MENKEN: Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Spearfish
Economic Development

MENKEN: Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Spearfish


An important component of any economic development strategy is the encouragement and cultivation of existing and up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is essential as it results in the creation of new employment, increased income and community growth while also facilitating research and development. Moreover, entrepreneurship promotes innovation and creativity.

Below are some noteworthy entrepreneurship statistics:

  • 62% of U.S. billionaires are self-made.
  • In 2016, there were 25 million Americans who were starting or already running their own business.
  • 60% of people who start small businesses are between the ages of 40 and 60.
  • Small companies were responsible for 97.6% of exported goods in the U.S. in 2015.
  • The small business failure rate has declined by 30% since 1977.
  • There are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world.

I am pleased to report entrepreneurship is alive and well in Spearfish. Many of our most recognizable businesses and largest employers — including Quarq, Crow Peak Brewing Company and Ainsworth Benning Construction — were started thanks to the courage, ingenuity and hard work of entrepreneurs. Newer companies like DirtBags Bikepacking, Scobi Kombucha and Spearfish Brewing Company have joined our growing list of entrepreneurial businesses.

Spearfish is fortunate to be home to Black Hills State University (BHSU), which offers a degree in Business Administration with a specialization in entrepreneurial studies. This degree covers a wide variety of topics including marketing, human resources, financial accounting, ethics and production management. The Business programs at BHSU are accredited by AACSB, putting them in the top 5% of business schools in the world.

The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO) is also housed on the BHSU Spearfish campus. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, SD CEO provides training and business assistance to current and aspiring entrepreneurs from start-up to expansion.

Spearfish’s entrepreneurs play a key role in the growth and diversification of our local business community. Spearfish Economic Development Corporation looks forward to our continued partnership with these visionaries and innovators.

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