President Obama didn’t spend a lot of time talking about entrepreneurship this week when he announced the TechHire Initiative to train developers. Instead, the president focused on jobs, specifically the estimated 500,000 IT positions that need filling.
But the TechHire Initiative could be very good news for entrepreneurship, which has been on the decline in this country for years. Here are three reasons why:
1. Every city in the country, including San Jose and San Francisco, complains about not having enough developers to meet the demand. While it’s impossible to know how many startups stalled or were never launched due to a lack of coding firepower, it’s only logical to assume that it’s been a substantial number. More developers means more startups will be able to launch and succeed.
2. Some number of these newly trained and credentialed IT workers are not going to be content working for someone else. Or they won’t be for long. Armed with their new skills and powered by their own ideas, these entrepreneurs-in-waiting are going to go into business for themselves.
3. The 21 cities and regions participating in TechHire include some of the country’s most active startup hubs (NYC, Los Angeles and San Francisco) and some places that register barely a blip on the entrepreneurial map (Albuquerque, rural Eastern Kentucky, Memphis and Kearney, Nebraska). Boosting the number of developers in those low-activity places can only help the local startup scenes. Not every coder with a certificate is going to scamper off to Seattle or San Francisco; some (many, with any luck) will remain in their hometowns, providing one of the essential ingredients for entrepreneurship to flourish.