Entrepreneurism a hot topic at Mackinac Policy Conference - FOX 32 News Chicago

Entrepreneurism a hot topic at Mackinac Policy Conference

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Debbie Dingell Debbie Dingell

Politics, education and business are typical themes on Mackinac Island, but one thing that is getting a lot of attention this year is entrepreneurism.

A new study from Michigan's top three universities -- Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State University -- shows students are not afraid to start a business on their own and pump $400 billion into the economy.

"I'm going to tell you that there are lots of people and young people with ideas, and what this shows is that if you give young people the tools, they can go out and make something of themselves. They're starting businesses at a far younger age. We're keeping these kids in this state. They're driving economic development in this state. That's what this study proves. It's a good investment," said Debbie Dingell, who serves on the Wayne State University Board of Governors.

There are numerous examples of new business started by some familiar names, but some not so familiar.

"We are an entrepreneurship accelerator that Dan Gilbert has launched in the City of Detroit. We recruit folks who come into our program with an idea for an early stage, tech-based startup," said Ross Sanders from Bizdon.

"Manufacturing is really a great driver of jobs in the economy. There's a lot of available manufacturing jobs right now, and that skills gap needs to be closed," said Debbie Holton with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

"Digital, digital digital, doesn't matter whether it's PR, web, social media, everything is going into a digital environment. That's the bottom line," said Terry Oprea from MMCI.

The real bottom line is that there will be more entrepreneurs both in the city and in the region.

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