MNCPA PERSPECTIVES

Entrepreneurs and CPAs are kickstarting the economy

Sep. 14, 2018  |  Linda Wedul

What do Cards Against Humanity, Oculus Rift, 11 nominated movies and Neil Armstrong's space suit all have in common?

Kickstarter! They all were funded via Kickstarter projects. 

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. A project owner posts their project with a funding goal and a deadline to meet that goal. Backers then pledge money with no guarantee of success -- just an interest in helping an entrepreneur launch a successful project. Some project owners will also provide rewards for different pledge levels (discounts or free products, for example). 

Projects on Kickstarter include music, technology, food, games, clothing and an array of all sorts of products. Approximately $3.8 billion has been pledged by 15 million people for more than 150,000 projects. It is exciting to see a technology platform that allows small pledges by many people fund new and innovative projects. Kickstarter may have been a key driver in boosting entrepreneurship. 

According to The Kauffman Foundation, there was a steady decline in new businesses as a percentage of all businesses between 1978 and 2012. Entrepreneurship was fading away and entrepreneurial skills -- risk taking, creative thinking and resilience -- were being lost. It is no secret that entrepreneurship is a key driver of our economy and a major source of innovation.  

But the tide is turning. Since 2011, entrepreneurship has been rising. Technology is driving innovation, lowering startup costs and providing more sources and cheaper funding through platforms like Kickstarter. Demographics are also driving entrepreneurship. In 2017, 56 million millennials (those ages 26 - 36, according to Pew Research) were in the workforce. Further, this generation of workers is more interested in owning their own business. And Minnesota is prime for such entrepreneurship -- did you know that the Twin Cities ranks third in the top U.S. cities for start-ups?

Beside every good entrepreneur is a good CPA. While Kickstarter is allowing hidden entrepreneurs to emerge, it’s the CPAs who consult and guide them toward long-term success.

To promote the value CPAs bring to the small-business community, the MNCPA recently hosted its annual Small Business Advisory Day. Throughout the day, business owners received 30 minutes of free business consulting. Some of the comments heard from the entrepreneurs included:

  • The two CPAs I met with were fantastic and very helpful.
  • The CPAs did a great job helping me recognize issues and justify expenses that would lead to saved time and peace of mind.
  • Very informative meeting with really knowledgeable professionals. They answered all my questions.

Our community needs both entrepreneurs and CPAs to be vibrant and successful. Whether it’s an idea being funded by Kickstarter or a long-established family business, CPAs play an essential role in getting entrepreneurs from point A to point B.


Topics: Clients, Economy

Linda Wedul

Linda Wedul is president and CEO of the MNCPA. She’s usually spotted at MNCPA events, introducing herself to members with a warm smile and memorable laugh. Mixed among the Footnotes, accounting journals, leadership books and three monitors in her office, you’d be surprised to see a dog kennel. Her unpaid job is volunteering as a foster family for service dogs in training through Can-Do-Canines. She and her husband have two adult children and live in Farmington. Linda can be reached at 952-885-5516 or lwedul@mncpa.org.

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