Dell and Intel Research Reveals Optimism Among U.S. Small Businesses, Focus on Domestic Growth

  Dell and Intel Research Reveals Optimism Among U.S. Small Businesses, Focus
  on Domestic Growth

  *Study shows surprisingly high optimism among U.S. startups and small
    businesses with healthy expectations for improvements to finances, better
    sales outlooks and greater growth opportunities in the coming year
  *Nearly half of U.S. small businesses are planning for near-term growth and
    84 percent see greater growth opportunities at home than abroad
  *U.S. startups and small businesses are increasingly investing in
    technology to fuel growth and 77 percent of entrepreneurs describe
    successful growth as dependent upon access to technology

Business Wire

ROUND ROCK, Texas -- May 13, 2013

Research released by Dell and Intel today reveals that startups and small
businesses in the United States are focused on growth, primarily domestically,
and are increasingly investing in technology to help them scale. Entrepreneurs
and business owners are optimistic and maintain a positive future outlook, but
believe that there is more government could be doing to support them,
especially from the state and national level. The findings are part of a
comprehensive report that explores the state of U.S. small business and
entrepreneurship and identifies what can be done to address key challenges and
barriers to growth.

To gain a deeper understanding of the small business experience at a local
level, Dell conducted a nine-city Small Business “Think Tank” Tour over the
last 12 months, hosting interactive, participant-led discussions with
entrepreneurs, small business owners and local leaders in each metro area. The
report combines these expert opinions and in-person dialogue with Dell- and
Intel-commissioned research to provide a complete overview of the prospects
and priorities of national startups and small businesses, and how these
perspectives vary from city to city.

Across all markets, entrepreneurs and small business owners were identified as
having three primary needs: Access to Capital and Markets; Access to Networks,
Talent and Expertise; and Access to Technology. Cities in the analysis were
chosen for having a significant index of their population owning or working
for small businesses, and included Atlanta, Miami, the San Francisco Bay Area,
Chicago, the Los Angeles and Orange County Area, Austin, Philadelphia, Seattle
and Boston.

Click here to access the full report. Detailed research findings and event
summaries by city can be found here under the Entrepreneurship tab.

Key findings illustrate that entrepreneurs and small business owners are:

  *Maintaining their optimism: Over the course of the next year, more than
    half of entrepreneurs and small business owners expect finances to improve
    (56 percent), and most expect better prospects for sales (75 percent) as
    well as greater growth opportunities (58 percent).
  *Focused on growth: Nearly half of respondents are planning to grow their
    companies in the near future (48 percent), while a significant percentage
    is focused on long-term growth (38 percent).
  *Satisfied with tech: Most startups and small businesses report being
    satisfied with how their technology needs are currently being met (89
    percent). Despite this, a significant percentage report that their
    technology needs are becoming increasingly complex (41 percent).
  *Staying domestic: The majority of U.S. startups and small businesses see
    greater growth opportunities at home than abroad (84 percent).
  *Wary of the national economy: Nearly all startups and small businesses
    cite concern with the U.S. economy’s impact on small business growth (91
    percent) and indicate low expectations for improvements to inflation (28
    percent), interest rates (33 percent) and the global economy (39 percent).
  *Receiving support locally: Respondents feel that their local government is
    more supportive of small business growth (50 percent) than their
    government at the state (40 percent) or national level (33 percent) and
    consider professional organizations (68 percent) and their local Chamber
    of Commerce (64 percent) to be the most crucial support pillars for the
    small business community.

Based on research findings and conversations with startups and small
businesses over the last year and consistent with the Technology CEO Council
(TCC) recommendations, Dell believes that policymakers, together with big
business, should focus on the following areas to help them overcome current
obstacles to growth:

  *Improving Access to Capital and Markets: Although obtaining capital
    remains a common pain point, the current regulatory environment is causing
    small business owners to look elsewhere from government lending for
    financing.  Policymakers should impose reasonable fiscal controls on
    government spending and work to reform America’s corporate tax system to
    be globally competitive by adopting a territorial tax system with lower
    rates and permanent, effective research incentives.
  *Improving Access to Networks, Talent and Expertise: Competition for top
    talent is high among startups and small businesses, especially at
    executive levels and in the fields of science and technology. To expand
    the talent pool and help empower the next generation of entrepreneurs,
    policymakers can work to improve the quality of K-12 STEM education and
    engage more students in STEM learning at a younger age, increase U.S.
    college graduation rates, and remove barriers to immigration for skilled
    workers.
  *Improving Access to Technology: Technology will continue to play a larger
    role in enabling the success of startups and small businesses as it levels
    the playing field, making it easier for them to compete with large
    companies, having to hire fewer employees and automating routine tasks.
    Policymakers can encourage innovation and increase access to technology by
    maintaining robust national investments in R&D (3% of GDP), and investing
    in next-generation infrastructure, including telecom, energy,
    transportation and healthcare.

In addition to leading the multi-city tour, Dell has engaged in discussions
with policymakers at the federal and state levels to help create regulatory
environments that remove obstacles to entrepreneurial success and make
government a partner in accelerating entrepreneur and small business success
and job creation. Dell continues to advocate for the creation of the
“Entrepreneur-in-Residence” (EIR) in government, bringing true entrepreneurs
into government to serve as advocates for entrepreneurs to work for change in
government regulatory processes and programs.

Quotes

“Entrepreneurship and job creation have rightfully dominated the national
conversation in recent years, but we also need to make sure that entrepreneurs
and young companies are getting the support they need and that local
priorities aren’t overshadowed by national headlines,” said Scott Case of
Startup America Partnership. “Entrepreneurs are by nature optimistic, but they
can’t succeed all on their own. To continue to drive forward the
entrepreneurial advantage we enjoy in this country requires a collaborative
effort between policymakers, academics, nonprofits, major corporations and
private sector companies.”

“While possessing a bright outlook overall, entrepreneurs and small business
owners remain uncertain about the future ahead. To compete in today’s global
landscape, they need technology to innovate, but it’s not the only thing they
need,” said Ingrid Vanderveldt, Entrepreneur in Residence at Dell. “Turning a
great idea into a successful business also requires access to financing,
networking and knowledge.”

“In addition to access to vital resources, entrepreneurs need support to
navigate government regulations so they can focus on innovation,” said Rep.
Mike Honda. “There is much that U.S. policymakers can do today to help
American entrepreneurs and small business owners compete globally, which would
encourage job creation and foster a favorable economic climate for growth,
innovation and competitiveness. The EIR program is an effort to source these
solutions more broadly.”

Methodology

Dell and Intel commissioned research from Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) to better
understand the concerns, challenges and needs of the small business community,
to determine how technology may increase the success of these businesses, and
to inform conversation on the future of America’s small businesses. Over the
course of 2012 and 2013, PSB conducted 941 interviews in 2012 and 2013 among
small businesses decision-makers, from companies with 1 to 99 employees, in
the following U.S. cities: Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay
Area, Los Angeles-Orange County, Austin, Philadelphia, Boston and Seattle.^1

Additional Information:

Link to Infographic
Link to Whitepaper
Link to Small Business Think Tank page

About Dell:

As the visionary outcome of a true entrepreneur, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) is
committed to helping small and medium businesses grow and better serve their
customers by drawing greater value from technology. For more information,
visit the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs  at http://www.dell.com/entrepreneur.

^1 Total number of small business decision-makers N=941 (MOE ± 3.19%); Margin
of error by city – Miami N=100 (MOE ± 9.8%), Atlanta N=100 (MOE ± 9.8%),
Chicago N=200 (MOE ± 6.93%), San Francisco N=100 (MOE ± 9.8%), Los
Angeles-Orange County N=71 (MOE ± 11.63%), Austin N=69 (MOE ± 11.80%),
Philadelphia N=100 (MOE ± 9.8%), Boston N=101 (MOE ± 9.75%), Seattle N=100
(MOE ± 9.8%)

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Contact:

Dell
Kara Krautter, 512-724-0928
Kara_krautter@Dell.com
or
WPP Team Dell
Rebecca Wolfe, 212-798-9880
rebecca.wolfe@WPPTeamDell.com