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Sparkyard Business Blog

How Do We Begin Restarting Fort Worth’s Economy?

by Jamie Barnhart | Jun 03, 2020

As our cities begin to slowly re-open from the COVID pandemic, we are all concerned with the economic instability the lockdown placed on our hometowns. One of the most effective ways of pushing our local economy into rapid recovery is by supporting local small-businesses and startups. 

In 2013, Forbes Magazine listed six ways to create economic growth. The number one way is through innovation and encouraging entrepreneurship. The article states that “innovation and start-ups fuel our economic growth” and that they are the “ultimate job creators who start with ingenious ideas, take risks and create value for the American consumer.” This approach to economic growth has been repeated by countless experts.

This idea and mindset are still relevant in our current circumstances. Cameron Cushman, Director of Innovation Ecosystems at UNT Health Science Center and Les Kreis, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Fort Worth venture capital firm Bios Partners, address this topic in a recently published article in the Fort Worth Business Press titled Fort Worth’s economic recovery should emphasize startups and entrepreneurs.

Research shows that half of the current Fortune 500 companies were started during a recession. This list includes American Airlines, Bell, Airbnb, Uber and Square. Mr. Kreis and Mr. Cushman tackle the big question of how Fort Worth should approach the oncoming recession and what we can learn from previous recessions.

In short, their answer is that our leadership should invest time and resources into local startups. A recession causes people to lose their jobs and many decide to pursue a passion they may not have had time to do before. They may utilize severance packages or pull from savings or other areas in order to pursue this dream. In order to increase the likelihood of success for entrepreneurs and startups there needs to be a wide array of resources to support their efforts, typically referred to as an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Unfortunately, Fort Worth’s entrepreneurial ecosystem lacks many of those resources and doesn’t paint a cohesive picture of the resources we do have. Cushman and Kreis propose numerous suggestions on how to fill these gaps by listing concrete ways for both the public and private sector to get involved.

Check out their article for suggestions and how we as a community need to support entrepreneurs and startups in order to build the future of Fort Worth. Have some feedback? We encourage you to leave a comment below!

Fort Worth Business Press, Commentary: Fort Worth’s economic recovery should emphasize startups and entrepreneurs