Atlanta Magazine: Entrepreneurship is changing. So are Atlanta’s entrepreneurs.

Millennial black businesswoman addressing colleagues at a corporate business meeting, close up

By now, you’ve heard of the Great Reshuffle, the Great Resignation, the Great Reprioritization, the Take This Job and Shove It economy. Whatever you call it, the best description comes from Time: “If April 2020 was the month of pink slips, as the rapid spread of Covid-19 resulted in the loss of 20.5 million jobs, then Fall 2021 [was] the dawn of their revenge.”

According to the Labor Department, 3 percent of U.S. workers (4.4 million people) quit their jobs in September—the most ever recorded in a single month. Last year, half the workers in the U.S. reported feeling burned out; one in four quit their job. (Georgia, alongside Idaho and Kentucky, led the country in “quits” at one point.) Even more workers plan to quit or change jobs within the year. “This is a moment of change,” says Amelia Schaffner, founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. “We’ve all been hit with different ways of experiencing life and work. We now have this feeling that we need to look at our time more consciously. How can we use it in a more purposeful way?” “Pandemic epiphanies” helped people—or, in a lot of cases, forced them to—reevaluate their priorities. Some retired; some are waiting for the next (better-paying) opportunity to arise. But a not insignificant number of people decided to take a risk on their own thing, perhaps encouraged by federal stimulus money and unemployment benefits. From January through September 2021, more than 4 million people across the U.S. applied to start new businesses. During the same time frame, Georgia saw more than 258,000 new business applications; 2021 held seven of the state’s top 10 record months for filings by businesses that expect to hire employees. And Atlanta is a large part of that—not that entrepreneurship is a new concept here. The city was and is shaped by it: Think Coca-Cola, Turner Broadcasting, Tyler Perry Studios—from Sweet Auburn, the brick-and-mortar Black business district that boomed in the early 1900s, to modern-day tech giants like OneTrust and Mailchimp.

Read the full article at Atlanta Magazine.


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