Small Business Optimism, Education & Failure
Szelag, Benjamin H.
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The following project is a two-fold requirement for graduation from Kalamazoo College. The first part includes the career development experience of Benjamin Szelag. Through two internships, Salomon Smith Barney and the Small Business Development Center, Benjamin was able to gain confidence and work experience through a number of tasks at both jobs. In addition to giving him experience, the two internships guided his career choice towards a large corporation as the summer unfolded. The second part of the project focuses on a research issue. Small businesses are extremely important to the nations economic well being. The create jobs, create technical innovations, and produce goods and services. However, small businesses fail at a high rate. This project attempted to find some causes of small business failure. Small businesses fail because of two main categories of factors, internal and external. The later includes problems such as recession, market maturity, cost shocks, and basic demand problems. Internal problems are primarily from mismanagement. Entrepreneurs by nature are overly optimistic and many are undereducated. Using the South Jersey Business survey, it was found that as the owners grew more optimistic, the less likely they were to survive. Using educational data from the US statistical abstract, no direct relation was found between the number of economic and business degrees and the number of business failures. Kalamazoo College