products and services we will herald tomorrow.

America's youth agree. A 2010 Kauffman Foundation survey reveals that 40 percent of youth ages eight to 24 would like to start a business at some future point, or have already done so.

Yes, there are enormous obstacles for entrepreneurs. Credit remains tight. The economy, while showing signs of improvement, is still uncertain. And, health-care costs are downright gloomy. Yet, entrepreneurs find ways to get past problems. They find money during tough times and reinvent themselves to rise from the ashes.

2010 called forth the grit and ingenuity of entrepreneurs. We celebrate the unsung heroes of the economic recovery.

Click here to return to all panel responses

By Amy M. Wilkinson

 |  December 30, 2010; 6:35 PM ET
Category:  Accomplishing Goals , Economic crisis Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Amy,

I agree with your thoughts. Entrepreneurs are, in my estimation, the unsung heroes of our economy. They help us become more efficient, develop new technologies, and can even change society.

I even predict that entrepreneurs will be the people behind the scenes of energy independance, for example.

Ben Shore
www.LongevityDrugstore.com

Posted by: LongevityDrugstorecom | January 6, 2011 3:23 PM
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