Communique


  • Reveals the true landscape of opportunity and the hidden assets entrepreneurs benefit from that improve business viability

  • Shows how this "invisible capital" tilts an already uneven playing field

  • Offers solutions that empower individuals and communities by democratizing entrepreneurial opportunity

 

We have been sold a bill of goods: all it takes to succeed in business is a great idea, a good attitude, and hard work. But a slew of government data tells quite a different story: the chances that a newly minted entrepreneur will build a business that survives five years, employs twenty workers and generates significant profit is about 1 in 1,000! The 999 entrepreneurs who didn't make it failed not because they "didn't want it badly enough." All too often it was due to a lack of invisible capital -- the intangible assets that play a crucial role in business success.

Invisible capital is not any one thing. It's a complex set of factors: our skills, knowledge, networks, resources, and experiences. These can create significant advantages, even if they are not consciously exploited. Rabb details how people can evaluate the components of their own invisible capital and develop a plan to build on strengths and mitigate weaknesses. He draws on his extensive experience as an entrepreneur, his tenure on Capitol Hill and the White House Conference on Small Business, his experience managing an urban business incubator, and his involvement with numerous family-owned businesses.

A major reason invisible capital is so little known is what Rabb calls the "entrepreneurial-industrial complex" -- influential pro-entrepreneurship boosters who cynically spoon-feed misinformation to the public. Rabb exposes how their misguided efforts perpetuate mythic "rags to riches" notions and illuminates research -- which is rarely shared and often politically manipulated -- confirming the significant influence of invisible capital on business outcomes. Rabb also outtlines how society can both help individuals build invisible capital and support the common good by investing in sustainable, community-based business models.

Understanding invisible capital will enable more Americans to be better prepared to pursue entrepreneurship, advocate for those who take the plunge, and assess how communities can support enterprises that broaden shared prosperity by leveling the playing field and strengthening the fabric of society.